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Interactions between the acanthocephalans Pomphorhynchus laevis and Acanthocephalus anguillae in rainbow trout: testing an exclusion hypothesis

  • R. M. Bates (a1) and C. R. Kennedy (a1)

Summary

Rainbow trout were infected simultaneously with cystacanths of the two acanthocephalan species Pomphorhynchus laevis and Acanthocephalus anguillae in the laboratory. Infections consisted of varying proportions of the two species (from 0 to 100%) at low (20 cystacanths) and high (60 cystacanths) levels. Fish were sacrificed at 7, 56 and 112 days post-infection (p.i.) and the parasites recovered. At low-level infections there was a high degree of overlap in the range of intestine occupied by the two species (44·12 %) and no evidence for interspecific competition affecting either species. At high-level infections the establishment of both species was unaffected by the presence or number of individuals of the other species. The survivorship and the range of intestine occupied by A. anguillae were found to be reduced in the presence of P. laevis. The interaction was one-sided, as P. laevis remained unaffected by A. anguillae, and so indicated interference competition. The possibility that both intraspecific and interspecific competition are implicated in explaining the distribution of the two species in the British Isles is discussed.

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Interactions between the acanthocephalans Pomphorhynchus laevis and Acanthocephalus anguillae in rainbow trout: testing an exclusion hypothesis

  • R. M. Bates (a1) and C. R. Kennedy (a1)

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