Paratenic hosts as regular transmission route in the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis: potential implications for food webs
- 297 Downloads
Although trophically transmitted parasites are recognized to strongly influence food-web dynamics through their ability to manipulate host phenotype, our knowledge of their host spectrum is often imperfect. This is particularly true for the facultative paratenic hosts, which receive little interest. We investigated the occurrence and significance both in terms of ecology and evolution of paratenic hosts in the life cycle of the fish acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis. This freshwater parasite uses amphipods as intermediate hosts and cyprinids and salmonids as definitive hosts. Within a cohort of parasite larvae, usually reported in amphipod intermediate hosts, more than 90% were actually hosted by small-sized fish. We demonstrated experimentally, using one of these fish, that they get infected through the consumption of parasitized amphipods and contribute to the parasite’s transmission to a definitive host, hence confirming their paratenic host status. A better knowledge of paratenic host spectrums could help us to understand the fine tuning of transmission strategies, to better estimate parasite biomass, and could improve our perception of parasite subwebs in terms of host–parasite and predator–parasite links.
KeywordsEcological networks Favorization Food-web ecology Host–parasite links Predator–parasite links Trophic transmission
We thank Marianne Duployer, Benjamin Gaudillat, Emilie Guyonnet, Clément Lagrue, and Marion Salignon for help in field and laboratory investigations. This study was funded in part by a grant from the ANR (BLAN07-3-183300).
- Amin OM, Abdullah SMA, Mhaisen FT (2003) Description of Pomphorhynchus spindletruncatus n. sp. (Acanthocephala: Pomphorhynchidae) from freshwater fishes in northern Iraq, with the erection of a new pomphorhynchid genus, Pyriproboscis n. g., and keys to genera of the Pomphorhynchidae and the species of Pomphorhynchus Monticelli, 1905. Syst Parasitol 54:229–235PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Anderson RO, Neumann RM (1996) Length, weight, and associated structural indices. In: Murphy BR, Willis DW (eds) Fisheries techniques, 2nd edn. American Fisheries Society Publication, Bethesda, pp 447–481Google Scholar
- Bush AO, Fernandez JC, Esch GW, Seed JR (2001) Parasitism, the diversity and ecology of animal parasites. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Crompton DWT (1985) Reproduction. In: Crompton DWT, Nickol BB (eds) Biology of the Acanthocephala. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 213–271Google Scholar
- Keith P, Allardi J (2001) Atlas des poissons d’eau douce de France. Patrimoines Naturels 47, ParisGoogle Scholar
- Kennedy CR (1999) Post-cyclic transmission in Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala). Folia Parasitol 46:111–116Google Scholar
- Kuris AM, Hechinger RF, Shaw JC, Whitney KL, Aguirre-Macedo L, Boch CA, Dobson AP, Dunham EJ, Fredensborg BL, Huspeni TC, Lorda J, Mababa L, Mancini FT, Mora AB, Pickering M, Talhouk NL, Torchin ME, Lafferty DK (2008) Ecosystem energetic implications of parasite and free-living biomass in three estuaries. Nature 454:515–518PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lafferty KD, Allesina S, Arim M, Briggs CJ, De Leo G, Dobson AP, Dunne JA, Johnson PTJ, Kuris AM, Marcogliese DJ, Martinez ND, Memmott J, Marquet PA, McLaughlin JP, Mordecai EA, Pascual M, Poulin R, Thieltges DW (2008) Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links. Ecol Lett 11:533–546PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schmidt GD (1985) Development and life cycles. In: Crompton DWT, Nickol BB (eds) Biology of the Acanthocephala. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 273–286Google Scholar