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Oil spills spell disaster for affected wildlife, leading to a number of detrimental outcomes, including suffocation, poisoning and longer-term problems related to exposure to crude oil and its components. New research out of the University of Guelph in Canada takes a closer look at the potential effects on regional salmon populations as Canada eyes expansion of its crude oil export capacity. The findings will be presented today at the American Physiological Society's (APS) Comparative Physiology: Complexity and Integration conference in New Orleans.
"Crude oils are a complex mixture of chemicals and represent a pervasive environmental stressor. Canada sits on the world's third largest crude oil reserve, found as bitumen in the Athabasca oil sands. Ninety-eight percent of Canada's oil comes from the oil sands, and 99 percent of our exports go to the U.S.," said study author Sarah Alderman, Ph.D. "As plans to bolster the export capacity of this resource intensify, so too do concerns for the added risk of spills and environmental contamination." New pipeline projects, including the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, have the potential to increase diluted bitumen shipped through salmon habitat to seaports on the West Coast.
Lab - Alderman - Research - Effects - Oil
In the lab, Alderman's research explores the effects of crude oil exposure on anadromous salmon in collaboration with scientists at the Universities of Simon Fraser and British Columbia. "These fish spend parts of their life in both...
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