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Host traits and environment interact to drive host-pathogen coexistence following pathogen invasion
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  • Alexander Grimaudo,
  • Joseph Hoyt,
  • Steffany Yamada,
  • Carl Herzog,
  • Alyssa Bennett,
  • Kate Langwig
Alexander Grimaudo
Virginia Tech
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Joseph Hoyt
Virginia Tech
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Steffany Yamada
Virginia Tech
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Carl Herzog
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Alyssa Bennett
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
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Kate Langwig
Virginia Tech
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Abstract

Emerging infectious diseases have resulted in severe population declines across diverse taxa. In some instances, despite attributes associated with high extinction risk, disease emergence and host declines are followed by host stabilization for reasons that are frequently unclear. While host, pathogen, and the environment are recognized as important factors that interact to determine host-pathogen coexistence, they are often considered independently. Here, we use a translocation experiment to disentangle the role of host traits and environmental conditions in driving the persistence of remnant populations a decade after they declined 70-99% and subsequently stabilized with disease. While survival was significantly higher than during the initial epidemic within all sites, protection from severe disease only existed within a narrow environmental space, suggesting host traits conducive to surviving disease are highly environmentally dependent. Ultimately, population persistence following pathogen invasion is the product of host-pathogen interactions that vary across a patchwork of environments.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

12 Jul 2021Submitted to Ecology Letters
15 Jul 2021Assigned to Editor
15 Jul 2021Submission Checks Completed
16 Jul 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Aug 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
27 Aug 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major