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Title: Causes of intraspecific variation in body size among trematode metacercariae
Contributor(s): Saldanha, Ian (author); Leung, Tommy  (author); Poulin, Robert (author)
Publication Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1017/S0022149X09224175
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Abstract: Inequalities in body size among adult helminths can result in inequalities in reproductive output, with consequences for population dynamics and genetics. These inequalities can result from growth differences among larval worms inside intermediate hosts that persist into the adult stage. Here, we investigate the effects of both host body size and intensity of infection on the sizes of metacercariae of the trematode 'Maritrema novaezealandensis' (Microphallidae) inside their second intermediate host, the isopod 'Paridotea ungulata' (Idoteidae). Among the more than 1500 metacercariae recovered and individually measured, there was no relationship between the mean diameter of metacercarial cysts per isopod and isopod body length. However, intensity of infection correlated negatively with the mean diameter of cysts within an isopod, i.e. metacercariae in crowded infections attained smaller sizes on average. In contrast, the variability in cyst sizes per isopod, measured as the coefficient of variation, was independent of both isopod body length and infection intensity. Our results show that a disproportionate number of relatively small metacercariae come from the relatively few hosts in which a large fraction of all metacercariae are aggregated. The combination of aggregation and intensity-dependent growth generates inequalities in sizes among metacercariae that will be passed on to adult worm populations in definitive hosts.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Helminthology, 83(3), p. 289-293
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1475-2697
Field of Research (FOR): 060808 Invertebrate Biology
060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
060307 Host-Parasite Interactions
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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