Host Longevity and Parasite Species Richness in Mammals

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Host Longevity and Parasite Species Richness in Mammals

Show simple item record Cooper, Natalie Kamilar, Jason Nunn, Charles Lindsay 2012-07-20T15:51:04Z 2012-07-20
dc.identifier.citation Cooper, Natalie, Jason M. Kamilar, and Charles L. Nunn. 2012. Host longevity and parasite species richness in mammals. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42190. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 en_US
dc.description.abstract Hosts and parasites co-evolve, with each lineage exerting selective pressures on the other. Thus, parasites may influence host life-history characteristics, such as longevity, and simultaneously host life-history may influence parasite diversity. If parasite burden causes increased mortality, we expect a negative association between host longevity and parasite species richness. Alternatively, if long-lived species represent a more stable environment for parasite establishment, host longevity and parasite species richness may show a positive association. We tested these two opposing predictions in carnivores, primates and terrestrial ungulates using phylogenetic comparative methods and controlling for the potentially confounding effects of sampling effort and body mass. We also tested whether increased host longevity is associated with increased immunity, using white blood cell counts as a proxy for immune investment. Our analyses revealed weak relationships between parasite species richness and longevity. We found a significant negative relationship between longevity and parasite species richness for ungulates, but no significant associations in carnivores or primates. We also found no evidence for a relationship between immune investment and host longevity in any of our three groups. Our results suggest that greater parasite burden is linked to higher host mortality in ungulates. Thus, shorter-lived ungulates may be more vulnerable to disease outbreaks, which has implications for ungulate conservation, and may be applicable to other short-lived mammals. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Human Evolutionary Biology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042190
dash.license OAP
dc.subject lifespan en_US
dc.subject phylogenetic generalized least squares en_US
dc.subject Artiodactyla en_US
dc.subject Carnivora en_US
dc.subject Perissodactyla en_US
dc.title Host Longevity and Parasite Species Richness in Mammals en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Accepted Manuscript en_US
dc.relation.journal PLoS ONE en_US Nunn, Charles Lindsay 2012-07-20T15:51:04Z
dash.hope.year 2012 en_US

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