Study determines how much nitrogen can molluscs eliminate at Cape Cod
Samples of wild and farmed oysters and quahogs from various water bodies in the Cape Cod region. (Photo: Diane Murphy, Woods Hole Sea Grant)
(UNITED STATES, 2/9/2017)
A new study by Woods Hole Sea Grant, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and the Mashpee Department of Natural Resources provides the first complete measurement of nitrogen removed by molluscs harvested from Cape Cod waters.
Cities along Cape Cod and islands no longer only see seafood as culinary delights, but also as cleaners of waters degraded by excess nitrogen in the region.
While nitrogen is essential for all plants and animals, excess nitrogen in ponds and waterways, often caused by runoff from fertilizers and septic tanks, can fuel algae growth and cause low oxygen levels.
Seafood such as oysters and quahogs help remove excess nitrogen by incorporating it into shells and tissues as they grow.
However, the exact amount of nitrogen they are able to remove in local waterways and how ...