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Ecological effects of co-culturing the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus with the Chinese white shrimp Fenneropenaeus chinensis in an earthen pond
- Zhou, Shun, Ren, Yichao, Pearce, Christopher M., Dong, Shuanglin, Tian, Xiangli, Gao, Qinfeng, Wang, Fang
- Chinese journal of oceanology and limnology 2017 v.35 no.1 pp. 122-131
- Apostichopus japonicus, Fenneropenaeus chinensis, bioturbation, carbon, carbon nitrogen ratio, chlorophyll, coculture, crop production, nitrogen, nitrogen content, organic matter, particulates, rearing, sediments, shrimp, specific growth rate, surface water, survival rate
- Using net enclosures in an earthen pond, we established three culture treatments with the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus and the Chinese white shrimp Fenneropenaeus chinensis: monoculture of sea cucumbers (C), monoculture of shrimp (S), and co-culture of the two species (CS). We measured levels of suspended particulate matter in the water column; total organic matter, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, and carbon/nitrogen ratios in both settling particles and the sediment; and chlorophyll a levels in the sediment. We then compared these variables between the three treatments. We also examined growth, survival, and yield of the two species in the different treatments. From June to September, the mean monthly suspended particulate matter sedimentation rates in the CS and S treatments were significantly (P<0.05) greater than those in the C treatment. From August to November, the mean monthly total organic matter, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, and chlorophyll a contents in the sediment in the CS and S treatments were significantly (P <0.05) greater than those in the C treatment. Final wet weight, specific growth rate, survival rate, and total yield of sea cucumbers in co-culture were all significantly greater than those of sea cucumbers in monoculture. There were no significant differences among any of these variables for shrimp reared in the two systems. The bioturbation of the sediment and fecal production of the shrimp likely supplied natural food for the sea cucumbers. Co-culture of the two species is a viable option for increasing yield per unit area, maximizing use of the water body, and diversifying crop production.