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Natural Filters

Natural Filters

September 21, 2015

Oysters are filter feeders that dine on free-living algae called phytoplankton by sucking in water over their gills. In the process, they also improve water quality by removing particles that contain nitrogen. WHOI Summer Student Fellow Claudia Mazur, of Mount Holyoke College, spent her summer working in the lab of WHOI biologist Ginny Edgcomb investigating the ability of oysters to stimulate nitrogen removal in sediments beneath oyster aquaculture sites. Excess nutrients, such as nitrogen, can cause algal blooms that deplete oxygen and disturb natural ecosystems. Here, Mazur is measuring nutrients in water samples collected in West Falmouth Harbor. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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