Swimming performance of silver eels is severely impaired by the swim-bladder parasite Anguillicola crassus

Palstra, A. P. and Heppener, D. F. M. and Ginneken, V. J. T. van and Székely, Csaba (2007) Swimming performance of silver eels is severely impaired by the swim-bladder parasite Anguillicola crassus. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, 352 (1). pp. 244-256. ISSN 0022-0981

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Infection with the swim-bladder parasite Anguillicola crassus is suggested as one of the principal causes of the collapse of the European eel population. This nematode has been introduced in Europe from Asia in the 80s and parasitized in a short time Anguilla eel species in different geographical regions across the globe. The parasites drain energy due to their sanguivorous feeding and they cause mechanical damage on the swim-bladder wall. These two effects are hypothesized to impair the spawning migration of the European eel. In this study, we have investigated both effects on swimming performance. We hypothesized that parasitic sanguivorous activities - related to parasite weight - reduce swimming endurance, while mechanical damage of the swim-bladder impairs buoyancy control. Eighty eels suffering various degrees of infection were introduced in swim-tunnels and subjected to a swimming fitness test. The relation between A. crassus infection and swimming efficiency was measured for large female silver eels swimming at various speeds. Infected eels had lower cruising speeds and a higher cost of transport. Eels without parasites, but with a damaged swim-bladder showed similar effects. Almost half of the eels that contained damaged swim-bladders (43%) stopped swimming at low aerobic swimming speeds (< 0.7 m/s). Simulated migration trials in a recent related study have confirmed that eels with a high parasite level or with damaged swim-bladder show early migration failure (< 1000-km). Reduced swimming performance appears to be associated with swim-bladder dysfunction. As we found that especially silver eels have much higher infection levels than yellow eels, it is concluded that migrating silver eels with severely infected or damaged swim-bladders are unable to reach the spawning grounds. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QE Geology / földtudományok > QE08 Hydrosphere. Hydrology / hidroszféra, hidrológia
Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz
S Agriculture / mezőgazdaság > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling / vizi növény-és állattartás, halászat, sporthorgászat
S Agriculture / mezőgazdaság > SV Veterinary science / állatorvostudomány
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2013 10:53
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2017 15:57

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