Crowding does not affect monarch butterflies’ resistance to a protozoan parasite
KAUST DepartmentDivision of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) King Abdullah University for Science and Technology Thuwal Saudi Arabia
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/676281
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AbstractHost density is an important factor when it comes to parasite transmission and host resistance. Increased host density can increase contact rate between individuals and thus parasite transmission. Host density can also cause physiological changes in the host, which can affect host resistance. Yet, the direction in which host density affects host resistance remains unresolved. It is also unclear whether food limitation plays a role in this effect. We investigated the effect of larval density in monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, on the resistance to their natural protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha under both unlimited and limited food conditions. We exposed monarchs to various density treatments as larvae to mimic high densities observed in sedentary populations. Data on infection and parasite spore load were collected as well as development time, survival, wing size, and melanization. Disease susceptibility under either food condition or across density treatments was similar. However, we found high larval density impacted development time, adult survival, and wing morphology when food was limited. This study aids our understanding of the dynamics of environmental parasite transmission in monarch populations, which can help explain the increased prevalence of parasites in sedentary monarch populations compared to migratory populations.
CitationAlaidrous, W., Villa, S. M., de Roode, J. C., & Majewska, A. A. (2022). Crowding does not affect monarch butterflies’ resistance to a protozoan parasite. Ecology and Evolution, 12(4). Portico. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.8791
SponsorsIsabella Cantor, Joselyne Chavez, Erik Edwards, and Elizabeth Sun for their assistance with the experiments. AAM and SMV were supported by NIH/NIGMS K12 Postdoctoral Fellowship at Emory University (5K12GM000680-19). This work was supported by NSF grant DEB-1754431 to JCdR.
JournalEcology and Evolution
PubMed Central IDPMC8986514
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Archived with thanks to Ecology and Evolution under a Creative Commons license, details at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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