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dc.contributor.authorWalls, Aimee W.
dc.contributor.authorKennedy, Robert
dc.contributor.authorEdwards, Maeve D.
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Mark P.
dc.identifier.citationWalls, A. M., Kennedy, R., Edwards, M. D., & Johnson, M. P. (2017). Impact of kelp cultivation on the Ecological Status of benthic habitats and Zostera marina seagrass biomass. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 123(1), 19-27. doi:
dc.description.abstractThe Ecological Status of subtidal benthic communities within a commercial kelp farm on the southwest coast of Ireland was not impacted by macroalgal cultivation. Additionally, there was no effect on the biomass of Zostera marina, a key habitat under the EU Habitats Directive and OSPAR Commission. However, sediment grain size and total organic matter (TOM) were influenced by abiotic and biotic aspects of the farm. A temporal effect on univariate and multivariate species data, Infaunal Quality Index (IQI) and Z. marina biomass was observed. This effect was likely a community response to high storm disturbance in winter 2013/14. The use of IQI to assess the impact of macroalgal cultivation on benthic communities is a novel approach. This study supports a view that environmental impacts of macroalgal cultivation are relatively benign compared to other forms of aquaculture. Further research must be conducted to understand all interactions between aquaculture activities and the environment.en_IE
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors acknowledge Mr. David Moran and Mr. Brendan Walls for their assistance in field sampling. In addition, we thank Dr. Adrian Patterson and Mr. Jack O'Carroll from NUI Galway's Benthic Ecology Laboratory for taxonomic support, Mr. Michael Murphy and Mr. Paul Flannery of Dingle Bay Seaweed for boat work and assistance at Ventry Harbour. This work was supported by the Energetic Algae project (EU Interreg IVB NWE Strategic Initiative; A.M.W. is currently funded by the Dr. Tony Ryan Research Trust, NUI Galway.en_IE
dc.relation.ispartofMarine Pollution Bulletinen
dc.subjectKelp cultivationen_IE
dc.subjectEcological impacten_IE
dc.subjectMacrobenthic community compositionen_IE
dc.subjectEcological Statusen_IE
dc.subjectEcological Status assessmenten_IE
dc.subjectInfaunal Quality Index (IQI)en_IE
dc.subjectZoster marina biomassen_IE
dc.titleImpact of kelp cultivation on the Ecological Status of benthic habitats and Zostera marina seagrass biomassen_IE
dc.local.contactMark Peter Johnson, Ryan Institute, School Of Natural Sciences, Nui Galway. 5864 Email:

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