Due to its range expansion and potential ecological effects, Corbicula fluminea is considered one of the most important non-indigenous species (NIS) in aquatic ecosystems. Its presence since 2003 in the upstream area of Mondego estuary (oligohaline and mesohaline sectors) was studied during thirteen months, from December 2007 to December 2008. Monthly mean abundance and biomass ranged from 542 to 11142 individuals m-2 and 13.1–20.4 g Ash Free Dry Weight m-2, respectively. Populations of C.fluminea were composed mostly of juveniles, always present in extremely high densities compared to other estuarine ecosystems (e.g. Minho estuary) suggesting a continuous recruitment pattern. The hydraulic regime of the River Mondego favours the downstream colonization of the upper Mondego estuary by recruits produced upstream. However, salinity in these sectors of the estuary apparently neither favours growth nor the establishment of structured populations of this species. Other factors like contaminants and predation, which were not studied, could also contribute to the community structure observed.
Additional publication details
Population dynamics of Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774) in mesohaline and oligohaline habitats: Invasion success in a Southern Europe estuary