Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 322–329 | Cite as

Importance of kelp-derived organic carbon to the scallop Chlamys farreri in an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture system

  • Qiang Xu (许强)
  • Fei Gao (高菲)
  • Hongsheng Yang (杨红生)Email author
S2 Adaptation and Evolution to Special Environment of Coastal Zone


Bivalves and seaweeds are important cleaners that are widely used in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) systems. A beneficial relationship between seaweed and bivalve in the seaweed-based IMTA system has been confirmed, but the trophic importance of seaweed-derived particulate organic materials to the co-cultured bivalve is still unclear. We evaluated the trophic importance of the kelp Saccharina japonica to the co-cultured scallop Chlamys farreri in a typical IMTA farm in Sungo Bay (Weihai, North China). The dynamics of detritus carbon in the water were monitored during the culturing period. The proportion of kelp-derived organic matter in the diet of the co-cultured scallop was assessed via the stable carbon isotope method. Results showed that the detritus carbon in the water ranged from 75.52 to 265.19 μg/L, which was 25.6% to 73.8% of total particulate organic carbon (TPOC) during the study period. The amount of detritus carbon and its proportion in the TPOC changed throughout the culture cycle of the kelp. Stable carbon isotope analysis showed that the cultured scallop obtained 14.1% to 42.8% of its tissue carbon from the kelp, and that the percentages were closely correlated with the proportion of detritus carbon in the water (F =0.993, P= 0.003). Evaluation showed that for 17 000 tons (wet weight) of annual scallop production, the kelp contributed about 139.3 tons of carbon (535.8 tons of dry mass). This confirms that cultured kelp plays a similar trophic role in IMTA systems as it does in a natural kelp bed. It is a major contributor to the detritus pool and supplies a vital food source to filter-feeding scallops in the IMTA system, especially during winter and early spring when phytoplankton are scarce.


integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) kelp bivalve detritus food source stable carbon isotope 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allsopp M, Johnston P, Santillo D. 2008. Challenging the Aquaculture Industry on Sustainability. 2 nd edn. Greenpeace International, Netherlands. 24p.Google Scholar
  2. Bustamante R H, Branch G M. 1996. The dependence of intertidal consumers on kelp-derived organic matter on the west coast of South Africa. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 196 (1-2): 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chopin T, Buschmann A H, Halling C, Troell M, Kautsky N, Neori A, Kraemer G P, Zertuche-González J A, Yarish C, Neefus C. 2001. Integrating seaweeds into marine aquaculture systems: a key toward sustainability. J. Phycol., 37 (6): 975–986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Crocker K M, Passow U. 1995. Diff erential aggregation of diatoms. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 117: 249–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cruz-Rivera E, Hay M E. 2000. Can quantity replace quality? Food choice, compensatory feeding, and fitness of marine mesograzers. Ecology, 81 (1): 201–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duggins D O, Simenstad C A, Estes J A. 1989. Magnification of secondary production by kelp detritus in coastal marine ecosystems. Science, 245 (4914): 170–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dunton K H, Schell D M. 1987. Dependence of consumers on macroalgal (Laminaria solidungula) carbon in an arctic kelp community: d13 C evidence. Mar. Biol., 93 (4): 615–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fang J G, Sun H L, Yan J P, Kuang S H, Li F, Newkirk G F, Grant J. 1996. Polyculture of scallop Chlamys farreri and kelp Lamin a ria japonica in Sungo Bay. Chinese J. Oceanol. Limnol., 14 (4): 322–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FAO. 2006). State of World Aquaculture, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 500. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Rome. 134p.Google Scholar
  10. Horne R A. 1969. Marine Chemistry. Wiley-Interscience, New York. p.77–198.Google Scholar
  11. Kaehler S, Pakhomov E A, Kalin R M, Davis S. 2006. Trophic importance of kelp-derived suspended particulate matter in a through-flow sub-Antarctic system. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 316: 17–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Liu H, Fang J G, Dong S L, Wang L C, Lian Y. 2003. Annual variation of major nutrients and limiting factors in Laizhou Bay and Sanggou Bay. J. Fish. Sci. China, 10 (3): 227–234. (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  13. Mao Y Z. 2005. Effects of Bivalve Raft Culture on Environment and Their Ecological Regulation in Sanggou Bay, China. Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China. p.63–68. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Neori A, Chopin T, Troell M, Buschmann A H, Kraemer G P, Halling C, Shpigel M, Yarish C. 2004. Integrated aquaculture: rationale, evolution and state of the art emphasizing seaweed biofiltration in modern mariculture. Aquaculture, 231 (1-4): 361–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Newell R C, Field J G. 1983. Relative flux of carbon and nitrogen in a kelp-dominated system. Mar. Biol. Lett., 4 (4): 249–257.Google Scholar
  16. Newell R C. 1984. The biological role of detritus in the marine environment. In: Fasham M J R ed. Flows of Energy and Materials in Marine Ecosystems: Theory and Practice. Springer, US. p.317–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Passow U, Alldredge A L, Logan B E. 1994. The role of particulate carbohydrate exudates in the flocculation of diatom blooms. Deep-Sea Res. I: Oceanogr. Res. Paper., 41 (2): 335–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Phillips D L, Koch P L. 2002. Incorporating concentration dependence in stable isotope mixing models. Oecologia, 130 (1): 114–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ridler N, Wowchuk M, Robinson B, Barrington K, Chopin T, Robinson S, Page F, Reid G, Szemerda M, Sewuster J, Boyne-Travis S. 2007. Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA): a potential strategic choice for farmers. Aquaculture Economics & Management, 11 (1): 99–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shumway S, Parsons J. 2006. Scallops: Biology, Ecology and Aquaculture. 2 nd edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  21. Wei W, Fang J G, Dong S L, Liu Y. 2002). Preliminary studies on mutually beneficial mechanism in the polyculture of scallop (Chlamys farreri) and kelp (Laminaria a japonica). Marine Fisheries Research, 2 3 (3): 20–25.Google Scholar
  22. Whitmarsh D J, Cook E J, Black K D. 2006. Searching for sustainability in aquaculture: an investigation into the economic prospects for an integrated salmon-mussel production system. Mar. Policy, 30 (3): 293–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Xu Q, Gao F, Yang H S. 2010. Microorganism colonization in diff erent decomposing phases of kelp (Laminaria japonica). J. Fish. China, 34 (12): 1853–1859. (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  24. Xu Q, Yang H S. 2007. Food sources of three bivalves living in two habitats of Jiaozhou bay (Qingdao, China): indicated by lipid biomarkers and stable isotope analysis. J. Shellfish Res., 26 (2): 561–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Yan X J. 1996. Quantitative determination of phlorotannins from some Chinese common brown seaweeds. Studia Marina Sinica, 37: 61–65. (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  26. Zeitzschel B. 1970. The quantity, composition and distribution of suspended particulate matter in the Gulf of California. Mar. Biol., 7 (4): 305–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zhang J H, Fang J G, Wang W, Du M R, Gao Y P, Zhang M L. 2012. Growth and loss of mariculture kelp Saccharina japonica in Sungo Bay, China. J. Appl. Phycol., 24 (5): 1209–1216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhao J, Zhou S L, Sun Y, Fang J G. 1996. Research on Sanggou Bay aquaculture hydro-environment. Mar. Fish. Res., 17 (2): 68–79. (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  29. Zhou Y, Yang H S, Liu SL, He Y Z, Zhang F S. 2002. Chemical composition and net organic production of cultivated and fouling organisms in Sishili Bay and their ecological Effects. J. Fish. China, 26 (1): 21–27. (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiang Xu (许强)
    • 1
  • Fei Gao (高菲)
    • 2
  • Hongsheng Yang (杨红生)
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Yellow Sea Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesQingdaoChina

Personalised recommendations