Divergent Macroparasite Infections in Parapatric Swiss Lake-Stream Pairs of Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)
Karvonen, A., Lucek, K., Marques, D., & Seehausen, O. (2015). Divergent Macroparasite Infections in Parapatric Swiss Lake-Stream Pairs of Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Plos one, 10 (6), e0130579. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130579
Published inPlos one
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologia
© 2015 Karvonen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Spatial heterogeneity in diversity and intensity of parasitism is a typical feature of most hostparasite interactions, but understanding of the evolutionary implications of such variation is limited. One possible outcome of infection heterogeneities is parasite-mediated divergent selection between host populations, ecotypes or species which may facilitate the process of ecological speciation. However, very few studies have described infections in populationpairs along the speciation continuum from low to moderate or high degree of genetic differentiation that would address the possibility of parasite-mediated divergent selection in the early stages of the speciation process. Here we provide an example of divergent parasitism in freshwater fish ecotypes by examining macroparasite infections in threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) of four Swiss lake systems each harbouring parapatric lakestream ecotype pairs. We demonstrate significant differences in infections within and between the pairs that are driven particularly by the parasite taxa transmitted to fish from benthic invertebrates. The magnitude of the differences tended to correlate positively with the extent of neutral genetic differentiation between the parapatric lake and stream populations of stickleback, whereas no such correlation was found among allopatric populations from similar or contrasting habitats. This suggests that genetic differentiation is unrelated to the magnitude of parasite infection contrasts when gene flow is constrained by geographical barriers while in the absence of physical barriers, genetic differentiation and the magnitude of differences in infections tend to be positively correlated. ...