Papers in the Biological Sciences

 

Date of this Version

10-1991

Comments

Published in the Journal of Parasitology (October 1991) 77(5): 697-702. Copyright 1991, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.

Abstract

Distribution of a monogenean parasitic helminth Salsuginus thalkeni on the gills of the fish Fundulus zebrinus is described by calculation of mean positions and niche breadths on the linear spatial resource gradients gill filament length, gill arch length and arch number. All distributions are given for parasites in the presence and absence of various combinations of potential competitors, namely the 6 other parasite species that occupy the same host species. Filament niche breadth was narrowest in the absence of potential competitors; breadth on arch was widest in the presence of potential competitors. Breadth on both resources was correlated positively with mean number of parasites per individual. Arch breadth exhibited cyclic seasonal changes, being lowest in early to mid-summer. Mean position exhibited no repeated pattern of variation on either resource. The results are considered consistent with predictions about the niche structures of species in unsaturated noninteractive specialist communities.