News published - "Global patterns of parasite diversity in cephalopods"

Published on Scientific Reports by the research group of prof. Antonio Terlizzi
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We compiled an updated global catalogue of parasites in cephalopods. Data were used to assess changes in taxonomic distinctness of parasites over two centuries and across the world’s oceans, to quantify turnover and nestedness components of parasite β-diversity, and to attempt estimating their γ-diversity at a global scale. A total of 309 parasites infecting 164 cephalopods were found.
We hypothesize that this diversity counts for less than half the potential parasite richness in this molluscan taxon. Taxonomic breadth of parasites was significantly above expectations from null models for Mediterranean Sea and NE Atlantic Ocean, whereas the opposite occurred for NW Pacific Ocean, where a few closely related genera characterized the parasite pool. β-diversity of parasites was very high and dominated by turnover, except for the Atlantic Ocean where a nested pattern among sub-basins emerged. Taxonomic relatedness of parasite species remained substantially unchanged through time, but species replacements largely occurred over the last two centuries. Our findings highlighted potential hotspots of taxonomic distinctness in cephalopod parasites, geographic regions deserving future research, and the need for a deeper understanding of the magnitude of marine parasite diversity, their biogeography, and their role in marine ecosystems. Our global overview may represent a baseline step for future advances in this direction.



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Last update: 07-10-2020 - 12:30