Study underway on BP Oil Spill's effects on food chain

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU AgCenter scientists will compare bugs and spiders from areas hit by the 2010 BP oil spill to those in oil-free areas to learn more about effects of the spill.

Entomologist Linda Hooper-Bui says insects are good indicators of stress, and can be food for frogs, fish and birds. The study, she said, should provide good data on the oil's impact on the food chain.

Another study will look at the isotope carbon-14 in feathers plucked from seaside sparrows, which live only in Gulf Coast marshes. Low levels would indicate the birds swallowed oil or bugs that had eaten oil. A third study will look at oil's effects on the health and production of oysters.

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