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

How does host ecology influence sampling effort in parasite diversity estimates? A case study using Neotropical freshwater fishes

Fábio Hideki Yamada and Ricardo Massato Takemoto
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


Accurately estimating biodiversity is fundamental to ecological understanding and prediction. Helminthes are often neglected in biodiversity estimates and when included are often underestimated. Here we examine how sampling effort affects estimates of parasite diversity in an assemblage of freshwater fish from a floodplain in Brazil. We also examine how ecological and behavioral factors influence the sampling effort necessary to accurately estimate the parasite diversity associated with a fish species. We use our dataset to suggest that host species with wide geographic distribution (i.e., long migrations), gregarious behavior (i.e., shoal), larger body size, higher population density, wide diet breadth (i.e., omnivorous), and autochthonous origin, increase the effort necessary to estimate the total diversity of parasites. However, estimating this parasitic fauna has several restrictions and limitations, due to the highly complex of the floodplain ecosystems, with non-linear and non-random responses.


We wish to thank all the coworkers of the ictioparasitology Laboratory at The State University of Maringá/UEM who have made available the biological data and Dr. Carolina Minte-Vera for encourage our investigation. We also thank John McLaughlin (Parasite ecology group at University of California, Santa Barbara/UCSB) for help with the critical reading of the manuscript. We are so grateful to Nucleus of Research in Limnology, Ichthyology and Aquaculture/NUPELIA of UEM for the facilities offered for the development of this work. Fábio H. Yamada and Ricardo M. Takemoto were supported by a research fellowship from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico/CNPq (142697/2008-7 and 312847/2014-9, respectively).


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Received: 2016-8-11
Revised: 2016-12-13
Accepted: 2017-1-18
Published Online: 2017-4-18
Published in Print: 2017-6-1

© 2017 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS

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