, Volume 80, Issue 4, pp 456–464 | Cite as

Does parasitic infection compromise host survival under extreme environmental conditions? The case for Cerithidea californica (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia)

  • Wayne P. Sousa
  • Mary Gleason
Original Papers


This laboratory study examined the influence of parasitic infection by larval trematodes on the survival of extreme environmental conditions by the salt marsh snail, Cerithidea californica. Experimental treatments simulated the durations, combinations, and levels of potentially lethal environmental extremes to which the snail is exposed in its natural habitat, as determined from long-term field measurements. No significant difference was found in the rates of mortality suffered by infected and uninfected snails when exposed to simulated natural extremes of water temperature, water salinity, or exposure in air. Exposure to low levels of dissolved oxygen was the only treatment that caused differential mortality: infected snails died at higher rates than uninfected. This differential mortality was accentuated by high water temperature, and varied with the species of infecting parasite. The potential impact of this interaction between parasitism and anoxia on snail survival and population dynamics is discussed.

Key words

Cerithidea californica Digenean trematode Host population Parasitism Physiological stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne P. Sousa
    • 1
  • Mary Gleason
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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