Oil-Spill Effects on Smooth Cordgrass in Galveston Bay, Texas
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Observations of the effects of number 6 fuel oil spilled into coastal waters and washed into Spartina alterniflora mashes were made near Galveston, Texas. Aboveground biomass of some fringing marshes was completely removed in November as part of a clean up operation. However, regrowth the following spring occurred with no noticeable effects on the plants. Oil also entered a larger marsh area, partly covering some plants and completely covering others. The oil killed the aboveground portion of a plant only when oil covered most of the plant. Plants, regardless of the extent of oil coverage, produced new growth in the following spring that appeared to be similar to other S. alterniflora communities of the area.