Document Type

Technical Report

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Conservation, natural resources, aquatic ecosystems


Helminth and crustacean parasites from 2,387 Micropterus dolomieui, M. punctulatus, and M. salmoides were utilized to monitor annual pre- and postimpoundment succession patterns spanning eight con- tinuous years in Beaver Reservoir, Arkansas. Incidence of infection by ichthyoparasites with direct life cycles (monogenetic trematodes, leeches, and crustaceans) generally increased following impoundment, although leeches remained relatively constant. Exceptions to this general pattern occurred. Incidence of ichthyoparasites with indirect life cycles (digenetic trematodes, cestodes, acanthocephalans, and nematodes) decreased immediately following impoundment with subsequent increases to a point equal or above that of preimpoundment, although exceptions occurred. Time for species adaptation to the reservoir environment varied, with some species disappearing and others occurring for the first time. Diversity indices indicated that a moderate parasite community was maintained in the White River two years prior to its impoundment to form Beaver Reservoir. During the first impoundment year the parasite community declined to the lowest postimpoundment level with the abrupt change in habitat. Throughout the following four post- impoundment years the parasite community gradually increased to become much larger and more complex than it was during preimpoundment. Parasite community succession stabilization occurred in the fifth postimpoundment year and continued the following year indicating the establishment of a climax ichthyoparasite community.

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