Original paper

Abiotic controls on population structure of the invasive Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774) in the River Miño estuary

Ferreira-Rodríguez, Noé; Pardo, Isabel


Estuaries act as a vector transferring exotic species between marine and freshwater ecosystems. The morphology and sedimentary characteristics of the River Miño estuary (NW-Spain), defined by tidal fluctuations and continental sediment inputs, is dominated by sand. The estuary is a freshwater ecosystem during low tide with limited influence of marine water during high tide. We sampled 47 sampling points confirming that Corbicula fluminea was the dominant species of the estuarine community, reaching a density up to 3150 ind m–2 and a total estuarine biomass of 428 t AFDM. The species presence was limited by salinity values of 15.3 ppm. Density and biomass were positively related to coarse sediments, and sedimentary organic matter that can be taken as a food supplement. The study of size frequency distributions indicated that individuals of size 20 mm dominated the estuarine population, with at least two annual cohorts. Smaller individuals preferred coarse sediments in combination with high organic matter contents, allowing us to identify the estuary recruitment areas. The present scientific information aims to be the basis for management plans designed to control the species in Atlantic estuaries, and at the same time to help in the design of experimental assays to validate the observations resulting from this study.


abiotic factorscorbicula flumineainvasive speciesmiño estuarypopulation structure