Perspectives on Bivalves Providing Regulating Services in Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture
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The concept of integrating species into one culture system originates from Asia and the Middle East. Development of integrated aquaculture involving marine bivalves is relatively new, going back to the late 1980s in China and 1990s in the Western world. In this chapter, we present four cases of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) where bivalves are involved in providing regulating services: i) shrimp culture in ponds, ii) cascading pond systems, iii) open-water caged finfish culture and iv) bay-scale culture systems. The bay-scale integrated culture system in Sanggou Bay in China represents commercial IMTA where a range of different regulating services are provided by the bivalves. Bivalves use degraded fragments derived from cultured kelp and organic waste products from fish farming, and play an important role in the ecosystem processes of the bay. The provision of regulating services in shrimp and cascading ponds is evident as the system configurations allow for biogeochemical processing of waste to maximize extraction by the bivalves. The current configurations used in open-water finfish cage culture suggest that adaptation of concepts allowing for control of effluent water, producing longer contact times and increased biogeochemical processing of the waste products, will dominate future IMTA development. If global bivalve culture production is sustained, we will likely see more regulating services from bivalves in IMTA systems, as new opportunities may arise for developing novel IMTA configurations and concepts.