Transport of biodeposits and benthic footprint around an oyster farm, Damariscotta Estuary, Maine.

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From: PeerJ(Vol. 9)
Publisher: PeerJ. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 12,462 words
Lexile Measure: 1540L

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Abstract :

The benthic impact of aquaculture waste depends on the area and extent of waste accumulation on the sediment surface below and around the farm. In this study we investigated the effect of flow on biodeposit transport and initial deposition by calculating a rough aquaculture "footprint" around an oyster aquaculture farm in the Damariscotta River, ME. We also compared a site under the farm to a downstream "away" site calculated to be within the footprint of the farm. We found similar sediment biogeochemical fluxes, geochemical properties and macrofaunal communities at the site under the farm and the away site, as well as low organic enrichment at both sites, indicating that biodeposition in this environment likely does not have a major influence on the benthos. To predict accumulation of biodeposits, we measured sediment erodibility under a range of shear stresses and found slightly higher erosion rates at the farm than at the away site. A microalgal mat was observed at the sediment surface in many sediment cores. Partial failure of the microalgal mat was observed at high shear velocity, suggesting that the mat may fail and surface sediment erode at shear velocities comparable to or greater than those calculated fromin situ flow measurements. However, this study took place during neap tide, and it is likely that peak bottom velocities during spring tides are high enough to periodically "clear" under-farm sediment of recent deposits.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A671497357