Title: Damped long-term host–parasite Red Queen coevolutionary dynamics: a reflection of dilution effects ?
Authors: Decaestecker, Ellen ×
De Gersem, Herbert
Michalakis, Y
Raeymaekers, Joost #
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2013
Publisher: Blackwell Science
Series Title: Ecology Letters vol:16 pages:1455-1462
Abstract: An increase in biological diversity leads to a greater stability of ecosystem properties. For host-parasite interactions, this is illustrated by the ‘dilution effect’: a negative correlation between host biodiversity and disease risk. We show that a similar mechanism might stabilize host-parasite dynamics at a lower level of diversity, i.e. at the level of genetic diversity within host species. A long-term time shift experiment, based on a historical reconstruction of a Daphnia-parasite coevolution, reveals infectivity cycles with more stable amplitude in experienced than in naive hosts. Coevolutionary models incorporating an increase in host allelic diversity over time explain the detected asymmetry. The accumulation of resistance alleles creates an opportunity for the host to stabilize Red Queen dynamics. It leads to a larger arsenal enhancing the host performance in its coevolution with the parasite in which ‘it takes all the running both antagonists can do to keep in the same place’.
ISSN: 1461-023X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Physics, Campus Kulak Kortrijk
Physics and Astronomy - miscellaneous
Biology, Campus Kulak Kortrijk
Department of Biology - miscellaneous
Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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