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Host diet and parasitic helminth infections within native, established and introduced fish of Algonquin Park

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thesis
posted on 23.05.2021, 10:12 by Ferris Zahlan
Freshwater fish biodiversity loss has been attributed to many reasons, including invasive species infectious diseases. I examined 112 invasive Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), 59 established Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and 60 native Pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) from 8 different lakes in Algonquin Park, ON, Canada to evaluate their endohelminth parasites. My results indicate that established and native fish are not only more likely to be infected with trophically-transmitted parasites such as cestodes (tapeworms) and acanthocephalans (thorny-headed worms) than invasive Rock Bass, but they also have a higher infection intensity and greater diversity of endohelminths. There was also a significant difference between the three fish species with respect to non-trophically transmitted larval trematodes (flatworms), which reflect the habitat of fish. Along with host size, I examined fish diet and habitat use to demonstrate how the ecology of different species influences their probability of infection, parasite communities, and possible ease of establishment in novel environments.

History

Language

eng

Degree

Master of Applied Science

Program

Environmental Applied Science and Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

Thesis