AEI - Vol. 8 - Feature article

Measurements of the water clarification capacity of a nutrient extractive mussel farm in a eutrophic fjord in Denmark were used to optimize eutrophication mitigation capacity. Graphic: Camille Saurel, DTU Aqua

Nielsen P, Cranford PJ, Maar M, Petersen JK

 

Magnitude, spatial scale and optimization of ecosystem services from a nutrient extraction mussel farm in the eutrophic Skive Fjord, Denmark

 

The controlled introduction of large densities of mussels to eutrophic habitats represents an ecological engineering approach to alleviating eutrophication symptoms, while also providing a harvested product. The water clarification capacity of an experimental nutrient extraction mussel farm was measured at different spatial and temporal scales in a highly eutrophic Danish fjord. Food depletion measurements ranged from 27 to 44% at the scale of individual mussels and averaged 13 to 31% at the farm-scale. Despite reduced food availability at this commercial-scale farm, mussel growth remained uniform throughout the farm during the production cycle. These data were used in a modelling exercise that explored possible options for optimizing the ecological services and goods provided by nutrient extraction mussel farms.

 

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