Divergent parasite infections in sympatric cichlid species in Lake Victoria

Karvonen, Anssi; Wagner, Catherine; Selz, Oliver; Seehausen, Ole (2018). Divergent parasite infections in sympatric cichlid species in Lake Victoria. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 31(9), pp. 1313-1329. Wiley 10.1111/jeb.13304

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Parasitism has been proposed as a factor in host speciation, as an agent affecting coexistence of host species in species rich communities, and as a driver of post-speciation diversification. Young adaptive radiations of closely related host species of varying ecological and genomic differentiation provide interesting opportunities to explore interactions between patterns of parasitism, divergence and coexistence of sympatric host species. Here, we explored patterns in ectoparasitism in a community of 16 fully sympatric cichlid species at Makobe Island in Lake Victoria, a model system of vertebrate adaptive radiation. We asked if host niche, host abundance or host genetic differentiation explain variation in infection patterns. We found significant differences in infections, the magnitude of which was weakly correlated with the extent of genomic divergence between the host species, but more strongly with the main ecological gradient, water depth. These effects were most evident with infections of Cichlidogyrus monogeneans, while the only host species with a strictly crevice-dwelling niche, Pundamilia pundamilia, deviated from the general negative relationship between depth and parasitism. In accordance with the Janzen-Connell hypothesis, we also found that host abundance tended to be positively associated with infections in some parasite taxa. Data on the Pundamilia sister species-pairs from three other islands with variable degrees of habitat (crevice) specialization suggested that the lower parasite abundance of P. pundamilia at Makobe could result from both habitat specialization and the evolution of specific resistance. Our results support influences of host genetic differentiation and host ecology in determining infections in this diverse community of sympatric cichlid species.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Wagner, Catherine; Selz, Oliver and Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1010-061X

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

28 Jun 2018 11:58

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2018 09:06

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jeb.13304

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.118184

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/118184

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