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Inventory, dynamics and impact of the trematodes parasites in bivalves with high economic importance

Abstract : Among population dynamics drivers, parasitism is significant but often neglected. Beyond inventory of the various parasites, it is urgent to understand the susceptibility of hosts, namely bivalves, to infection, and to investigate the interaction among parasites and other environmental conditions.In this way, the present study aimed to characterize and quantify the trematode macroparasites, the most abundant and prevalent in coastal waters, infecting Cerastoderma edule and Donax trunculus, which are among the most ecologically important and economically explored bivalve species in Portugal and France.The first step was to study bivalve population dynamics, evaluating the relationship between temperature and recruitment timing and the reciprocal effects of recruitment on adult biomass. For this, a large database spanning 17 years of monthly observations of a cockle population inhabiting a national protected area (Banc d’Arguin, Arcachon, France) was analysed. Long-term observations showed that the sustainability of a cockle population is recruitment-success dependent. In cockles, recruitment success showed to be partly, but not only, dependent on temperature. Hence, the sustainability of a cohort could be set earlier, i.e. by processes happening before recruitment. Following this clue, the role of parasitism on the bivalve host population dynamics was explored.Firstly, due to high pathogenicity for bivalves, special attention was given to the parasites Bucephalus minimus and Bacciger bacciger which use C. edule and D. trunculus, respectively, as first intermediate hosts (where their sporocysts parasitic stage develops). […]Then, the study focused on metacercariae infection in its bivalve second intermediate host, a relationship that is usually reported as less deleterious. […]Lastly, the susceptibility of bivalves to parasites infection when challenged by climate change related factors (salinity, temperature and pH) and contamination (Arsenic) was experimentally assessed. Main results showed that hosts exposure to stressful conditions related to global change scenarios can modify the parasite infection success and induced host biochemical response alterations.The findings presented in this thesis improved the knowledge on the effects of different constraints on bivalves, highlighting the crucial role of parasitism. If applied, these new insights can promote the sustainable management of bivalves, such an important marine resource, with greater production and economic potential.
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Luísa Virgínia de Sousa Magalhães. Inventory, dynamics and impact of the trematodes parasites in bivalves with high economic importance. Symbiosis. Université de Bordeaux, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018BORD0174⟩. ⟨tel-01960236⟩

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