Massive mortality of the Asian clam Corbicula fluminea in a highly invaded area
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Corbicula fluminea is one of the most widespread invasive species in aquatic ecosystems. Originating from Southeast Asia this clam has been dispersing worldwide over the last decades (Darrigran 2002; McMahon 2002; Sousa et al. 2008b).
Corbicula fluminea was first reported in the Minho estuary in 1989 (Araujo et al. 1993), and is now a major component of the benthic fauna in terms of density and biomass, contributing to more than 95% of the overall biomass (Sousa et al. 2008e). Recently, the C. fluminea population has been undergoing rapid die-offs in the Minho estuary, due to extreme abiotic changes that have been occurring in the summer (e.g. low river flow, high temperature, low dissolved oxygen and lower redox potential). The first documented event occurred in the summer 2005, and was associated with a strong heatwave. The major declines in C. fluminea density and biomass occurred in estuarine areas with fine sediments and rich in organic matter content (Sousa et al. 2008a...
KeywordsParticulate Organic Matter Massive Mortality Algal Abundance Asian Clam Corbicula Fluminea
MI is supported by a PhD. grant from Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology—FCT (SFRH/BD/33387/2008). Special thanks to Eduardo Martins for technical assistance and Jonathan Wilson for helpful English revision.
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