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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 8:285-309 (2016)  -  DOI:

Sources and export of nutrients associated with integrated multi-trophic aquaculture in Sanggou Bay, China

Ruihuan Li1,5, Sumei Liu1,2,*, Jing Zhang3, Zengjie Jiang4, Jianguang Fang

1Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology, MOE, Ocean University of China/Qingdao Collaborative Innovation Center of Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266100, PR China
2Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, PR China
3State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, PR China
4Carbon Sink Fisheries Laboratory, Key Laboratory of Sustainable Utilization of Marine Fisheries Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, 106 Nanjing Road, Qingdao 266071, PR China
5Present address: State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 164 West Xingang Road, Guangzhou 510301, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Field observations were made from 2012 to 2014 at an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) site in Sanggou Bay (SGB), China, to characterize the nutrients associated with aquaculture activities, and to assess the effects of aquaculture on nutrient cycles in the bay. Dissolved inorganic and organic nutrient levels were measured in rivers, groundwater, and SGB. Seasonal variations in nutrient concentrations were detected in the rivers, particularly enrichment of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and silicate (DSi). Nutrient concentrations showed considerable seasonal variation, with higher and significantly different concentrations occurring in autumn than in the other seasons. The composition and distribution of nutrients were also affected by the species being cultured. Dissolved organic nitrogen and phosphorus (DON and DOP) accounted for 27 to 87% of total dissolved nitrogen and 34 to 81% of total dissolved phosphorus, respectively. Phosphorus may be a potentially limiting nutrient for phytoplankton growth in summer. Nutrient budgets were developed based on a simple steady-state box model. These showed that bivalve aquaculture was the major source of PO43- (contributing 64% of total influx) and led to increased riverine fluxes of PO43-. The results indicated that substantial quantities of nitrogen and DSi accumulated in sediments or were transformed into other forms (e.g. phytoplankton cell composition or particles). Large quantities of DIN and PO43- were removed from the bay through harvesting of seaweeds and bivalves, which represented up to 64 and 81% of total outflux, respectively. The results show that aquaculture activities play the most important role in nutrient cycling in SGB.

KEY WORDS: Nutrients · IMTA · Budgets · Aquaculture activities · Sanggou Bay

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Cite this article as: Li R, Liu S, Zhang J, Jiang Z, Fang J (2016) Sources and export of nutrients associated with integrated multi-trophic aquaculture in Sanggou Bay, China. Aquacult Environ Interact 8:285-309.

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