Modeling macroalgae growth and nutrient dynamics for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture
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Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) is being explored on both economic and environmental grounds in many traditional aquaculture regions. To test a variety of suitable macroalgae species and management scenarios, a numerical model is developed to quantify the remediation of dissolved nutrients and production of macroalgae near a nutrient source. Differences in the morphological, physiological, and economic characteristics of different macroalgae species can provide flexibility when considering the cost and benefit of farming macroalgae. Results show that of the three species studied, Macrocystis pyrifera removed 75 % of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) input from a point source, while Porphyra umbilicalis and Ulva lactuca removed 5 %. Both M. pyrifera and P. umbilicalis have reduced bioremediation capacity at increasing flow rates. U. lactuca showed increased bioremediation potential as flow rate increased from low to moderate flows. Increasing the optical depth increased the bioremediation potential of M. pyrifera for moderate values of the light attenuation coefficient, whereas bioremediation was unaffected by optical depth for both U. lactuca and P. umbilicalis. Harvesting increased bioremediation capacity of all species by up to 25-fold dependent on the establishment phase and harvesting frequency. We conclude that the choice of macroalgae species greatly affects the success of IMTA and that both harvesting and farm arrangements can be used to greatly optimize bioremediation.
KeywordsIMTA Macrocystis Ulva Porphyra Bioremediation Temperate estuary Management
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