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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), pp. 197-211. (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.1996.tb00501.x).

Record type: Article


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.

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Published date: March 1996
Keywords: Mussels, Myrilus, phytoplankton, nutrients, brackish water, oxygen, recruitment, filter feeding


Local EPrints ID: 188797
ISSN: 0173-9565
PURE UUID: 1915ed40-3dcb-425e-b6a3-5fdf844aa616

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Date deposited: 27 May 2011 13:34
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:41

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Author: Stephen B. Wilkinson
Author: Weizhong Zheng
Author: Janette R. Allen
Author: Nicola J. Fielding
Author: Vanessa C. Wanstall
Author: George Russell

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