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Effects of an experimental rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) farm on invertebrate community composition

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We examined the development of changes in the zoobenthos along a transect from an experimental rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) farm in Lake 375, Experimental Lakes Area, northwestern Ontario, Canada. After 2 months, invertebrate abundance was reduced under the fish cage (2542± 569 individuals·m–2) compared with samples collected 45m away (16137± 2624 individuals·m–2). Taxa richness was also depressed, but changes in biomass were variable. Reductions in abundance and richness at high organic loading levels are consistent with earlier models developed for the marine environment of responses to organic loading in marine systems. After two production cycles, the significant principal components axis explaining 76% of total variance in abundance was correlated with distance from the cage (Spearman rank correlation, r =–0.775, p = 0.014) and with chemical variables recommended for freshwater aquaculture monitoring (Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r = 0.78, 0.76, and 0.75 with p = 0.013, 0.018, and 0.020 for pore-water ammonia and sediment Cu and Zn, respectively). The effects of farming were localized, dissipating within 15m of the cage edge. Invertebrate abundance demonstrated the most potential for incorporation into monitoring schemes at new farms. At established farms, richness may be a valuable monitoring metric.

Nous avons examiné l’évolution des changements dans le zoobenthos le long d’un transect à partir d’une exploitation de pisciculture au lac 375 dans la Région des lacs expérimentaux, nord-ouest de l’Ontario, Canada. Au bout de 2 mois, l’abondance des invertébrés est réduite sous la cage à poissons (2542± 569 individus·m–2) par rapport aux échantillons prélevés 45m plus loin (16137± 2624 individus·m–2). La richesse taxonomique est aussi plus basse, mais les changements de biomasse sont variables. Les réductions de biomasse et de richesse aux niveaux élevés d’apports de matière organique sont en accord avec les modèles antérieurs mis au point pour les environnements marins sur les réactions aux apports organiques dans les écosystèmes de mer. Après deux cycles de production, l’axe principal significatif de l’analyse des composantes principales, qui explique 76% de la variance totale de l’abondance, est en corrélation avec la distance de la cage (corrélation de rang de Spearman, r = –0,775, p = 0,014) et avec les variables chimiques recommandées pour la surveillance de l’aquaculture en eau douce (coefficient de corrélation de Pearson, r = 0,78, 0,76 et 0,75 avec p = 00,13, 0,018 et 0,020 pour respectivement l’ammoniaque de l’eau interstitielle, ainsi que le Cu et le Zn des sédiments). Les effets de la pisciculture sont restreints dans l’espace, se dissipant à moins de 15m du bord de la cage. L’incorporation de l’abondance des invertébrés dans les programmes de surveillance des nouvelles exploitations piscicoles s’avère des plus prometteuses. Dans les exploitations établies, la richesse peut être une métrique de surveillance utile.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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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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