Spatial variation in species diversity and composition of metazoan parasite communities of the European bitterling across its geographical range
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|MU Faculty or unit
|Rhodeus amarus is a species characterized by enormous changes in its distribution and abundance over time. Recently, the European bitterling has been considered to be highly invasive species and a “parasite” of freshwater unionid mussels. In the present study, the metazoan parasite communities of 12 populations of the European bitterling were sampled across its wide geographical range and the effects of geographical and phylogenetic distances among host populations in the structure of parasite communities were tested. A total of 49 species of metazoan parasites were found. The highest values of species richness and diversity were recorded in Polish and Turkish populations. Testing of the hypothesis of decay of biological similarity with increasing of geographical distance on the model of the European bitterling showed that geographical distance was more important as a determinant of similarity in parasite communities than phylogenetic distance.