Parasites and fish behaviour

Iain Barber*, Ben J. Rushbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (SciVal)


Parasites1 are ubiquitous components of natural and managed ecosystems. Water provides a particularly suitable medium for the support and movement of directly transmitted ectoparasites, and the central role played by fish in aquatic food webs make them ideal intermediate hosts for indirectly transmitted infections. Consequently, parasites use fish as hosts. By definition, parasite infections negatively impact host fish, though very often these detrimental effects are unquantified. However, parasites rely on their hosts for nutrition; so they impose at least energetic demands, and very often they have other physiological impacts. Parasites can be classified as environmental stressors of fish, not only because of the direct impacts they impose after infection, but also because their presence in aquatic environments can reduce the efficiency with which fishes function. The latter effects may arise because of constraints imposed on, for example, the habitat selection or food selection choices that are available to fish attempting to avoid contact with infectious agents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFish Behaviour
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9781439843024
ISBN (Print)9781578084357
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2008


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