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Would adding scallop shells (Chlamys islandica) to the sea bottom enhance recruitment of commercial species?



Would adding scallop shells (Chlamys islandica) to the sea bottom enhance recruitment of commercial species?



Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 312(2): 299-317



We examined the impact of adding scallop shells (byproduct of the fisheries) to sandy and rocky sea bottoms in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The effect of adding shells was greatest on sandy bottoms where species richness increased 3.7-fold and species diversity 1.9-fold. The increase in most species was due to immigration rather than new settlement. Trials examining the effect of different densities of shells in plots of the same size (4 m2) showed that species diversity increased rapidly with shell abundance and levelled off when shells covered half of the bottom, whereas species richness only levelled off when shells almost completely covered the bottom. Trials examining the effect of the size of the shell patches (shell density being kept constant) showed that species diversity was already maximal in 1-m2 plots, whereas species richness only attained a plateau at 4 m2. Our small-scale trials indicate that the addition of shells would have a positive impact, increasing numerous invertebrates, including commercial species (scallops, whelks and urchins).

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Accession: 012752146

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2004.07.008


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