AEI 6:241-254 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00128

Impacts of supplementation aquaculture on the genetic diversity of wild Ruditapes decussatus from northern Spain

Bereket Tesfamariam Habtemariam1, Andrés Arias2, Eva García-Vázquez1, Yaisel Juan Borrell1,*

1Department of Functional Biology, University of Oviedo, C/ Julián Clavería s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
2Department of Biology of Organisms and Systems (BOS), University of Oviedo, C/ Catedrático Rodrigo Uría s/n, 33071 Oviedo, Spain
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The European carpet shell Ruditapes decussatus is among the most important shellfish species cultured in estuaries and bays of the northern Iberian Peninsula. Increased demand and overfishing of native R. decussatus, as well as irregular yields due in part to pollution and urban sprawl, have led to overexploitation of the species and to the import of the non-indigenous R. philippinarum in the early 1980s. In recent years, supplementation aquaculture of R. decussatus (supportive breeding) has been implemented as a management tool to recover the exhausted native carpet shell populations in Asturias, northern Spain. In this study, taxonomic analysis and a suite of genetic markers (ITS2, 5SrDNA, and mtCOI) were employed to assess the genetic composition of R. decussatus in 2 estuaries of the region, Ría del Eo and Ría de Villaviciosa. Our results revealed species misidentification and evidenced genetic introgression from the non-indigenous R. philippinarum into wild R. decussatus samples (4.2%), as well as in the aquaculture seed used for population supplementation (2.0%). Furthermore, we found significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.03750, p < 0.0001) between wild populations and aquaculture seed, while the adults of both estuaries were genetically homogeneous (p > 0.05). Several actions are strongly recommended to prevent inadvertent introduction of non-indigenous genomes and other genetic erosive processes on native species in the region: (1) banning releases of the alien species R. philippinarum, (2) developing diagnostic tests for detection of hybrids in captive breeding programs, and (3) assessing the conservation status of wild R. decussatus populations.


KEY WORDS: Carpet shells · Shellfish harvesting · Veneridae supplementation · Hybrid swarm · Genetic diversity · Hybridization


Full text in pdf format  
Cite this article as: Habtemariam BT, Arias A, García-Vázquez E, Borrell YJ (2015) Impacts of supplementation aquaculture on the genetic diversity of wild Ruditapes decussatus from northern Spain. Aquacult Environ Interact 6:241-254. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00128

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -