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Host-Parasite Interactions and Population Dynamics of Rock Ptarmigan

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dc.contributor Háskóli Íslands
dc.contributor University of Iceland
dc.contributor.author Stenkewitz, Ute
dc.contributor.author Nielsen, Ólafur K.
dc.contributor.author Skirnisson, Karl
dc.contributor.author Stefánsson, Gunnar
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-25T16:28:21Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-25T16:28:21Z
dc.date.issued 2016-11-21
dc.identifier.citation Stenkewitz U, Nielsen ÓK, Skírnisson K, Stefánsson G (2016) Host-Parasite Interactions and Population Dynamics of Rock Ptarmigan. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0165293. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0165293
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/410
dc.description.abstract Populations of rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) in Iceland fluctuate in multiannual cycles with peak numbers c. every 10 years. We studied the ptarmigan-parasite community and how parasites relate to ptarmigan age, body condition, and population density. We collected 632 ptarmigan in northeast Iceland in early October from 2006 to 2012; 630 (99.7%) were infected with at least one parasite species, 616 (98%) with ectoparasites, and 536 (85%) with endoparasites. We analysed indices for the combined parasite community (16 species) and known pathogenic parasites, two coccidian protozoans Eimeria muta and Eimeria rjupa, two nematodes Capillaria caudinflata and Trichostrongylus tenuis, one chewing louse Amyrsidea lagopi, and one skin mite Metamicrolichus islandicus. Juveniles overall had more ectoparasites than adults, but endoparasite levels were similar in both groups. Ptarmigan population density was associated with endoparasites, and in particular prevalence of the coccidian parasite Eimeria muta. Annual aggregation level of this eimerid fluctuated inversely with prevalence, with lows at prevalence peak and vice versa. Both prevalence and aggregation of E. muta tracked ptarmigan population density with a 1.5 year time lag. The time lag could be explained by the host specificity of this eimerid, host density dependent shedding of oocysts, and their persistence in the environment from one year to the next. Ptarmigan body condition was negatively associated with E. muta prevalence, an indication of their pathogenicity, and this eimerid was also positively associated with ptarmigan mortality and marginally inversely with fecundity. There were also significant associations between fecundity and chewing louse Amyrsidea lagopi prevalence (negative), excess juvenile mortality and nematode Capillaria caudinflata prevalence (positive), and adult mortality and skin mite Metamicrolichus islandicus prevalence (negative). Though this study is correlational, it provides strong evidence that E. muta through time-lag in prevalence with respect to host population size and by showing significant relations with host body condition, mortality, and fecundity could destabilize ptarmigan population dynamics in Iceland.
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the Icelandic Research Fund, grant number 090207021: salary including funding of this work; Hunting Card Fund: salary including funding of this work; Landsvirkjun Energy Fund: salary and funding of this work; Institute for Experimental Pathology, Keldur, University of Iceland:
dc.format.extent e0165293
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS)
dc.relation.ispartofseries Plos One;11(11)
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject Death rates
dc.subject Birds
dc.subject Fecundity
dc.subject Parasitic diseases
dc.subject Population density
dc.subject Eimeria
dc.subject Iceland
dc.subject Rjúpa
dc.subject Sníklar
dc.subject Lífslíkur
dc.subject Íbúafjöldi
dc.title Host-Parasite Interactions and Population Dynamics of Rock Ptarmigan
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dcterms.license This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
dc.description.version Peer Reviewed
dc.identifier.journal Plos One
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0165293
dc.relation.url http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0165293
dc.contributor.department Líf- og umhverfisvísindadeild (HÍ)
dc.contributor.department Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences (UI)
dc.contributor.department Tilraunastöð í meinafræði að Keldum (HÍ)
dc.contributor.department Institute for Experimental Pathology, Keldur (UI)
dc.contributor.school Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
dc.contributor.school School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)

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