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Determinants of parasite distribution in Arctic charr populations: catchment structure versus dispersal potential

  • R.A. Paterson (a1), R. Knudsen (a2), I. Blasco-Costa (a3), A.M. Dunn (a4), S. Hytterød (a5) and H. Hansen (a5)...

Abstract

Parasite distribution patterns in lotic catchments are driven by the combined influences of unidirectional water flow and the mobility of the most mobile host. However, the importance of such drivers in catchments dominated by lentic habitats are poorly understood. We examined parasite populations of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus from a series of linear-connected lakes in northern Norway to assess the generality of lotic-derived catchment-scale parasite assemblage patterns. Our results demonstrated that the abundance of most parasite taxa increased from the upper to lower catchment. Allogenic taxa (piscivorous birds as final host) were present throughout the entire catchment, whereas their autogenic counterparts (charr as final hosts) demonstrated restricted distributions, thus supporting the theory that the mobility of the most mobile host determines taxa-specific parasite distribution patterns. Overall, catchment-wide parasite abundance and distribution patterns in this lentic-dominated system were in accordance with those reported for lotic systems. Additionally, our study highlighted that upper catchment regions may be inadequate reservoirs to facilitate recolonization of parasite communities in the event of downstream environmental perturbations.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: R.A. Paterson, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AX, UK E-mail: patersonr3@cardiff.ac.uk

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Determinants of parasite distribution in Arctic charr populations: catchment structure versus dispersal potential

  • R.A. Paterson (a1), R. Knudsen (a2), I. Blasco-Costa (a3), A.M. Dunn (a4), S. Hytterød (a5) and H. Hansen (a5)...

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