Meeting Abstract

P1.13  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Disseminated neoplasia and clam populations in a Canadian National Park – Kouchibouguac National Park FONTANELLA, EL*; ABGRALL, MJ; TARASKA, NG; LEBLANC, L; TREMBLAY, E; BOETTGER, SA; West Chester University of Pennsylvania; University of New Brunswick; West Chester University of Pennsylvania; Kouchibouguac National Parkia; Kouchibouguac National Park; West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Kouchibouguac National Park of Canada (KNPC), situated along the Northumberland Strait in South Eastern New Brunswick, encompasses an area of 238 km2 and allows both commercial and recreational softshell clam (Mya arenaria) harvesting. Clam populations at 18 different sites of known sediment composition in KNPC were evaluated according to clam densities, sizes and development of a commonly occurring blood disease, disseminated neoplasia (DN). Fully neoplastic, and therefore fatally ill animals collected from KNPC in 2011 are found at frequencies between 0-27.85%, while animals without neoplasic cells were detected at frequencies of up to 89.09%. This indicates a continued increase in neoplasia frequencies compared to 2009 and 2010. A number of environmental stressors could influence the severity and the spread of DN in the Park, making this increase of particular interest to ecologists and the commercial fishing industry. Our results, which are some of the few continuous, long term documentations on neoplasia, indicate that populations of Mya arenaria in a confined body of water are impacted by DN.