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Title: Helminth communities of yellow perch (Perca flavescens (Mitchill)): determinants of pattern
Authors: Carney, JP
Dick, TA
Issue Date: 30-Apr-2000
Citation: 0008-4301; CAN J ZOOL, APR 2000, vol. 78, no. 4, p.538 to 555.
Abstract: Twenty-eight parasite species were recorded from 504 yellow perch (Perca flavescens) collected from Dauphin Lake and Beaufort Lake, Manitoba, and Lake Winnebago, Green Bay, and Lake Michigan, Wisconsin. Four parasite species, Diplostomum spp., Urocleidus adspectus, Proteocephalus pearsei, and Raphidascaris acus, occurred in perch from all localities. Infracommunities and component communities were low in richness. The Dauphin Lake and Beaufort Lake samples had the richest parasite communities, while those in the Green Bay and Lake Michigan samples were the least rich. The effect of host size and age on parasite community structure was equivocal. A positive association between P. pearsei and Bothriocephalus cuspidatus and more multispecies infracommunities than expected provide evidence of nonrandom associations in the Manitoba samples, while the Wisconsin infracommunities were random associations. Significant infracommunity nestedness in all samples indicated nonrandom community organization and structure. Parasite faunas were richer in samples with complex invertebrate communities than in samples with complex fish communities. The trophic status of the aquatic system indirectly affected the parasite communities by limiting the variety of potential intermediate hosts. Predictions regarding relationships between parasite community structure and lake trophic status were not supported. We show that predictable patterns at the fine-scale local level of the parasite infracommunity and component communities of perch are best explained by a rich invertebrate community upon which the host feeds.
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