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Infracommunity level aggregation in the monogenean communities of crucian carp (Carassius carassius)

  • A. M. BAGGE (a1), P. SASAL (a2), E. T. VALTONEN (a1) and A. KARVONEN (a1)


Aggregation is one of the distinctive features in parasite-host relationships, which has generally been studied at the level of host communities. Parasite aggregation at the infracommunity level may nevertheless be important for intraspecific interactions such as parasite mating success and opportunities for cross-fertilization. In the present paper, we studied the infracommunity aggregation of 3 highly abundant Dactylogyrus (Monogenea) species occurring on the gills of crucian carp (Carassius carassius). In line with the previous work on monogenean communities, we observed no competition between the species. At the species level, parasites were distributed unevenly on the gills showing aggregation in the majority of infracommunities. However, aggregation decreased with increasing parasite abundance, which supports the hypothesis that less aggregation may be needed to ensure successful mating when the distance to a potential mate decreases with increasing number of conspecifics. Lack of interspecific interactions, species specific site selection and the importance of study scale for aggregation patterns in dactylogyrids are discussed.


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Department of Biological and Environmental Science, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Tel: +358 14 2602332. Fax: +358 14 2602321. E-mail:


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Infracommunity level aggregation in the monogenean communities of crucian carp (Carassius carassius)

  • A. M. BAGGE (a1), P. SASAL (a2), E. T. VALTONEN (a1) and A. KARVONEN (a1)


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