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Biogeographical patterns in endoparasite communities of a marine fish (Sebastes capensis Gmelin) with extended range in the Southern Hemisphere

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Abstract:

Abstract Aim 

The endoparasites of Sebastes capensis Gmelin are examined over most of its geographical range (coasts of Peru, Chile, Argentina and South Africa) to determine: (1) whether the endoparasite communities of this fish show zoogeographical patterns; and (2) if so, whether there are any relationships between spatial variations in the endoparasite fauna and known zoogeographical patterns for marine free-living organisms (e.g. prey that are included in the life cycles of endoparasites). Location 

Fish were captured at nine localities along the Pacific coast of South America, from 11° S in the centre of the Peruvian coast, to 52° S in southern Chile, and also at two localities in the Atlantic Ocean, at 43° S in Argentina, and 34° S in South Africa. Methods 

From April to September 2003 and April to August 2004, 626 fish were captured. Endoparasites and diet were examined following traditional methods. Cluster analyses were used to evaluate the distribution patterns of the endoparasite communities, and to evaluate similarities in the prey composition per locality. Results 

The endoparasite fauna of S. capensis consisted of four species widely distributed along the Pacific coast: Ascarophis cf. sebastodis, Anisakis sp., Corynosoma australe, and Pseudopecoelus sp. Other parasites were distributed only in some geographical areas. The species richness of the parasite communities increased with latitude along the Pacific coast, while parasite communities from Argentina and South Africa showed low species richness. Cluster analyses based on endoparasite composition and on prey composition grouped localities in a way consistent with known biogeographical areas for marine free-living organisms. Main conclusions 

The endoparasites of S. capensis exhibit a pattern associated with known biogeographical areas for free-living organisms. The latitudinal increase in endoparasite community richness is associated with changes in prey composition (intermediate hosts) and also possibly with the presence of definitive hosts. Therefore, the biogeographical patterns of prey are considered key determinants of the endoparasite community structure of the host.

Keywords: Argentina; Chile; Peru; Sebastes capensis; South Africa; Southern Hemisphere; biogeography; distributional patterns; endoparasite communities; similarity

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01488.x

Affiliations: Instituto de Ecología y Evolución, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567-Valdivia, Chile

Publication date: June 1, 2006

bsc/jbiog/2006/00000033/00000006/art00012
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