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      Trematode cercariae as prey for zooplankton: effect on fitness traits of predators.

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          Abstract

          Removal of parasite free-living stages by predators has previously been suggested an important factor controlling parasite transmission in aquatic habitats. Experimental studies of zooplankton predation on macroparasite larvae are, however, scarce. We tested whether trematode cercariae, which are often numerous in shallow waters, are suitable prey for syntopic zooplankters. Feeding rates and survival of freshwater cyclopoids (Megacyclops viridis, Macrocyclops distinctus), calanoids (Arctodiaptomus paulseni), cladocerans (Sida crystallina) and rotifers Asplanchna spp., fed with cercariae of Diplostomum pseudospathaceum, a common fish trematode, were studied. In additional long-term experiments, we studied reproduction of cyclopoids fed with cercariae. All tested zooplankton species consumed cercariae. The highest feeding rates were observed for cyclopoids (33 ± 12 cercariae ind-1 h-1), which actively reproduced (up to one egg clutch day-1) when fed ad libitum with cercariae. Their reproductive characteristics did not change significantly with time, indicating that cercariae supported cyclopoids' dietary needs. Mortality of rotifers and cladocerans was high (25-28% individuals) when exposed to cercariae in contrast to cyclopoids and calanoids (<2%). Cercariae clogged the filtration apparatus of cladocerans and caused internal injuries in predatory rotifers, which ingested cercariae. Observed trophic links between common freshwater zooplankters and cercariae may significantly influence food webs and parasite transmission in lentic ecosystems.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Parasitology
          Parasitology
          Cambridge University Press (CUP)
          1469-8161
          0031-1820
          January 2019
          : 146
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ] A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences,Leninskij prosp., 33, 119071 Moscow,Russia.
          [2 ] Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences,Nahimovskiy prosp., 36, 117997 Moscow,Russia.
          [3 ] Department of Biological and Environmental Science,University of Jyväskylä,P.O. Box 35, FIN-40014,Finland.
          Article
          S0031182018000963
          10.1017/S0031182018000963
          29898802
          ae8519ae-5f77-47f2-ae93-84d801c20afb

          copepods,Diplostomum,Cladocerans,rotifers,reproduction,parasite transmission,mortality,freshwater ecosystem,food web,eye fluke

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