Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Parasites as prey: the effect of cercarial density and alternative prey on consumption of cercariae by four non-host species.

Authors
  • Welsh, Jennifer E1
  • Liddell, Caroline1
  • VAN DER Meer, Jaap1
  • Thieltges, David W1
  • 1 NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research,Department of Coastal Systems,PO Box 59, 1790 AB den Burg,Texel,the NetherlandsandUtrecht University,Postbus 80125, 3508 TC,Utrecht,the Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Parasitology
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2017
Volume
144
Issue
13
Pages
1775–1782
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1017/S0031182017001056
PMID: 28721835
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

In parasites with complex life cycles the transmission of free-living infective stages can be influenced by ambient community diversity, in particular via predation. Here, we experimentally investigated whether parasite density and the presence of alternative prey can alter predation rates on free-living cercarial stages of a marine trematode by several non-host predators. All four predator species consumed increasing numbers of cercariae with an increase in cercarial density, indicating that the removal of cercariae by predators is effective over a range of natural densities as well as in the presence of alternative prey for a number of predators typical of marine ecosystems. However, the relative removal rates and the effects of cercarial density and alternative prey differed among predator species. In barnacles and shrimps, significant interactive effects of cercarial density and alternative prey on cercarial predation occurred while in oysters and crabs cercarial removal rates were unaffected by both factors. As changes in cercarial densities directly translate into changes in infection levels in down-stream hosts in this parasite-host system, the observed predator-specific responses suggest that cercarial predation effects on disease risks will depend on the specific species composition of ambient communities and not on non-host biodiversity per se.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times