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Environmental variables and definitive host distribution: a habitat suitability modelling for endohelminth parasites in the marine realm
Kuhn, T.; Cunze, S.; Kochmann, J.; Klimpel, S. (2016). Environmental variables and definitive host distribution: a habitat suitability modelling for endohelminth parasites in the marine realm. NPG Scientific Reports 6(30246): 14 pp. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep30246
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Kuhn, T.
  • Cunze, S.
  • Kochmann, J.
  • Klimpel, S.

Abstract
    Marine nematodes of the genus Anisakis are common parasites of a wide range of aquatic organisms. Public interest is primarily based on their importance as zoonotic agents of the human Anisakiasis, a severe infection of the gastro-intestinal tract as result of consuming live larvae in insufficiently cooked fish dishes. The diverse nature of external impacts unequally influencing larval and adult stages of marine endohelminth parasites requires the consideration of both abiotic and biotic factors. Whereas abiotic factors are generally more relevant for early life stages and might also be linked to intermediate hosts, definitive hosts are indispensable for a parasite's reproduction. In order to better understand the uneven occurrence of parasites in fish species, we here use the maximum entropy approach (Maxent) to model the habitat suitability for nine Anisakis species accounting for abiotic parameters as well as biotic data (definitive hosts). The modelled habitat suitability reflects the observed distribution quite well for all Anisakis species, however, in some cases, habitat suitability exceeded the known geographical distribution, suggesting a wider distribution than presently recorded. We suggest that integrative modelling combining abiotic and biotic parameters is a valid approach for habitat suitability assessments of Anisakis, and potentially other marine parasite species.

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