SIMBIOSYS Project: Shift in benthic assemblages and organisms' diet at salmon farms: community structure and stable isotope analyses

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Resource or Project Abstract

The extent of the influence of salmon farming on the environment and on the uptake of particulate and dissolved effluents by benthic organisms was assessed using community structure and stable isotope analyses. Sediment cores were collected in 2 directions: perpendicular and parallel to the main residual current, 0, 25 and 200 m from 2 salmon farms (Millstone and Cranford) located in Mulroy Bay, Ireland. In addition, artificial substrates were placed for 2 mo at 1 m depth 0, 25 and 200 m from one farm to trace the uptake of farm-related nutrients by fouling organisms. The extent of measurable change in benthic communities (abundance, diversity, structure, trophic composition) depended on residual current direction. Intraspecific variation in isotopic values in benthic invertebrates was mostly explained by distance from cages. Organisms collected at impacted sites exhibited a shift in isotopic composition towards that of farm wastes. A shift in δ13C was observed in several invertebrates, including the polychaetes Malacoceros fuligi nosus and Nephtys hombergii, Nematoda and the anemone Anthopleura balii. Fouling communities collected on artificial structures, mainly composed of the tunicate Ascidiella aspersa, showed higher δ15N values at fish cage sites compared to sites 200 m away. The study demonstrated that fish effluents were assimilated and became food sources for several organisms.

The data uploaded from this project has contributed to the following peer reviewed published paper:

Callier, M. D., Lefebvre, S., Dunagan, M. K., Bataille, M-P, Coughlan, J. & Crowe, T. P. (2013). Shift in benthic assemblages and organisms' diet at salmon farms: community structure and stable isotope analyses. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 483, 153-167.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Myriam Callier

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsAquaculture, Organic matter, Stable isotope , Community structure, Diet shift, Trophic structure
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2007-B-CD-1-S1
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeBiodiversity
Resource Availability: Non Owner-Users Cannot Download Files from This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceTime restrictions based on publishing peer reviewed articles from this research are requested.

Please contact Dr Myriam Callier for more details
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 0
Project Start Date Tuesday 1st April 2008 (01-04-2008)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st September 2008 (01-09-2008)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 30th June 2013 (30-06-2013)
Published on SAFERThursday 24th October 2013 (24-10-2013)
Date of Last EditThursday 24th October 2013 at 22:57:12 (24-10-2013)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 24th October 2013 at 22:34:09 (24-10-2013)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The study sites were located in Mulroy Bay?a fully marine, fjordic inlet, situated on the northern coast of Co. Donegal, Ireland. Production levels of Atlantic salmon within Mulroy Bay are ~800 to 900 t yr−1. The study was undertaken at 2 salmon farms, Millstone and Cranford.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
The SIMBIOSYS Project investigated the impacts that human activity have on biodiversity and ecological functioning, and the associated benefits of biodiversity to human society, that is, ecosystem services. Three expanding sectors of enterprise were addressed in the project: (i) the cultivation of bioenergy crops; (ii) the landscaping of road corridors; and (iii) the aquaculture of sea-food. Field-based studies quantified biodiversity at the genetic, species and habitat levels under current commercial regimes, compared with traditional practices, and investigated ecosystem service delivery in all three sectors. The SIMBIOSYS Project has been a four-and-a-half-year research effort, involving six leading academics in four institutions, six PhD students, eleven research assistants at graduate and postdoctoral level, more than twenty MSc and undergraduate students and many other academic collaborators, both in Ireland and overseas.
Supplementary Information
Links To Other Related Resources
SIMBIOSYS Project Website: (Opens in a new window)

SIMBIOSYS Synthesis Report: (Opens in a new window)

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