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Ecological effects of co-culturing sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) with scallop Chlamys farreri in earthen ponds

Ren, Yichao, Dong, Shuanglin, Qin, Chuanxin, Wang, Fang, Tian, Xiangli, Gao, Qinfeng
Chinese journal of oceanology and limnology 2012 v.30 no.1 pp. 71-79
Apostichopus japonicus, Chlamys, aquaculture systems, body weight, carbon, coculture, crop yield, dormancy, mariculture, nitrogen content, organic matter, particulates, phosphorus, pollution load, ponds, scallops, sediments, summer, survival rate, water quality, winter
Monthly changes in sedimentation and sediment properties were studied for three different culture treatments: sea cucumber monoculture (Mc), sea cucumber and scallop polyculture (Ps-c) and scallop monoculture (Ms). Results indicated that the survival rate of sea cucumber was significantly higher in Ps-c cultures than in Mc cultures. Sea cucumber yield was 69.6% higher in Ps-c culture than in Mc culture. No significant differences in body weight and scallop shell length were found between Ps-c and Ms cultures. The mean sedimentation rate of total particulate matter (TPM) was 72.2 g/(m²·d) in Ps-c cultures, with a maximum of 119.7 g/(m²·d), which was markedly higher than that of Mc (mean value). Sedimentation rates of organic matter (OM), total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in Ps-c cultures were also significantly higher than those in Mc cultures. TOC and TN contents of sediment increased rapidly in the first 5 months in Ms cultures and remained at a high level. TOC and TN contents in Mc and Ps-c cultures decreased during sea cucumber feeding seasons and increased during sea cucumber dormancy periods (summer and winter). The study demonstrates that co-culture of sea cucumber and scallop in earthen ponds is an alternative way to alleviate nutrient loads and improve water quality in coastal aquaculture systems. Moreover, it provides the additional benefit of an increased sea cucumber yield.