This study analyzed the influence of several abiotic and biotic variables on the distribution of digenetic trematode infections in a mudsnail, Hydrobia ventrosa, population inhabiting 12 ponds on the Melabakkar salt marsh in Iceland, the northwestern limits of the geographical distribution. Nine trematode species were found to infect the snail population, which included Microphallus pirum, Microphallus breviatus, Microphallus claviformis, Maritrema subdolum (Microphallidae), Cercaria Notocotylidae sp. 11 Deblock, 1980, C. Notocotylidae sp. 12 Deblock, 1980, C. Notocotylidae sp. 13 Deblock, 1980 (Notocotylidae), Cryptocotyle concavum (Heterophyidae), and Psilostomum brevicolle (Psilostomatidae). Correlations between biotic variables (snail density in the ponds and vegetation cover), abiotic variables (distance of each pond from the sea, pond elevation above chart datum, size, average depth, salinity, and some characters of the littoral zone and sediments), and trematode infections were analyzed. These variables indirectly affected the trematode infections because some determined how attractive the ponds were for the final hosts, which were various species of marine and shore birds. We propose that their habitat use and defecating habits are the main determinants of the trematode distribution in the area.

You do not currently have access to this content.