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Life in the fast lane: temperature, density and host species impact survival and growth of the fish ectoparasite Argulus foliaceus

Hunt, Rhi and Cable, Jo 2020. Life in the fast lane: temperature, density and host species impact survival and growth of the fish ectoparasite Argulus foliaceus. Journal of Thermal Biology 92 , 102687. 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102687

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With expanding human populations, the food sector has faced constant pressure to sustainably expand and meet global production demands. In aquaculture this frequently manifests in an animal welfare crisis, with fish increasingly farmed under high production, high stress conditions. These intense environments can result in fish stocks having a high susceptibility to infection, with parasites and associated disease one of the main factors limiting industry growth. Prediction of infection dynamics is key to preventative treatment and mitigation. Considering the climatic and technology driven changes facing aquaculture, an understanding of how parasites react across a spectrum of conditions is required. Here we assessed the impact of temperature, infection density and host species on the life history traits of Argulus foliaceus, a common palearctic fish louse, representative of a parasite group problematic in freshwater aquaculture and fisheries worldwide. Temperature significantly affected development, growth and survival; parasites hatched and developed faster at higher temperatures, but also experienced shorter lifespans when maintained off the host. At high temperatures, these parasites will likely experience a short generation time as their life history traits are completed more rapidly. A. foliaceus additionally grew faster on natural hosts and at lower infection densities. Ultimately such results contribute to prediction of population dynamics, aiding development of effective control to improve animal welfare and reduce industry loss.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0306-4565
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 6 August 2020
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2022 18:46

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