Determinism of the recruitment of bivalves submitted to environmental and anthropogenic constraints
Focusing on wild endofaunic bivalves, we will assess the role of environmental factors, more specifically of the ‘trophic settlement trigger’ (Toupoint et al. 2012, Ecology), on the recruitment dynamics of benthic invertebrates thereby integrating a new approach of the benthic habitats’ functioning: ranking habitats relative to the success of recruitment of model species.
Several issues will be tackled so as: do complex habitats (seagrasses, bioherms) favor the recruitment intensity? What about habitats of invasive species? Do mussel farms constitute suitable areas for young perimetamorphic stages? Do hand-raking and shellfish farming activities negatively impact the benthic recruitment?
The final objective of such program, which will provide new concepts on the benthic habitats’ functioning through the populations’ renewal, is a durable conservation of bivalves’ populations of inheritance interest through a management of practices on benthic habitats.
Two PhD students (P. Barbier, MNHN, M. Forêt, UQAR/ISMER) and one post-doc (N. Toupoint, UQAR/ISMER) are involved in the project.