Lead Partner

Sharon Lynch

Baseline assessment: Characterising populations, reproductive health and genetics

Responsible partner

University College Cork | IE

“If you want to know the future, look at the past”– Albert Einstein The primary focus of this activity is to establish a comprehensive historical dataset and maps of cockle populations in the Atlantic Area including environmental influences, based on archival records and past publications, in a single document. This catalog will feed awareness and exchange with stakeholders.

An evaluation of the current situation of Atlantic Area cockle populations and the factors influencing them will be carried out. Findings from this study will be used to compare the current situation with the past, which will feed future modelling scenarios.

A thorough reproductive health survey recording sex ratio, age/size at first maturity, gametogenesis, seasonality, recruitment success and site influence of AA cockle populations will be conducted to look at historical and current trends. The information acquired in this activity will feed future modelling scenarios.

An evaluation of genetic structure of cockles from the Atlantic area will be carried out to complement the population information of other actions of this WP. The analysis will address both the spatial and the temporal genetic variation by analysing samples of all countries involved in the project and using two consecutive year cohorts. The spatial analysis will be done both at micro- (Galician samples) and macro-geographic (all countries) level. The whole cockle genome will be screened using high-throughput SNP genotyping using a genotyping by sequencing approach. This will enable to analyse both the neutral variation, related to demographic parameters, as well as the adaptive variation, related to environmental parameters. This information will be crucial for an appropriate management and restoration of cockle populations in the Atlantic area.