Publication details

Spatial variation of metazoan parasite communities in bitterling fish across its geographical distribution

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Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description European bitterling Rhodeus amarus is a small freshwater fish species characterized by enormous changes in its recent distribution and abundance. Since approximately the 1980s, European bitterling has rapidly expanded beyond its native geographical range and has colonised diverse habitats across many European countries.Recently, four lineages of R. amarus have been described in Europe: 1) western lineage(Danubian group); 2) eastern lineage (Northeastern group); 3) Aegean Sea and Asia Minor lineage; and 4) R. amarus of “mixed” origin.In the present study we used the large dataset of 695 individuals of R. amarus sampled in 18 localities. A total of 49 metazoan parasites were identified, only one species (monogenean specialist Gyrodactylus rhodei) occurred in all populations investigated. The significant effect of host origin was observed only for parasite abundance. Although lower species richness in the Western lineage of R. amarus in comparison with the Eastern and Aegean lineage was evident, no significant difference in parasite species richness among groups was observed. Tested hypothesis of biological similarity decay with increasing geographical distance showed that geographical distance was more important as a determinant of similarity in parasite communities than phylogenetic distance of the host.
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