Birds are islands for parasites

Jennifer A H Koop, Karen E. DeMatteo, Patricia G. Parker, Noah K Whiteman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms driving the extraordinary diversification of parasites is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Co-speciation, one proposed mechanism that could contribute to this diversity is hypothesized to result from allopatric co-divergence of host-parasite populations. We found that island populations of the Galápagos hawk (Buteo galapagoensis) and a parasitic feather louse species (Degeeriella regalis) exhibit patterns of co-divergence across variable temporal and spatial scales. Hawks and lice showed nearly identical population genetic structure across the Galápagos Islands. Hawk population genetic structure is explained by isolation by distance among islands. Louse population structure is best explained by hawk population structure, rather than isolation by distance per se, suggesting that lice tightly track the recent population histories of their hosts. Among hawk individuals, louse populations were also highly structured, suggesting that hosts serve as islands for parasites from an evolutionary perspective. Altogether, we found that host and parasite populations may have responded in the same manner to geographical isolation across spatial scales. Allopatric co-divergence is likely one important mechanism driving the diversification of parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBiology Letters
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

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hawks
lice
Hawks
Islands
Phthiraptera
Birds
Parasites
parasites
birds
Population
population genetics
population structure
Genetic Structures
Population Genetics
Buteo
feathers
Feathers
Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • co-divergence
  • co-speciation
  • coevolution
  • population genetic structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Birds are islands for parasites. / Koop, Jennifer A H; DeMatteo, Karen E.; Parker, Patricia G.; Whiteman, Noah K.

In: Biology Letters, Vol. 10, No. 8, 01.08.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Koop, Jennifer A H ; DeMatteo, Karen E. ; Parker, Patricia G. ; Whiteman, Noah K. / Birds are islands for parasites. In: Biology Letters. 2014 ; Vol. 10, No. 8.
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