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Sedimentation and sediment characteristics in sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) culture ponds

Ren, Yichao, Dong, Shuanglin, Wang, Fang, Gao, Qinfeng, Tian, Xiangli, Liu, Feng
Aquaculture research 2010 v.42 no.1 pp. 14-21
Apostichopus japonicus, autumn, carbon, chlorophyll, estivation, hibernation, mariculture, nitrogen, organic matter, particulates, phosphorus, pond culture, ponds, sediments, spring, summer, winter, China
Annual sedimentation, re‐suspension rates and contents of particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate organic nitrogen (PON) and total phosphorus (TP) in the sediment were investigated in two sea cucumber culture ponds at Rongcheng, Shandong Province, China. The results showed that the average flux of total particulate matter in the ponds was 22.1 g m² d⁻¹. The average re‐suspension rate of the sediment in the ponds was 81.7%. The re‐suspension rates in spring and autumn were higher than those in summer and winter. The mean contents of POC, PON and TP in the sediment of the ponds were 4.4, 0.5 and 0.6 (mg g⁻¹), respectively, and the mean contents of Chlorophyll a (Chl a) and pheophytin in the sediment were 8.1 and 12.1 μg g⁻¹ respectively. The POC, PON and TP contents in the sediment of the ponds increased during the period of sea cucumber aestivation (summer) and hibernation (winter), while they decreased during the feeding periods. The organic matter accumulation rate and the contents of POC, PON, TP, Chl a and pheophytin in the sediment were even lower than those in the pond without sea cucumber (P<0.05). The results demonstrated that sea cucumber culture can effectively stop nutrient accumulation at the bottom of the cucumber culture ponds.