, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 307-316
Date: 15 Jun 2006

Macroparasite community in molluscs of a tidal basin in the Wadden Sea

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We provide a quantitative inventory of macroparasites in intertidal molluscs from a tidal basin in the Wadden Sea (eastern North Sea). Gastropods and bivalves contained a species rich macroparasite community consisting of trematodes (26 species), turbellarians (1), nematodes (1), copepods (2) and polychaetes (1) in 3,800 host individuals from 10 host species. Highest parasite burdens were observed in the gastropods Hydrobia ulvae and Littorina littorea and in the bivalves Cerastoderma edule and Mytilus edulis. In contrast, only one parasite species and no trematodes were found in Crepidula fornicata. The parasite community in the molluscs was similar to other Western European localities but some parasite species showed obvious differences, related to the large-scale distribution of intermediate and final hosts. Parasitism seems to be a common phenomenon in molluscs of the Wadden Sea and hence the detrimental effects observed in experiments can be expected to frequently happen in the field.

Communicated by H.-D. Franke.