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Trematode infection modulates cockles biochemical response to climate change

Magalhães, Luísa, de Montaudouin, Xavier, Figueira, Etelvina, Freitas, Rosa
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.637-638 pp. 30-40
Cerastoderma edule, Himasthla elongata, acidification, biocenosis, carbon dioxide, cercariae, drought, environmental factors, freshwater, geographical distribution, global warming, host-parasite relationships, hydrologic cycle, marine ecosystems, models, oceans, pH, parasites, risk, salinity, seawater, temperate zones, trematode infections, water temperature, Europe
Resulting mainly from atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) build-up, seawater temperature rise is among the most important climate change related factors affecting costal marine ecosystems. Global warming will have implications on the water cycle, increasing the risk of heavy rainfalls and consequent freshwater input into the oceans but also increasing the frequency of extreme drought periods with consequent salinity increase. For Europe, by the end of the century, projections describe an increase of CO2 concentration up to 1120 ppm (corresponding to 0.5 pH unit decrease), an increase in the water temperature up to 4 °C and a higher frequency of heavy precipitation. These changes are likely to impact many biotic interactions, including host–parasite relationships which are particularly dependent on abiotic conditions. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule, exposed to different salinity, temperature and pH levels as proxy for climate change, modify the infection success of the trematode parasite Himasthla elongata, with consequences to cockles biochemical performance. The results showed that the cercariae infection success increased with acidification but higher biochemical alterations were observed in infected cockles exposed to all abiotic experimental stressful conditions tested. The present study suggested that changes forecasted by many models may promote the proliferation of the parasites infective stages in many ecosystems leading to enhanced transmission, especially on temperate regions, that will influence the geographical distribution of some diseases and, probably, the survival capacity of infected bivalves.