February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Impact of coastal mussel farms on the macrobenthic soft bottom community

Scientific Exhibition
Natural Resources
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 -
18:30 to 20:00

Neto, J.M. 1 Barría, P. 2 Marques, L. 3 Pais-Costa, A. 4 Cunha, P.P. 5 Marques, S. 6 Fragoso, B.D.D. 7 Icely, J.D. 8

1MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University Coimbra
2MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University Coimbra
3MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University Coimbra
4MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University Coimbra
5MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University Coimbra
6MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University Coimbra
7MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University Coimbra
8MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University Coimbra

The work aimed to ensure scientific support to aquaculture concessions located within a sensitive coastal area near Sagres (PNSACV - Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina; SW Portugal), by assessing the modifications observed in the macrobenthic community and the sediments they live in. Samples were collected inside and outside the mussel concession, with a 0.025 m2 area grab and sieved through 1 mm mesh size for biological assessment, which will enable future identification of temporal modifications resulting from aquaculture activity and help this activity comply with National and European regulations (e.g., QSWD - Quality of Shellfish Waters Directive 2006/113/EC; WFD - Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC; MSFD - Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC; MSP - Maritime Spatial Planning 2014/89/EU).Benthic macrofauna is an important Biological Quality Element (BQE) for WFD as they aggregate information about environmental changes and their potential impacts. Density and biomass data were obtained for square meter and analysed using the PRIMER 6 + PERMANOVA © software package (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK): (a) to test differences between sites (PERMANOVA, Bray Curtis as similarity method, 9999 permutations, unrestricted permutation method, ?= 0.05); (b) to identify species contributing most to differences between sampling sites (SIMPER, 90% cut off value); (c) to analyse the spatial ordination of samples (PCO). Ecological indicators (Margalef index – d, Pielou evenness index - J’, Shannon-Wiener diversity index - H’, Simpson - 1-?, AZTI marine biotic index - AMBI) were calculated to assess the condition of the benthos. The Benthic Assessment Tool (BAT), was used to calculate the Ecological Quality Status (EQS) of the samples (official methodology for the WFD in Portugal).The Reference site presented a better distribution of individuals between species than the farm site, but ecological quality was never below GOOD EQS.
keywords: 
Aquaculture, mussel longline, macroinvertebrates, quality assessment, Water Framework Directive

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