Organizers: Pierre Sasal1 & Kevin Lafferty2

Affiliations: 1/ CRIOBE – USR 3278 CNRS EPHE UPVD, PSL, Labex Corail, Moorea, French Polynesia; 2/ U.S. Geological Survey, at UC Santa Barbara


Lead contact: Pierre Sasal

Description: Parasites are usually excluded from general biodiversity studies but are an integral part of the biosphere, and various studies revealed that they could account for half of the entire planet’s biodiversity. Moreover, despite the bad press generally attributed to the parasites, it appears that their presence in an ecosystem is a sign of good health. It seems clear that parasites play a major role in interspecific relationships and could be seen as one of the drivers of the ecosystem functioning. With global changes, increase in temperature, acidification, invasive species or loss of biodiversity, it is likely that some parasitic host relationships will be privileged while others will disappear. These changes in interspecific relationships may have more consequences that we can imagine. Although studies of parasite communities are gradually developing, there is still much work to do in species inventory and description, but also in the study of the understanding parasite communities in the marine environment.In this session, all presentations on fish-parasite relationship in the Indo Pacific region would be considered, and special interest will be for presentations: 1/ On the effects of parasites on their host and the consequences this may have on the ecosystem and conversely on the effects of anthropogenic pressures on the ecosystem and the consequences this may have on the fish-parasites relationships; 2/ On the biogeographic distribution of parasites of fish in the Indo-Pacific region and the relationship with host distribution and evolution.

Expected Audience: All fish parasitologists of the world would be welcome to this session and despite the specific topic of it, we intend to also attract, as much as possible, an audience of non parasitologist attending the 10th IPFC in order to create emulation and bring new ideas to the study of fish – parasite relationships in the Indo-Pacific region. In particular anyone interested in conservation biology, diversity of fishes, evolution, aquaculture or in ecotourism, may find an interest in attending this session.