Evol Ecol Res 8: 1117-1128 (2006) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Parasite virulence and host resistance in a slave-making ant community
Jeremy M. Bono,* Michael F. Antolin and Joan M. Herbers‡
Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Address all correspondence to Jeremy Bono, Department of Biosciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V3K 3A4, Canada.
Questions: Does virulence of socially parasitic slave-making ants vary in interactions with different host species? If so, can this be linked to host properties such as nest availability or resistance of host species?
Study system: Our study system included three slave-making ant species, Polyergus breviceps, Formica puberula, and F. gynocrates, and two host species, F. occulta and F. sp. cf. argentea.
Methods: We measured slave-maker virulence by comparing the mortality rates of host nests that were raided by slave-makers to host nests that were not raided. To determine whether slave-makers that were more likely to over-exploit slave resources were more prudent (lower virulence), we compared the percentage of nests that were raided for each host species. To determine whether variation in slave-maker virulence was due to different levels of host resistance, we compared the aggressiveness of the two host species towards slave-makers during slave raids, reasoning that nests of a more aggressive host species would show higher survivorship.
Results: Slave-makers were highly virulent in association with the host, F. sp. cf. argentea, but more benign in interactions with F. occulta. Formica occulta was not universally more aggressive against slave-makers than F. sp. cf. argentea, suggesting that this alone is not a sufficient explanation for the higher survivorship of this species. Slave-makers that specialized on F. occulta were at higher risk of over-exploiting resources, indicating that more prudent slave-maker strategies might be selected for in interactions with this host.
Keywords: co-evolution, Formicidae, Polyergus, social parasites, virulence.
DOWNLOAD A FREE, FULL PDF COPY
IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.
© 2006 Jeremy M. Bono. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.
Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.
All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.