This paper reports the results of a study on a zoosporic fungus (Saprolegniaceae) parasitizing populations of Eudiaptomus intermedius (Copepoda, Calanoida) in mountain lakes located in the Northern Apennines, Italy. The dynamics of this infectious process was previously described in one of the lakes of the study area. The virulence is particularly high at the end of the calanoid reproductive phase, when the fungal hyphae penetrate the host eggs provoking their degeneration. Here new data are presented and the phenology of the host-parasite interaction is comparatively analyzed in different years and in different sites. The occurrence of the parasite was assessed at a regional scale. Possible mechanisms involved in the pathogen dispersal and in the host recognition are proposed, and the ecological impact of the fungal parasitism on the calanoid populations is discussed.
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