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Reproductive cycle of the Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum): an intensively harvested invasive species in the Tagus Estuary (Portugal)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 August 2017

Paula Moura
Affiliation:
Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Avenida 5 de Outubro s/n, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal
Paulo Vasconcelos
Affiliation:
Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Avenida 5 de Outubro s/n, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Fábio Pereira
Affiliation:
Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Avenida 5 de Outubro s/n, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal
Paula Chainho
Affiliation:
MARE – Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
José Lino Costa
Affiliation:
MARE – Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
Miguel B. Gaspar*
Affiliation:
Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Avenida 5 de Outubro s/n, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR), Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: M.B. Gaspar, Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Avenida 5 de Outubro s/n, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal email: mbgaspar@ipma.pt

Abstract

The present study aimed to describe the reproductive cycle and estimate the size at sexual maturity of the Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) in the Tagus Estuary (Portugal). Specimens were collected monthly from September 2013 to December 2015 during fishing surveys using bivalve dredges. The gametogenic cycle was described in detail using gonad histology and monitored throughout the study period by the monthly variation in the frequency of gonad maturation stages, mean gonadal index and mean oocyte diameter. This invasive population of R. philippinarum displayed synchronous gonadal development between sexes, with ripening occurring mainly in April and May followed by an extensive spawning period until November–December. Individuals reached the size at first sexual maturity at 29.4 mm in shell length (i.e. before 1 year old). Furthermore, the reproductive strategy, dynamics and potential were compared between the invasive R. philippinarum and the native congeneric carpet shell clam (Ruditapes decussatus). Overall, the data gathered in this study constitutes valuable baseline information to propose conservation strategies and implement management measures to minimize the harmful impacts caused by this invasive species on local ecosystems and native biodiversity, particularly over populations of autochthonous bivalves.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2017 

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Reproductive cycle of the Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum): an intensively harvested invasive species in the Tagus Estuary (Portugal)
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