How salinity affects the pipefish-Vibrio interaction

Birrer, Simone (2011) How salinity affects the pipefish-Vibrio interaction (Master thesis), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, 66 pp

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Global change results in fast and severe alterations of environmental parameters. New environmental conditions that call for adaptations are created. For the Baltic Sea, a decrease in salinity is predicted and in particular shallow ocean habitats are highly influenced by the expected higher precipitation rates and temperatures due to the low water depth. Especially interactions between two species, such as host-parasite interactions, can be disrupted by environmental changes if the interacting species respond differently to the environmental changes. A resulting imbalance can possibly be deleterious for one of the species. Here, we investigated how the host-parasite interaction of pipefish (Syngnathus typhle), a small coastal marine fish, and bacteria of the genus Vibrio is influenced by changing salinities. Three salinity levels were used - highly brackish water (6 PSU), their habitual salinity (18 PSU), and an oceanic salinity (30 PSU). After acclimatisation to the new environment, the fish were injected with Vibrio. Pipefish up-regulated their immune defence upon salinity change, in particular if salinity was decreased. These environmentally stressed fish later lacked resources for an immune activation to fight the bacterial infection. This might decrease the survival rate and ultimately affect population size and distribution of Syngnathus typhle.

Document Type: Thesis (Master thesis)
Thesis Advisors: Jokela, Jukka, Vorburger, Christoph, Reusch, Thorsten B.H. and Roth, Olivia
Keywords: Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes; Syngnathus typhle; Vibrio
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2011 13:33
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 14:54

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