Impact of four-dimensional seismic and production activities on the mangrove systems of the Niger Delta, Nigeria
Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, University of Port Harcourt, PMB 5323, Choba, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, University of Port Harcourt, PMB 5323, Choba, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Reconnaissance survey and laboratory appraisal of the mangrove system in seven communities in the Niger Delta (Nigeria) endangered by seismic and production operations revealed several alterations of soil, sediment, and vegetation. Hydrocarbon content in the range of 0.3-1.1 mg/100 g was extracted within the proximities of spill sources and seismic lines. The prospect area covered by our investigation was characterized by a mixed mangrove forest dominated by Rhizophora racemosa. It was observed that the construction of the seismic lines was responsible for the vegetal disorientation recurrent in the area. The grass, Paspalum vaginatum, and the saltwater fern, Acrostichum aureum, were found at the fringe of most dredge spoils. The characteristic tidal inundation which increases mobility of the substrate, salinity fluctuation, and anoxia may also have contributed, at least in part, to the observed despoliation of some of these species found within the vicinities of the seismic lines and hydrocarbon percolation. Extensive revegetation program is recommended to ensure an effective restoration process of this ecologically fragile zone.
hydrocarbon; mangrove; oil production; oil spill; restoration ecology; revegetation; seismicity; Africa; Niger Delta; Nigeria; Sub-Saharan Africa; West Africa; Acrostichum aureum; Filicophyta; Paspalum; Paspalum vaginatum; Rhizophora racemosa; Rhizophoraceae