Restoring tropical coastal wetland water quality: ecosystem service provisioning by a native freshwater bivalve

Buelow, Christina A., and Waltham, Nathan J. (2020) Restoring tropical coastal wetland water quality: ecosystem service provisioning by a native freshwater bivalve. Aquatic Sciences, 82. 77.

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Abstract

Freshwater bivalves can influence water quality by reducing phytoplankton levels through filter-feeding and altering nutrient levels through excretion and biodeposition. In northeast Australia, native freshwater bivalves (Corbicula australis) may help restore the water quality of coastal wetlands that receive high nutrient loads in runoff from nearby agricultural activity. We investigated the biofiltration and biodeposition capacity of C. australis and discuss their potential to provide an ecosystem service benefit of improved water quality to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The filtration and biodeposition rates of C. australis were measured in natural and artificial wetlands across: (1) the population's size range; and (2) the temperature range of the wetlands they inhabit. High frequency water temperature loggers were deployed in wetlands throughout the year to determine water column temperature seasonality, population densities were measured to scale from individuals to ecosystem service provisioning potential. Bivalve filtration and biodeposition were quantified by measuring the rates of chlorophyll a removal and nutrient biodeposition, respectively. Biofiltration rates did not increase with size or differ between natural and artificial wetlands. In contrast, size was positively related to phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) biodepsoition rates, and N biodeposition rates differed between natural and artificial wetlands. Our results also suggest that biofiltration and biodeposition capacity of C. australis may be limited in high water temperatures only experienced in summer months. Overall, we demonstrate the importance of size, population density, and environmental context (i.e. wetland type and season) for the filtering capacity and biodeposition rate of C. australis. Larger individuals and denser populations mean that filtration and biodeposition rates are likely to be higher in artificial wetlands and may lead to greater processing of nutrient rich water.

Item ID: 64262
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1420-9055
Keywords: Freshwater bivalves, Nutrients, Wetlands, Biofiltration, Biodeposits, Water quality
Copyright Information: © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
Funders: National Environmental Science Programme (NESP)
Projects and Grants: NESP Project 3.3.2
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2020 00:52
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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