Macroparasite dynamics of migratory host populations

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Spatial variability in host density is a key factor affecting disease dynamics of wildlife,
    and yet there are few spatially explicit models of host-macroparasite dynamics. This limits
    our understanding of parasitism in migratory hosts, whose densities change considerably in
    both space and time. In this paper, we develop a model for host-macroparasite dynamics
    that considers the directional movement of host populations and their associated parasites.
    We include spatiotemporal changes in the mean and variance in parasite burden per host, as
    well as parasite-mediated host mortality and parasite-mediated migratory ability. Reduced
    migratory ability with increasing parasitism results in heavily infested hosts halting their
    migration, and higher parasite burdens in stationary hosts than in moving hosts. Simulations reveal the potential for positive feedbacks between parasite-reduced migratory ability
    and increasing parasite burdens at infection hotspots, such as stopover sites, that may lead
    to parasite-induced migratory stalling. This framework could help understand how global
    change might influence wildlife disease via changes to migratory patterns and parasite demographic rates.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Draft / Submitted)
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International