Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon

International Journal for Parasitology
By: , and 



In September 2002, Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. To understand its effects on the parasites of aquatic organisms, we analyzed long-term monthly population data of the horn snail Cerithidea pliculosa and its trematode communities in Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico before and after the hurricane (February 2001 to December 2009). Five trematode species occurred in the snail population: Mesostephanus appendiculatoides, Euhaplorchis californiensis, two species of the genus Renicola and one Heterophyidae gen. sp. Because these parasites use snails as first intermediate hosts, fishes as second intermediate hosts and birds as final hosts, their presence in snails depends on food webs. No snails were present at the sampled sites for 6 months after the hurricane. After snails recolonised the site, no trematodes were found in snails until 14 months after the hurricane. It took several years for snail and trematode populations to recover. Our results suggest that the increase in the occurrence of hurricanes predicted due to climate change can impact upon parasites with complex life cycles. However, both the snail populations and their parasite communities eventually reached numbers of individuals and species similar to those before the hurricane. Thus, the trematode parasites of snails can be useful indicators of coastal lagoon ecosystem degradation and recovery.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon
Series title International Journal for Parasitology
DOI 10.1016/j.ijpara.2011.10.002
Volume 41
Issue 13-14
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title International Journal for Parasitology
First page 1403
Last page 1408
Time Range Start 2001-02-01
Time Range End 2009-12-31
Country Mexico
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional metadata about this publication, not found in other parts of the page is in this table