Laboratory studies have shown that dissolved hydrocarbons destroy the membranes in gills, which results in a diminished ability to absorb oxygen from the water. This loss of gill efficiency results in an enlarged heart. There is also less efficient utilization of food, an effect that may be related to diminished adsorption of food through the intestinal walls. The proposed decrease in food adsorption may also be due to damage to the lipid layers in the intestines. The diminished populations of bottom-feeding fish in the vicinity of some spills suggests that these may be affected most. This may be due to ingestion of oil adsorbed on the sediments.

0 0

Post a comment