|Titre||Clam farmers and Oystercatchers: Effects of the degradation of Lanice conchilega beds by shellfish farming on the spatial distribution of shorebirds|
|Type de publication||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Auteurs||Godet, L, Toupoint, N, Fournier, J, Le Mao, P, Retiere, C, Olivier, F|
|Journal||Marine Pollution Bulletin|
The Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum cultivation is an original shellfish farming activity strongly mechanized. In the Chausey archipelago (France) this activity settles on the Lanice conchilega beds, habitat known to host a rich and diversified benthic macrofauna and which is an attractive feeding ground for birds. A first study highlighted that this activity had strong negative effects on the L conchilega beds and their associated benthic macrofauna. Here we assess the impacts of such an activity on the Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus for which Chausey is one of the most important national breeding sites and which is also a common species in winter, spring and autumn migrations. We found that Oystercatchers significantly selected the L. conchilega beds to feed and that their spatial distribution was significantly modified after the creation of new clam concessions. In a context of a growing disappearance of pristine coastal ecosystems for the benefit of anthropo-ecosystems, we discuss the problem of the degradation of such benthic habitats with a low resilience which may loose their high functional value. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.