Bivalve Mariculture in Two – Way Interaction with Phytoplankton: A Review of Feeding Mechanism and Nutrient Recycling

Rasheed Olatunji MORUF, Gabriel Femi OKUNADE, Owoyemi Wahab ELEGBELEYE


Bivalve mariculture is a type of molluscan farming done in open seawater on racks, rafts or longlines where naturally occurring phytoplankton serves as a key food item, introduced into the enclosures with the normal circulation of seawater. Increasingly, the reverse trophic interaction is being recognized; dissolved inorganic and organic waste compounds released by metabolically active bivalves can supply phytoplankton with nutrient and energy requirements for their growth. This two-way interaction can be viewed as a type of community symbiosis developed over long evolutionary timescales. The extent to which this affects overall nutrient budgets and thus primary production is related to the system flushing rate and residence time. Here we reviewed the feeding mechanism and nutrient recycling activities of bivalve and also emphasized the role of phytoplankton as a key nutritional live feed in sustainable bivalve mariculture. Bivalves influence nutrient dynamics through direct excretion and indirectly through microbial mediated remineralisation of their organic deposits in the sediments. The quantitative knowledge of bivalve - phytoplankton trophic interactions in coastal waters will inform bivalve mariculture development to effectively serve the needs of both seafood production and ecosystem restoration.


bottom-feeder; food web; microalgae; mollusc farming; symbiosis.

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