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Volume 43 - Number 3 - 2008

Natural mortality of the cockle Cerastoderma edule (L.) from the Ria of Arousa (NW Spain) intertidal zone

1Centro Tecnolóxico do Mar. Apdo. 13. Vilanova de Arousa. 36.620. Pontevedra, Spain
2Centro de Investigacións Mariñas. Eduardo Cabello S/N. Vigo. 36208. Pontevedra, Spain


1Departamento de Ciencias Marinas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina
2Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas CIC. Funes 3350, B7602AYL, Mar del Plata, Argentina



The cockle Cerastoderma edule (L.) settles preferably in intertidal estuarine zones, buried under the uppermost centimetres of the sediment. Owing to this specific environment, the density of its populations is affected not only by biotic interactions, but also by meteorological phenomena, especially during low tide. A study was conducted over the course of seven years on the population dynamics and fishery of the cockle in two intertidal beds of the Ria of Arousa (NW Spain). The relationship between mortality and the population total density, precipitation and atmospheric temperature was analyzed during this period. The multiple regression model that includes the four variables under study provides a satisfactory explanation for the mortalities observed during the periods being compared. This model allows us to estimate the natural mortality by using variables that are relatively easy to obtain. It also proved to be a useful computational tool for readjusting the estimations of stock sizes in light of the meteorological conditions recorded

Key words: Shellfish harvest, bivalves, meteorology, density-dependence




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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