Dynamics of parasite community during early ontogenesis of marine threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus
Rybkina E.V., Demchuk A.S., Lajus D.L., Ivanova T.S., Ivanov M.V., Galaktionov K.V.
Rybkina E.V., Demchuk A.S., Lajus D.L., Ivanova T.S., Ivanov M.V., Galaktionov K.V. 2016. Dynamics of parasite community during early ontogenesis of marine threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus // Evolutionary Ecology Research. v. 17. p. 335–354.
The dynamics of the composition and number of parasites in juvenile sticklebacks (age from 1 week to two months) due to the transmission from adults of stickleback and feeding were studied. The study was conducted between July and September 2012 and 2015 at the two stations in the Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea: in Seldianaya Bay (dense beds of sea grass) and the semi-isolated Koliushkovaya lagoon. A quantitative accounting of stickleback with a beach seine (every 10 days) was made, as well as a quantitative analysis of the composition of parasites and stickleback feeding. As sticklebacks grew, their parasite load increased. We identified three size groups of stickleback that differ significantly in their parasite species composition and infection indices: hatchlings 7.0–8.5 mm long were infected with three parasite species (prevalence 43%); juveniles 9–11 mm harboured four or five species (100%); and juveniles 12–30 mm were infected by 12 species (100%). As stickleback grew, copepods played an increasing role in their diet, and infection with trematodes and cestodes rose accordingly.
Keywords: feeding, Gasterosteus aculeatus, juveniles, parasites, threespine stickleback,