Researchers suspect oil affected insect life
BATON ROUGE, La. - Preliminary results from field work and lab tests indicate two oil components - naphthalene and methylnaphthlane - are at least partly responsible for declines in insect populations in coastal marshes affected by the 2010 BP oil spill, LSU researcher Linda Hooper-Bui tells The Advocate.
The mystery is why the compounds are increasing, she said.
LSU professor Eugene Turner said the compounds are aromatics that should be venting into the atmosphere. Instead, some process is creating more of them in the soil than is being allowed to be released, he said.
In addition, Turner said, the problem is being found not just in heaviest-oiled areas but also in areas affected by small amounts.
Although preliminary results point to the two compounds but research continues, he said.