Environmental temperature variation influences fitness trade-offs and tolerance in a fish-tapeworm association

BACKGROUND: Increasing temperatures are predicted to strongly impact host-parasite interactions, but empirical tests are rare. Host species that are naturally exposed to a broad temperature spectrum offer the possibility to investigate the effects of elevated temperatures on hosts and parasites. Usi...

Authors: Franke, Frederik
Armitage, Sophie A. O.
Kutzer, Megan Anne Mays
Kurtz, Joachim
Scharsack, Jörn Peter
Division/Institute:FB 13: Biologie
Document types:Article
Media types:Text
Publication date:2017
Date of publication on miami:26.10.2018
Modification date:02.09.2022
Edition statement:[Electronic ed.]
Source:Parasites & Vectors 10 (2017) 252, 1-11
Subjects:Host-parasite interaction; Fitness; Tolerance; Environment; Temperature; Gasterosteus aculeatus; Schistocephalus solidus
DDC Subject:570: Biowissenschaften; Biologie
License:CC BY 4.0
Language:English
Funding:Finanziert durch den Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2017 der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU Münster).
Format:PDF document
URN:urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-17109715645
Other Identifiers:DOI: 10.1186/s13071-017-2192-7
Permalink:https://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-17109715645
Digital documents:document.pdf

BACKGROUND: Increasing temperatures are predicted to strongly impact host-parasite interactions, but empirical tests are rare. Host species that are naturally exposed to a broad temperature spectrum offer the possibility to investigate the effects of elevated temperatures on hosts and parasites. Using three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus L., and tapeworms, Schistocephalus solidus (Müller, 1776), originating from a cold and a warm water site of a volcanic lake, we subjected sympatric and allopatric host-parasite combinations to cold and warm conditions in a fully crossed design. We predicted that warm temperatures would promote the development of the parasites, while the hosts might benefit from cooler temperatures. We further expected adaptations to the local temperature and mutual adaptations of local host-parasite pairs.RESULTS: Overall, S. solidus parasites grew faster at warm temperatures and stickleback hosts at cold temperatures. On a finer scale, we observed that parasites were able to exploit their hosts more efficiently at the parasite’s temperature of origin. In contrast, host tolerance towards parasite infection was higher when sticklebacks were infected with parasites at the parasite’s ‘foreign’ temperature. Cold-origin sticklebacks tended to grow faster and parasite infection induced a stronger immune response.CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that increasing environmental temperatures promote the parasite rather than the host and that host tolerance is dependent on the interaction between parasite infection and temperature. Sticklebacks might use tolerance mechanisms towards parasite infection in combination with their high plasticity towards temperature changes to cope with increasing parasite infection pressures and rising temperatures.