John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Toxicity of fuel contaminated soil to antarctic moss and terrestrial algae

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Fuel pollution is a significant problem in Antarctica, especially in areas where human activities occur, such as at scientific research stations. Despite this, there is little information on the effects of petroleum hydrocarbons on Antarctic terrestrial biota. This paper demonstrates that the Antarctic mosses Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Schistidium antarctici, Ceratodon purpureus and the Antarctic terrestrial alga Prasiola crispa are relatively tolerant to Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) fuel contaminated soil (measured as total petroleum hydrocarbons, TPH). Freshly‐spiked soils were more toxic to all species than were aged soils containing degraded fuel, as measured by photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm), pigment content and visual observations. Inhibitory concentration (IC20) values ranged from 16,600 to 53,200 mg/kg for freshly‐spiked soils and from 30,100 to 56,200 mg/kg for aged soils. Photosynthetic efficiency of C. purpureus and S. antarctici was significantly inhibited by exposure to freshly‐spiked soils with lowest observable effective concentrations (LOECs) of 27,900 and 40,400 mg/kg, respectively. Prasiola crispa was the most sensitive species to freshly‐spiked soils (Fv/Fm LOEC of 6,700 mg/kg), whereas Fv/Fm of B. pseudotriquetrum was unaffected by exposure to SAB even at the highest concentration tested (62,900 mg/kg). Standard toxicity test methods developed here for non‐vascular plants can be used in future risk assessments and sensitivity data will contribute to the development of remediation targets for petroleum hydrocarbons to guide remediation activities in Antarctica. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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