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1 July 2011 Parasite Distribution, Prevalence, and Assemblages of the Grass Shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, in Southwestern Alabama, U.S.A
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Abstract

The grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, harbors a number of symbionts within its North American range. Here, we document the distribution and seasonality of 4 taxonomic groups that use P. pugio as a host in coastal Alabama. We conducted a regional survey of 4 symbionts of P. pugio over 3 seasons and compared assemblages across space and time. The most common parasite was the metacercarial stage of the microphallid trematode Microphallus turgidus, which remained consistently prevalent over the 3 seasons surveyed. We also monitored the prevalence of M. turgidus at 2 sites monthly. Prevalence fluctuated significantly among seasons at these sites, but spatial heterogeneity appears to have a stronger influence on regional parasite prevalence. Distributions of 3 of 4 symbionts overlapped in a single geographic area (Mon Louis Island, Alabama, U.S.A.); however, multispecies infections of individual hosts were normally distributed within host populations. Sites surrounding Mon Louis Island had substantially higher parasite prevalence, particularly in the summer months. This area had a high quantity of Spartina marsh habitat, which we found influenced parasite prevalence, suggesting a role for wetland habitat in structuring parasite communities for this host.

Kate L. Sheehan, Kevin D. Lafferty, Jack O'Brien, and Just Cebrian "Parasite Distribution, Prevalence, and Assemblages of the Grass Shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, in Southwestern Alabama, U.S.A," Comparative Parasitology 78(2), (1 July 2011). https://doi.org/10.1654/4427.1
Published: 1 July 2011
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