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Migratory behavior of birds affects their coevolutionary relationship with blood parasites

Jenkins, Tania; Thomas, Gavin H; Hellgren, Olof LU and Owens, Ian P F (2012) In Evolution 66(3). p.740-751
Abstract
Host traits, such as migratory behavior, could facilitate the dispersal of disease-causing parasites, potentially leading to the transfer of infections both across geographic areas and between host species. There is, however, little quantitative information on whether variation in such host attributes does indeed affect the evolutionary outcome of host-parasite associations. Here, we employ Leucocytozoon blood parasites of birds, a group of parasites closely related to avian malaria, to study host-parasite coevolution in relation to host behavior using a phylogenetic comparative approach. We reconstruct the molecular phylogenies of both the hosts and parasites and use cophylogenetic tools to assess whether each host-parasite association... (More)
Host traits, such as migratory behavior, could facilitate the dispersal of disease-causing parasites, potentially leading to the transfer of infections both across geographic areas and between host species. There is, however, little quantitative information on whether variation in such host attributes does indeed affect the evolutionary outcome of host-parasite associations. Here, we employ Leucocytozoon blood parasites of birds, a group of parasites closely related to avian malaria, to study host-parasite coevolution in relation to host behavior using a phylogenetic comparative approach. We reconstruct the molecular phylogenies of both the hosts and parasites and use cophylogenetic tools to assess whether each host-parasite association contributes significantly to the overall congruence between the two phylogenies. We find evidence for a significant fit between host and parasite phylogenies in this system, but show that this is due only to associations between nonmigrant parasites and their hosts. We also show that migrant bird species harbor a greater genetic diversity of parasites compared with nonmigrant species. Taken together, these results suggest that the migratory habits of birds could influence their coevolutionary relationship with their parasites, and that consideration of host traits is important in predicting the outcome of coevolutionary interactions. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Evolution
volume
66
issue
3
pages
740 - 751
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000300931400011
  • pmid:22380437
  • scopus:84857688296
ISSN
1558-5646
DOI
10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01470.x
project
Malaria in birds
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
23ea6bde-13c4-4cb1-be8f-f221e56a1e64 (old id 2432375)
date added to LUP
2012-05-08 10:38:10
date last changed
2017-07-23 04:10:00
@article{23ea6bde-13c4-4cb1-be8f-f221e56a1e64,
  abstract     = {Host traits, such as migratory behavior, could facilitate the dispersal of disease-causing parasites, potentially leading to the transfer of infections both across geographic areas and between host species. There is, however, little quantitative information on whether variation in such host attributes does indeed affect the evolutionary outcome of host-parasite associations. Here, we employ Leucocytozoon blood parasites of birds, a group of parasites closely related to avian malaria, to study host-parasite coevolution in relation to host behavior using a phylogenetic comparative approach. We reconstruct the molecular phylogenies of both the hosts and parasites and use cophylogenetic tools to assess whether each host-parasite association contributes significantly to the overall congruence between the two phylogenies. We find evidence for a significant fit between host and parasite phylogenies in this system, but show that this is due only to associations between nonmigrant parasites and their hosts. We also show that migrant bird species harbor a greater genetic diversity of parasites compared with nonmigrant species. Taken together, these results suggest that the migratory habits of birds could influence their coevolutionary relationship with their parasites, and that consideration of host traits is important in predicting the outcome of coevolutionary interactions.},
  author       = {Jenkins, Tania and Thomas, Gavin H and Hellgren, Olof and Owens, Ian P F},
  issn         = {1558-5646},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {740--751},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Evolution},
  title        = {Migratory behavior of birds affects their coevolutionary relationship with blood parasites},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01470.x},
  volume       = {66},
  year         = {2012},
}