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Evolutionary associations between host traits and parasite load : Insights from Lake Tanganyika cichlids

Hayward, Adam; Tsuboi, M; Owusu, C.; Kotrschal, A.; Buechel, S. D.; Zidar, J.; Cornwallis, C. K. LU ; Løvlie, Hanne and Kolm, N. (2017) In Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Abstract

Parasite diversity and abundance (parasite load) vary greatly among host species. However, the influence of host traits on variation in parasitism remains poorly understood. Comparative studies of parasite load have largely examined measures of parasite species richness and are predominantly based on records obtained from published data. Consequently, little is known about the relationships between host traits and other aspects of parasite load, such as parasite abundance, prevalence and aggregation. Meanwhile, understanding of parasite species richness may be clouded by limitations associated with data collation from multiple independent sources. We conducted a field study of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes and their helminth parasites.... (More)

Parasite diversity and abundance (parasite load) vary greatly among host species. However, the influence of host traits on variation in parasitism remains poorly understood. Comparative studies of parasite load have largely examined measures of parasite species richness and are predominantly based on records obtained from published data. Consequently, little is known about the relationships between host traits and other aspects of parasite load, such as parasite abundance, prevalence and aggregation. Meanwhile, understanding of parasite species richness may be clouded by limitations associated with data collation from multiple independent sources. We conducted a field study of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes and their helminth parasites. Using a Bayesian phylogenetic comparative framework, we tested evolutionary associations between five key host traits (body size, gut length, diet breadth, habitat complexity and number of sympatric hosts) predicted to influence parasitism, together with multiple measures of parasite load. We find that the number of host species that a particular host may encounter due to its habitat preferences emerges as a factor of general importance for parasite diversity, abundance and prevalence, but not parasite aggregation. In contrast, body size and gut size are positively related to aspects of parasite load within, but not between species. The influence of host phylogeny varies considerably among measures of parasite load, with the greatest influence exerted on parasite diversity. These results reveal that both host morphology and biotic interactions are key determinants of host-parasite associations and that consideration of multiple aspects of parasite load is required to fully understand patterns in parasitism.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Endoparasite, Evolution, Fish, Helminth, Parasitic worm
in
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • scopus:85014474427
  • wos:000403155000001
ISSN
1010-061X
DOI
10.1111/jeb.13053
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9cc27631-773b-4625-add5-aeb353c7d0cb
date added to LUP
2017-03-15 12:50:06
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:55:28
@article{9cc27631-773b-4625-add5-aeb353c7d0cb,
  abstract     = {<p>Parasite diversity and abundance (parasite load) vary greatly among host species. However, the influence of host traits on variation in parasitism remains poorly understood. Comparative studies of parasite load have largely examined measures of parasite species richness and are predominantly based on records obtained from published data. Consequently, little is known about the relationships between host traits and other aspects of parasite load, such as parasite abundance, prevalence and aggregation. Meanwhile, understanding of parasite species richness may be clouded by limitations associated with data collation from multiple independent sources. We conducted a field study of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes and their helminth parasites. Using a Bayesian phylogenetic comparative framework, we tested evolutionary associations between five key host traits (body size, gut length, diet breadth, habitat complexity and number of sympatric hosts) predicted to influence parasitism, together with multiple measures of parasite load. We find that the number of host species that a particular host may encounter due to its habitat preferences emerges as a factor of general importance for parasite diversity, abundance and prevalence, but not parasite aggregation. In contrast, body size and gut size are positively related to aspects of parasite load within, but not between species. The influence of host phylogeny varies considerably among measures of parasite load, with the greatest influence exerted on parasite diversity. These results reveal that both host morphology and biotic interactions are key determinants of host-parasite associations and that consideration of multiple aspects of parasite load is required to fully understand patterns in parasitism.</p>},
  author       = {Hayward, Adam and Tsuboi, M and Owusu, C. and Kotrschal, A. and Buechel, S. D. and Zidar, J. and Cornwallis, C. K. and Løvlie, Hanne and Kolm, N.},
  issn         = {1010-061X},
  keyword      = {Endoparasite,Evolution,Fish,Helminth,Parasitic worm},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
  title        = {Evolutionary associations between host traits and parasite load : Insights from Lake Tanganyika cichlids},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13053},
  year         = {2017},
}