Parasite fauna of native and non-native populations of two goby species (Gobiidae) in the longitudinal profile of the River Danube


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Year of publication 2006
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Metazoan parasites of two fish species Neogobius melanostomus (round goby) and Neogobius kessleri (bighead goby) were investigated in our study. These species are native to Ponto-Caspian region and lower parts of adjoining rivers including Bulgarian part of the River Danube. Introduced populations of both species were recorded in the Middle Danube in 90s and have spread rapidly. Because parasites can represent one of the factors affecting process of invasion, the aim of this study was to compare parasite fauna of two goby species in their native and non-native area of distribution and to find out if different expansion of goby species can be connected with different parasite infestation of their introduced populations. During April and October 2005, the fish were sampled from the main channel of the River Danube: two localities in Bulgaria (native populations) and one locality in Slovakia and Austria (introduced populations). In total, 14 species were found to parasitize N. melanostomus, N. kessleri was infected by 18 parasite species. The introduced populations of both fish species were characterised by higher parasite diversity and lower mean abundance of parasites compare to native populations. Higher parasite species richness and mean abundance were recorded in the introduced populations of N. kessleri compare to N. melanostomus. Fulton’s condition coefficient did not significantly differ between native and introduced fish hosts. A trend to negative correlation was found between the mean parasite abundance and fish condition in both fish hosts, whereas no (N. kessleri) or positive (N. melanostomus) correlation was found in the case of introduced fish populations. In general, fish of both native and especially introduced N. melanostomus populations were less parasitized than N. kessleri fish hosts, what might contribute to the better spread of N. melanostomus in the new habitats compare to N. kessleri.

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