Boat anchoring impacts coastal populations of the pen shell, The largest bivalve in the Mediterranean

Iris E. Hendriks*, Simone Tenan, Giacomo Tavecchia, Núria Marbà, Gabriel Jordà, Salud Deudero, Elvira Álvarez, Carlos Duarte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The decline of important coastal habitats, like seagrass meadows, is likely to influence populations of associated species, like the noble pen shell, Pinna nobilis. Here we used a Bayesian formulation of individual covariate models to derive a reliable estimate of populations of P. nobilis in shallow, and thus usually most impacted, areas around the island of Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. At six evaluated sites we find quite distinct densities ranging from 1.4 to 10.0 individuals/100m2. These differences in density could not be explained by habitat factors like shoot density and meadow cover, nor did dislodgement by storms (evaluated by maximum wind speeds at the sites) seem to play an important role. However, noble pen shell density was related to anchoring as at sites where anchoring was not permitted the average density was 7.9 individuals/100m2 while in sites where ships anchored the density was on average 1.7 individuals/100m2. As for the conservation of Posidonia oceanica meadows, for the associated population of P. nobilis it would be of utmost importance to reduce anchoring pressure as a conservation measure for these endangered and protected bivalves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Keywords

  • Bayesian analysis
  • Capture-recapture
  • Data augmentation
  • Habitat
  • Hierarchical models
  • Individual covariate
  • Pinna nobilis
  • Population size
  • Population structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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