Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-3155
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-3155
20 Feb 2024
 | 20 Feb 2024

Assessment of nutrient cycling in an intensive mariculture system

Yanmin Wang, Xianghui Guo, Guizhi Wang, Lifang Wang, Tao Huang, Yan Li, Zhe Wang, and Minhan Dai

Abstract. Rapid expansion of mariculture during past decades has raised substantial concerns about impacts on the coastal environment, notably eutrophication. This study focuses on one of the world’s highest density mariculture sites, Sansha Bay, Fujian Province, China, featuring integrated multi-trophic aquaculture practices involving croaker, kelp and oyster, based on examination of nutrient distributions and releases. A two-endmembers-mixing model showed significant addition of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN; 6.9 ± 4.1 μmol L-1) and phosphorus (DIP; 0.45 ± 0.29 μmol L-1) associated with mariculture activities in spring 2020. A mass balance model estimated an annual release of N and P from cage fish farming systems fed with mixed trash fish feed and formulated feed of (2.42 ± 0.15)×104 tons and (5.33 ± 0.37)×103 tons, respectively. Of the total feed input, 52.8 ± 4.7 % of DIN and 33.0 ± 3.7 % of DIP were released into seawater, values much higher than the riverine input and exchange with offshore coastal waters. A co-culture strategy involving kelp and oyster production in 2020 removed (1.08 ± 0.01)×103 tons of N and (1.56 ± 0.08) ×102 tons of P, respectively. Therefore, adjusting feed strategies and improving feed conversion rates could alleviate eutrophication caused by mariculture expansion in this ecosystem.

Yanmin Wang, Xianghui Guo, Guizhi Wang, Lifang Wang, Tao Huang, Yan Li, Zhe Wang, and Minhan Dai

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-3155', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-3155', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Apr 2024
Yanmin Wang, Xianghui Guo, Guizhi Wang, Lifang Wang, Tao Huang, Yan Li, Zhe Wang, and Minhan Dai
Yanmin Wang, Xianghui Guo, Guizhi Wang, Lifang Wang, Tao Huang, Yan Li, Zhe Wang, and Minhan Dai

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Short summary
This study reports higher nutrient release in fish farming system compared to river inputs and other sources with implications for coastal environment. DIN and DIP variation in Sansha Bay are dominated by mariculture activity relative to river input during spring. The N/P budget shows that 52.8 ± 4.7 % of DIN and 33.0 ± 3.7 % of DIP released from fish feeds exceeded other nutrient inputs. Co-culture strategies (e.g., of fish, kelp and oysters) allow effective mitigation of environmental impacts.