The unexpected pen shellJuly 27 2018
The pen shell Pinna nobilis (Linnaeus, 1758) is the biggest bivalve of the Mediterranean Sea, rare and protected by international agreements. This marine species was able to colonize the shallows of the Venice Lagoon, showing its capability to survive to a variety of anthropic stressors (fishing, dredging, trampling, tourism) and, last but not least, to the daily tidal excursion that expose individuals to air. There's little if none awareness on the intertidal behaviour of the pen shell, so we'll try to document its life between water and air.
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So far we've compared two methods to measure pen shell densities on a shallow ground around the city of Chioggia, based on the counting of animals on a fixed area on the field and performed by a drone.
Next two months (august and september) will be dedicated to the study of the pen shell populations in the southern basin of the Venice Lagoon, extending counts and measurements not only to the animals that one or twice a day are exposed to air but also to those individuals that live on the bottom of the canals, by means of a mini-ROV.