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Ribbed Mussel ability to remove Nitrogen from water bodies.

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Professor Chester Zarnock explains recently completed and published study showing the benefits of ribbed mussels in a salt marsh including their denitrification potential

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Ribbed Mussel ability to remove Nitrogen from water bodies.

  1. 1. Ribbed mussels increase nitrogen removal in a Jamaica Bay salt marsh Chester B. Zarnoch Baruch College and Graduate Center City University of New York 13 November 2019
  2. 2. Spartina and Ribbed Mussel Mutualism Mussel Benefits: Less Heat Stress Less Predators Stable Substrate Spartina Benefits: Fertilization Reduce Salinity Stress Reduce Erosion
  3. 3. Jamaica Bay has very high densities of mussels Photo by D. Franz Up to ~10,000 mussels m-2 Nielson and Franz 1995
  4. 4. Salt marsh restoration includes Spartina but not mussels Silliman et al. 2015_PNAS GothamtoGo
  5. 5. Salt marsh restoration in Jamaica Bay http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/jamaicabay/jbwppac/JBAC_NPS_SaltMarshReport_080207.pdf. Chronosequence 1) Big Egg = 2003 2) Elders East = 2006 3) Elders West = 2010 4) Yellow Bar = 2012 Degraded Reference Black Bank Stable Reference Joco 1 3 4 D S
  6. 6. Big Egg marsh (restored 2003) Yellow Bar marsh (restored 2012)
  7. 7. Development of Ribbed Mussel Community Recruitment cascade • Coincides with growth of Spartina aboveground biomass *NPS benthic monitoring data
  8. 8. Manipulative Field Experiment @ Yellow Bar – 3 Treatments Response Variables: Plant growth and Nitrogen removal
  9. 9. Coastal habitats can enhance denitrification by alleviating limitations Denitrification requires: 1)Source of NO3 - 2)Organic carbon 3)Anaerobic conditions
  10. 10. Approach
  11. 11. Ribbed mussels did not enhance Spartina growth Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
  12. 12. Ribbed mussels enhance marsh carbon pool Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
  13. 13. Ribbed mussels increase nitrogen removal via denitrification Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
  14. 14. Summary 1. Ribbed mussels increase nitrogen removal via denitrification Adding mussels to restored marshes increases ecological benefits 2. Ribbed mussels did not enhance Spartina growth Timing of mussel planting important? Future work: 2020-2021 Examining how the mutualism affects marsh growth and nitrogen removal under different environmental conditions
  15. 15. Acknowledgements Funding: • National Science Foundation • Hudson River Foundation • New York Sea Grant • Lang Foundation • CUNY Partners: • Gateway National Recreation Area • Town of Hempstead • New York City Parks – NRG Students: Allison Mass – CUNY Graduate Center Doris Law – Baruch College Swathi Mummini- Hunter College Gena Israel – Hunter College Angela David – Loyola University Chicago S Morgan – Loyola University Chicago Steve Polaskey – Loyola University Chicago Jemi Jacob – Hunter College Sanne Lynham – Baruch College Corinna Singleman – CUNY Graduate Center Siena Schickler – Colby College Crystal Mena – City College Dominick Prudente – Oceanside High School Ian Lin – Baruch College Beth Freynk – Baruch College Thomas Rogers & Ben Mulholland – Rockaway Waterfront Alliance Tim Hoellein, Ph.D. Loyola University Chicago Denise Bruesewitz, Ph.D. Colby College Mary Alldred, Ph.D. SUNY Plattsburgh Jennifer Zhu CUNY Graduate Center Stephen Gosnell Baruch College & CUNY Graduate Center

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