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The response of zooplankton in a whole-lake experiment on the effects of a cage aquaculture operation for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

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Abstract:

There is hope that increased development of aquaculture will help meet future global needs for protein. The growth of the freshwater aquaculture industry in Canada, however, has been hampered by insufficient information on environmental impacts. We examined the effects of an experimental cage aquaculture operation for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) on planktonic Crustacea and rotifers using 6 years of precage and 7 years of postcage data. Following the initiation of aquaculture, total crustacean and rotifer biomass, egg production, and depth distributions did not change significantly when compared with data from three nearby unimpacted lakes. We found statistically detectable increases in densities of Bosminacf.longirostris and Diacyclops thomasi and an overall change in crustacean zooplankton community structure using correspondence analysis. The response of zooplankton was less than we expected because comparatively large changes were observed in phytoplankton biomass, hypolimnetic O2, and densities of invertebrate (Mysis diluviana) and fish predators. Our study emphasizes the need to monitor multiple variables when assessing the ecosystem impacts of potential stressors such as aquaculture.

On espère qu’une augmentation du développement de l’aquaculture aidera à combler les besoins globaux futurs de protéines. Cependant, la croissance de l’industrie de l’aquaculture en eau douce au Canada est entravée par le manque d’information sur les impacts environnementaux. Nous examinons les effets d’une opération expérimentale d’aquaculture de truites arc-en-ciel (Oncorhynchus mykiss) en cages sur les crustacés et les rotifères planctoniques à l’étude de 6 ans de données avant l’introduction des cages et de 7 ans après leur installation. Après le début de l’aquaculture, la biomasse totale des crustacés et des rotifères, leur production d’œufs et leur répartition en profondeur n’ont pas changé significativement par comparaison aux données provenant de trois lacs adjacents non affectés. Il y a eu des augmentations statistiquement décelables de densité de Bosminacf.longirostris et de Diacyclops thomasi et une modification globale de la structure de la communauté de zooplancton d’après une analyse des correspondances. La réponse du zooplancton a été moins importante que prévu puisque des modifications comparativement grandes se sont produites dans la biomasse du phytoplancton, l’O2 hypolimnétique, ainsi que dans les densités des invertébrés (Mysis diluviana) et des poissons prédateurs. Notre étude souligne la nécessité de surveiller plusieurs variables pour évaluer les impacts sur l’écosystème de facteurs potentiels de stress, tels que l’aquaculture.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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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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