Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Nestedness of parasite communities of intertidal fish in central Chile: how influential is the body length of the host?
PDF (Español (España))
HTML (Español (España))


comunidad componente
peces inter-mareales
component community
intertidal fish

How to Cite

Aparicio-Rizzo, P., & Muñoz, G. (2015). Nestedness of parasite communities of intertidal fish in central Chile: how influential is the body length of the host?. Revista De Biología Tropical, 63(4), 995–1005.


Structure and richness of parasite communities varies substantially among species and body sizes of hosts, which can be determined by analyzing the nestedness. The nestedness pattern is originated when depauperate communities are subsets of those found in communities with greater species richness, and has normally used to study parasite communities. Therefore, in this study we determined whether the structure of parasite communities of the intertidal fish, of central Chile, relates to host lengths and parasitological descriptors, by the use of nested subset analyses. We collected 2 435 individuals of five fish species from the intertidal rocky zone of central Chile (32º02’-33º57’ S - 70º30’-70º30’ W): Helcogrammoides chilensis, Scartichthys viridis, Auchenionchus microcirrhis, Gobiesox marmoratus, and Sicyases sanguineus; each specimen was analyzed for parasites and its total body length (LT) was measured. The total species richness, average richness, abundance, diversity, and dominance of parasites infracommunity (all parasites in a host specimen) were calculated. Each fish species was classified into three LT ranges, to calculate the indices of nestedness and average of these parasitological descriptors in each LT range. We used the models given in the NTCP (Nestedness Temperature Calculator Program) and NODF (Nestedness metric based on Overlap and Decreasing Fill), considering the presence or absence of parasite species; we also used WNODF (Weighted-NODF) model for parasite abundances. The average of parasitological descriptors and LT of each host species, as well as the indices of nestedness were also calculated and related one another, considering the infracommunity and component community levels. The parasite infracommunity of most fish species exhibited a nestedness pattern structure, with the exception of G. marmoratus and H. chilensis, in some of the LT ranges. No relationship between the nestedness indices and fish LT was found. Nevertheless, direct correlations were observed among nestedness indices, average of richness, abundance and diversity of parasite infracommunity, and an inverse correlation with the parasite total richness (per LT range). Moreover, the nestedness pattern was present in all host species. We concluded that the parasite communities of intertidal fish are structured and predictable, and determined only minimally by the host LTs and the aggregated characteristics of the parasites, particularly at the infracommunity level.
PDF (Español (España))
HTML (Español (España))


Almeida-Neto, M., Guimaraes Jr, P. R., & Lewinsohn, T. M. (2007). On nestedness analyses: rethinking matrix temperature and anti-nestedness. Oikos, 116, 716-722.

Almeida-Neto, M., & Ulrich, W. (2011). A straightforward computational approach for measuring nestedness using quantitative matrices. Environmental Modeling & Software, 26, 173-178.

Atmar, W., & Patterson, B. D. (1993). The measure of order and disorder in the distribution of species in fragmented habitat. Oecologia, 96, 373-382.

Bush, A. O., Lafferty, K. D., Lotz, J. M., & Shostak, A. W. (1997). Parasitology meets ecology on its own terms: Margolis et al. revisited. The Journal of Parasitology, 83, 575-583.

Chirichigno, N. (1974). Clave para identificar a los peces marinos del Perú. Perú: Instituto del mar del Perú.

Díaz, F. & George-Nascimento, M. (2002). Estabilidad temporal de las infracomunidades de parásitos en la borrachilla Scartichthys viridis (Valenciennes, 1836) (Pisces: Blenniidae) en la costa central de Chile. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural, 75, 641-649.

González, M. T., & Poulin, R. (2005). Spatial and temporal predictability of the parasite community structure of a benthic marine fish along its distributional range. International Journal for Parasitology, 35, 1369-1377.

Guégan, J. F., & Hugueny, B. (1994). A nested parasite species subset pattern in tropical fish: host as major determinant of parasite infracommunity structure. Oecologia, 100, 184-189.

Magurran, A. E. (1988). Ecological diversity and its measurements. London, U.K: Croom Helm Ltd.

McQuaid, C. F., & Britton, N. F. (2013). Host-parasite nestedness: A result of co-evolving trait-values. Ecological Complexity, 13, 53-59.

Mann, G. F. (1954). La vida de los peces en aguas chilenas. Santiago de Chile: Ministerio de Agricultura y Universidad de Chile.

Matĕjusová, I., Morand, S., & Gelnar, M. (2000). Nestedness in assemblages of gyrodactylids (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidea) parasitizing two species of cyprinid - with reference to generalists and specialists. International Journal of Parasitology, 30, 1153-1158.

Muñoz, G. (2014). Parasites communities in the clingfish Gobiesox marmoratus from central Chile. Acta Parasitologica, 50, 108-114.

Muñoz, G., & Castro, R. (2012). Comunidades de parásitos eumetazoos de peces labrisómidos de Chile central. Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía, 4, 565-571.

Muñoz, G., & Cortés, Y. (2009). Parasite communities of a fish assemblage from the intertidal rocky zone of central Chile: Similarity and host specificity between temporal and resident fish. Parasitology, 136, 1291-1303.

Muñoz, G., & Delorme, N. (2011). Variaciones temporales de las comunidades de parásitos de peces intermareales de Chile central: hospedadores residentes vs temporales. Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía, 46, 313-327.

Muñoz, G., & Randhawa, H. (2011). Monthly variation in the parasite communities of the intertidal fish Scartichthys viridis (Blenniidae) from central Chile: are there seasonal patterns? Parasitology Research, 109, 53-62.

Muñoz-Muga, P. & Muñoz, G. (2010). Comunidades de parásitos de Scartichthys viridis (Pisces: Blenniidae) de Chile central: localidad vs. longitud del hospedador. Revista de Biología Marina & Oceanografía, 45, 165-169.

Patterson, B. D., & Atmar, W. (1986). Nested subsets and the structure of insular mammalian faunas and archipelagos. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 28, 65-82.

Poulin, R. (1996). Richness, nestedness, and randomness in parasite infracommunity structure. Oecologia, 105, 545-551.

Poulin, R. (2007). Evolutionary Ecology of Parasites. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Poulin, R. (2010). Network analysis shining light on parasite ecology and diversity. Trends in Parasitology, 26, 492-498.

Poulin, R., & Valtonen, E. T. (2002). The predictability of helminth community structure in space: a comparison of fish populations from adjacent lakes. International Journal for Parasitology, 32, 1235-1243.

Rohde, K., Worthen, W. B., Heap, H., Hugeny, B., & Guégan, J. F. (1998). Nestedness in assemblages of metazoan ecto- and endoparasites of marine fish. International Journal for Parasitology, 28, 543-549.

Timi, J. T., & Poulin, R. (2003). Parasite community structure within and across host populations of a marine pelagic fish: how repeatable is it? International Journal for Parasitology, 33, 1353-1362.

Timi, J. T., & Poulin, R. (2007). Different methods, different results: Temporal trends in the study of nested subset patterns in parasite communities. Parasitology, 135, 131-138.

Ulrich, W. (2009). Nestedness analysis as a tool to identify ecological gradients. Ecological Questions, 11, 27-34.

Wright, D. H., Patterson, B. D., Mikkelson, G. M., Cutler, A. & Atmar, W. (1998). A comparative analysis of nested subset patterns of species composition. Oecologia, 113, 1-20.



Download data is not yet available.