Journal article Open Access

Impact Assessment of Gas Flaring on the Microbial Population of Mangrove Forest of Awoba Flow Station in Bille, Rivers State

Simbi-Wellington W. S.; Chukunda F. A.

This research was conducted to determine the impact of gas flaring on the microbial population of mangrove forest around Awoba flow station in Bille, Rivers State. The experiment was laid in a randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in wet and dry seasons (months) and at different locations with three replications and the means were considered significant at (P≤ 0.05) and separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test. The results indicated that effects of gas flare on seasons and distance significantly (P≤ 0.05) affected the microbial population of bacteria and fungi found in the mangrove soil of Bille Awoba flare station. The total heterotropic bacterial count (THBC) appeared more in the month of March, 2018 (600,000cfu/ml) at the ET location followed by the month of September, 2017 while THFC, in the month of June, 2017 recorded the highest heterotropic bacterial (21,000cfu/ml) at the locations of WT and NT respectively. Hydrocarbon utilizing bacterial occurred more in the months of September and June, 2017 (143.333 – 187, 500cfu/ml) at ST and WT locations respectively and hydrocarbon utilizing fungi isolated from the mangrove soil was more in the months of March 2017 and 2018 respectively. Total heterotropic bacteria isolated included Staphylococcus aureus (Rosenbach), Actinomyces canis (Harz), Corynebacterium amycolatum (Lehmann and Neumann), Acromonas aquariorum (Stanier), Bacillus spp (Ehrenberg). Total heterotropic fungi isolated include: Rhizopus stolonifer (Ehrenb), Candida albicans (Berkh), Aspergillus niger (van Tieghem), Fusarium solani (Link), Mucoramphibiorum (Fresen) and Penicillium bilaiae, (Link). This research concluded that seasons and locations (distances) significantly (P≤ 0.05) affected the microbial population of the impacted soil due to gas flares from Awoba Bille flow station, Rivers State. The study recommended that some microbes in the soil are thermorphic while, some thrive in the crude oil polluted soil. Therefore, these organisms if properly harnessed could be used as soil biological remediating agents to boast agroforestry practices.

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