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QUANTIFICATION OF THE GLOBAL POPULATION REDUCTION OF GIANT CLAMS (TRIDACNIDAE FAMILY) AND THEIR CAUSATIVE AGENTS

Grant number: 23/07619-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2023
Effective date (End): November 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Biological Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Miguel Mies
Grantee:Júlia Romero Neves
Host Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Giant clams are bivalve mollusks that inhabit coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific. This group plays a crucial role in reef preservation and the survival of animals that rely on them for a larger surface area, favoring the colonization of epibiont species, providing shelter against predators, offering sites for egg deposition, and contributing to the remineralization of organic matter. Additionally, they hold significant socioeconomic value, being used for food, aquarium trade, and decoration. However, there are stressors such as pollution, overfishing and global warming that can cause high mortality rates and subsequently lead to a population decline of these species. Despite their importance, there is currently no global assessment of the population reduction of these individuals, nor a quantification of the contribution of each stressor to this decline. Therefore, based on a literature review and scientific databases, this study aims to quantify the population reduction experienced by giant clam species worldwide, identify the primary stressor causing high mortalities, and evaluate whether there are differences in the main stressor based on geographical province.

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