Project information

Fluctuating asymmetry in fish parasites: a new approach to assess environmental changes of aquatic ecosystem?

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Project Identification
Project Period
1/2004 - 12/2006
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Czech Science Foundation
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science
Fluctuating asymmetry, parasites, fish, environmental stress

Morphological characteristics of living organisms can be significantly affected by environmental conditions during their ontogenetic development. Random accidents during development may affect phenotypic expression in organisms possessing bilateral symmetry, resulting in an asymmetrical distribution of morphological characters. Poor environmental conditions are also known to suppress the immune system and increase susceptibility of affected organisms to parasites. Changes in the rate of parasite infection and species composition of parasite communities were proved to be very suitable tools for indicating quality of aquatic ecosystems. Such conditions are known increasing the fluctuating asymmetry and other measures of developmental instability of organisms. The present study suggests a new approach of analysing of a linkage between parasitisms, asymmetry and environmental stress of aquatic ecosystem. Data on life cycle of the model parasite species will be obtain to understand seasonal changes of population structure of parasites on the localities with different level of environmental stress. Type and distribution of malformation of the attachment apparatus of the model parasite species will be analysed. Fluctuating asymmetry as a measure of developmental instability will be link with quality of environment. Contamination of parasite environment will be investigated on the level of individual host fish and aquatic ecosytem. To detect the level of contamination of individual host organism, the selected chemical data and biochemical markers of exposure desciribing environmental stress of individual host fish will be used.


Total number of publications: 19

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