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Host taxonomy constrains the properties of trophic transmission routes for parasites in lake food webs
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. University of Canterbury, New Zealand; University of Otago, New Zealand.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
2017 (English)In: Ecology, ISSN 0012-9658, E-ISSN 1939-9170, Vol. 98, no 9, p. 2401-2412Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Some parasites move from one host to another via trophic transmission, the consumption of the parasite (inside its current host) by its future host. Feeding links among free-living species can thus be understood as potential transmission routes for parasites. As these links have different dynamic and structural properties, they may also vary in their effectiveness as trophic transmission routes. That is, some links may be better than others in allowing parasites to complete their complex life cycles. However, not all links are accessible to parasites as most are restricted to a small number of host taxa. This restriction means that differences between links involving host and non-host taxa must be considered when assessing whether transmission routes for parasites have different food web properties than other links. Here we use four New Zealand lake food webs to test whether link properties (contribution of a link to the predators diet, prey abundance, prey biomass, amount of biomass transferred, centrality, and asymmetry) affect trophic transmission of parasites. Critically, we do this using both models that neglect the taxonomy of free-living species and models that explicitly include information about which free-living species are members of suitable host taxa. Although the best-fit model excluding taxonomic information suggested that transmission routes have different properties than other feeding links, when including taxonomy, the best-fit model included only an intercept. This means that the taxonomy of free-living species is a key determinant of parasite transmission routes and that food-web properties of transmission routes are constrained by the properties of host taxa. In particular, many intermediate hosts (prey) attain high biomasses and are involved in highly central links while links connecting intermediate to definitive (predator) hosts tend to be dynamically weak.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2017. Vol. 98, no 9, p. 2401-2412
Keywords [en]
concomitant predation; food-web dynamics; food-web structure; host specificity; link properties; trematodes
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-140953DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1927ISI: 000408836600018PubMedID: 28609566OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-140953DiVA, id: diva2:1142422
Note

Funding Agencies|Marsden Fund; NSERC PGS-D scholarship; UC Doctoral Scholarship

Available from: 2017-09-19 Created: 2017-09-19 Last updated: 2018-03-19

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