Annales de Limnologie - International Journal of Limnology

Research Article

Ecology of the invasive Asian clam Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774) in aquatic ecosystems: an overview

R. Sousaa1a2, C. Antunesa1a3 and L. Guilherminoa1a2

CIMAR/CIIMAR – Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental - Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal.

ICBAS – Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar - Universidade do Porto, Departamento de Estudos de Populações, Laboratório de Ecotoxicologia, Lg. Prof. Abel Salazar 2, 4099-003 Porto, Portugal.

Aquamuseu do Rio Minho – Parque do Castelinho, 4920-290 Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal.


The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea is one of the most invasive species in freshwater aquatic ecosystems. The rapid growth, earlier sexual maturity, short life span, high fecundity and its association with human activities makes C. fluminea a non-indigenous invasive species likely to colonize new environments. This species, originally distributed in Asiatic ecosystems, is now a common inhabitant of American and European freshwater habitats. The present paper reviews the information related to the life cycle, ecology and potential ecological and economic impacts caused by C. fluminea in the invaded habitats. Furthermore, this paper also proposed future works that may be implemented in order to increase our general knowledge about the ecology of this bivalve.

(Online publication January 15 2009)

Key Words:

  • Corbicula fluminea;
  • life cycle;
  • non-indigenous invasive species;
  • ecological and economic impacts