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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 18, 2017

Ecological implications of floods on the parasite communities of two freshwater catfishes in a Neotropical floodplain

Priscilla de Oliveira Fadel Yamada, Fabio Hideki Yamada, Reinaldo José da Silva and Luciano Alves dos Anjos
From the journal Acta Parasitologica

Abstract

The parasite communities of two freshwater catfishes (Auchenipterus osteomystax and Trachelyopterus galeatus) were analyzed during the dry and rainy seasons in a Neotropical floodplain. The nature of river-floodplain systems places specific demands on parasite community structure, due to changes in the host environment. It was therefore hypothesized that flood conditions lead to an increase in the richness and abundance of fish parasites in the rainy season at the mouth of Aguapeí River floodplain. The Auchenipterus osteomystax parasite community was richer (11 vs. eight) in species than T. galeatus, although the latter exhibited a greater parasite burden (F1,108 = 126.99, P<0.0001). During the rainy season both host species demonstrated high levels of parasitism (least squared means ± SE = 1.69 ± 0.05 vs. 1.34 ± 0.05; F1,108 = 21.45, P<0.0001). Differences were found in the composition of the parasite species and the proportion of parasites for each host species and between each seasonal period. Flood conditions during the rainy season caused a change in the composition and structure of the parasitic communities. The results corroborate the hypothesis that floods are one of the most significant influences on shaping the parasite communities of fish in floodplains. Our greatest concern is the reduction these dynamics and effects bring about on local biota and, consequently, in host-parasite interaction. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to warn environmental agencies and hydroelectric companies about the importance of the conservation of the diversity of this location.

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (the São Paulo Research Foundation) (FAPESP) for the scholarship granted to P.O.F. Yamada (2013/25786-7) and F.H. Yamada (2011/22603-3; 2014/14298-4). R.J. da Silva was supported by CNPq (307808/2014-9) and CNPq-PROTAX (440496/2015-2) / FAPESP 2016/50377-1. We are grateful to the São Paulo Energy Company (CESP) for the facilities offered for the development of this work.

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Received: 2016-8-11
Revised: 2017-1-6
Accepted: 2017-1-10
Published Online: 2017-4-18
Published in Print: 2017-6-1

© 2017 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS