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With a focus on learning, we employ a range of strategies to support innovation, collaboration across centers, and university-wide discussion and decision-making

 

Thirteenth Annual Grant Winners 2012-2013

Title

Parasite Fauna and Parasite Release Potential of Atlantic Invasive Lionfishes

Dean

Richard Dodge, Ph.D. (OSC)
Don Rosenblum, Ph.D. (FAR)

Faculty and Students

David W. Kerstetter, Ph.D. (OSC)
Christopher Blanar, Ph.D. (FAR)
Kayelyn Simmons, B.S. (OSC)

Abstract

Parasite Fauna and Parasite Release Potential of Atlantic Invasive LionfishesTwo species of invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish, Pterois volitans and P. miles, are rapidly spreading throughout the greater Caribbean region and the U.S. southeastern Atlantic coast. One of the intriguing possible explanations for the speed of this range expansion is "parasitic release," in which a non-native species experiences a competitive advantage over a native species because of a lack of parasitism. However, this advantage is often temporary, since the native parasites eventually adapt to infect the non-native species as well. This project has three goals: one, to describe the endoparasite fauna of lionfish in the greater Caribbean region; two, to compare endoparasite faunal diversity among locations in the greater Caribbean region; and three, to use the different dates of range expansion to examine the possibility of parasitic release as a factor in the spread of lionfish within the greater Caribbean region.