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Do different parasite species interact in their effects on host fitness? A case study on parasites of the amphipod Paracalliope fluviatilis

Rauque, C. A., Paterson, R. A., Poulin, R. and Tompkins, D. M. 2011. Do different parasite species interact in their effects on host fitness? A case study on parasites of the amphipod Paracalliope fluviatilis. Parasitology 138 (09) , pp. 1176-1182. 10.1017/S0031182011000928

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Abstract

There is a gap in our understanding of the relative and interactive effects of different parasite species on the same host population. Here we examine the effects of the acanthocephalan Acanthocephalus galaxii, an unidentified cyclophyllidean cestode, and the trematodes Coitocaecum parvum and Microphallus sp. on several fitness components of the amphipod Paracalliope fluviatilis, using a combination of infection surveys and both survival and behavioural trials. In addition to significant relationships between specific parasites and measures of amphipod survival, maturity, mating success and behaviour, interactions between parasite species with respect to amphipod photophilia were also significant. While infection by either A. galaxii or C. parvum was associated with increased photophilia, such increases were negated by co-infection with Microphallus sp. We hypothesize that this is due to the more subtle manipulative effect of A. galaxii and C. parvum being impaired by Microphallus sp. We conclude that the low frequency at which such double infections occur in our sampled population means that such interactions are unlikely to be important beyond the scale of the host individual. Whether or not this is generally true, implying that parasitological models and theory based on single parasite species studies do generally hold, requires cross-species meta-analytical studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0031-1820
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2018 15:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/116773

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