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Feather mites on birds: Costs of parasitism or conditional outcomes?

AuthorsBlanco, Guillermo ; Tella, José Luis ; Potti, Jaime ; Baz, Arturo
Issue Date2001
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationJournal of Avian Biology 32: 271- 274 (2001)
AbstractFeather mites (suborder Astigmata, superfamilies Analgoidea, Pterolichoidea and Freyaniidae) are among the commonest ectosymbionts of birds. Most researchers have assumed they are parasites, having negative effects on hosts. Here we present evidence that suggests that feather mites may not be parasites. We develop a framework for considering conditional outcomes in these interspecific associations, dealing with different kinds of relationships between symbionts. The non-parasitic status of feather mites is supported by a literature review as well as by preliminary data on mites' food. We illustrate symbiotic relationships with a graphical model showing different scenarios in which hosts' cost-benefit relations are determined by the interactions among their symbionts.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/j.0908-8857.2001.320310.x
issn: 0908-8857
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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