The parasite ecology papers that got away: Part III

Today is the final installment of the parasite ecology papers that got away – back to regular posts next week!

Relationship highs and lows in coral reefs

This year, I blogged about the context dependent nature of symbioses a lot (e.g., here and here). If you’re into that sort of thing, check out these papers about the context dependent nature of coral-fish relationships and coral- zooxanthellae relationships. You’ll also get to see some really cool work regarding partner control; are zooxanthellae coral slaves?

Chase, T.J., M. S. Pratchett, S. P. W. Walker, and M. O. Hoogenboom. Small‑scale environmental variation influences whether coral‑dwelling fish promote or impede coral growth. Oecologia 176:1009–1022.

Cunning, R., N. Vaughan, P. Gillette, T.R. Capol, J.L. Mate, and A.C. Baker. 2015. Dynamic regulation of partner abundance mediates response of reef coral symbioses to environmental change. Ecology 96:1411–1420

Wooldridge, S.A. 2010. Is the coral-algae symbiosis really ‘mutually beneficial’ for the partners? BioEssays 32(7): 615-625.

Parasitic castrators

Some parasites sterilize or castrate their hosts. But often this sterilization isn’t 100% effective. Why not? And what does that mean for host-parasite ecology?

Tarnita, C.E., T.M. Palmer, and R.M. Pringle. 2014. Colonisation and competition dynamics can explain incomplete sterilisation parasitism in ant–plant symbioses. Ecology Letters 17: 1290-1298.

Parasites on predators

What happens when predators are infected by parasites? One possibility is that they’ll become lethargic, with totally altered functional responses. Just imagine the ecological implications!

Toscano, B.J., B. Newsome, and B.D. Griffen. 2014. Parasite modification of predator functional response. Oecologia 175: 345-352.

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