Assessing ecological impacts of shrimp and sewage effluent: Biological indicators with standard water quality analyses

Jones, AB, ODonohue, MJ, Udy, J and Dennison, WC (2001) Assessing ecological impacts of shrimp and sewage effluent: Biological indicators with standard water quality analyses. Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science, 52 1: 91-109. doi:10.1006/ecss.2000.0729

Author Jones, AB
ODonohue, MJ
Udy, J
Dennison, WC
Title Assessing ecological impacts of shrimp and sewage effluent: Biological indicators with standard water quality analyses
Journal name Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0272-7714
Publication date 2001-01-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1006/ecss.2000.0729
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 52
Issue 1
Start page 91
End page 109
Total pages 19
Editor D. S. McLusky
S. D. Sulkin
E. Wolanski
Place of publication London
Publisher Academic Press Ltd
Language eng
Subject C1
270400 Botany
770406 Integrated (ecosystem) assessment and management
Abstract Despite evidence linking shrimp farming to several cases of environmental degradation, there remains a lack of ecologically meaningful information about the impacts of effluent on receiving waters. The aim of this study was to determine the biological impact of shrimp farm effluent, and to compare and distinguish its impacts from treated sewage effluent. Analyses included standard water quality/sediment parameters, as well as biological indicators including tissue nitrogen (N) content, stable isotope ratio of nitrogen (delta N-15) and amino acid composition of inhabitant seagrasses, mangroves and macroalgae. The study area consisted of two tidal creeks, one receiving effluent from a sewage treatment plant and the other from an intensive shrimp farm. The creeks discharged into the western side of Moreton Bay, a sub-tropical coastal embayment on the east coast of Australia. Characterization of water quality revealed significant differences between the creeks, and with unimpacted eastern Moreton Bay. The sewage creek had higher concentrations of dissolved nutrients (predominantly NO3-/NO2- and PO43-, compared to NH4+ in the shrimp creek). In contrast, the shrimp creek was more turbid and had higher phytoplankton productivity. Beyond 750 m from the creek mouths, water quality parameters were indistinguishable from eastern Moreton Bay values. Biological indicators detected significant impacts up to 4 km beyond the creek mouths (reference site). Elevated plant delta N-15 values ranged from 10.4-19.6 parts per thousand at the site of sewage discharge to 2.9-4.5 parts per thousand at the reference site. The free amino acid concentration and composition of seagrass and macroalgae was used to distinguish between the uptake of sewage and shrimp derived N. Proline (seagrass) and serine (macroalgae) were high in sewage impacted plants and glutamine (seagrass) and alanine (macroalgae) were high in plants impacted by shrimp effluent. The delta N-15 isotopic signatures and free amino acid composition of inhabitant flora indicated that sewage N extended further from the creek mouths than shrimp N. The combination of physical/chemical and biological indicators used in this study was effective in distinguishing the composition and subsequent impacts of aquaculture and sewage effluent on the receiving waters. (C) 2001 Academic Press.
Keyword Marine & Freshwater Biology
Shrimp Effluent
Sewage Effluent
Biological Indicators
Stable Isotopes
Delta N-15
Amino Acid Composition
Moreton Bay Australia
Gracilaria-pacifica Rhodophyta
Amino-acid Levels
Zostera-marina L
Nutrient Availability
Estuarine Gradient
Edulis Rhodophyta
Nitrogen Uptake
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 114 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 118 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 02:31:14 EST