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Inventory of organisms interfering with transmission of a marine trematode
Welsh, J.E.; van der Meer, J.; Brussaard, C.P.D.; Thieltges, D.W. (2014). Inventory of organisms interfering with transmission of a marine trematode. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 94(4): 697–702. dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315414000034
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Himasthla elongata (Mehlis, 1831) [WoRMS]; Trematoda [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    dilution effect; parasite ecology; trematode; Himasthla elongata; marine parasitology

Authors  Top 
  • Welsh, J.E., more
  • van der Meer, J., more
  • Brussaard, C.P.D., more
  • Thieltges, D.W., more

Abstract
    It has increasingly been recognized that organisms can interfere with parasitic free-living stages, preventing them from infecting their specified host and thus reducing infection levels. This common phenomenon in freshwater and terrestrial systems has been termed the ‘dilution effect’ and, so far, is poorly studied in marine systems. Ten common intertidal organisms found in the Dutch Wadden Sea (North Sea) were tested to establish their effects on the free-living cercarial stages of the trematode parasite Himasthla elongata. Most species tested resulted in a significant reduction in cercariae over a 3 hr time period. The amphipod Gammarus marinus removed 100% of the cercariae, while other effective diluters were Crangon crangon (93%), Sargassum muticum (87%), Semibalanus balanoides (71%), Crassostrea gigas (67%), Hemigrapsus takanoi (>54%), Crassostrea gigas shells (44%) and Idotea balthica (24%). In contrast, mixed shells (Cerastoderma edule, Mytilus edulis, Ensis americanus and Littorina littorea) and Fucus versiculosus had no significant effect. These results suggest that dilution effects are widespread in the trematode of H. elongata, with potentially strong effects on its population dynamics.

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