Using host species traits to understand the consequences of resource provisioning for host–parasite interactions

Becker, D. J., Streicker, D. G. and Altizer, S. (2018) Using host species traits to understand the consequences of resource provisioning for host–parasite interactions. Journal of Animal Ecology, 87(2), pp. 511-525. (doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12765) (PMID:29023699)

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1.Supplemental food provided to wildlife by human activities can be more abundant and predictable than natural resources, and subsequent changes to wildlife ecology can have profound impacts on host–parasite interactions. Identifying traits of species associated with increases or decreases in infection outcomes with resource provisioning could improve assessments of wildlife most prone to disease risks in changing environments. 2.We conducted a phylogenetic meta-analysis of 342 host–parasite interactions across 56 wildlife species and three broad taxonomic groups of parasites to identify host-level traits that influence whether provisioning is associated with increases or decreases in infection. 3.We predicted that dietary generalists that capitalize on novel food would show greater infection in provisioned habitats owing to population growth and food-borne exposure to contaminants and parasite infectious stages. Similarly, species with fast life histories could experience stronger demographic and immunological benefits from provisioning that affect parasite transmission. We also predicted that wide-ranging and migratory behaviors could increase infection risks with provisioning if concentrated and non-seasonal foods promote dense aggregations that increase exposure to parasites. 4.We found that provisioning increased infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa (i.e., microparasites) most for wide-ranging, dietary generalist host species. Effect sizes for ectoparasites were also highest for host species with large home ranges but were instead lowest for dietary generalists. In contrast, the type of provisioning was a stronger correlate of infection outcomes for helminths than host species traits. 5.Our analysis highlights host traits related to movement and feeding behavior as important determinants of whether species experience greater infection with supplemental feeding. These results could help prioritize monitoring wildlife with particular trait profiles in anthropogenic habitats to reduce infectious disease risks in provisioned populations.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Streicker, Dr Daniel
Authors: Becker, D. J., Streicker, D. G., and Altizer, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Animal Ecology
ISSN (Online):1365-2656
Published Online:10 October 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Animal Ecology 87(2):511-525
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
634192Managing viral emergence at the interface of bats and livestockDaniel StreickerWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)102507/Z/13/ZRI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED