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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 11:191-204 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00306

Mussel production as a nutrient mitigation tool for improving marine water quality

Karen Timmermann1,*, Marie Maar1, Karsten Bolding2, Janus Larsen1, Jørgen Windolf3, Pernille Nielsen4, Jens Kjerulf Petersen4

1Marine Ecology and Modelling, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2Bolding & Bruggeman ApS, Strandgyden 25, 5466 Asperup, Denmark
3Catchment Science and Environmental Management, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
4Danish Shellfish Centre, DTU Aqua, 7900 Nykøbing Mors, Denmark
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Longline mussel farming has been proposed as a tool to remove nutrients and counteract the negative effects of eutrophication in coastal waters. In this study, we use coupled 3D hydrodynamic and ecological modelling in combination with measurements from a full-scale mitigation farm to assess the environmental effects of mitigation cultures in Skive Fjord, Denmark, a shallow eutrophic estuary. The results show that mitigation cultures decrease chl a concentration and increase Secchi depth especially in the surroundings of the farms but also on a basin scale. Fecal production by the mussels increases sedimentation below the farms but reduces ambient sedimentation, resulting in a net decrease in sedimentation of organic material on a basin scale. Comparisons with nutrient load reduction scenarios indicate that nutrient removal by mitigation cultures have a higher short-term impact on water quality parameters (chl a, Secchi depth and sedimentation) than nutrient removal using land-based measures.


KEY WORDS: Eutrophication · Mussel culture · Nutrients · Modelling · DEB model · Water quality indicators


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Cite this article as: Timmermann K, Maar M, Bolding K, Larsen J, Windolf J, Nielsen P, Petersen JK (2019) Mussel production as a nutrient mitigation tool for improving marine water quality. Aquacult Environ Interact 11:191-204. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00306

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