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Bacterial environment of nest cavities influences probability of ectoparasitism of nestling hoopoes

AuthorsMazorra Alonso, Mónica; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Juárez-García, Natalia; Soler, Juan José
Issue Date2020
CitationVII Biennial Congress of SESBE (2020)
AbstractParasitism is one of the major selective forces determining the evolution of organisms, while myriads of microorganisms live in close contact with hosts. Parasites might use clues from symbiotic-bacterial metabolism to detect their hosts and, thus, parasitism selection pressure would be partially mediated by bacterial symbionts. In this study, we intend to test this idea by experimental manipulation of the bacterial community of holes used by European hoopoes (Upupa epops) for breeding. The experiment consisted on filling new installed nest-boxes with old nest materials collected from next-boxes where hoopoes breed the previous year. In experimental, but not in control nest boxes, old nest material was previously autoclaved to eliminate the microorganisms from the experimental nest materials. In accordance with the hypothesis that ectoparasites used clues from nest bacterial environment to detect hoopoe nests, we found that intensity of parasitism by Carnus flies of nestling was higher in control than in experimental nest-boxes, and that nest bacterial load and parasitism intensity were positively related. Moreover, in accordance with the assumption of our experimental approach, bacteria loads of nest material, soon after hatching, was higher in control than in experimental nest-boxes. All these results therefore suggest that microorganisms play an important role determining the strength of ectoparasitism selection pressure suffered by their host and, thus, on evolutionary outcomes of parasite-host interactions.
DescriptionResumen del póster presentado al VII Biennial Congress of SESBE (Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology), celebrado en Sevilla de 5 al 7 de febrero de 2020.
Appears in Collections:(EEZA) Comunicaciones congresos
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