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Parasitology. 2001 Jun;122(Pt 6):673-81.

Contrasting regulation of fecundity in two abomasal nematodes of Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus).

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  • 1Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Banchory, UK. jirvine@ite.ac.uk

Abstract

Stability of trichostrogylid populations indicates that some form of density-dependent regulation occurs which could act through fecundity. We present evidence for intraspecific density-dependent effects in 1 of 2, dominant, abomasal nematodes species (Ostertagia gruehneri) of Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus). We found evidence in O. gruehneri, for density-dependent regulation of female worm length in April, July and October 1999. However, it is only in July that female worm length explains the variation in the number of eggs in utero which is also related to egg production per female worm only in this month and not at other times of the year. The seasonal pattern in faecal egg output in this species focuses egg production in the summer months when conditions are favourable to transmission. In contrast, we found no evidence in the other common species (Marshallagia marshalli) for density-dependent regulation of female worm length during or the number of eggs in utero. Faecal egg output in M. marshalli was positively related to worm burden but not to the mean number of eggs in utero. Neither inter-specific interactions nor host body condition appeared to influence worm fecundity. The contrasting patterns of density-dependent regulation of fecundity provides further evidence for divergent life-histories in this nematode community.

PMID:
11444620
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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