Authors: Víctor M. Vidal-Martínez, Frank A. Ocaña, Lilia C. Soler-Jiménez, Jhonny Geovanny García-Teh, M. Leopoldina Aguirre-Macedo, Ana L. May-Tec, Flor Árcega-Cabrera & Jorge Herrera-Silveira



We aimed to compare the percentage of explained variance given by the relationship of species and functional groups of metazoan parasites of the dusky flounder Syacium papillosum and environmental variables from water and sediments in the Yucatan shelf (YS). Parasite data were obtained from 127 S. papillosum specimens collected from 17 of 67 stations. At each station, 46 environmental variables were measured, including hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and physicochemical variables from water and sediments. Fifteen functional groups were defined based on biological characteristics of 48 parasite species. Our multivariate statistical analyses showed that species and functional groups produced similar explained variance values (47.3% and 50% respectively). However, using functional groups the time and financial resources were minimal compared with those used for morphological and molecular identification to produce the species composition matrix. Thus, functional groups are the best choice from the point of view of saving time and money.

Keywords: Fish parasites, Functional diversity, Taxonomic diversity, Flatfishes, Gulf of Mexico, Bioindicators, Environmental impact