A1 Journal article (refereed)
Increasing temperatures accentuate negative fitness consequences of a marine parasite (2020)

Godwin, S. C., Fast, M. D., Kuparinen, A., Medcalf, K. E., & Hutchings, J. A. (2020). Increasing temperatures accentuate negative fitness consequences of a marine parasite. Scientific Reports, 10, Article 18467. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74948-3

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Godwin, Sean C.; Fast, Mark D.; Kuparinen, Anna; Medcalf, Kate E.; Hutchings, Jeffrey A.

Journal or series: Scientific Reports

eISSN: 2045-2322

Publication year: 2020

Publication date: 28/10/2020

Volume: 10

Article number: 18467

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74948-3

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/72451


Infectious diseases are key drivers of wildlife populations and agriculture production, but whether and how climate change will influence disease impacts remains controversial. One of the critical knowledge gaps that prevents resolution of this controversy is a lack of high-quality experimental data, especially in marine systems of significant ecological and economic consequence. Here, we performed a manipulative experiment in which we tested the temperature-dependent effects on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis)—a parasite that can depress the productivity of wild-salmon populations and the profits of the salmon-farming industry. We explored sea-louse impacts on their hosts across a range of temperatures (10, 13, 16, 19, and 22 °C) and infestation levels (zero, ‘low’ (mean abundance ± SE = 1.6 ± 0.1 lice per fish), and ‘high’ infestation (6.8 ± 0.4 lice per fish)). We found that the effects of sea lice on the growth rate, condition, and survival of juvenile Atlantic salmon all worsen with increasing temperature. Our results provide a rare empirical example of how climate change may influence the impacts of marine disease in a key social-ecological system. These findings underscore the importance of considering climate-driven changes to disease impacts in wildlife conservation and agriculture.

Keywords: climate changes; temperature; fish diseases; parasites; branchiura

Free keywords: climate-change ecology; ecological epidemiology; ecology

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-14-09 at 12:19