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Kayi Chan

Effects of an invasive bivalve, Nuttallia obscurata, on biogeochemical cycling in the intertidal

Kayi Chan
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I obtained my BSc with First Class Honours from SFU in 2008. My honours project examined the effect of the economically important Manila clam (Tapes philippinarum) on ammonium flux. I am interested in the effects of marine invasive species on their non-native environments.

Leah Bendell

SFU/Dept of Biological Sciences

09/2008 - 08/2012


The varnish clam, Nuttallia obscurata, was first reported in British Columbia in the early 1990’s.  It is believed to have been deposited into Vancouver Harbour in ballast waters and has since spread rapidly at high densities (up to 800 ind/m2).  A 3-tiered approach will be applied to determine the effects of the varnish clam on sediment properties, with an emphasis on nitrogen, which is a limiting nutrient in marine systems.  A field survey will be conducted to examine the relationship between the benthic bivalve community and sediment properties (Tier 1).  Density exclusion cages will be seeded with varying densities of varnish clams to examine how varnish clams affect sediment properties (Tier 2).  A microcosm study will be performed to determine the effects of varnish clams on ammonium flux (Tier 3).

The specific project/thesis aims project are:

  1. Effects of the varnish clam on sediment properties (grain size, organic matter, ammonium and iron content)
  2. Linking changes in sediment properties to potential ecosystem level impacts via changes in primary productivity (chlorophyll a)











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