Overwinter body condition and parasite infection in 0+ European bitterling with respect to fish size


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Year of publication 2009
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Overwintering of 0+ fish represents a critical period in fish life history with increased mortality rate. Parasite infection might be an additional factor influencing the survival success. 0+ juvenile European bitterling were studied before and during winter with respect to body condition and parasite infection. Before winter, we observed no difference in parasite infection and condition factor between the fish groups. The total parasite abundance was higher in early hatched fish during winter months as a result of higher monegenean abundance. Clear trend of decreasing metacercarial infection during winter was observed only in late hatched fish, indicating mortality of heavily parasitized fish. Our results suggest that both fish cohorts were at similar state before the winter but during overwintering, early hatched fish kept energy resources better and were not significantly influenced by parasite infection. Late hatched fish probably faced increased energy deficit and mortality possibly supported by parasite infection.
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