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Title: Recruitment rate of gymnophallid metacercariae in the New Zealand cockle 'Austrovenus stutchburyi': an experimental test of the hitch-hiking hypothesis
Contributor(s): Leung, Tommy  (author); Poulin, Robert (author)
Publication Date: 2007
DOI: 10.1007/s00436-007-0479-x
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Abstract: The rate at which host organisms accumulate parasites is affected by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The New Zealand cockle 'Austrovenus stutchburyi' is frequently parasitised by trematodes comprising of two species of echinostomes and a species of gymnophallid that use it as a second intermediate host for trophic transmission to avian definitive hosts. The echinostomes are capable of manipulating the burrowing behaviour of the cockle to enhance their transmission success, whereas the gymnophallid is not capable of host manipulation. Previous studies have found patterns of positive associations between the echinostomes and the gymnophallid. Thus, it is possible that the latter is a "hitch-hiking" parasite that preferentially infects cockles already heavily infected by echinostome metacercariae to enhance its own transmission rate. A field experiment involving cockles forced to remain either above or below the sediment surface to simulate manipulated and non-manipulated cockles was conducted to test the hitch-hiking hypothesis. The gymnophallid was not found to display any preference for either surfaced or buried cockles; therefore, it cannot be considered as a hitch-hiking parasite. Possible alternative reasons for the pattern of positive association between the gymnophallid and the echinostomes are proposed.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Parasitology Research, 101(2), p. 281-287
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: Germany
ISSN: 0932-0113
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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