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McKINDSEY, C.W., M. LECUONA, M. HUOT, A.M. WEISE, 2009. Biodeposit production and benthic loading by farmed mussels and associated tunicate epifauna in Prince Edward Island. Aquaculture, 295(1-2): 44-51 .
An experimental study was done to evaluate the biodeposition dynamics associated with mussels and two fouling tunicates, Ciona intestinalis and Styela clava, in mussel aquaculture in Prince Edward Island (PEI), eastern Canada. The presence of C. intestinalis on small constructed mussel socks increased biodeposition by a factor of about 2 relative to mussel socks without tunicates. S. clava were small and had a negligible effect on total biodeposition from mussel socks although they increased sedimentation rates relative to that of abiotic control socks. Sinking rates of faecal pellets from large C. intestinalis varied between 1.39 and 6.54 cm s- 1 (LSMean = 2.35 cm s- 1). Using biodeposit production and sinking rates and hydrological data obtained in the present study, footprints of benthic loading due to mussel and tunicate biodeposition for a typical mussel farm in PEI were modelled using Shellfish-DEPOMOD. The results show benthic loading below longlines with C. intestinalis to be ca. 2 times greater than those from lines with only mussels with rates of up to 15.2 g m- 2 d- 1. However, given the greater settling rate of C. intestinalis biodeposits relative to mussel biodeposits, the extent of the footprint (≥ 1 g m- 2 d- 1) is similar or even more restrained. Crown Copyright ©2009 Elsevier B.V.
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