Field clearance of an intertidal bivalve bed: relative significance of the co-occurring blue mussel Mytilus edulis and Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas

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At an approximately 12 000 m2 sheltered intertidal bivalve bed in the western part of the Limfjord, Denmark, the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas co-occurs with the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. The relative significance of the impact of the 2 species on phytoplankton density during a tidal cycle was estimated by combining field measurements of clearance rates and modelling of the bivalve bed (topography, biomass distribution, temporal and spatial water coverage
and depth). The average density of C. gigas and M. edulis was 35 ± 36 and 1001 ± 685 ind. m−2, respectively. The water volume cleared during a tidal cycle was estimated at 45 838 m3, of which C. gigas and M. edulis contributed 9169 and 36 669 m3, respectively. Therefore, M. edulis contributed 4 times as much as C. gigas to the bivalve bed’s clearance, and the 2 bivalves were estimated to clear the water volume 1.9 times during each tidal cycle. However, the estimated water column cleared during low tide is overestimated due to phytoplankton depletion. Hence, it is concluded that the bivalve bed clears the water close to 1 time each tidal cycle. This, together with a low dry weight of soft parts, indicates that the bivalve bed, in general, is food-limited
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquatic Biology
Pages (from-to)107-119
Publication statusPublished - 2016
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI
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ID: 125592782