Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The true cost of host manipulation by parasites
Contributor(s): Poulin, Robert (author); Fredensborg, Brian L (author); Hansen, Ellen (author); Leung, Tommy (author)
Publication Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2004.07.011
Handle Link:
Abstract: If there is one thing that the past three decades of research in behavioural and evolutionary ecology have taught us, it is that there are no free lunches. Adaptive traits provide net fitness benefits to the animals bearing them, but the gains would be even greater if there were no concurrent costs associated with the expression of those traits. The ability of many parasites to enhance their transmission success by manipulating the behaviour of their hosts is one such trait (see Moore, 2002). In their excellent synthesis of past and current research on this phenomenon, Thomas et al. (2005) cast a doubt on the importance of the cost incurred by manipulating parasites. They argue that the existence and magnitude of such costs are dependent upon the type of mechanism used by a parasite to alter host behaviour. Thomas et al. (2005) focus exclusively on physiological, or proximate, costs such as the energetic costs necessary for the production of neuroactive substances in parasite species that use them to modify host behaviour. In a broader evolutionary context, however, one must consider costs at the ultimate level, in terms of fitness. Fitness is usually defined as the average number of surviving offspring produced by individuals with a certain genotype relative to that produced by other genotypes, or as an individual's relative contribution of genes to future generations (Ridley, 1996; Freeman and Herron, 2001), Energy is not the best currency to measure loss of fitness, because other fitness components, such as mortality risk, cannot readily be quantified in units of energy. Elsewhere in their review, in their discussion of mafia-like strategies, Thomas et al. (2005) consider fitness costs, but a similar perspective is needed to assess the cost of manipulation itself. Here, we wish to re-visit the issue of costs associated with manipulation.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Behavioural Processes, 68(3), p. 241-244
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: The Netherlands
ISSN: 0376-6357
Field of Research (FOR): 060801 Animal Behaviour
060201 Behavioural Ecology
060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: C2 Non-Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Statistics to Oct 2018: Visitors: 125
Views: 165
Downloads: 0
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

Files in This Item:
2 files
File Description SizeFormat 
Show full item record


checked on Nov 26, 2018

Page view(s)

checked on Mar 5, 2019
Google Media

Google ScholarTM







Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.