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Predator dietary response to prey density variation and consequences for cestode transmission


Raoul, F; Deplazes, P; Rieffel, D; Lambert, J-C; Giraudoux, P (2010). Predator dietary response to prey density variation and consequences for cestode transmission. Oecologia, 164(1):129-139.

Abstract

The functional response of predators to prey density variations has previously been investigated in order to understand predation patterns. However, the consequences of functional response on parasite transmission remain largely unexplored. The rodents Microtus arvalis and Arvicola terrestris are the main prey of the red fox Vulpes vulpes in eastern France. These species are intermediate and definitive hosts of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis. We explored the dietary and contamination responses of the red fox to variations in prey density. The dietary response differed between the two prey species: no response for M. arvalis and a type III-like (sigmoidal) response for A. terrestris that shows possible interference with M. arvalis. The fox contamination response followed a type II shape (asymptotic) for both species. We conclude that fox predation is species specific and E. multilocularis transmission is likely to be regulated by a complex combination of predation and immunologic factors. These results should provide a better understanding of the biological and ecological mechanisms involved in the transmission dynamics of trophically transmitted parasites when multiple hosts are involved. The relevance of the models of parasite transmission should be enhanced if non-linear patterns are taken into account.

The functional response of predators to prey density variations has previously been investigated in order to understand predation patterns. However, the consequences of functional response on parasite transmission remain largely unexplored. The rodents Microtus arvalis and Arvicola terrestris are the main prey of the red fox Vulpes vulpes in eastern France. These species are intermediate and definitive hosts of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis. We explored the dietary and contamination responses of the red fox to variations in prey density. The dietary response differed between the two prey species: no response for M. arvalis and a type III-like (sigmoidal) response for A. terrestris that shows possible interference with M. arvalis. The fox contamination response followed a type II shape (asymptotic) for both species. We conclude that fox predation is species specific and E. multilocularis transmission is likely to be regulated by a complex combination of predation and immunologic factors. These results should provide a better understanding of the biological and ecological mechanisms involved in the transmission dynamics of trophically transmitted parasites when multiple hosts are involved. The relevance of the models of parasite transmission should be enhanced if non-linear patterns are taken into account.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:10 Nov 2010 08:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:12
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0029-8549
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s00442-010-1647-8
PubMed ID:20461413
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-35260

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