Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 1082–1099 | Cite as

Long-Term Changes in Population Dynamics of the Shrimp Palaemon longirostris in the Gironde Estuary

  • Mélanie Béguer
  • Julien Bergé
  • Caroline Gardia-Parège
  • Laurent Beaulaton
  • Gérard Castelnaud
  • Michel Girardin
  • Philippe Boët


Spanning 20 years (1979–2007), this study is the longest time series pertaining to the resident shrimp species Palaemon longirostris in a European estuary. Data from monthly faunal surveys undertaken across the middle part of the Gironde estuary from April 1979 along with data from a statistical analysis of the commercial catches throughout the entire estuary and river were considered in order to explore their inter and intra-annual variability and long-term trends. Long-term densities series as well as environmental series (salinity, discharge, temperature and NAO) were decomposed and the effects of environmental variables were also examined using statistical models (GAMs). This revealed important spatio-temporal variability and a significant overall decrease in abundance of this species in the Gironde estuary since the beginning of the 1980s. This long-term decrease in abundance corresponded significantly to long-term decreases in both discharge and the NAO index, as well a long-term increase in temperature and salinity in the middle part of the estuary. However, models showed that environmental factors explained only a small part of the variability. The upstream shift of the population highlighted in this study, probably due to the intrusion of marine waters into the middle section of the estuary, may also have contributed to its decrease in abundance. Inter-annual variability of densities was also significantly linked with inter-annual fecundity fluctuations, and a significant decrease in both mean female size and fecundity was shown for preserved samples from 1992. Moreover, the breeding period has been temporally stretched out and began earlier in more recent years, potentially due to the increase in spring temperature.


Palaemon longirostris Long term Life history-traits Gironde estuary Global change Indicator 



We would like to thank Bernard Ballion, Romaric Le Barh, Jean-François Bigot, Christine Gazeau, Aymeric Guibert, Philippe Jatteau, Mario Lepage and everyone who took part in sampling surveys. This study was partly funded by CNPE of Blayais and the Aquitaine Regional Council. We also wish to thank José D. Benchetrit for English corrections.

Supplementary material

12237_2012_9506_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mélanie Béguer
    • 1
  • Julien Bergé
    • 1
  • Caroline Gardia-Parège
    • 1
  • Laurent Beaulaton
    • 2
  • Gérard Castelnaud
    • 1
  • Michel Girardin
    • 1
  • Philippe Boët
    • 1
  1. 1.CemagrefCestasFrance
  2. 2.Direction de l’Action Scientifique et TechniqueONEMAVincennesFrance

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