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      Parasitism inPterois volitans(Scorpaenidae) from Coastal Waters of Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas

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          Introduced species and their missing parasites.

          Damage caused by introduced species results from the high population densities and large body sizes that they attain in their new location. Escape from the effects of natural enemies is a frequent explanation given for the success of introduced species. Because some parasites can reduce host density and decrease body size, an invader that leaves parasites behind and encounters few new parasites can experience a demographic release and become a pest. To test whether introduced species are less parasitized, we have compared the parasites of exotic species in their native and introduced ranges, using 26 host species of molluscs, crustaceans, fishes, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Here we report that the number of parasite species found in native populations is twice that found in exotic populations. In addition, introduced populations are less heavily parasitized (in terms of percentage infected) than are native populations. Reduced parasitization of introduced species has several causes, including reduced probability of the introduction of parasites with exotic species (or early extinction after host establishment), absence of other required hosts in the new location, and the host-specific limitations of native parasites adapting to new hosts.
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            Invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans reduce recruitment of Atlantic coral-reef fishes

             MA Albins,  MA Hixon (2008)
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              Invasive Lionfish Drive Atlantic Coral Reef Fish Declines

              Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) have spread swiftly across the Western Atlantic, producing a marine predator invasion of unparalleled speed and magnitude. There is growing concern that lionfish will affect the structure and function of invaded marine ecosystems, however detrimental impacts on natural communities have yet to be measured. Here we document the response of native fish communities to predation by lionfish populations on nine coral reefs off New Providence Island, Bahamas. We assessed lionfish diet through stomach contents analysis, and quantified changes in fish biomass through visual surveys of lionfish and native fishes at the sites over time. Lionfish abundance increased rapidly between 2004 and 2010, by which time lionfish comprised nearly 40% of the total predator biomass in the system. The increase in lionfish abundance coincided with a 65% decline in the biomass of the lionfish's 42 Atlantic prey fishes in just two years. Without prompt action to control increasing lionfish populations, similar effects across the region may have long-term negative implications for the structure of Atlantic marine communities, as well as the societies and economies that depend on them.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Parasitology
                Journal of Parasitology
                American Society of Parasitologists
                0022-3395
                1937-2345
                February 2015
                February 2015
                : 101
                : 1
                : 50-56
                Article
                10.1645/13-422.1
                © 2015
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