Consistent patterns of trophic niche specialization in host populations infected with a non-native copepod parasite

Authors: Pegg, J., Andreou, D. and Britton, J.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/26374/

Journal: Parasitology (Cambridge)

Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP): STM Journals

ISSN: 1469-8161

Populations of generalist species often comprise of smaller sub-sets of relatively specialised individuals whose niches comprise small sub-sets of the overall population niche. Here, the role of parasite infections in trophic niche specialisation was tested using five wild fish populations infected with the non-native parasite Ergasilus briani, a copepod parasite with a direct lifecycle that infects the gill tissues of fish hosts. Infected and uninfected fishes were sampled from the same habitats during sampling events. Prevalence in the host populations ranged between 16 and 67 %, with parasite abundances of up to 66 parasites per fish. Although pathological impacts included hyperplasia and localised haemorrhaging of gill tissues, there were no significant differences in the length, weight and condition of infected and uninfected fishes. Stable isotope analyses (δ13C, δ15N) revealed that the trophic niche of infected fishes, measured as standard ellipse area (i.e. the isotopic niche), was consistently and significantly smaller compared to uninfected conspecifics. These niches of infected fishes always sat within that of uninfected fish, suggesting trophic specialisation in hosts. These results suggested trophic specialisation is a potentially important non-lethal consequence of parasite infection that results from impaired functional traits of the host.

This data was imported from PubMed:

Authors: Pegg, J., Andreou, D., Williams, C.F. and Britton, J.R.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/26374/

Journal: Parasitology

Volume: 144

Issue: 7

Pages: 945-953

eISSN: 1469-8161

DOI: 10.1017/S0031182017000075

Populations of generalist species often comprise of smaller sub-sets of relatively specialized individuals whose niches comprise small sub-sets of the overall population niche. Here, the role of parasite infections in trophic niche specialization was tested using five wild fish populations infected with the non-native parasite Ergasilus briani, a copepod parasite with a direct lifecycle that infects the gill tissues of fish hosts. Infected and uninfected fishes were sampled from the same habitats during sampling events. Prevalence in the host populations ranged between 16 and 67%, with parasite abundances of up to 66 parasites per fish. Although pathological impacts included hyperplasia and localized haemorrhaging of gill tissues, there were no significant differences in the length, weight and condition of infected and uninfected fishes. Stable isotope analyses (δ 13C, δ 15N) revealed that the trophic niche of infected fishes, measured as standard ellipse area (i.e. the isotopic niche), was consistently and significantly smaller compared with uninfected conspecifics. These niches of infected fishes always sat within that of uninfected fish, suggesting trophic specialization in hosts. These results suggested trophic specialization is a potentially important non-lethal consequence of parasite infection that results from impaired functional traits of the host.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Pegg, J., Andreou, D., Williams, C.F. and Britton, J.R.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/26374/

Journal: Parasitology

Volume: 144

Issue: 7

Pages: 945-953

eISSN: 1469-8161

ISSN: 0031-1820

DOI: 10.1017/S0031182017000075

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017. SUMMARY Populations of generalist species often comprise of smaller sub-sets of relatively specialized individuals whose niches comprise small sub-sets of the overall population niche. Here, the role of parasite infections in trophic niche specialization was tested using five wild fish populations infected with the non-native parasite Ergasilus briani, a copepod parasite with a direct lifecycle that infects the gill tissues of fish hosts. Infected and uninfected fishes were sampled from the same habitats during sampling events. Prevalence in the host populations ranged between 16 and 67%, with parasite abundances of up to 66 parasites per fish. Although pathological impacts included hyperplasia and localized haemorrhaging of gill tissues, there were no significant differences in the length, weight and condition of infected and uninfected fishes. Stable isotope analyses (δ 13C, δ 15N) revealed that the trophic niche of infected fishes, measured as standard ellipse area (i.e.The isotopic niche), was consistently and significantly smaller compared with uninfected conspecifics. These niches of infected fishes always sat within that of uninfected fish, suggesting trophic specialization in hosts. These results suggested trophic specialization is a potentially important non-lethal consequence of parasite infection that results from impaired functional traits of the host.

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Pegg, J., Andreou, D., Williams, C.F. and Britton, J.R.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/26374/

Journal: PARASITOLOGY

Volume: 144

Issue: 7

Pages: 945-953

eISSN: 1469-8161

ISSN: 0031-1820

DOI: 10.1017/S0031182017000075

The data on this page was last updated at 04:54 on April 18, 2019.