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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 10:227-241 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00264

Impact of farming non-indigenous scallop Argopecten irradians on benthic ecosystem functioning: a case-study in Laizhou Bay, China

Qian Huang1,2,*, Sergej Olenin1, Song Sun3,4, Marleen De Troch2

1Klaipeda University, Marine Science and Technology Centre, H. Manto 84, 92294, Klaipeda, Lithuania
2Ghent University, Biology Department, Marine Biology, Krijgslaan 281 - S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
3Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 266071 Qingdao, PR China
4College of Marie Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 10004 Beijing, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The farming of the non-indigenous bay scallop Argopecten irradians in coastal waters generates large amounts of biodeposits that potentially change the trophic pathways and quality of the benthic food web at lower trophic levels such as meiobenthos. To understand the trophic link between faecal pellets of bay scallop and meiobenthos in the aquaculture area, we investigated the resource use of harpacticoid copepods and nematodes inside and outside of 3 bay scallop farms in Laizhou Bay (Bohai Sea, China) using natural abundance of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes together with fatty acid profiling. Faeces were found to be enriched in δ15N compared to all other food sources, which made faecal matter traceable. The enriched δ15N in several meiobenthos at the farms, together with the mixing model results, indicated that faeces could be a new food source for most of harpacticoid copepods and some nematodes. The quantities and the pathways of assimilation differed between the copepod families, depending on their feeding behaviors and the receiving environment. Furthermore, due to the presence of higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular docosahexaenoic acid, the dominant copepod family Canuellidae that abundantly consumed scallop faeces showed enhanced nutritional quality compared with those in the control sites. Thus, aquaculture of non-indigenous bay scallops provided a food source that was directly and indirectly consumed by meiobenthos underneath the scallop farms and improved the quality of lower level consumers as a food item in the benthic food web.


KEY WORDS: Mariculture · Non-indigenous species · Argopecten irradians · Harpacticoid copepods · Nematodes · Food source · Stable isotopes · Fatty acids


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Cite this article as: Huang Q, Olenin S, Sun S, De Troch M (2018) Impact of farming non-indigenous scallop Argopecten irradians on benthic ecosystem functioning: a case-study in Laizhou Bay, China. Aquacult Environ Interact 10:227-241. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00264

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