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Effect of shellfish aquaculture on long-term plankton community composition



In suspended mussel culture, farmed mussels filter seston, particles in the water column that include phytoplankton and zooplankton, for food. The filter-feeding of seston by great numbers of mussels may alter types of plankton that are available for other planktivores in the ecosystem, including lobster larvae. The ability of mussel farms to impact the bottom of the food web may have repercussions for the abundance of commercial, recreational or aboriginal (CRA) fishery species directly or indirectly. Building on ongoing work, PARR-2017-Q-04, the proposed research PARR-2019-Q-06 will evaluate how plankton communities change under different levels of bivalve grazing pressure within controlled laboratory conditions; and how plankton communities impact the condition and performance of lobster larvae. The results will indicate whether mussel culture impact phytoplankton and zooplankton communities and the condition of lobster larvae, a commercially important species.

Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)



Principal investigator

David Drolet
Research scientist, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, Que.

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