Populations of nacra – the largest bivalve mollusk in the Mediterranean – are at risk of disappearing due to the severe parasitosis caused by the protozoan Haplosporidium pinnae since 2016. Now, a study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science reveals that nacra would show some natural recovery capacity thanks to the dispersal in the marine environment of larvae from populations not yet affected by the pathogen. These populations would become crucial for the future of the species. The work is directed by the expert Diego Kersting, from the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the University of Barcelona. More than twenty institutions also participate in it, such as the Mediterranean Institute for
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Advanced Studies (IMEDEA-UIB-CSIC), the Balearic Oceanographic Center (COB-IEO), the Balearic Islands Coastal Observation and Prediction System (ICTS -SOCIB), the University of Alicante, the Cambodia WhatsApp Number List University of Murcia, the Environment and Water Agency of the Junta de Andalucía, the Catholic University of Valencia, the Abdelhamid Ibn Badis Mostaganem University (Algeria), the SUBMON entity in Barcelona, the University of Zagreb (Croatia), the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute (France) and the University of Messina (Italy), among others. A lifeline for an endangered species The future of the nacra ( Pinna nobilis ) – one of the largest and longest-lived bivalves on the planet – is increasingly uncertain. Parasitosis has affected almost all the
populations of this species in the Mediterranean, “except for some that seem free of pathogens and are found in environments – especially coastal lagoons or deltas – under certain salinity conditions, such as the Mar Menor (high salinity) or the Ebro delta (low salinity). Apart from these specific habitats, the majority of nacra populations have disappeared or are in the process of disappearing since 2016 ”, explains Diego Kersting, member of the UB Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences and first author of the article. In the framework of the work, the experts have monitored for three years the effects of the massive mortality of nacras in the recruitment process, that is, in the incorporation of juvenile individuals into