Infection rates and prevalence of metazoan parasites of the non-native round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in the Baltic Sea

Heidi Herlevi, Riikka Puntila, Harri Kuosa, Hans-Peter Fagerholm

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

6 Citeringar (Scopus)


Studies in the Baltic Sea have identified over 30 parasite taxa infecting the invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814). In this study, we aimed at comparing parasite assemblages and infection rates (prevalence and intensity) in different populations across the invasive range in the Baltic Sea (Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland). Infection rates were 56–60% across all locations except Lithuania (28%). However, the parasite assemblages in the sampled populations were dissimilar, each location having unique parasites. In addition, many of the parasites were generalists commonly infecting native fish species. Based on the results of this study and those previously conducted in the Baltic Sea, the round goby has not retained parasites from its area of origin, but instead has been successively colonized by native generalist parasites. Although variable, overall parasite richness is still quite low around the Baltic compared to the native areas (34 vs 71 taxa, respectively). Also, prevalence and mean infection intensities in the Baltic Sea are significantly lower than in the native areas. Therefore, the invasion success of the round goby in the Baltic Sea can at least partly be attributed to enemy release, in this case shedding a significant proportion of their native parasite load.
Sidor (från-till)1–18
StatusPublicerad - 2016
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • Parasite prevalence
  • Parasite assemblages
  • Enemy release
  • Invasion
  • Invasion ecology

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