Revista internacional de contaminación ambiental
Print version ISSN 0188-4999
OLGUIN, Eugenia J.; HERNANDEZ, María Elizabeth and SANCHEZ-GALVAN, Gloria. Hydrocarbon mangroves pollution and bioremediation, phytoremediation and restoration strategies. Rev. Int. Contam. Ambient [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.3, pp. 139-154. ISSN 0188-4999.
Mangroves are complex ecosystems with multiple functions and high economic value. However, they are exposed to several negative impacts and are disappearing at a high annual rate (1 to 5 %). Oil spills are one of the most negative impacts causing damage to all the ecosystem's sub-systems: plants, associated fauna, microorganisms (aerobic and anaerobic), soil and water. Considering the relevance of these ecological disasters, the current revision offers a discussion of updated information on oil pollution of mangroves. Furthermore, various strategies related to bioremediation, phytoremediation and restoration, are also reviewed and discussed as solutions for the short and medium term. An autochthonous microbial flora capable of degrading hydrocarbons is usually present in polluted soils and it has been observed that natural attenuation generally occurs. The strategies of biostimulation (addition of nutrients or degrading stimulation compounds) and bioaugmentation (addition of microbial strains with special attributes for pollutant degradation), have been investigated as tools for acceleration of such natural process. Another limiting factor under natural conditions is the lack of oxygen in the mangroves' sediments. Current information indicates that biostimulation complemented with aereation, is the most suitable strategy for hydrocarbon degradation. Finally, the need of integrated studies of bioremediation, phytoremediation and restoration of mangroves impacted by oil spills, in which most of the sub-systems of this complex ecosystem are investigated in parallel, is highlighted.
Keywords : hydrocarbons; biostimulation; bioaugmentation; natural attenuation; biodegradation; oil spills; mangroves.