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Title: Fish and benthos communities in regenerated dock systems on Merseyside.
Author: Fielding, Nicola Jane.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3464 3547
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 1997
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Restored docks have high amenity, tourism and recreational value. Polluted and unaestheticw ater is a major factor potentially inhibiting redevelopmento f docklands, particularly if the source of water suffers from severe pollution problems. The aims were to examine spatial and temporal patterns of hydrography and ecology of Merseyside Docks. Strategies to develop benthic filter-feeders on both the walls and in the sediments were considered important in maintaining good water quality. In the South Docks, algal blooms were mainly small and short-lived and anoxia was infrequent. In Princes Dock (Central chain) water quality was very good. Morpeth Dock (Wirral chain) suffered from poor water quality. Anoxia resulted in high mortalities of dock fauna and fish and the release of hydrogen sulphide gas. Algal blooms were very large and were maintained over long periods. The dinoflagellate, Prorocentrum minimum, was particularly prevalent. Zooplankton have remained at relatively low densities in the South Docks, particularly in Albert Dock (South chain), probably because of strong competition for food with benthic filter-feeders. In contrast, Morpeth Dock has maintained much higher numbers, probably because of the plentiful food supply and absence of benthos. The benthos of the walls was surveyed. Mytilus edulis is most prominent in Albert and Queens Docks; Ciona intestinalis and Ascidiella aspera are most abundant in Albert and Princes Docks; and, Molgula manhattensis dominant in Brunswick and QueensD ocks. Tiles have been used to follow the pattern of annual successiona nd the effect of timing of available space on this pattern of succession. In contrast to previous years when there had been very little recruitment of Mytilus to the South Docks, Mytilus settlement occurred in Queens Dock during autumn 1995. Experiments aimed at increasing the filter-feeding capacity by introducing Cerastodermae dule (common cockle) and manipulating particle size of the sediment concluded that cockles do not survive in the dock, probably due to occasional low oxygenc on centrations in the hypolimnion, and modification of sediment has very little effect on natural colonization. Experiments examined the impact of filter-feeders on phytoplankton numbers and regeneration of nutrients. Mytilus was shown to have higher clearancer ates( cell mV h' int) than its major competitors( Ciona intestinalis, Styela plicata) on the dock wall. The experiment investigating nutrient release by Mytilus indicates release of phosphate. Fish communities in the South Docks were relatively diverse, with a total of fifteen species of fish being caught. The size/frequency analyses suggest that the majority of fish were juveniles. The occurrence of two sea trout (Salmo trutta) indicates a return of salmonids to the estuary. The use of a capacity model as a management tool is proposed; this has been fitted to the South Docks system with some success.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Docklands; Water quality; Sea trout