Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in the Journal of Parasitology (August 1987) 73(4): 689-696. Copyright 1987, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


The population dynamics of 7 parasite species or ecotypes were studied in the plains killifish, Fundulus zebrinus, at a single collection site in the South Platte River of Nebraska, U.S.A., for 5 yr. Parasites were: Myxosoma funduli (gill), Trichodina sp. (gill), Gyrodactylus bulbacanthus (gill), Urocleidus fundulus (gill), Gyrodactylus stableri (body surface), and Neascus sp. (= Posthodiplostomum; eyes and body cavity). Parasite densities, prevalences, and variance/mean ratios are reported for 22 samples, totaling 447 fish, over the summer months. Positive correlations were obtained between density and both standardized prevalence and log-transformed variance. Urocleidus fundulus populations were relatively stable with low densities and low variance/mean ratios. Most other species' populations exhibited disproportionate increases in aggregation with increases in density. The Neascus species showed long-term decreases in density and prevalence associated with increases in river flow rates.