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Evaluation and comparison of Cranford & Wong and ISE methods for sediment sulfide and oxygen measures in aquaculture-related organically enriched sediments using manipulative and observational approaches



Newly developed analytical methods (i.e., PARR-2014-M-05 Cranford and Wong) to measure total free sulphide and dissolved oxygen concentrations in sediments (metrics used to assess the oxic state of sediments) need to be evaluated more extensively in the field because these concentration gradients are used to predict benthic impacts from organic loading at aquaculture operations. This project will use two sediment sources. The first is a mesocosm approach to generate a gradient of mussel biodeposition rates similar to those created by bivalve aquaculture. The second is at a commercially-operated salmon farm sampled along a presumed organic enrichment gradient during maximum fish production levels. We will compare the total sulphide and dissolved oxygen concentrations using the new methods with those measured using the current (ISE) methods and see how both of these metrics are related to sediment benthic community structure. In addition, nutrient fluxes from sediment cores from the mesocosms will be measured to better understand the relationship between organic loading and sediment processes like respiration and nutrient recycling. This project builds upon ongoing PARR projects (PARR-2016-Q-01 and PARR-2016-Q-16) and takes advantage of the specialized staffing (i.e., dive team) working in the region. These results will improve the accuracy of the definition of the oxic state of sediments and better inform aquaculture management when assessing aquaculture operations today.





Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)



Principal investigator

Chris McKindsey
Research scientist, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, QC

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