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Does Manila clam cultivation affect habitats of the engineer species Lanice conchilega (Pallas, 1766)?

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN), Département Milieux et Peuplements Aquatiques, CNRS UMR 5178 BOME, CRESCO - Centre de Recherche et d'Enseignement sur les Systèmes Côtiers 38, Rue du Port-Blanc, 35801 Dinard, France.
Marine Pollution Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.53). 07/2008; 56(8):1429-38. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.04.046
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The major French site of Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum (Adams and Reeves, 1850) cultivation is located in the Chausey Archipelago where the associated practices are highly mechanized: every steps of production are made with tractor-driven machinery. The Manila clam concessions are concentrated on Lanice conchilega (Pallas, 1766) bioherms, which are known to increase alpha-diversity and to locally modify sediment dynamics. This study focus on the impacts of Manila clam cultivation on (i) the natural populations of L. conchilega and on (ii) the structure of the associated benthic assemblages during the different steps of the farming production cycle. We found that the L. conchilega populations are significantly affected within the concessions where their total abundances drastically decrease, their spatial patterns are modified and the associated benthic assemblages are significantly altered. Our results are discussed in a context of a sustainable management of the Manila clam cultivation in coastal areas.

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