Trematodes on acid: editorial comment on the feature article by Guilloteau et al.

The field of ocean acidification (OA) research is moving rapidly, moving from studying first-order direct effects of lowered pH and carbonate ion concentration impinging directly upon organismal physiology to ask how species interactions are modified. How host–parasite interactions may be modulated by ocean acidification is currently largely unknown, in particular for macroparasites (=metazoan animal parasites). This is unfortunate, given that these interactions are among the strongest biological interactions in all ecosystems, while their food web role, in particular in coastal systems, is often neglected (but see Kuris et al. 2008).

Digenean trematodes are one of the most abundant and diversified groups of macroparasites worldwide, displaying a breathtaking diversity of two- or three-phasic life cycles (Galaktionov and Dobrovolskij 2003). Often, the first intermediate host is a mollusc (snail or bivalve), followed by a fish as second intermediate host, and a mammal or bird species as third and definitive host where sexual reproduction takes place. In this issue of Marine Biology, the study by Guilloteau et al. (2016) focused on the mollusc host phase where the infective parasite stages rapidly multiply via clonal proliferation, a critical step for generating millions of free-swimming cercariae. (…)

Reusch T. B. H., in press. Trematodes on acid: editorial comment on the feature article by Guilloteau et al.. Marine Biology 163(5):95. Article.

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