The use of parasites as biological tags allowed the identification of two stocks of Brazilian sandperch Pinguipes brasilianus, in the Bonaerense region of the Argentine Sea. A total of 156 adult specimens of P. brasilianus were examined for parasites. Temporal variability in parasite burdens was assessed from fish caught seasonally in coastal waters of two zones, south Bonaerense (during autumn and winter) and north Bonaerense (during summer). Additional data from a previous study, comprising P. brasilianus caught during spring in these two zones, as well as in two populations from north Patagonian gulfs were used for comparative analyses of spatial variability. A total of 14 193 metazoan parasites belonging to 19 species were found. Comparisons of seasonal variability in pooled samples and within each locality showed that locality effects exceeded seasonal ones, suggesting the possible existence of two discrete stocks in the Bonaerense region. These findings were strongly supported by discriminant analyses and comparisons of prevalence and abundance between zones, after pooling seasonal samples within each zone. Further evidence of the discreteness of both stocks was assessed by inclusion of samples from Patagonian gulfs in the discriminant analysis, confirming that their differences were at a inter-population level. The parasite species that contributed most to the separation of the samples were generally those identified as biological markers in previous studies. Differing oceanographic conditions are discussed as potential causes of inter-population variation of parasite burdens.
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Document Type: Regular Paper
Laboratorio de Parasitología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Funes 3350 (7600) Mar del Plata, Argentina
Publication date: 2009-04-01