Helminth communities in definitive hosts are formed by the acquisition of packets of larvae arriving each time an intermediate host is consumed. It is thus possible that associations between parasite species or other aspects of community structure get transferred from intermediate to definitive hosts. Earlier computer simulations showed that associations between 2 parasite species, in particular positive associations, could be transferred up the food chain. Here, we alter some of the assumptions of previous models and generate new simulations of several ways in which source infracommunities in intermediate hosts can be transferred to target infracommunities in definitive hosts. In particular, we introduced nonrandom selection of intermediate hosts by predatory definitive hosts, to mimic the phenomenon of host manipulation by parasites; this consisted in biasing predation toward intermediate hosts harboring a certain parasite species. Overall, our results show that positive covariances between 2 parasite species can not only be transferred but can also be amplified during transmission to definitive hosts; significant covariance between parasite species can even appear in the definitive hosts when none existed in the intermediate hosts. Negative covariance was not as readily transferred to definitive hosts and amplified, in part because of properties of the presence–absence covariance index. Amplification of covariance results from intermediate host manipulation as well as from other processes taking place during transmission. These results suggest that the patterns of association between helminth species in definitive hosts cannot be taken to reflect the processes acting inside those hosts: they may simply be inherited, with amplification, from intermediate hosts.
CAN HELMINTH COMMUNITY PATTERNS BE AMPLIFIED WHEN TRANSFERRED BY PREDATION FROM INTERMEDIATE TO DEFINITIVE HOSTS?
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William L. Vickery, Robert Poulin; CAN HELMINTH COMMUNITY PATTERNS BE AMPLIFIED WHEN TRANSFERRED BY PREDATION FROM INTERMEDIATE TO DEFINITIVE HOSTS?. J Parasitol 1 August 2002; 88 (4): 650–656. doi: https://doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2002)088[0650:CHCPBA]2.0.CO;2
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