Risk Analysis

Risk‐Based Probabilistic Approach to Assess the Impact of False Mussel Invasions on Farmed Hard Clams

Journal Article

The purpose of this article is to provide a risk‐based predictive model to assess the impact of false mussel Mytilopsis sallei invasions on hard clam Meretrix lusoria farms in the southwestern region of Taiwan. The actual spread of invasive false mussel was predicted by using analytical models based on advection‐diffusion and gravity models. The proportion of hard clam colonized and infestation by false mussel were used to characterize risk estimates. A mortality model was parameterized to assess hard clam mortality risk characterized by false mussel density and infestation intensity. The published data were reanalyzed to parameterize a predictive threshold model described by a cumulative Weibull distribution function that can be used to estimate the exceeding thresholds of proportion of hard clam colonized and infestation. Results indicated that the infestation thresholds were 2–17 ind clam−1 for adult hard clams, whereas 4 ind clam−1 for nursery hard clams. The average colonization thresholds were estimated to be 81–89% for cultivated and nursery hard clam farms, respectively. Our results indicated that false mussel density and infestation, which caused 50% hard clam mortality, were estimated to be 2,812 ind m−2 and 31 ind clam−1, respectively. This study further indicated that hard clam farms that are close to the coastal area have at least 50% probability for 43% mortality caused by infestation. This study highlighted that a probabilistic risk‐based framework characterized by probability distributions and risk curves is an effective representation of scientific assessments for farmed hard clam in response to the nonnative false mussel invasion.

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