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Metazoan parasites of freshwater cyprinid fish (Leuciscus cephalus): testing biogeographical hypotheses of species diversity

  • M. SEIFERTOVÁ (a1), M. VYSKOČILOVÁ (a1), S. MORAND (a2) and A. ŠIMKOVÁ (a1)


The diversity and similarity of parasite communities is a result of many determinants widely considered in parasite ecology. In this study, the metazoan parasite communities of 15 chub populations (Leuciscus cephalus) were sampled across a wide geographical range. Three hypotheses of biogeographical gradients in species diversity were tested: (1) latitudinal gradient, (2) a ‘favourable centre’ versus ‘local oasis’ model, and (3) decay of similarity with distance. We found that the localities in marginal zones of chub distribution showed lower parasite species richness and diversity. A latitudinal gradient, with increasing abundance of larvae of Diplostomum species, was observed. There was a general trend for a negative relationship between relative prevalence or abundance and the distance from the locality with maximum prevalence or abundance for the majority of parasite species. However, statistical support for a ‘favourable centre’ model was found only for total abundance of Monogenea and for larvae of Diplostomum species. The phylogenetic relatedness of host populations inferred an important role when the ‘favourable centre’ model was tested. Testing of the hypothesis of ‘decay of similarity with geographical distance’ showed that phylogenetic distance was more important as a determinant of similarity in parasite communities than geographical distance between host populations.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137 Brno, Czech Republic. Tel: +420 549497363. Fax: +420 541211214. E-mail:


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Metazoan parasites of freshwater cyprinid fish (Leuciscus cephalus): testing biogeographical hypotheses of species diversity

  • M. SEIFERTOVÁ (a1), M. VYSKOČILOVÁ (a1), S. MORAND (a2) and A. ŠIMKOVÁ (a1)


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