Does parasitic infection by the body cavity dwelling philometra ovata (Nematoda) impair swimming performance of male european minnow (phoxinus phoxinus)?

Y.T. Lai, Jukka Kekalainen, R. Kortet

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    © 2015 Taylor & Francis. The influence of trophically transmitted parasite infection on fitness-related locomotor performance in fish as definite hosts has been studied relatively rarely and is thus mostly unknown. In this study, we examined the effect of body cavity dwelling nematode Philometra ovata on the swimming performance, fitness-related traits (male body quality) and male sexual ornamentation of their definitive host, European minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus). Despite the fact that P. ovata is relatively large in body size and thus presumably costly for their host minnows, we found that the abundance of the parasite did not correlate with the swimming performance of the male minnows. Neither did the infection of P. ovata impair the male sexual ornamentation or the male body quality. These partly unexpected results highlight the fact that the P. ovata induced impairment on fitness-related traits of host male minnows is not straightforward, and thus additional physiological studies in infected minnows are needed before final conclusions about the actual harmfulness of the parasite can be made.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-61
    Number of pages15
    JournalMarine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology
    Volume49
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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