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Distinct life history strategies underpin clear patterns of succession in microparasite communities infecting a wild mammalian host
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  • Caroline Glidden,
  • Canan Karakoç,
  • Chenyang Duan,
  • Yuan Jiang,
  • Brianna Beechler,
  • Abdul Jabbar,
  • Anna Jolles
Caroline Glidden
Stanford University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Canan Karakoç
Indiana University
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Chenyang Duan
Oregon State University
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Yuan Jiang
Oregon State University
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Brianna Beechler
Oregon State University
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Abdul Jabbar
University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
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Anna Jolles
Oregon State University
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In free-living ecological communities, organismal life histories shape interactions with their environment, which ultimately forms the basis of ecological succession. Individual animals in natural populations tend to host diverse parasite species concurrently over their lifetimes. However, the structure and dynamics of mammalian parasite communities have not been contextualized in terms of primary ecological succession, in part because few datasets track occupancy and abundance of multiple parasites in wild hosts starting at birth. Here, we studied community dynamics of twelve subtypes of protozoan microparasites (Theileria spp.) in a herd of African buffalo. We show that Theileria communities followed predictable patterns of succession underpinned by four different parasite life-history strategies. In contrast to many free-living communities, network complexity decreased with host age. Examining parasite communities through the lens of succession may better inform the effect of complex within host eco-evolutionary dynamics on infection outcomes, including parasite co-existence through the lifetime of the host.
03 Dec 2022Submitted to Molecular Ecology
06 Dec 2022Submission Checks Completed
06 Dec 2022Assigned to Editor
06 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
13 Dec 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Feb 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
20 Mar 20231st Revision Received
21 Mar 2023Submission Checks Completed
21 Mar 2023Assigned to Editor
21 Mar 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Mar 2023Editorial Decision: Accept