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Carbon dynamics in aquaculture ponds

Author(s): Guillermo Ladino-Orjuela

Journal: Orinoquia
ISSN 0121-3709

Volume: 15;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 48;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Carbon footprint | CO2 sink | pond-basedaquaculture | carbonate system | alkalinity.

Aquaculture ponds'carbon dynamicsare dominated by physical, chemical and biological transformations in feed and organic and inorganic fertilisation. Increasedfish productionhas been associated with an increase incarbon inputin the form of fish-feed exceeding ponds'metabolic capacity,thereby leading to water qualitydeteriorating due toan accumulationof organic compounds. Water quality is a major constraint in terms of increasedfish crop density. The most important carbon loss within aproduction system is associated with CO2 evaporation;this makes aquaculture ponds become carbon footprints instead of carbon sinks. Phytoplankton is the major means of CO2 retentionas it captures both that produced by the respiration of all organisms within a particularpond and within the atmosphere. Aquaculture production systemsusually have a negativeorganic carbon balance; however,higher carbon recovery is possible but this involves adjusting management practiceand increasedresearch into the pertinent dynamics. Feed, feedingpractices, the speciesbeing cultivated, waterexchange, aeration, pond depth and the microorganisms living in a pondare factorswhich affect the biogeochemical carboncycle in aquaculture ponds.
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