Linking genetics with oceanographic currents to establish connectivity patterns of P. nobilis in the western Mediterranean

The Pen shell Pinna nobilis is the largest Mediterranean bivalve, reaching more than 1 m of length (García-March et al., 2007a). Lamentably, throughout the last few decades, the populations of this endemic mussel have strongly decreased due to habitat deterioration and exploitation (Hendriks et al., 2013). As result, P. nobilis is part of the list of endangered species of the Mediterranean Sea and it is protected under the European Council Directive 92/43/EEC (EEC, 1992). Nevertheless, in spite of the 20 years of protection, abundances and densities of P. nobilis are still very low in many areas (Guallart and Templado, 2012). For an effective management of this species, it is crucial to assess its genetic diversity and connectivity between populations. Under this framework, the present project aims to evaluate the genetic diversity and the degree of connectivity between the Balearic Islands and the mainland, to identify source and sink populations through a multidisciplinary approach using genetic markers (microsatellites) and hydrodynamics. The results showed that Pinna nobilis has high genetic conectivity between the majority of the studied populations. Although significant genetic differentiation was detected by FST between the Balearic Islands and the south of France.

Promotor(s) & Supervisor: Mercedes Gonzalez-Wanguemert, Ester Serrao, Iris Hendricks

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0511 - Biology", "0521 - Ecology