Potential for Local Fertilization: A Benthocosm Test of Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of Mussel Excretion on the Plankton
2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 6, e0156411Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Mussel aquaculture has expanded worldwide and it is important to assess its impact on the water column and the planktonic food web to determine the sustainability of farming practices. Mussel farming may affect the planktonic food web indirectly by excreting bioavailable nutrients in the water column (a short-term effect) or by increasing nutrient effluxes from bio-deposit-enriched sediments (a long-term effect). We tested both of these indirect effects in a lagoon by using plankton-enclosing benthocosms that were placed on the bottom of a shallow lagoon either inside of a mussel farm or at reference sites with no history of aquaculture. At each site, half of the benthocosms were enriched with seawater that had held mussels (excretion treatment), the other half received non-enriched seawater as a control treatment. We monitored nutrients ([PO43-] and [NH4+]), dissolved oxygen and plankton components (bacteria, the phytoplankton and the zooplankton) over 5 days. We found a significant relationship between long-term accumulation of mussel biodeposits in sediments, water-column nutrient concentrations and plankton growth. Effects of mussel excretion were not detected, too weak to be significant given the spatial and temporal variability observed in the lagoon. Effects of mussels on the water column are thus likely to be coupled to benthic processes in such semi-enclosed water bodies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 6, e0156411
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123446DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156411ISI: 000377184700042PubMedID: 27249793OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-123446DiVA: diva2:949428