, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 1-8
Date: 27 Oct 2009

Fish introduction and parasites in marine ecosystems: a need for information

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Invasive species provide unique and useful systems by which to examine various ecological and evolutionary issues, both in terms of the effects on native environments and the subsequent evolutionary impacts. While biological invasions are an increasing agent of change in aquatic systems, alien species also act as vectors for new parasites and diseases. To date, colonizations by hosts and parasites have not been treated and reviewed together, although both are usually interwoven in various ways and may have unpredictable negative consequences. Fish are widely introduced worldwide and are convenient organisms to study parasites and diseases. We report a global overview of fish invasions with associated parasitological data. Data available on marine and freshwater are in sharp contrast. While parasites and diseases of inland freshwater fish, ornamental, reared and anadromous fish species are well documented, leading to the emergence of several evolutionary hypotheses in freshwater ecosystems during the last decade, the transfer of such organisms are virtually unexplored in marine ecosystems. The paucity of information available on the parasites of introduced marine fish reflects the paucity of information currently available on parasites of non-indigenous species in marine ecosystems. However, such information is crucial as it can allow estimations of the extent to which freshwater epidemiology/evolution can be directly transferred to marine systems, providing guidelines for adapting freshwater control to the marine environment.