We hypothesized that hydrocarbon degradation rates in sandy sediments will be enhanced by increases in organic matter input.
To investigate this hypothesis we took a three-prong approach:
- Determining the seasonal distribution of hydrocarbon degrading bacterial in Alabama coastal waters.
- The impact of inorganic nutrient additions on hydrocarbon degradation rates in sandy sediments. To do so we assessed the degradation of hydrocarbons in mesocosm experiments with differing fuel amounts (2,000 and 4,000 mg/kg) and with or without inorganic nutrient amendment.
- Enhancements in hydrocarbon degradation rates in response to organic matter additions.