Parasite communities in the red mullet, Mullus barbatus L., respond to small-scale variation in the levels of polychlorinated biphenyls in the Western Mediterranean

Marta Carreras-Aubets, Francisco Esteban Montero, Aneta Kostadinova, Maite Carrassón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined parasite populations and communities in the Mediterranean sentinel fish species, Mullus barbatus, sampled at a small-scale PCB gradient at the shelf sediments off Catalonian coasts of the Western Mediterranean. A recurrent feature at both the population and community level was the differentiation of the samples along the increasing PCB levels simultaneously registered in the sediments. Both directly transmitted ectoparasites and endoparasites with complex life-cycles transmitted via food chains exhibited a decrease in abundance with the increase in PCB levels. Parasite numerical responses translated into significant differences in infracommunity structure with decreasing predictability associated with increasing PCB levels. The abundance of two species, the specialist Opecoeloides furcatus and the generalist nematode Hysterothylacium fabri, contributed substantially to the observed dissimilarity between infracommunity samples along the gradient. The observed parasite responses to moderate levels of pollution were simultaneously validated by both chemical monitoring and effect biomarkers. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1860
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume64
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Abundance
  • Mullus barbatus
  • Parasite communities
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Similarity
  • Western Mediterranean

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