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Local host specialization, host-switching, and dispersal shape the regional distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites

Ellis, Vincenzo A. LU ; Collins, Michael D.; Medeiros, Matthew C.I.; Sari, Eloisa H R LU ; Coffey, Elyse D.; Dickerson, Rebecca C.; Lugarini, Camile; Stratford, Jeffrey A.; Henry, Donata R. and Merrill, Loren, et al. (2015) In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(36). p.11294-11299
Abstract

The drivers of regional parasite distributions are poorly understood, especially in comparison with those of free-living species. For vector-transmitted parasites, in particular, distributions might be influenced by host-switching and by parasite dispersal with primary hosts and vectors. We surveyed haemosporidian blood parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) of small land birds in eastern North America to characterize a regional parasite community. Distributions of parasite populations generally reflected distributions of their hosts across the region. However, when the interdependence between hosts and parasites was controlled statistically, local host assemblages were related to regional climatic gradients, but parasite assemblages... (More)

The drivers of regional parasite distributions are poorly understood, especially in comparison with those of free-living species. For vector-transmitted parasites, in particular, distributions might be influenced by host-switching and by parasite dispersal with primary hosts and vectors. We surveyed haemosporidian blood parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) of small land birds in eastern North America to characterize a regional parasite community. Distributions of parasite populations generally reflected distributions of their hosts across the region. However, when the interdependence between hosts and parasites was controlled statistically, local host assemblages were related to regional climatic gradients, but parasite assemblages were not. Moreover, because parasite assemblage similarity does not decrease with distance when controlling for host assemblages and climate, parasites evidently disperse readily within the distributions of their hosts. The degree of specialization on hosts varied in some parasite lineages over short periods and small geographic distances independently of the diversity of available hosts and potentially competing parasite lineages. Nonrandom spatial turnover was apparent in parasite lineages infecting one host species that was well-sampled within a single year across its range, plausibly reflecting localized adaptations of hosts and parasites. Overall, populations of avian hosts generally determine the geographic distributions of haemosporidian parasites. However, parasites are not dispersal-limited within their host distributions, and they may switch hosts readily.

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publication status
published
subject
keywords
Avian malaria, Community assembly, Emerging infectious disease, Haemosporida, Parasite communities
in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
volume
112
issue
36
pages
6 pages
publisher
National Acad Sciences
external identifiers
  • scopus:84941243815
ISSN
0027-8424
DOI
10.1073/pnas.1515309112
language
English
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no
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4caed042-a650-43c1-9d4d-0812b0081034
date added to LUP
2017-05-09 17:10:29
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2017-10-08 05:01:46
@article{4caed042-a650-43c1-9d4d-0812b0081034,
  abstract     = {<p>The drivers of regional parasite distributions are poorly understood, especially in comparison with those of free-living species. For vector-transmitted parasites, in particular, distributions might be influenced by host-switching and by parasite dispersal with primary hosts and vectors. We surveyed haemosporidian blood parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) of small land birds in eastern North America to characterize a regional parasite community. Distributions of parasite populations generally reflected distributions of their hosts across the region. However, when the interdependence between hosts and parasites was controlled statistically, local host assemblages were related to regional climatic gradients, but parasite assemblages were not. Moreover, because parasite assemblage similarity does not decrease with distance when controlling for host assemblages and climate, parasites evidently disperse readily within the distributions of their hosts. The degree of specialization on hosts varied in some parasite lineages over short periods and small geographic distances independently of the diversity of available hosts and potentially competing parasite lineages. Nonrandom spatial turnover was apparent in parasite lineages infecting one host species that was well-sampled within a single year across its range, plausibly reflecting localized adaptations of hosts and parasites. Overall, populations of avian hosts generally determine the geographic distributions of haemosporidian parasites. However, parasites are not dispersal-limited within their host distributions, and they may switch hosts readily.</p>},
  author       = {Ellis, Vincenzo A. and Collins, Michael D. and Medeiros, Matthew C.I. and Sari, Eloisa H R and Coffey, Elyse D. and Dickerson, Rebecca C. and Lugarini, Camile and Stratford, Jeffrey A. and Henry, Donata R. and Merrill, Loren and Matthews, Alix E. and Hanson, Alison A. and Roberts, Jackson R. and Joyce, Michael and Kunkel, Melanie R. and Ricklefs, Robert E},
  issn         = {0027-8424},
  keyword      = {Avian malaria,Community assembly,Emerging infectious disease,Haemosporida,Parasite communities},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {36},
  pages        = {11294--11299},
  publisher    = {National Acad Sciences},
  series       = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  title        = {Local host specialization, host-switching, and dispersal shape the regional distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1515309112},
  volume       = {112},
  year         = {2015},
}