Oil spill impacts

Photo: Oiled salt marsh in LA.

Photo: Dead marsh plants, with some recovery, LA.

Photo: Graduate student Brittany De Loach McCall sampling arthropod food web with vacuum sampler.

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 was a major environmental disaster. My laboratory received RAPID funding from NSF to conduct a study of how oil affected salt marsh food webs, with an emphasis on arthropod food webs (insects and spiders). I also participated wiht the NOAA team in reviewing oil spill effects on benthic invertebrates. We've published several manuscripts based on this work.


Zengel, S., J. Weaver, S. C. Pennings, B. Silliman, D. R. Deis, C. L. Montague, N. Rutherford, Z. Nixon and A. R. Zimmerman. 2017. Five years of Deepwater Horizon oil spill effects on marsh periwinkles (Littoraria irrorata). Marine Ecology Progress Series 576:135-144. DOI 10.3354/meps11827.


Pennings, S. C., S. Zengel, J. Oehrig, M. Alber, T. D. Bishop, D. R. Deis, D. Devlin, A. R. Hughes, J. J. Hutchens, W. M. Kiehn, C. R. McFarlin, C. L. Montague, S. Powers, C. E. Proffitt, N. Rutherford, C. L. Stagg, K. Walters. 2016. Marine ecogregion and Deepwater Horizon oil spill affect recruitment and population structure of a salt marsh snail. Ecosphere 7(12)e01588, DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1588.


Zengel, S., S.C. Pennings, B. Silliman, C. Montague, J. Weaver, D.R. Deis, M.O. Krasnec, N. Rutherford, Z. Nixon. 2016. Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacts on salt marsh fiddler crabs (Uca spp.). Estuaries and Coasts 39:1154-1163. DOI 10.1007/s12237-016-0072-6.


Zengel, S., C. L. Montague, S. C. Pennings, S. P. Powers, M. Steinhoff, G. Fricano, C. Schlemme, M. Zhang, J. Oehrig, Z. Nixon, S. Rouhani, J. Michel. 2016. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on salt marsh periwinkles (Littoraria irrorata). Environmental Science & Technology 50:643-652. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04371.


Pennings, S. C., B. D. McCall and L. Hooper-Bui. 2014. Effects of oil spills on terrestrial arthropods in coastal wetlands. Bioscience 64:789-795. DOI:10.1093/biosci/biu118.


McCall, B. D., S. C. Pennings. 2012. Disturbance and recovery of salt marsh arthropod communities following BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. PLoS ONE 7 (3) e32735. DOI. 10.1371/journal.pone.0032735.


Updated 1/2019