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1 August 2013 Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus Budgets of the Surfclam Mactra veneriformis (Reeve) Based on a Field Study in the Shuangtaizi Estuary, Bohai Sea of China
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Abstract

Estuaries are characterized by large amounts of nutrient loads, wide intertidal sand flats, and a high biomass of buried filter-feeding bivalves. A field study was designed to determine the role of the buried bivalves in the estuarine nutrient cycle. The biodeposition, respiration, and excretion rates of a dominant surf clam (Mactra veneriformis) in the Shuangtaizi estuary, Bohai Sea of China, were determined seasonally using a sediment trap and a closed respirator. The carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) budgets of M. veneriformis for 4 seasons were also modeled. The results showed an obvious seasonality in the physiological rates for the studied clam. The lowest biodeposition rates occurred in winter (0.008 g/individual/day), whereas the highest appeared in summer (0.309 g/individual/day), and were mainly attributed to the effects of water temperature and seston concentration. The maximum respiration rate occurred in summer (30.65 mg/individual/day), whereas the minimum occurred in winter (0.54 mg/individual/day). The excretion rates for ammonium and phosphate also fluctuated seasonally, with the highest value in spring and the lowest in winter. The results also showed that the C, N, and P budgets were in the following order: C loss from respiration > C loss from fecal production > C loss from growth; N loss from growth >N loss from fecal production > N loss from excretion; and P loss from growth > P loss from fecal production > P from excretion. The C, N, and P budgets illustrate that the M. veneriformis population used relatively more N and P than C for growth, and efficiently transferred the pelagic primary production to a higher trophic level. This study suggests that M. veneriformis may play a key role in the nutrient cycle of the estuarine ecosystem and should be considered an important component of the ecology of estuaries.

Anguo Zhang, Xiutang Yuan, Wenjiu Hou, and Lili Wang "Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus Budgets of the Surfclam Mactra veneriformis (Reeve) Based on a Field Study in the Shuangtaizi Estuary, Bohai Sea of China," Journal of Shellfish Research 32(2), 275-284, (1 August 2013). https://doi.org/10.2983/035.032.0205
Published: 1 August 2013
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