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Host density increases parasite recruitment but decreases host risk in a snail-trematode system

Overview of attention for article published in Ecology, May 2017
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Title
Host density increases parasite recruitment but decreases host risk in a snail-trematode system
Published in
Ecology, May 2017
DOI 10.1002/ecy.1905
Pubmed ID
Authors

Buck, J.C., Hechinger, R.F., Wood, A.C., Stewart, T.E., Kuris, A.M., Lafferty, K.D.

Abstract

Most species aggregate in local patches. High host density in patches increases contact rate between hosts and parasites, increasing parasite transmission success. At the same time, for environmentally-transmitted parasites, high host density can decrease infection risk to individual hosts, because infective stages are divided among all hosts in a patch, leading to safety in numbers. We tested these predictions using the California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica (=Cerithidea californica), which is the first intermediate host for at least 19 digenean trematode species in California estuaries. Snails become infected by ingesting trematode eggs or through penetration by free-swimming miracidia that hatch from trematode eggs deposited with final-host (bird or mammal) feces. This complex life cycle decouples infective-stage production from transmission, raising the possibility of an inverse relationship between host density and infection risk. In a field survey, higher snail density was associated with increased trematode (infected snail) density, but decreased trematode prevalence, consistent with either safety in numbers, parasitic castration, or both. To determine the extent to which safety in numbers drove the negative snail density-trematode prevalence association, we manipulated uninfected snail density in 83 cages at eight sites within Carpinteria Salt Marsh (CA, USA). At each site, we quantified snail density and used data on final-host (bird and raccoon) distributions to control for between-site variation in infective-stage supply. After three months, overall trematode infections per cage increased with snail-biomass density. For egg-transmitted trematodes, per-snail infection risk decreased with snail-biomass density in the cage and surrounding area, whereas per-snail infection risk did not decrease for miracidium-transmitted trematodes. Furthermore, both trematode recruitment and infection risk increased with infective-stage input, but this was significant only for miracidium-transmitted species. A model parameterized with our experimental results and snail densities from 524 field transects estimated that safety in numbers, when combined with host aggregation, halved per-capita infection risk in this snail population. We conclude that, depending on transmission mode, host density can enhance parasite recruitment and reduce per-capita infection risk. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 43 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 43 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 13 30%
Student > Bachelor 7 16%
Student > Master 6 14%
Unspecified 5 12%
Researcher 5 12%
Other 7 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 24 56%
Unspecified 6 14%
Environmental Science 6 14%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 9%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 2 5%
Other 1 2%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 May 2017.
All research outputs
#9,904,000
of 12,960,324 outputs
Outputs from Ecology
#4,277
of 4,981 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#175,149
of 264,435 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Ecology
#104
of 111 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,960,324 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 23rd percentile – i.e., 23% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,981 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 8.2. This one is in the 11th percentile – i.e., 11% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 264,435 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 33rd percentile – i.e., 33% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 111 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 6th percentile – i.e., 6% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.