Trematode parasites have complex life cycles and use a variety of host species across different trophic levels. Thus, they can be used as indicators of disturbance and recovery of coastal ecosystems. Estuaries on the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan were heavily affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake tsunami. To evaluate the effect of the tsunami on the trematode community, we examined trematodes in the mud snail, Batillaria attramentaria, at five study sites (three sites severely exposed to the tsunami and two sites sheltered from the tsunami) in Sendai Bay for 2 years prior to and 8 years after the tsunami. While the trematode prevalence decreased at all study sites, the species richness decreased only at the sites exposed to the tsunami. Although parasitism increased over the study period post-tsunami, the community had not fully recovered 8 years after the event. Trematode community structure has changed every year since the tsunami and has not stabilised. This could be explained by the alteration of first and second intermediate host communities. Our study suggests that it will take more time for the recovery of the trematode community and the associated coastal ecosystem in the Tohoku region.
- Batillaria attramentaria
- The Great East Japan Earthquake
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases