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Importance of infection of haemosporidia blood parasites during different life history stages for long-term reproductive fitness of collared flycatchers
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1713-9303
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4491-7649
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6566-2863
2019 (English)In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, E-ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 50, no 8, article id e02118Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The interaction between birds and haemosporidia blood parasites is a well-used system in the study of parasite biology. However, where, when and how parasites are transmitted is often unclear and defining parasite transmission dynamics is essential because of how they influence parasite-mediated costs to the host. In this study, we used cross-sectional and longitudinal data taken from a collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis population to investigate the temporal dynamics of haemosporidia parasite infection and parasite-mediated costs to host fitness. We investigated host-parasite interactions starting at the nestling stage of the bird's life-cycle and then followed their progress over three breeding attempts to quantify their fitness - measured as the number of offspring they produced that recruited back into the breeding population. We found that the majority of haemosporidia blood parasite infections occurred within the first year of life and that the most common parasite lineages that infected the breeding population also infected juvenile birds in the natal environment. Moreover, our findings suggest that collared flycatcher nestlings in poorer condition could be at a higher risk of haemosporidia blood parasite infection. In this study, only female and not male bird fitness was adversely affected by parasite infection and the cost of infection on female fitness depended on the timing of transmission. In conclusion, our study indicates that in collared flycatchers, early-life is potentially important for many of the interactions with haemosporidia parasite lineages, and evidence of parasite-mediated costs to fitness suggest that these parasites may have influenced the host population dynamics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019. Vol. 50, no 8, article id e02118
Keywords [en]
body condition index, collared flycatcher, early-life conditions, fitness, Haemoproteus, longitudinal data, Plasmodium, recruitment
National Category
Zoology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-394649DOI: 10.1111/jav.02118ISI: 000484420000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-394649DiVA, id: diva2:1361973
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council FormasAvailable from: 2019-10-17 Created: 2019-10-17 Last updated: 2019-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Fletcher, KevinGustafsson, Lars

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