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Acta Parasitologica

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Volume 62, Issue 2 (Jun 2017)


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

Priscilla de Oliveira Fadel Yamada
  • Corresponding author
  • São Paulo State University (Unesp), Institute of Biosciences, Botucatu, São Paulo state, Brazil
  • Email:
/ Fabio Hideki Yamada
  • São Paulo State University (Unesp), Institute of Biosciences, Botucatu, São Paulo state, Brazil
/ Reinaldo José da Silva
  • São Paulo State University (Unesp), Institute of Biosciences, Botucatu, São Paulo state, Brazil
/ Luciano Alves dos Anjos
  • São Paulo State University (Unesp), School of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Ilha Solteira, São Paulo state, Brazil
Published Online: 2017-04-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2017-0039


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.

Keywords: Auchenipterus osteomystax; Trachelyopterus galeatus; parasite similarity; hydrological regime; general linear models; biodiversity conservation


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About the article

Received: 2016-08-11

Revised: 2017-01-06

Accepted: 2017-01-10

Published Online: 2017-04-18

Published in Print: 2017-06-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2017-0039. Export Citation

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