Building the future by doing more together

CONTROLCLAM: Sustainable approaches for the CONTROL of the invasive Asian CLAM Corbicula fluminea within waterdependent plants
Coordinator - Joana Luísa Lourenço Estevinho Pereira
Programme - COMPETE (PTDC/AAC-AMB/113515/2009)
Execution dates - 2011-02-01 - 2014-07-31 (42 Months)
Funding Entity - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Funding for CESAM - 123504 €
Total Funding - 158544 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro
Participating Institutions
PRODEQ - Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Engenharia Química (PRODEQ)

The freshwater bivalve Corbicula fluminea, commonly known as the Asian clam, is one of the world's most important aquatic pests. In Portugal, it was first reported in the Tejo river basin in the early 1980s, and can now be found in many other watercourses, such as the Minho and Guadiana rivers. The rapid growth, early sexual maturity, high reproductive potential and great dispersal capacity make the clam a successful invasive species and a powerful biofouler. In addition to its ecological impacts, the Asian clam causes important economic damage. Industrial water and cooling systems, drinking water treatment facilities and irrigation canals are especially vulnerable to the bivalves' biofouling. This project's foreseen outcome will contribute to the body of knowledge about the dissemination and control of the Asian clam at the national scale, as well as a broader dimension. Therefore, the first aim of the project is to thoroughly document the presence of the Asian clam in the country assisting in the implementation of preventive measures to manage its spread and methods to control industrial infestations. The use of chemicals with toxic properties is the most widespread approach to bivalve's mitigation in industrial context. In spite of its versatility, this control method raises concerns related to harmful impacts on non-target organisms and humans, and on cost-efficiency of some biocides. The second aim of the project is thus to develop more effective and environmentally safe chemical solutions for Asian clam control. New biocides, and innovative application strategies and delivery methods for existing biocides will be sought. In this context, the lethal and biochemical effects of a wide range of rapidly-degrading substances on the species will be examined, and novel dosing approaches will be explored. The selectivity of the newly designed control methods will also be evaluated so that environmental side-effects can be a priori predicted and prevented.

Members on this project

Bruno Nunes
Catarina Marques
Inês C. Rosa


CESAM Funding: