Trematode cercariae as prey for zooplankton : effect on fitness traits of predators
Mironova, Ekaterina; Gopko, Mikhail; Pasternak, Anna; Mikheev, Viktor; Taskinen, Jouni (2019). Trematode cercariae as prey for zooplankton : effect on fitness traits of predators. Parasitology, 146 (1), 105-111. DOI: 10.1017/S0031182018000963
© Cambridge University Press 2018
Removal of parasite free-living stages by predators has previously been suggested an important factor controlling parasite transmission in aquatic habitats. Experimental studies of zooplankton predation on macroparasite larvae are, however, scarce. We tested whether trematode cercariae, which are often numerous in shallow waters, are suitable prey for syntopic zooplankters. Feeding rates and survival of freshwater cyclopoids (Megacyclops viridis, Macrocyclops distinctus), calanoids (Arctodiaptomus paulseni), cladocerans (Sida crystallina) and rotifers Asplanchna spp., fed with cercariae of Diplostomum pseudospathaceum, a common fish trematode, were studied. In additional long-term experiments, we studied reproduction of cyclopoids fed with cercariae. All tested zooplankton species consumed cercariae. The highest feeding rates were observed for cyclopoids (33 ± 12 cercariae ind -1 h -1 ), which actively reproduced (up to one egg clutch day -1 ) when fed ad libitum with cercariae. Their reproductive characteristics did not change significantly with time, indicating that cercariae supported cyclopoids' dietary needs. Mortality of rotifers and cladocerans was high (25-28% individuals) when exposed to cercariae in contrast to cyclopoids and calanoids (<2%). Cercariae clogged the filtration apparatus of cladocerans and caused internal injuries in predatory rotifers, which ingested cercariae. Observed trophic links between common freshwater zooplankters and cercariae may significantly influence food webs and parasite transmission in lentic ecosystems. © 2018 Cambridge University Press. ...
PublisherCambridge University Press
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Researcher mobility Funding, AoF
Additional information about fundingThe research was supported by the Academy of Finland (J. T., mobility grants 298911, 311033); the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation (E. M. and M. G. mobility grants 2016 and 2017, respectively), the Russian Scientific Foundation (V. M., M. G., grant no. 14-04-01171) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (V. M., grant no. 17-04-00247).
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