Exploitation of asymmetric predator-prey interactions by trophically transmitted parasites

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Date: Apr. 2011
From: Oikos(Vol. 120, Issue 4)
Publisher: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.
Document Type: Article
Length: 243 words

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To authenticate to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2010.19077.x Byline: Wayne Rossiter, Michael V. K. Sukhdeo Abstract: The directionality of asymmetric interactions between predators (definitive hosts) and prey (intermediate hosts) should impact trophic transmission in parasites. This study tests the prediction that trophically transmitted parasites are funneled towards asymmetric predator-prey interactions where intermediate hosts have few predators and definitive hosts feed upon many prey ('downward asymmetry'). The distribution of trophically transmitted parasites was examined in four published food webs in relation to mismatch asymmetry of predator-prey interactions. We found that trophically transmitted parasites exploit downwardly asymmetric interactions in a nonrandom manner, and particular predator-prey pairs contain more trophically transmitted parasites than would be expected by random chance alone. These findings suggest that food web topology has great bearing on the ecology of trophically transmitted parasites, and that consideration of parasite life cycles in the context of food web organization can provide insights into the forces affecting the evolution of trophic transmission. Author Affiliation: (1)Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution, 84 Lipman Drive, Bartlett Hall, Rutgers Univ., 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA (2)Dept of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, Rutgers Univ., 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA Article History: Paper manuscript accepted 31 August 2010 Article note: W. Rossiter, Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution, 84 Lipman Drive, Bartlett Hall, Rutgers Univ., 14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. E-mail: wayner@eden.rutgers.edu

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A252228038