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The evolution of parasite manipulation of host dispersal.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society
Publication Date
Volume
273
Issue
1590
Pages
1063–1071
Identifiers
PMID: 16600882
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We investigate the evolution of manipulation of host dispersal behaviour by parasites using spatially explicit individual-based simulations. We find that when dispersal is local, parasites always gain from increasing their hosts' dispersal rate, although the evolutionary outcome is determined by the costs-to-benefits ratio. However, when dispersal can be non-local, we show that parasites investing in an intermediate dispersal distance of their hosts are favoured even when the manipulation is not costly, due to the intrinsic spatial dynamics of the host-parasite interaction. Our analysis highlights the crucial importance of ecological spatial dynamics in evolutionary processes and reveals the theoretical possibility that parasites could manipulate their hosts' dispersal.

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