IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research


Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Enemies with benefits: parasitic endoliths protect mussels against heat stress
Zardi, G.I.; Nicastro, K.R.; McQuaid, C.D.; Ng, T.P.T.; Seuront, J.L.; Seuront, L. (2016). Enemies with benefits: parasitic endoliths protect mussels against heat stress. NPG Scientific Reports 6(31413): 8 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Authors  Top 
  • Zardi, G.I.
  • Nicastro, K.R.
  • McQuaid, C.D.
  • Ng, T.P.T.
  • Seuront, J.L.
  • Seuront, L.

    Positive and negative aspects of species interactions can be context dependant and strongly affected by environmental conditions. We tested the hypothesis that, during periods of intense heat stress, parasitic phototrophic endoliths that fatally degrade mollusc shells can benefit their mussel hosts. Endolithic infestation significantly reduced body temperatures of sun-exposed mussels and, during unusually extreme heat stress, parasitised individuals suffered lower mortality rates than non-parasitised hosts. This beneficial effect was related to the white discolouration caused by the excavation activity of endoliths. Under climate warming, species relationships may be drastically realigned and conditional benefits of phototrophic endolithic parasites may become more important than the costs of infestation.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors