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Environmental carrying capacity of clam culture: Evaluation of biodeposition of macro and micro particles and their effects on the environment



It has been demonstrated that the assessment of the carrying capacity of an ecosystem using simple models can be inaccurate and overestimated due to environmental changes caused by biodeposition. The impact of biological and physical mechanisms on the biodeposition of various types of particles is often overlooked by models for assessment carrying capacity. Biodeposition is a negative effect that is measured in some impact studies because it increases sedimentation of organic matter. An accumulation rate that exceeds the rate of remineralization will result in a depletion of oxygen near the bottom with major consequences on benthic communities and nutrient exchanges. These factors may have impacts on the quality of the local environment and on site productivity with unknown cascading effects on biological components. The objective of this study, which comprises several essential and complementary projects, is to develop a predictive model of the temporal and spatial pattern of sedimentation (DEPOMOD, Cromey et al. 2002) on mussel culture sites and to assess the effect on the structure of the benthic assemblages. It aims to establish the relationship between the sedimentation of micro-particles associated with mussel culture and the structure of the benthic communities. This model will be aligned with a more general model on the carrying capacity as part of another project (RAQ-environnement).

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2003 - 2006



Principal Investigator(s)

Chris McKindsey

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