Circulation of 24 macroparasite species among 12 species of fish was evaluated within samples of hosts collected from 9 lakes on an isolated plateau in northern Alberta, Canada. Twenty-seven parasite taxa (24 species plus the larval stages of Triaenophorus crassus, T. stizostedionis, and Raphidascaris acus) had the potential to be circulated among hosts. Sixteen parasite taxa were recovered from a single host species within a lake. Of the 11 remaining nonspecialist taxa, 4 were larval stages that matured in fish or birds and 7 were adults. Eight of the 11 cases of circulation among hosts involved lake whitefish, and this host was involved in the transmission of 5 species to piscivorous fishes. Despite evidence for the circulation of 7 taxa among the 4 species of sympatric Salmonidae, 60–99% of all worms were recovered from just 1 species of host. These results indicated that approximately 60% of the parasite taxa that infected fish in these lakes were absolute host specialists. The remaining 40% of parasite taxa had restricted host ranges, with most examples of parasite circulation limited to the 2 species of sympatric coregonid.

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