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The effect of human use of sandy beaches on developmental stability of Talitrus saltator (Montagu, 1808) (Crustacea, Amphipoda). A study on fluctuating asymmetry

Authors

  • Sandra Barca-Bravo,

    1.  Departamento de Bioloxía Animal, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
    2.  Estación de Hidrobioloxía “Encoro do Con”, Castroagudin 36617 Vilagarcia de Aronsa, Pontevedra, Spain
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  • María J. Servia,

    1.  Departamento de Bioloxía Animal, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
    2.  Estación de Hidrobioloxía “Encoro do Con”, Castroagudin 36617 Vilagarcia de Aronsa, Pontevedra, Spain
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  • Fernando Cobo,

    1.  Departamento de Bioloxía Animal, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
    2.  Estación de Hidrobioloxía “Encoro do Con”, Castroagudin 36617 Vilagarcia de Aronsa, Pontevedra, Spain
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  • Marcos A. Gonzalez

    1.  Departamento de Bioloxía Animal, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • Conflict of interest The authors declare no conflict of interests.

Sandra Barca-Bravo, Estación de Hidrobioloxia “Encoro do Con”, Castroagudín s/n, 36617 Vilagarcía de Arousa, Pontevedra (Spain) E-mail: basbarca@usc.es

Abstract

In recent years, there has been an increasing intensity of human use of coastal areas in Galicia (NW Spain). Actually, there is great concern about rapid and unplanned urban and industrial development on certain locations, as this can generate adverse impacts on those areas. In this study, we selected three sandy beaches along the Galician coast (Chanteiro, Insuela and Valieros) facing different levels of anthropic pressure, and we analysed Talitrus saltator individuals with the aim of elucidating whether anthropogenic pressures on beaches such as tourism or pollution have an influence on the incidence of morphological developmental alterations in sandhoppers in the field. Specifically, levels of fluctuating asymmetry were selected as indicators of environmental stress. Results of two sampling dates (May and September) show that individuals collected at the most touristy and polluted beach were those showing the highest asymmetry values, although results were only statistically significant for samples collected during spring. Results are in accordance with the hypothesis that beach management and pollution reduce symmetry in sandhoppers living in altered beaches.

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