DAO 75:221-228 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/dao075221

Spatial variability in digenean metacercariae infection of 0-group common sole Solea solea among nurseries along the French Atlantic coast

Eric Dominique Henri Durieux1,*, Marie-Laure Bégout1, Pierre Sasal2

1Centre de Recherche sur les Ecosystèmes Littoraux Anthropisés, CRELA UMR 6217 CNRS-IFREMER-Université de La Rochelle, Place du Séminaire, BP5, 17137 L’Houmeau, France
2Laboratoire de Biologie et d’Ecologie Tropicale et Méditerranéenne, UMR 5244 CNRS-EPHE-UPVD, Université de Perpignan Via Domitia, 52 Avenue Paul Alduy, 66860 Perpignan, France

ABSTRACT: We sampled 0-group sole juveniles (N = 174) in September and October 2003 in 9 major nurseries located along the French Atlantic coast (English Channel and Bay of Biscay). 0-group sole were infected with 3 genera of digenean metacercariae, Timoniella spp. (Acanthostomidae), Prosorhynchus crucibulum and Prosorhynchus sp. A (Bucephalidae), Podocotyle sp. (Opecoelidae), and an unidentified species of Digenea. Parasite infection levels in the English Channel nurseries were lower, and the community composition was different from Bay of Biscay nurseries. We hypothesize that the difference between geographic areas was due to differences in first intermediate host communities and, to a lesser extent, because of lower temperatures in the English Channel compared to the Bay of Biscay. For the Bay of Biscay nurseries, mean total parasite abundance was strongly negatively correlated with mean annual river flow. This relationship may be the result of the more upstream location of 0-group sole nurseries in estuaries so that fish were further from local points of parasite transmission than those in embayed nurseries. Digenean metacercariae load may be influenced by 3 major local factors, i.e. abundance and proximity of the first intermediate hosts and cercariae dispersal capacities.

KEY WORDS: Flatfish · Juveniles · Parasitism · Trematodes · Habitat quality · River flow

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