loading page

An evolutionary trade-off between parasite virulence and dispersal at experimental invasion fronts
  • +4
  • Louise Nørgaard,
  • Giacomo Zilio,
  • Camille Saade,
  • Claiire Gougat-Barbera,
  • Matthew Hall,
  • Emanuel Fronhofer,
  • Oliver Kaltz
Louise Nørgaard
Monash University
Author Profile
Giacomo Zilio
University of Montpellier
Author Profile
Camille Saade
University of Montpellier
Author Profile
Claiire Gougat-Barbera
University of Montpellier
Author Profile
Matthew Hall
Monash University, Monash University
Author Profile
Emanuel Fronhofer
University of Montpellier
Author Profile
Oliver Kaltz
University of Montpellier
Author Profile

Abstract

Changing environments and habitat structure likely affect eco-evolutionary processes involved in the spatial spread of disease. Exploitative parasites are predicted to evolve in highly connected populations or in expanding epidemics. However, many parasites rely on host dispersal to reach new populations, potentially causing conflict between local transmission and global spread. We performed experimental range expansions in interconnected microcosms of the protozoan Paramecium caudatum, allowing natural dispersal of hosts infected with the bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. Parasites from range front treatments were less virulent and interfered less with host dispersal, but also invested less in horizontal transmission than parasites from range cores. An epidemiological model fitted on experimental time-series data confirmed this trade-off between dispersal adaptation and transmission, so far rarely considered in theoretical models. Our study illustrates the importance of the ecology and evolution of dispersal-related traits in spatial non-equilibrium scenarios, including emerging diseases, metapopulations or biological invasions.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

21 Aug 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
24 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
24 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
01 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned