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Dispersal and assimilation of an aquaculture waste subsidy in a low productivity coastal environment

journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-22, 04:27 authored by CA White, PD Nichols, DJ Ross, T Dempster
To understand dispersal and assimilation of aquaculture waste subsidies in a naturally low-productivity environment, we applied a novel, rapid transmethylation technique to analyse sediment and biota fatty acid composition. This technique was initially validated at Atlantic salmon farms in Macquarie Harbour, Australia, where sediments were collected at farm and control locations. Subsequently, sediment, benthic polychaete and zooplankton were sampled at sites 0, 50, 250, 500 and 1000 m distant from multiple cages. Results demonstrated an acute deposition zone up to 50 m from cages and a diffuse zone extending 500 m from cages. Changes in sediment concentration of linoleic acid, oleic acid and total fatty acids were effective tracers of farm deposition. Bacterial biomarkers indicated that aquaculture waste stimulates bacterial productivity in sediments, with elevated biomarker concentrations also detected in benthic polychaetes. Overall, fatty acid analysis was a sensitive technique to characterize the benthic footprint of aquaculture influence.

History

Journal

Marine Pollution Bulletin

Volume

120

Pagination

309-321

Location

England

ISSN

0025-326X

eISSN

1879-3363

Language

English

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1-2

Publisher

PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD