Human impacts decouple a fundamental ecological relationship-The positive association between host diversity and parasite diversity

TitleHuman impacts decouple a fundamental ecological relationship-The positive association between host diversity and parasite diversity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWood C.L, Zgliczynski B.J, Haupt A.J, Guerra A.S, Micheli F., Sandin SA
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume24
Pagination3666-3679
Date Published2018/08
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1354-1013
Accession NumberWOS:000437284700033
Keywordsbiodiversity; Biodiversity & Conservation; Biophysical coupling; biotic homogenization; central pacific-ocean; change; coral reefs; disease; environmental; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; fishing; host-parasite interactions; infectious-diseases; islands; line islands; mass mortality; parasite; Phoenix; Reef fish assemblages; santa-rosalia; species-area relationship; us coral-reefs
Abstract

Human impacts on ecosystems can decouple the fundamental ecological relationships that create patterns of diversity in free-living species. Despite the abundance, ubiquity, and ecological importance of parasites, it is unknown whether the same decoupling effects occur for parasitic species. We investigated the influence of fishing on the relationship between host diversity and parasite diversity for parasites of coral reef fishes on three fished and three unfished islands in the central equatorial Pacific. Fishing was associated with a shallowing of the positive host-diversity-parasite-diversity relationship. This occurred primarily through negative impacts of fishing on the presence of complex life-cycle parasites, which created a biologically impoverished parasite fauna of directly transmitted parasites resilient to changes in host biodiversity. Parasite diversity appears to be decoupled from host diversity by fishing impacts in this coral reef ecosystem, which suggests that such decoupling might also occur for parasites in other ecosystems affected by environmental change.

DOI10.1111/gcb.14159
Short TitleGlob. Change Biol.
Student Publication: 
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