Title

Does Salt-Marsh Fertilization Enhance Shellfish Production - An Application of Flow-Analysis

Publication Date

1980

Journal or Book Title

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Abstract

The method of flow analysis, which is similar to economic input-output analysis, is presented as a means of making flow models of ecological systems more useful to environmental managers. This paper considers as an illustration the extent to which nitrogen fertilizer added toSpartina salt marsh sediments can enhance shellfish growth. Nitrogen flow models of both the Barataria Bay salt marsh complex of coastal Louisiana and the Sippewissett Marsh of western Cape Cod are analyzed. The analysis shows the transfer of added nitrogen to shellfish growth viaSpartina growth, decomposition, and detrital feeding to be considerably less efficient than its transfer toSpartina growth itself. These results are similar for both marsh systems, despite their great physical differences and despite the inclusion of considerably more microbial processing of nitrogen in the Barataria Bay model than in the Sippewissett models. The results suggest that the most efficient mechanism by which added nitrogen could enhance shellfish growth in salt marshes may have to bypass the route through theSpartina life cycle.

DOI

10.1007/BF01866453

Volume

4

Issue

3

Pages

193-203

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