Historical and future naturalization of Magallana gigas in the Galician coast in a context of climate change

M. Des*, J.L. Gómez-Gesteira, M. de Castro, D. Iglesias, M.C. Sousa, G. ElSerafy, M. Gomez-Gesteira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Magallana gigas is a naturalized species on the north coast of Galicia (Rías Altas, Northwest Iberian Peninsula), where it was unintentionally introduced. In recent decades, a greater abundance of M. gigas has been observed on the Galician coast, expanding towards the south, reaching the Artabro Gulf (Rías Centrales, NW Galician coast), probably due to ocean warming. Although this species has been cultivated in the Rías Baixas since the early 1990s and spawning has been reported, recruitment was never observed, which is likely due to the cold water upwelled during the spawning months. The future rise in seawater temperature may favor the naturalization of the non-indigenous species M. gigas southwards, in the Rías Baixas. Thermally, the Ría de Arousa seems to be the most favorable estuary for the future settlement of M. gigas, which may occur in the next decades. The extent of thermally favorable zones within estuaries is projected to increase rapidly by mid-century, and reaching 100 % of the estuarine area by the end of the century. As has already happened in other areas of the world, the expansion and naturalization of the Pacific oyster on the Galician coast will likely affect the native communities and economic activities, making it necessary to implement monitoring and management strategies to mitigate its effect.
Original languageEnglish
Article number156437
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Climate change
  • Magallana gigas
  • Numerical modeling
  • Ocean warming
  • Pacific oyster


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