Do algae blooms dilute the risk of trematode infections in threespine sticklebacks?

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Budria , A & Candolin , U 2015 , ' Do algae blooms dilute the risk of trematode infections in threespine sticklebacks? ' , Current zoology , vol. 61 , no. 6 , pp. 991-995 . https://doi.org/10.1093/czoolo/61.6.991

Title: Do algae blooms dilute the risk of trematode infections in threespine sticklebacks?
Author: Budria, Alexandre; Candolin, Ulrika
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Biosciences
University of Helsinki, Biosciences
Date: 2015
Language: eng
Number of pages: 6
Belongs to series: Current zoology
ISSN: 1674-5507
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/228172
Abstract: Human-induced growth of macro-algae is often assumed to increase trematode infections in fishes by increasing the abundance and condition of the parasite’s intermediate host – snails – as this can boost the release of trematode larvae, cercariae, from the intermediate hosts. However, macro-algae can also impose barriers to the transmission of cercariae and reduce infections. We investigated whether an increased growth of filamentous algae affects the transmission of Diplostomum pseudospathaceum cercariae to the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, a common fish in eutrophied shallow waters. We exposed sticklebacks to trematode cercariae in the absence and presence of artificial filamentous algae, and recorded effects on the proportion of sticklebacks infected and the number of encysted metacercariae per fish. No significant effect of artificial algae on cercariae transmission was detected. However, the body size and the sex of the sticklebacks were strongly correlated with the number of encysted metacercariae per infected fish, with females and larger individuals being more infected. We discuss different factors that could have caused the difference in parasite transmission, including sex-related differences in body size and behaviour of sticklebacks.
Subject: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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