Point pattern analysis as a tool for assessing disease spread and population features in remaining sanctuaries of the critically endangered bivalve Pinna nobilis
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López, Miguel Ángel
García-March, Jose Rafael
An emergent disease has relegated populations of the Mediterranean pen shell, Pinna nobilis L. critically endangered to sanctuaries featuring salinities outside the 36.5 to 39 range. Point pattern analysis was used in three areas of the Alfacs Bay (Ebro Delta) still hosting pen shells to assess the possible undergoing of disease spread by comparing the spatial distribution of live individuals vs. empty shells across spatial scales. We also evaluated the importance of other ecological aspects of conservation relevance such as the size distribution of individuals, and the possible association to seagrass habitats. The population assessment showed no recent mortality and a clear dominance of large adults among empty shells (97.3%) pointing to no disease spread during the study period. At the low spatial scale Nearest Neighbor (NN) analyses evidenced significant clustering (NN Ratios of 0.4–0.8), but in one of the zones NN distances were closer in empty shells than in live individuals, suggesting a former localized outbreak. At the larger spatial scale, MDSCA confirmed clustering patterns up to distances of 115 to 190 m, with higher aggregation of empty shells at the same study zone. The bay also featured low juvenile availability (3.2%), which risks the continuity of the population. No evidence for habitat or conspecific selection could be observed from abundance patterns and variation in NN across study regions. Our research provides a tool for assessing population condition in paralic environments, where salinity conditions tend to slow down disease spread, thus allowing a time gap for undertaking conservation decisions.
63 - Agriculture and related sciences and techniques
Is part of
Journal for Nature Conservation
Prado, Patricia, Miguel Ángel López, Pablo Cermeño, Ferrán Bertomeu, Jose Rafael García-March, Sebastián Hernandis, José Tena-Medialdea, Emilio Cortés, and Francisca Giménez-Casalduero. 2022. "Point Pattern Analysis As A Tool For Assessing Disease Spread And Population Features In Remaining Sanctuaries Of The Critically Endangered Bivalve Pinna Nobilis". Journal For Nature Conservation 68: 126221. doi:10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126221.
Grant agreement number
MITECO/ / /ES/Seguimiento, recuperación y acciones de ciencia ciudadana en las poblaciones remanentes de Pinna nobilis del Delta del Ebro y el Mar Menor/RecuperaPinna
Aigües Marines i Continentals
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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