Analysis of relationships between bivalve aquaculture and eelgrass coverage at a bay-wide scale

PARR-2011-G-19

Description

The project will examine if a potential relationship between eelgrass and bivalve aquaculture can be detected at a bay-wide survey scale and evaluate if there is a level at which bivalve aquaculture starts to negatively impact fish habitat (eelgrass). The relationship between eelgrass coverage (a proxy of eelgrass productivity) and depth distribution (a proxy of water transparency) with aquaculture density (a proxy of bivalve filtration) will be analyzed. These questions will be addressed by conducting field surveys to quantify eelgrass and aquaculture in bays in the Gulf region with a range of ratios of aquaculture: eelgrass coverage. Using land-use variables as co-variables, multivariate statistical analyses will be conducted to examine the shape of the relationship between aquaculture coverage (or density) and eelgrass bed coverage, and between aquaculture and eelgrass depth distribution. The existence of asymptotes and inflection points that could indicate that ecosystem change is occurring due to aquaculture activities will be investigated, and could be used to support regional decisions related to bay-wide production and carrying capacity.

Findings

N/A

Publications

N/A

Multimedia

Shedding light on the effects of oyster farming

Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)

Year(s)

2011 - 2014

Ecoregion(s)

Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary

Principal Investigator(s)

Monique Niles
343 Ave University Ave, Moncton, NB
Tel.: (506) 851-3678
Email: Monique.M.Niles@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Team Member(s)

Andrea Locke, DFO-Gulf region

Thomas Landry, DFO-Gulf region