Shellfish aquaculture provides habitat for invertebrates and fish, yet our understanding of how this habitat compares to natural habitats such as eelgrass remains limited. This limitation poses management challenges in the spatial planning of nearshore habitats. Understanding the ecological role played by shellfish aquaculture relative to eelgrass and other habitats will help resource managers assess potential tradeoffs when planning the sustainable expansion of shellfish aquaculture. We wish to take a multifaceted approach to better understand ecological functions provided by shellfish aquaculture. Specifically, our goals are to better understand fish and invertebrate use of shellfish aquaculture sites compared to natural habitats. Results will help inform coastal management decisions made by NOAA Fisheries and the state and local agencies responsible for permitting and decision making. Furthermore, the results of our efforts will help us to understand the ecological implications of converting nearshore habitat types.
Ecologists with experience working in nearshore ecosystems, strong writing and communication skills, and experience with “R” are preferred.
Dealteris JT, Kilpatrick BD, Rheault RB: A comparative evaluation of the habitat value of shellfish aquaculture gear, submerged aquatic vegetation and a non-vegetated seabed. Journal of Shellfish Research 23: 867-874, 2004
Dumbauld BR, Ruesink JL, Rumrill SS: The ecological role of bivalve shellfish aquaculture in the estuarine environment: A review with application to oyster and clam culture in West Coast (USA) estuaries. Aquaculture 290: 196-223, 2009
Wilding TA, Nickell TD: Changes in Benthos Associated with Mussel (Mytilus edulis L.) Farms on the West-Coast of Scotland. PloS one, 8, 2013
Shellfish; Eelgrass; Nearshore ecosystems; Mussels; Oyster; Invertebrate; Fish; Aquaculture; Phytoplankton;