Parasites of flounder Platichthys flesus (L.) from the German Bight, North Sea, and their potential use in ecosystem monitoring

V. Schmidt, S. Zander, W. K�rting, D. Steinhagen
2003 Helgoland Marine Research  
The analysis of fish-parasite community structure and the use of ecological richness and diversity measurements are commonly used for the evaluation of environmental stress in aquatic ecosystems. As part of an integrated biological-effect monitoring, the parasite community of flounder Platichthys flesus (L.) was investigated for various locations in the German Bight during spring and autumn of 1995-2000, using established ecological methods. Although the parasite-community composition was very
more » ... imilar at the component-community level, the number of component species as well as the species accumulation curves showed clear differences among the sites. On the infra-community level, all of the ecological measurements showed significantly lower values in flounder from the Elbe estuary, the most polluted site, than in flounder from Helgoland. This was seen during a single season or during both seasons. When the data were pooled over the years, gradual differences between the sites, which were seldom detected at individual sampling periods, became evident for different measurements of species richness and species diversity and corresponded to a contamination gradient established between Elbe > Inner Eider, Outer Eider > Helgoland. Despite seasonal variations, which were observed in almost all measurements, these gradual differences were found in both seasons.
doi:10.1007/s10152-003-0148-0 fatcat:eayyj426ffgc3f34scznkaqfk4