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Competitive growth strategies in intermediate hosts: Experimental tests of a parasite life-history model using the cestode, Schistocephalus solidus

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56824

Michaud,  Marilyn
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56825

Milinski,  Manfred
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Michaud, M., Milinski, M., Parker, G. A., & Chubb, J. C. (2006). Competitive growth strategies in intermediate hosts: Experimental tests of a parasite life-history model using the cestode, Schistocephalus solidus. Evolutionary Ecology, 20(1), 39-57. doi:10.1007/s10682-005-3274-0.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D8FB-C
Zusammenfassung
In parasites with a complex life cycle, the fitness of an individual depends on its probability of reaching the final host and on its fecundity. Because larval growth in intermediate hosts may affect both transmission and adult size, selection should optimize growth patterns that are conditional on the presence and number of conspecific competitors. A recent model predicts that the total parasite volume per host should increase with intensity if larvae are able to vary growth depending on the number of conspecifics in the host (Life History Strategy hypothesis, i.e. LHS). Further, we would here expect growth rates to increase with intensity. By contrast, under the simplest alternative hypothesis of Resource Constraints (i.e. RC), the total parasite volume should remain constant. We experimentally infected copepods Macrocyclops albidus with the cestode Schistocephalus solidus to achieve 1, 2 or 3 parasites per host taking care that hosts had similar quality status at each infection level, and compared larval growth trajectories at the three intensity levels. The asymptotic total parasite volume was larger in double and triple infections than in single infections. Furthermore, the asymptotic total parasite volume was significantly larger in triple than in double infections but only in larger copepods that were less constrained by a host-size ceiling effect. These results, together with the fact that growth rates increased with intensity, support the LHS hypothesis: procercoids of a tapeworm may "count" their conspecific competitors in their first intermediate host to harvest its resources strategically until the next step in their complex life cycle.