Population expansion and individual age affect endoparasite richness and diversity in a recolonising large carnivore population

  • The recent recolonisation of the Central European lowland (CEL) by the grey wolf (Canis lupus) provides an excellent opportunity to study the effect of founder events on endoparasite diversity. Which role do prey and predator populations play in the re-establishment of endoparasite life cycles? Which intrinsic and extrinsic factors control individual endoparasite diversity in an expanding host population? In 53 individually known CEL wolves sampled in Germany, we revealed a community of four cestode, eight nematode, one trematode and 12 potential Sarcocystis species through molecular genetic techniques. Infections with zoonotic Echinococcus multilocularis, Trichinella britovi and T. spiralis occurred as single cases. Per capita endoparasite species richness and diversity significantly increased with population size and changed with age, whereas sex, microsatellite heterozygosity, and geographic origin had no effect. Tapeworm abundance (Taenia spp.) was significantly higher in immigrants than natives. Metacestode prevalence was slightly higher in ungulates from wolf territories than from control areas elsewhere. Even though alternative canid definitive hosts might also play a role within the investigated parasite life cycles, our findings indicate that (1) immigrated wolves increase parasite diversity in German packs, and (2) prevalence of wolf-associated parasites had declined during wolf absence and has now risen during recolonisation.

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Author:Ines Lesniak, Ilja Heckmann, Emanuel Heitlinger, Claudia Anita Szentiks, Carsten Nowak, Verena Harms, Anne Jarausch, Ilka Reinhardt, Gesa Kluth, Heribert Hofer, Oliver Krone
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28128348
Parent Title (English):Scientific reports
Publisher:Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Place of publication:[London]
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/01/27
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/11/13
Tag:Biodiversity; Conservation biology; High-throughput screening; Parasite genetics; Population genetics
Issue:Art. 41730
Page Number:14
First Page:1
Last Page:14
Rights and permissions: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Institutes:Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft
Biowissenschaften / Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0