Water Quality Improvements in Liverpool Docks: The Role of Filter Feeders in Algal and Nutrient Dynamics

Wilkinson, Stephen B., Zheng, Weizhong, Allen, Janette R., Fielding, Nicola J., Wanstall, Vanessa C., Russell, George and Hawkins, Stephen J. (1996) Water Quality Improvements in Liverpool Docks: The Role of Filter Feeders in Algal and Nutrient Dynamics. Marine Ecology, 17, (1-3), 197-211. (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.1996.tb00501.x).


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The redevelopment of disused docks around Liverpool into areas suitable for shops, offices, housing and recreational watersports has necessitated the maintenance of good water quality in these areas. The main source of water to the docks is the River Mersey, which contains high concentrations of nutrients, encouraging algal blooms - including potentially nuisance species - in the enclosed dock basins. Since 1988 an extensive monitoring programme has been run sampling the hydrography, plankton and benthos of the docks. During this period there has been an improvement in water quality, including a reduction in summer phytoplankton biomass and anoxic bottom water. There are strong indications that phytoplankton biomass has been severely reduced by the filter feeding of Mytifus edulis. Changes in the composition of the benthic community since 1988 suggest that the large population of M. edulis is now suffering from limited recruitment. The long-term development and stability of the system is discussed with reference to community succession and its link to ecosystem functioning.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.1996.tb00501.x
ISSNs: 0173-9565 (print)
1439-0485 (electronic)
Keywords: Mussels; Myrilus; phytoplankton; nutrients; brackish water; oxygen; recruitment; filter feeding
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 188797
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
March 1996Published
Date Deposited: 27 May 2011 13:34
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:40
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/188797

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