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Effects of oyster farming service vehicles on an intertidal sand flat


MacLeod, CK and Forbes, SE and Shepherd, CJ and Crawford, C, Effects of oyster farming service vehicles on an intertidal sand flat, Aquaculture Research, 40, (7) pp. 772-780. ISSN 1355-557X (2009) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2109.2008.02156.x


A Tasmanian tidalflat receiving differing amounts of vehicle traffic associated with the servicing of oyster farm leases was sampled for sediment properties and benthic community structure. There was a gradient of vehicle usage in both the littoral zone (LZ) and the intertidal zone (IZ), with the highest usage in the intertidal zone equating to the lowest usage in the littoral zone (IZ2=LZ1). Results indicate that the littoral sediments were less compacted where vehicles were present. Species richness and diversity were reduced in the littoral sites (70%) and one intertidal site (50%) where there was vehicle traffic. Multivariate analyses confirmed the univariate findings. Large bivalves and epibenthic snails were generally less abundant where there was vehicle traffic. However, in the intertidal zone one snail showed the opposite pattern. There was less change in the community structure at sites where vehicles spread out across the foreshore than at sites where all vehicles travelled in a narrow lane, but this reduction in impact was offset by a greater area being affected. This study provides preliminary evidence of a measurable impact on sediment and community composition at 16 vehicle trips per day and suggests that management needs to consider the tradeoff between magnitude of impact and area affected.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:vehicle impacts intertidal ecology benthic macrofauna shellfish aquaculture
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:MacLeod, CK (Professor Catriona MacLeod)
UTAS Author:Forbes, SE (Miss Susan Forbes)
UTAS Author:Crawford, C (Dr Christine Crawford)
ID Code:61030
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:TAFI - Marine Research Laboratory
Deposited On:2010-02-24
Last Modified:2010-04-22

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