Climate variability and massive mortalities challenge giant clam conservation and management efforts in French Polynesia atolls. Andréfouët, S., Van Wynsberge, S., Gaertner-Mazouni, N., Menkes, C., Gilbert, A., & Remoissenet, G. Biological Conservation, 160:190–199, April, 2013.
Climate variability and massive mortalities challenge giant clam conservation and management efforts in French Polynesia atolls [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
In 2004, the first no-take area (NTA) dedicated to the conservation of giant clams Tridacna maxima was implemented in Tatakoto Atoll, French Polynesia. This NTA protected a unique area worldwide, with extraordinarily high giant clam densities (up to 337 individuals per m2 on 20-m transect). In 2012, a stock assessment survey revealed a dramatic decrease of the clam population. The reduced densities peaked at 38indm−2 and the stock in the NTA decreased from 20.1±6.0million to 1.9±0.55million clams (mean±95% confidence interval). Losses of similar proportions were observed throughout the atoll. Remarkably, the 83% overall loss of this natural resource used daily for consumption and for exports of clam meat to Tahiti Island went unnoticed by the local population. Field clues, including the size of live juveniles attached to the inside of dead shells, pointed to a massive mortality occurring about 3years before the 2012 survey. Examinations of sea surface temperature satellite data identified a high range of temperature variations before March 2009. In agreement with past and recent events in other atolls, this anomaly is the most likely explanation of the massive loss of giant clams in Tatakoto Atoll, although the exact hydrological and biological secondary mechanisms that occurred in the lagoon remain unclear. The consequences of the massive die-off inside and outside the NTA require new long-term management strategies, by reinforcing the top-down national giant clam management arrangements and by setting flexible management objectives across a network of islands.
@article{andrefouet_climate_2013,
	title = {Climate variability and massive mortalities challenge giant clam conservation and management efforts in {French} {Polynesia} atolls},
	volume = {160},
	issn = {0006-3207},
	url = {http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320713000384},
	doi = {10.1016/j.biocon.2013.01.017},
	abstract = {In 2004, the first no-take area (NTA) dedicated to the conservation of giant clams Tridacna maxima was implemented in Tatakoto Atoll, French Polynesia. This NTA protected a unique area worldwide, with extraordinarily high giant clam densities (up to 337 individuals per m2 on 20-m transect). In 2012, a stock assessment survey revealed a dramatic decrease of the clam population. The reduced densities peaked at 38indm−2 and the stock in the NTA decreased from 20.1±6.0million to 1.9±0.55million clams (mean±95\% confidence interval). Losses of similar proportions were observed throughout the atoll. Remarkably, the 83\% overall loss of this natural resource used daily for consumption and for exports of clam meat to Tahiti Island went unnoticed by the local population. Field clues, including the size of live juveniles attached to the inside of dead shells, pointed to a massive mortality occurring about 3years before the 2012 survey. Examinations of sea surface temperature satellite data identified a high range of temperature variations before March 2009. In agreement with past and recent events in other atolls, this anomaly is the most likely explanation of the massive loss of giant clams in Tatakoto Atoll, although the exact hydrological and biological secondary mechanisms that occurred in the lagoon remain unclear. The consequences of the massive die-off inside and outside the NTA require new long-term management strategies, by reinforcing the top-down national giant clam management arrangements and by setting flexible management objectives across a network of islands.},
	urldate = {2019-04-17},
	journal = {Biological Conservation},
	author = {Andréfouët, Serge and Van Wynsberge, Simon and Gaertner-Mazouni, Nabila and Menkes, Christophe and Gilbert, Antoine and Remoissenet, Georges},
	month = apr,
	year = {2013},
	keywords = {Bottom-up conservation, CITES, Community-based management, Fisheries management, Top-down conservation, Tuamotu archipelago},
	pages = {190--199}
}

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