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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 31;8(12):e82886. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082886. eCollection 2013.

Assessing the effects of climate on host-parasite interactions: a comparative study of European birds and their parasites.

Author information

1
Laboratoire Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, Unité Mixte de Recherche 8079 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Université Paris-Sud XI-AgroParisTech, Batiment 362, Université Paris-Sud XI, F-91405 Orsay, France.
2
Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificos, C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, Madrid, Spain.
3
Departamento de Ecología Funcional y Evolutiva, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificos, Ctra. Sacramento s/n, La Cañada de San Urbano, Almería, Spain.
4
National Museum of Natural History - Sofia, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia, Bulgaria.
5
Departamento de de Anatomía, Biología Celular y Zoología, Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain.
6
Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, FIN-20014 University of Turku, Finland.
7
Departamento de Ecología de Humedales, Estación Biológica Doñana (Estacion Biologica de Doñana-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificos), Sevilla, Spain.
8
Cypresvej 1, DK-9700 Brønderslev, Denmark.
9
Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Estación Biológica Doñana (Estacion Biologica de Doñana-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificos), Sevilla, Spain.
10
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße, Haus Nr. 11, Seewiesen, Germany.
11
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research - Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Polar Environmental Centre, Tromsø, Norway.
12
Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium.
13
Division of Genetics and Physiology, University of Turku, Finland.
14
Skovvej, DK-9490 Pandrup, Denmark.
15
Departamento de Parasitología, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain.
16
Faculty of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Woycickiego 1/3, Warsaw, Poland.
17
Departamento de Zoología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.
18
Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, United States of America.
19
Espedal 4, Tolne, DK-9870 Sindal, Denmark.
20
Evolutionary Ecology Group, Hungarian Department of Biology and Ecology, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania.
21
Department of Biology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
22
Institute of Environmental Sciences, College of Nyíregyháza, H-4400 Nyíregyháza, Sóstói út 31/b, Hungary.
23
Behavioural Ecology Group, Department of Systematic Zoology and Ecology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter stny 1/C, Budapest, Hungary.
24
Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, Bratislava, Slovakia.
25
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Badji Mokhtar University, Boite Postal 12, Annaba, Algeria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Climate change potentially has important effects on distribution, abundance, transmission and virulence of parasites in wild populations of animals.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING:

Here we analyzed paired information on 89 parasite populations for 24 species of bird hosts some years ago and again in 2010 with an average interval of 10 years. The parasite taxa included protozoa, feather parasites, diptera, ticks, mites and fleas. We investigated whether change in abundance and prevalence of parasites was related to change in body condition, reproduction and population size of hosts. We conducted analyses based on the entire dataset, but also on a restricted dataset with intervals between study years being 5-15 years. Parasite abundance increased over time when restricting the analyses to datasets with an interval of 5-15 years, with no significant effect of changes in temperature at the time of breeding among study sites. Changes in host body condition and clutch size were related to change in temperature between first and second study year. In addition, changes in clutch size, brood size and body condition of hosts were correlated with change in abundance of parasites. Finally, changes in population size of hosts were not significantly related to changes in abundance of parasites or their prevalence.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Climate change is associated with a general increase in parasite abundance. Variation in laying date depended on locality and was associated with latitude while body condition of hosts was associated with a change in temperature. Because clutch size, brood size and body condition were associated with change in parasitism, these results suggest that parasites, perhaps mediated through the indirect effects of temperature, may affect fecundity and condition of their hosts. The conclusions were particularly in accordance with predictions when the restricted dataset with intervals of 5-15 years was used, suggesting that short intervals may bias findings.

PMID:
24391725
PMCID:
PMC3876993
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0082886
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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