Design and Use of an Apparatus for Quantifying Bivalve Suspension Feeding at Sea
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Design and Use of an Apparatus for Quantifying Bivalve Suspension Feeding at Sea

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Visualized Experiments
  • Description:
    As shellfish aquaculture moves from coastal embayments and estuaries to offshore locations, the need to quantify ecosystem interactions of farmed bivalves (i.e., mussels, oysters, and clams) presents new challenges. Quantitative data on the feeding behavior of suspension-feeding mollusks is necessary to determine important ecosystem interactions of offshore shellfish farms, including their carrying capacity, the competition with the zooplankton community, the availability of trophic resources at different depths, and the deposition to the benthos. The biodeposition method is used to quantify feeding variables in suspension-feeding bivalves in a natural setting and represents a more realistic proxy than laboratory experiments. This method, however, relies upon a stable platform to satisfy the requirements that water flow rates supplied to the shellfish remain constant and the bivalves are undisturbed. A flow-through device and process for using the biodeposition method to quantify the feeding of bivalve mollusks were modified from a land-based format for shipboard use by building a two-dimensional gimbal table around the device. Planimeter data reveal a minimal pitch and yaw of the chambers containing the test shellfish despite boat motion, the flow rates within the chambers remain constant, and operators are able to collect the biodeposits (feces and pseudofeces) with sufficient consistency to obtain accurate measurements of the bivalve clearance, filtration, selection, ingestion, rejection, and absorption at offshore shellfish aquaculture sites.
  • Source:
    J Vis Exp. 2018 Sep 5;(139):58213.
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    Public Domain
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