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The Bass Parasites of Oneida Lake, 80 Years Later
- Bauer, Eric F., Whipps, Christopher M.
- The Journal of parasitology 2015 v.101 no.5 pp. 505-513
- Copepoda, Crepidostomum, Micropterus dolomieu, Micropterus salmoides, Monogenea, Myxozoa, Trichodina, bass, biocenosis, ecosystems, freshwater, helminths, hosts, lakes, new species, summer, surveys, New York
- A survey of largemouth (Micropterus salmoides) and smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) parasite communities in Oneida Lake, New York, was conducted in the summer of 2012 and compared to an earlier survey conducted by Van Cleave and Mueller during the summers of 1929 to 1931. The component helminth communities between surveys were 31% similar in composition for largemouth and 28% similar for smallmouth bass. Between species, the component helminth communities were considerably more similar in the present survey (71%) than in the survey conducted by Van Cleave and Mueller (47%). Seven species reported by Van Cleave and Mueller were present in this survey and 21 species are new records for the bass of Oneida Lake. Van Cleave and Mueller did not report prevalence values for several taxa (Monogenea, Copepoda, Myxozoa, and a Trichodina sp.) that were important for separation of parasite infracommunities in species space for both bass species. These parasites represented 28% of all species found in the current survey and may be ecologically important. Several species of parasites exhibited differences in prevalence between surveys. Two species (Rhipidocotyle papillosa and Crepidostomum cornutum) were absent from this survey but were reported as common in the 1929–1931 survey and almost certainly represent extirpations that coincide with the loss of their native bivalve hosts from Oneida Lake. Other differences in the parasite communities may also be explained by the ecological disturbances in Oneida Lake over the past 81 yr. The changes in bass parasite communities between surveys emphasize the importance of recognizing the historical nature of parasite communities, especially in ecosystems with a history of large-scale changes. Most importantly our findings suggest that, similar to trends observed in free-living freshwater biotic communities, anthropogenic ecosystem disturbances may homogenize fish parasite communities.