Abstract

Fluctuating abiotic conditions within intertidal zones have been shown to affect the emergence of free-swimming trematode infectious stages (cercariae) from their gastropod first intermediate hosts, likely reflecting adaptations to maximize transmission in this marine environment. We investigated the influences of temperature (17 and 22 C) and salinity (25, 30, and 35 ppt) on the emergence of marine cercariae (Gynaecotyla adunca) from their mud snail first intermediate host (Ilyanassa obsoleta). Cercariae emerged in greater numbers at 22 C and the 2 lowest salinities, with a sharp decrease at the 35 ppt level, but there was no interactive effect. We discuss these patterns of G. adunca emergence as possible adaptations to facilitate transmission to its amphipod second intermediate host (Corophium volutator) in conditions common to the Upper Bay of Fundy.

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