Show simple item record Iain en_US 2009-09-23T11:03:55Z 2009-09-23T11:03:55Z 2005 en_US
dc.identifier en_US
dc.identifier.citation Barber , I 2005 , ' Parasites grow larger in faster growing fish hosts ' International Journal for Parasitology , pp. 137-143 . , 10.1016/j.ijpara.2004.11.010 en_US
dc.identifier.other PURE: 118260 en_US
dc.identifier.other dspace: 2160/3052 en_US
dc.description.abstract Parasites depend on host-derived energy for growth and development, and so are potentially affected by the host's ability to acquire nutrients under competitive foraging scenarios. Although parasites might be expected to grow faster in hosts that are better at acquiring nutrients from natural ecosystems, it is also possible that the most competitive hosts are better at countering infections, if they have an improved immune response or are able to limit the availability of nutrients to parasites. I first quantified the ability of uninfected three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus to compete in groups for sequentially-presented food items, and then exposed either the best or worst competitors to infective stages of the cestode Schistocephalus solidus. Fish were subsequently raised in their original groups, under competitive feeding regimes, for 96 days, after which fish and parasite growth was determined. Unexpectedly, pre-exposure host competitive ability had no effect on susceptibility to infection, or on post-infection growth rate. Furthermore, despite a 120-fold variation in parasite mass at the end of the study, pre-infection competitive ability was not related to parasite growth. The closest predictor of parasite mass was body size-corrected host growth rate, indicating that the fastest growing fish developed the largest parasites. Faster growing hosts therefore apparently provide ideal environments for growing parasites. This finding has important implications for ecology and aquaculture. en_US
dc.format.extent 7 en_US
dc.relation.ispartof International Journal for Parasitology en_US
dc.title Parasites grow larger in faster growing fish hosts en_US
dc.contributor.pbl Aberystwyth University en_US
dc.contributor.pbl Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences en_US

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