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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


GEORGE-NASCIMENTO, MARIO; MELLADO, ALEX; SAAVEDRA, SANDRA  and  CARVAJAL, JUAN. Variability of metazoan parasite communities in the rock cod Eleginops maclovinus (Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830) (Pisces: Eleginopidae) off Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2009, vol.82, n.2, pp.199-207. ISSN 0716-078X.

Comparison of variations in both chronological time and space is one of the least studied subjects in the ecology of parasite communities. Thus, we compared the abundance, richness and composition of parasite infracommunities in the rock cod Eleginops maclovinus (Cuvier & Valenncienes, 1830) (Pisces: Eleginopidae), between three widely separated localities along south-central Chile (Talcahuano, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas), which were sampled in two different years each. Eighteen parasite taxa were taxonomically determined in the 126 hosts examined. Total abundance and infracommunity composition changed along host ontogeny. However, and beyond the effect of the host ontogeny, analyses of the variance revealed that community descriptors of rockcod parasites at a given place vary as much between years as between places at a similar time. These results reveal the need to use more rigorous sampling designs whenever parasites are going to be used as biological tags of host populations. They also highlight the importance of using time and space replicated sampling schemes.

Keywords : community variability; marine fishes; Chile; parasite infracommunities; biological tags.

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