Oil in the ocean doesn’t sound like a good thing-especially after something like the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, though, researchers have found that life thrives above natural oil seeps in the form of phytoplankton.
The oil itself doesn’t seem to be helping the plankton. However, the low concentration of oil found above natural seeps isn’t kill them, either. In addition, it seems as if the turbulence from the rising oil and gas bubbles from below brings deep-water nutrients that the phytoplankton need to grow.
“This is the beginning of evidence that some microbes in the Gulf may be preconditioned to survive with oil, at least at lower concentrations,” said Ajit Subramaniam, one of the researchers, in a news release. “In this case, we clearly see these phytoplankton are not negatively affected at low concentrations of oil, and there is an accompanying process that helps them thrive. This does not mean that exposure to oil at all concentrations for prolonged lengths of time is good for phytoplankton.”
Read full article here: http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/36347/20160126/oil-leaking-gulf-mexico-deep-ocean-helping-marine-life-thrive.htm