Can shrimp farming wastewater negatively affect water quality and zooplankton community structure of a Neotropical estuary? A case study during a productive cycle of Litopenaeus vannamei

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Departamento de Pesca e Aquicultura, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil; Instituto de Tecnologia de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil

2 Instituto de Tecnologia de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil

3 Departamento de Pesca e Aquicultura, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil

Abstract

Aquaculture wastewater can influence various communities’ structures in both marine and freshwater environments. This study describes the zooplankton community structure and environmental variables in both Passos River estuary (Northeast Atlantic, Brazil) and commercial shrimp farming ponds associated with this estuary. Samples for water quality analysis and quantification and identification of zooplankton were taken during a shrimp culture cycle (July to September 2014) from eight sites (two across the main channel, downstream and upstream, and six shrimp farming ponds). The main water quality parameters showed difference between the shrimp farming ponds and the Passos River estuary – higher levels of total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a were observed in the shrimp ponds. The zooplankton structure at different environments was dominated by the copepods (53.3 to 83.7%) and rotifers (9.2 to 35.5%) but no significant difference was observed among the individual densities. Meanwhile, nutrients availability was a key for high plankton densities in shrimp ponds. These findings have suggested that wastewater from shrimp farming did not influence the zooplankton community on a Neotropical estuary on a short-time scale.

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