Action: Use species from more than one level of a food web in aquaculture systems
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of using species from more than one level of a food web in aquaculture systems on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture is a type of aquaculture set-up where a number of complementary species from different levels of the food web are cultured at one site in order to optimize nutrient utilization and reduce waste (‘Chávez-Crooker et al. 2010). It is considered an effective biological method of removing organic enrichment from aquaculture (bioremediation’; Chávez-Crooker et al. 2010; Naylor et al. 2000; Troell et al. 2009). In integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, the waste from one species becomes a source of energy for another. For instance, the waste of a fed finfish becomes the food of a filter-feeding mussel, whose waste is then taken up by sea urchins, while seaweeds also use the excess nutrients in the water through photosynthesis (Nobre et al. 2010). By moving toward a better ecosystem balance, such multi-trophic systems have the potential to improve water quality at aquaculture sites and benefit subtidal benthic invertebrates.
Chávez-Crooker P. & Obreque-Contreras J. (2010) Bioremediation of aquaculture wastes. Current opinion in Biotechnology, 21, 313–317.
Naylor R.L., Goldburg R.J., Primavera J.H., Kautsky N., Beveridge M.C., Clay J., Folke C., Lubchenco J., Mooney H. & Troell M. (2000) Effect of aquaculture on world fish supplies. Nature, 405, 1017.
Nobre A.M., Robertson-Andersson D., Neori A. & Sankar K. (2010) Ecological–economic assessment of aquaculture options: comparison between abalone monoculture and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture of abalone and seaweeds. Aquaculture, 306, 116–126.
Troell M., Joyce A., Chopin T., Neori A., Buschmann A.H. & Fang J.G. (2009). Ecological engineering in aquaculture—potential for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) in marine offshore systems. Aquaculture, 297, 1–9.