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An evolutionary trade-off between parasite virulence and dispersal at experimental invasion fronts
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  • Louise Nørgaard,
  • Giacomo Zilio,
  • Camille Saade,
  • Claiire Gougat-Barbera,
  • Matthew Hall,
  • Emanuel Fronhofer,
  • Oliver Kaltz
Louise Nørgaard
Monash University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Giacomo Zilio
University of Montpellier
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Camille Saade
University of Montpellier
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Claiire Gougat-Barbera
University of Montpellier
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Matthew Hall
Monash University, Monash University
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Emanuel Fronhofer
University of Montpellier
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Oliver Kaltz
University of Montpellier
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Changing environments and habitat structure likely affect eco-evolutionary processes involved in the spatial spread of disease. Exploitative parasites are predicted to evolve in highly connected populations or in expanding epidemics. However, many parasites rely on host dispersal to reach new populations, potentially causing conflict between local transmission and global spread. We performed experimental range expansions in interconnected microcosms of the protozoan Paramecium caudatum, allowing natural dispersal of hosts infected with the bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. Parasites from range front treatments were less virulent and interfered less with host dispersal, but also invested less in horizontal transmission than parasites from range cores. An epidemiological model fitted on experimental time-series data confirmed this trade-off between dispersal adaptation and transmission, so far rarely considered in theoretical models. Our study illustrates the importance of the ecology and evolution of dispersal-related traits in spatial non-equilibrium scenarios, including emerging diseases, metapopulations or biological invasions.
21 Aug 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
24 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
24 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
01 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
05 Oct 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Oct 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
26 Nov 20201st Revision Received
01 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
01 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
02 Dec 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
23 Dec 2020Editorial Decision: Accept