Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4415
Title: Growth of Juvenile Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) Relates Positively to Species Richness of Trophically Transmitted Parasites
Author: James Losee, J. Fisher, David J. Teel, Rebecca Baldwin, David Marcogliese, K. C. Jacobson
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Journal of Fish Biology
Volume: 85
Pages: 1665-1681
Keywords: juvenile salmon,parasites,

 A variety of studies have demonstrated positive relationships between ecosystem health and parasite species richness.  However, these studies rarely discuss parasite diversity in terms of any evaluations of the health of the host.  The aims of this study were first, to test the hypothesis that metrics of fish growth and condition relate positively to parasite species richness in a salmonid host; second, to identify whether parasite species richness differs as a function of host origin; and third, to identify whether acquisition of parasites through marine versus freshwater trophic interactions was related to growth and condition of juvenile salmon.  To evaluate these questions, species diversity of trophically transmitted parasites in juvenile coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch collected off the coast of the Oregon and Washington states in June 2002 and 2004 were analyzed.  Fish infected with three or more parasite species scored highest in metrics of growth and condition.  Fish originating from the Columbia River basin had lower parasite species richness than those from the Oregon coast, Washington coast, and Puget Sound, WA.  These relationships may reflect the environmental conditions in the habitats of origin or signal foraging differences among these coho stock groups.  Parasites obtained through freshwater or marine trophic interactions were equally important in the relationship between parasite species richness and ocean growth and condition of juvenile coho salmon.


Theme: Recovery, Rebuilding and Sustainability of Marine and Anadromous Species
Foci: Develop methods to use physiological and biological information to predict population-level processes.