Author(s): Labud V, Garcia C, Hernandez T
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Abstract The aim of this work was to ascertain the effects of different types of hydrocarbon pollution on soil microbial properties and the influence of a soil's characteristics on these effects. For this, toxicity bioassays and microbiological and biochemical parameters were studied in two soils (one sandy and one clayey) contaminated at a loading rate of 5\% and 10\% with three types of hydrocarbon (diesel oil, gasoline and crude petroleum) differing in their volatilisation potential and toxic substance content. Soils were maintained under controlled conditions (50-70\% water holding capacity, and room temperature) for six months and several microbiological and toxicity parameters were monitored 1, 60, 120 and 180 days after contamination. The toxic effects of hydrocarbon contamination were greater in the sandy soil. Hydrocarbons inhibited microbial biomass, the greatest negative effect being observed in the gasoline-polluted sandy soil. In both soils crude petroleum and diesel oil contamination increased microbial respiration, while gasoline had little effect on this parameter, especially in the sandy soil. In general, gasoline had the highest inhibitory effect on the hydrolase activities involved in N, P or C cycles in both soils. All contaminants inhibited hydrolase activities in the sandy soil, while in the clayey soil diesel oil stimulated enzyme activity, particularly at the higher concentration. In both soils, a phytotoxic effect on barley and ryegrass seed germination was observed in the contaminated soils, particularly in those contaminated with diesel or petroleum.
This article was published in Chemosphere
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation