Effects of mussel Mytilus edulis aquaculture on benthic organic enrichment were determined in Tracadie Bay, a shallow, nutrient-rich embayment in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Water content (WC), inorganic grain size (GS), organic matter (OM), redox potentials (EhNHE) and free sulfides (S) in the upper 2 cm of sediment were measured at 58 stations throughout the inlet to evaluate spatial variations between lease and non-lease locations. MANOVA results showed that mean (Â±SD) values for WC (64.8 Â± 12.7%), OM (9.8 Â± 4.3%), and S (1794 Â± 771 Î¼M) were significantly (p <0.005) higher and EhNHE lower (-51 Â± 78 mV) within mussel leases (n = 24) vs. non-lease areas (n = 34). Negative regressions between S and GS and positive regressions between EhNHE and GS at lease and non-lease locations had similar slopes but intercept values were significantly higher for S and lower for EhNHE (p <0.007) for lease locations. EhNHE and a Benthic Enrichment Index derived from EhNHE, OM and WC were inversely related to S. K- means clustering and multi-dimensional scaling showed that geochemical variables could be used to group stations into categories of benthic organic enrichment within mussel lease and non-lease areas characteristic of oxic-hypoxic sediments described by measures of S and EhNHE.
Hargrave, B., Doucette, L., Cranford, P., Law, B., & Milligan, T. (2008). Influence of mussel aquaculture on sediment organic enrichment in a nutrient-rich coastal embayment. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 365, 137-149. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07636