Quantifying the Magnitude of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal Associated with Restoration of Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay

Principal Investigator:

Roger I.E. Newell

Start/End Year:

2002 - 2005


Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Co-Principal Investigator:

Jeffrey C. Cornwell, Donald W. Merritt, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science



We will build on our prior Sea Grant funded laboratory-based research by testing in the field the overall hypothesis that substantial amounts of inorganic nutrients can be removed from eutrophic estuaries as a consequence of the activity of suspension feeding bivalves. We will determine the enhancement of rates of denitrification and phosphorus burial associated with restored oyster beds and use these data to parameterize a model of the influence of bivalve feeding on estuarine nutrient dynamics. This research is pertinent to both the Coastal Ecosystem Health and Aquaculture programmatic areas.

Related Publications:

Newell, RIE. 2007. A framework for developing "ecological carrying capacity" mathematical models for bivalve mollusc aquaculture. Bulletin of Fisheries Research Agency19:41 -51. UM-SG-RS-2007-18.

Newell, RIE; Kemp, WM; Hagy, JD; Cerco, CF; Testa, JM; Boynton, WR. 2007. Top-down control of phytoplankton by oysters in Chesapeake Bay, USA: Comment on Pomeroy et al. (2006). Marine Ecology Progress Series341:293 -298. doi:10.3354/meps341293. UM-SG-RS-2007-16.

Newell, RIE; Fisher, TR; Holyoke, RR; Cornwell, JC. 2005. Influence of eastern oysters on nitrogen and phosphorus regeneration in Chesapeake Bay, USA. Dame, RF; Olenin, S, eds. The Comparative Roles of Suspension-Feeders in Ecosystems. Kluwer Academic Publishers:93 -120. UM-SG-RS-2005-01.

Newell, RIE. 2004. Ecosystem influences of natural and cultivated populations of suspension-feeding bivalve molluscs: A review Journal of Shellfish Research23(1):51 -61. UM-SG-RS-2004-01.

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