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      Aggregation and negative interactions in low-diversity and unsaturated monogenean (Platyhelminthes) communities in Astyanax aeneus (Teleostei) populations in a neotropical river of Mexico

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          We studied monogenean communities of 11 populations of Astyanax aeneus (Günther) separated by small geographical distances along 60 km of the Lacantún river in Chiapas, Mexico, in February and August 2012. We found 12 monogenean taxa. Amongst these, five species specialist for Astyanax were widely distributed regionally, constituting 90% of the total collected monogeneans, with one of these species dominating most component communities. The high similarities in terms of composition between the component communities (S Jaccard > 60%) as well as in terms of the abundance and composition between infracommunities (S Bray Curtis > 40%), provide empirical evidence that transmission, both between hosts at the same location and between component communities, is high and effective. No resemblance pattern was detected between locations in terms of their spatial distribution. The composition of these communities was spatially and temporally consistent over the two very different weather periods sampled. These communities were not saturated. Our analysis suggests that the potential richness of the infracommunities is proportional to the number of monogenean species available in the component community. We found aggregation in the populations and between monogenean species. Intraspecific aggregation is density dependent, suggesting that intraspecific competition for space is not a limiting factor for the development of the population. We evaluated the associations for each species pair and detected 77% negative interactions (134/177 associations), suggesting that interspecific competition plays an important role in shaping these communities. The negative correlations of abundance between pairs of species contributes to confirmation of competition. Intraspecific aggregation increased relative to interspecific aggregation with richness in the component community, facilitating coexistence of the species. Our results suggest that these are interactive communities, where monogeneans disperse efficiently from a common source, colonize patches (hosts) together, and compete with other species even at low population densities. Finally, the coexistence of these species is favored by the unpredictable recruitment and aggregated use of fragmented resources.

          Graphical abstract


          • We explore richness and coexistence of monogeneans of a small fish in a large river.

          • Empirical evidence that transmission between hosts/locations is efficient is provided.

          • We provide empirical evidence of unsaturated/low density but interactive communities.

          • Monogeneans show intra and interspecific aggregation both density-dependent.

          • They establish regionally consistent negative interactions repeated between locations.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Competition and Regional Coexistence

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            Aggregation and Coexistence in a Carrion Fly Community

             Anthony Ives (1991)
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              Las curvas de acumulación de especies y la necesidad de evaluar la calidad de los inventarios biológicos


                Author and article information

                Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl
                Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl
                International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
                27 February 2019
                April 2019
                27 February 2019
                : 8
                : 203-215
                [a ]Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Biología, Laboratorio de Helmintología, Apartado Postal 70-153, CP 04510, Ciudad de México, Mexico
                [b ]Universidad Autónoma de Campeche, Instituto de Ecología, Pesquerías y Oceanografía del Golfo de México (EPOMEX), San Francisco de Campeche, Campeche, Mexico
                [c ]Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Laboratorio de Parasitología de Animales Silvestres, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
                [d ]Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. gsalgado@ 123456ib.unam.mx
                © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Australian Society for Parasitology.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).



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