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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
Spartina and Ribbed Mussel Mutualism
Mussel Benefits:
Less Heat Stress
Less Predators
Stable Substrate
Spartina Benefits:
Fertilization
Reduce Salinity Stress
Reduce Erosion
Jamaica Bay has very high densities of mussels
Photo by D. Franz
Up to ~10,000 mussels m-2
Nielson and Franz 1995
Salt marsh restoration includes Spartina but
not mussels
Silliman et al. 2015_PNAS
GothamtoGo
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
Big Egg marsh
(restored 2003)
Yellow Bar marsh
(restored 2012)
Development of Ribbed Mussel Community
Recruitment cascade
• Coincides with growth of
Spartina aboveground
biomass
*NPS benthic monitoring data
Manipulative Field Experiment
@ Yellow Bar – 3 Treatments
Response Variables: Plant growth and Nitrogen removal
Coastal habitats can enhance denitrification by
alleviating limitations
Denitrification requires:
1)Source of NO3
-
2)Organic carbon
3)Anaerobic conditions
Approach
Ribbed mussels did not enhance Spartina growth
Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
Ribbed mussels enhance marsh carbon pool
Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
Ribbed mussels increase
nitrogen removal via
denitrification
Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
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
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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Ribbed Mussel ability to remove Nitrogen from water bodies.

  • 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. Spartina and Ribbed Mussel Mutualism Mussel Benefits: Less Heat Stress Less Predators Stable Substrate Spartina Benefits: Fertilization Reduce Salinity Stress Reduce Erosion
  • 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. Salt marsh restoration includes Spartina but not mussels Silliman et al. 2015_PNAS GothamtoGo
  • 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. Big Egg marsh (restored 2003) Yellow Bar marsh (restored 2012)
  • 7. Development of Ribbed Mussel Community Recruitment cascade • Coincides with growth of Spartina aboveground biomass *NPS benthic monitoring data
  • 8. Manipulative Field Experiment @ Yellow Bar – 3 Treatments Response Variables: Plant growth and Nitrogen removal
  • 9. Coastal habitats can enhance denitrification by alleviating limitations Denitrification requires: 1)Source of NO3 - 2)Organic carbon 3)Anaerobic conditions
  • 11. Ribbed mussels did not enhance Spartina growth Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
  • 12. Ribbed mussels enhance marsh carbon pool Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
  • 13. Ribbed mussels increase nitrogen removal via denitrification Zhu et al. In Press. Marine Ecology Progress Series
  • 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. 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

Editor's Notes

  1. $50 million spent already on marsh restoration – another $50 million will be spent in the next few years. Lots of money for construction BUT little or no money for assessment of ecological functioing. Our will will measure N cycling and carbon sequestration at restored sites. Coevolution between coastal landscapes and biological communities