Effects of acanthocephalan parasites on colour and carotenoid quantities of their intermediate host Gammarus lacustris in the context of variable lake productivity

  • Author / Creator
    Balanean, Leontin
  • I studied the effects of Polymorphus paradoxus Connell and Corner and Polymorphus marilis Van Cleave on colour and carotenoid quantities of their host amphipod Gammarus lacustris G.O. Sars in seven lakes in Alberta, Canada, that differed in productivity. Polymorphus marilis induced ‘pigmentation dystrophy’ and a higher degree of blueness in both amphipod sexes than did P. paradoxus. Colour shifted toward lighter, bluer and greener tones, denoting less carotenoids, in amphipods parasitized by P. marilis. This is the first study to measure host-colour changes induced by parasites using consistent, repeatable digital analysis. Maximum carotenoid quantities were reached in hypereutrophic lakes where parasite-induced colour changes were also generally minimal. I developed regression models that accurately predict carotenoid quantities in amphipods by their colour, parasite status and water chemistry. This is the first study showing that carotenoid quantities and parasite-induced colour change in crustaceans depend on lake productivity.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.