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Phosphorus budget and productivity of an experimental lake during the initial three years of cage aquaculture

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An experiment was conducted at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA; Ontario, Canada) to investigate the effect of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) cage aquaculture on the phosphorus budget and productivity of a small Precambrian Shield lake during the first three years of fish farming. Annual inputs of phosphorus to the experimental lake from aquaculture waste (67–100kg) exceeded combined annual inputs from inflows and direct atmospheric deposition (4–18kg). Compared with a reference lake, hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen concentrations in the aquaculture lake decreased by 36% and hypolimnetic ammonium and total phosphorus increased by 120% and 35%, respectively. However, compared with an epilimnion-fertilized lake, hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen in the aquaculture lake was 255% greater and epilimnetic suspended carbon and chlorophyll a was lower by 64% and 85%, respectively. Epilimnetic suspended carbon and hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen concentrations during aquaculture were more similar to concentrations measured in a hypolimnion-fertilized lake. Although the experimental lake remained oligotrophic during the initial three years of aquaculture, hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen decreased each year and hypolimnetic ammonium and total phosphorus increased each year, which suggests that the lake did not reach a steady state.

Nous avons mené une expérience dans la région des lacs expérimentaux (ELA, Experimental Lakes Area, Ontario, Canada) afin d’évaluer l’effet de l’aquaculture en cage de la truite arc-en-ciel (Oncorhynchus mykiss) sur le bilan du phosphore et la productivité dans un petit lac du Bouclier précambrien durant les trois premières années de cette pisciculture. Les apports annuels de phosphore au lac expérimental provenant des déchets d’aquaculture (67–100 kg) dépassent les apports annuels combinés des tributaires et des dépôts atmosphériques directs (4–18 kg). Par comparaison à un lac témoin, les concentrations d’oxygène dissous de l’hypolimnion du lac d’aquaculture ont diminué de 36 % et les concentrations hypolimnétiques d’ammonium et de phosphore total ont augmenté respectivement de 120 % et de 35 %. Cependant, par rapport à un lac ayant subi une fertilisation de l’épilimnion, le lac d’aquacultue possède des concentrations hypolimnétiques d’oxygène dissous 255 % plus élevées et des concentrations épilimnétiques de carbone en suspension et de chlorophylle a plus basses respectivement de 64 % et de 85 %. Les concentrations épilimnétiques de carbone en suspension et hypolimnétiques d’oxygène dissous durant l’aquaculture ressemblent plus à des concentrations mesurées dans un lac fertilisé dans l’hypolimnion. Bien que le lac expérimental soit demeuré oligotrophe durant les trois premières années de l’aquaculture, les concentrations d’oxygène dissous dans l’hypolimnion ont diminué chaque année et les concentrations hypolimnétiques d’ammonium et de phosphore total ont augmenté chaque année, ce qui indique que le lac n’a pas atteint l’état d’équilibre.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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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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