Effects of hybridization on the immunity of collared Ficedula albicollis and pied flycatchers F-hypoleuca, and their infection by haemosporidians
2009 (English)In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, E-ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 40, no 4, 352-357 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Because they are ubiquitous and typically reduce the fitness of hosts, parasites may play important roles in hybrid zone dynamics. Despite much work on herbivores and hybrid plants, the effect of parasites on the fitness of animal hybrids is poorly known. In an attempt to partly fill this gap, we examined the prevalence of avian haemosporidians Haemoproteus in a hybrid zone between collared Ficedula albicollis and pied flycatchers F. hypoleuca. 40 species-informative genetic markers allowed us to identify F1 hybrids, thus avoiding problems inherent in many studies that group hybrid genotypes. Furthermore, naturally occurring extra-pair paternity allowed us to test the immune responses of pure and hybrid nestlings to a novel antigen (phytohaemagglutinin) in a shared environment. In contrast to previous suggestions that animal hybrids may more often display resistance against parasites than plant hybrids, F1 hybrids exhibited prevalence of parasitism and immune responses that were intermediate between the two parental species. We also detected differences between the two parental species in their prevalence of infection, with the competitively dominant species (collared flycatcher) being less often infected by Haemoproteus. Overall, our results contribute to other recent data supporting the idea that the resistance of animals to parasites is variously and unpredictably affected by hybridization, and that there is a concordance in the general patterns observed in plants and animals. Haemosporidians in avian hybrids provide a useful system for investigating the interactions between hosts and parasites that characterize host contact zones.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 40, no 4, 352-357 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-128380DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-048X.2009.04741.xISI: 000267882900002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-128380DiVA: diva2:331466