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Influence of suspended scallop cages and mussel lines on pelagic and benthic biogeochemical fluxes in Havre-aux-Maisons Lagoon, Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Quebec, Canada)

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An in situ experiment was done in July 2004 to test and compare the influence of suspended bivalve cultures (1- and 2-year-old blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) and sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus)) on biogeochemical fluxes in the water column and at the benthic interface in Havre-aux-Maisons Lagoon (Quebec, Canada). Aquaculture structures increased the pelagic macrofaunal biomass (PMB) and acted as an oxygen sink and nutrient source in the water column under dark conditions. Although PMB was lower in scallop culture, the influence of scallop cages on pelagic fluxes was similar to or greater (nitrate and nitrite) than that of mussel lines. Sediments were organically enriched, and benthic macrofaunal abundances were decreased in mussel culture zones relative to the control zone, but such an effect was not observed in the scallop zone. Nevertheless, benthic oxygen demand did not vary among culture types and control zones. Benthic nutrient fluxes were greatest beneath aquaculture structures. Both pelagic and benthic interfaces may modify oxygen and nutrient pools in culture zones in Havre-aux-Maisons Lagoon. The contribution of aquaculture structures to oxygen, ammonium, and phosphate pools may be a function of PMB and type. While aquaculture structures had an important role on nitrate and nitrite cycling, silicate turnover was mainly driven by benthic mineralization of biodeposits.

Une série d’expériences in situ a été réalisée en juillet 2004 afin de tester et de comparer l’influence de cultures de bivalves en suspension (moules (Mytilus edulis) de 1 an et de 2 ans et pétoncles (Placopecten magellanicus)) sur les flux biogéochimiques dans la colonne d’eau et à l’interface eau-sédiment dans la lagune du Havre-aux-Maisons (Québec, Canada). Les structures aquacoles augmentent la biomasse de la macrofaune pélagique (PMB) et agissent comme un puits d’oxygène et une source de nutriments dans la colonne d’eau en condition d’obscurité. Bien que la PMB soit plus faible au niveau de la pectiniculture, l’influence des paniers de pétoncles sur les flux pélagiques est similaire, voire supérieure (nitrates et nitrites), à celle des filières de moules. Au contraire de la pectiniculture, les cultures de moules enrichissent le sédiment en matière organique et diminuent l’abondance des organismes benthiques par comparaison aux zones témoins. Cependant, la demande benthique en oxygène ne varie pas entre les différentes zones de culture et les zones témoins. Les flux benthiques de sels nutritifs atteignent un maximum sous les structures aquacoles. L’interface benthique et l’interface pélagique modifient potentiellement les stocks d’oxygène et de sels nutritifs dans les zones de cultures de la lagune du la lagune du Havre-aux-Maisons. La contribution des structures aquacoles aux stocks d’oxygène, d’ammonium et de phosphates pourrait dépendre de la PMB et du type des bivalves en culture. Alors que les structures aquacoles jouent un rôle important dans le cycle des nitrates et des nitrites, le cycle du silicium est régi principalement par la minéralisation benthique des biodépôts.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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