Host movement ecology and feeding behavior influence how resource provisioning affects parasitism for wildlife

Meeting Abstract

104-4  Saturday, Jan. 7 14:15 – 14:30  Host movement ecology and feeding behavior influence how resource provisioning affects parasitism for wildlife BECKER, DJ*; STREICKER, DG; ALTIZER, SA; University of Georgia; University of Glasgow; University of Georgia

Food provided by human activities such as agriculture, recreational feeding, and conservation management can be less seasonal and more spatially reliable than natural resources, and subsequent changes to wildlife ecology can have profound impacts on host–parasite interactions. Wildlife species vary not only in their propensity to capitalize on anthropogenic food, but also in how their behavior and physiology respond to greater food availability. Here we conduct a phylogenetic comparative analysis of 284 host–parasite interactions across 55 wildlife species to identify species-level traits that influence whether resource provisioning increases or decreases measures of parasitism. Accounting for shared evolutionary history of wildlife species and uneven sampling effort, we found that effect sizes for bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi were correlated with host home range, trophic level, and migratory status, suggesting wide-ranging species, herbivores, and migrants are prone to have increased microparasitism with supplemental feeding activities. In contrast, effect sizes for helminths and ectoparasites showed more variation that was partly explained by host dietary diversity. Generalist foragers had reduced macroparasitism with supplemental feeding, suggesting these species can shift foraging away from natural foods that serve as intermediate hosts toward parasite-free anthropogenic resources. This analysis suggests that movement and dietary traits affect which host species experience greater parasitism under resource provisioning and highlights certain taxa for which parasite surveillance could be targeted or supplemental feeding could be limited to reduce infectious disease risk.

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