The contrasting hidden consequences of parasitism: Effects of a hematophagous nematode (Uncinaria sp.) in the development of a marine mammal swimming behavior

Felipe Montalva, Diego Pérez-Venegas, Josefina Gutiérrez, Mauricio Seguel

Resultado de la investigación: Article

1 Cita (Scopus)

Resumen

Parasites are an important part of ecosystems, playing a critical role in their equilibrium. However, the consequences of parasitism beyond the direct effects associated with disease and mortality are not completely understood. This gap in knowledge is in part due to the difficulties to isolate the effect of single parasite species on physiological and behavioral traits in natural systems. The South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis)–hookworm (Uncinaria sp.) interaction offers an ideal system to overcome these difficulties and study the behavioral and physiological effects of parasites in their hosts. Hookworms cause stunted growth and anemia in pinniped pups, which could affect early life active behaviors such as swimming. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of hookworms (Uncinaria sp.) on the development of swimming capabilities in A. australis through physiological and ethological analyses. Higher parasite burden was associated with reduced growth rates and lower blood hemoglobin concentrations, whereas scaled body mass and blood hemoglobin levels had an important positive effect on the water activity of the pups. However, antihookworm treatment did not affect the level of water activity of the pups, and pups with high hookworm burden increased their time budget in water. This was probably related to lower maternal attendance in heavily parasitized pups, leaving these pups more time to perform water activities. Therefore, pups with heavy hookworm burden, despite having decreased growth rates and blood hemoglobin concentrations, compensated for their handicap in physiological traits related to swimming by spending more time in the water. This work offers new insights to understand the contrasting effects of parasites on aquatic organisms, and the compensatory mechanisms employed by infected animals to avoid the worst consequences of parasitism.

Idioma originalEnglish
Páginas (desde-hasta)3689-3699
Número de páginas11
PublicaciónEcology and Evolution
Volumen9
N.º7
DOI
EstadoPublished - 1 abr 2019

Huella dactilar

Uncinaria
marine mammals
swimming behavior
marine mammal
parasitism
pups
hookworms
nematode
parasites
Nematoda
parasite
hemoglobin
water activity
blood
water
anemia
pinniped
physiological effects
anemias
aquatic organism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Plant Science

Citar esto

Montalva, Felipe ; Pérez-Venegas, Diego ; Gutiérrez, Josefina ; Seguel, Mauricio. / The contrasting hidden consequences of parasitism : Effects of a hematophagous nematode (Uncinaria sp.) in the development of a marine mammal swimming behavior. En: Ecology and Evolution. 2019 ; Vol. 9, N.º 7. pp. 3689-3699.
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abstract = "Parasites are an important part of ecosystems, playing a critical role in their equilibrium. However, the consequences of parasitism beyond the direct effects associated with disease and mortality are not completely understood. This gap in knowledge is in part due to the difficulties to isolate the effect of single parasite species on physiological and behavioral traits in natural systems. The South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis)–hookworm (Uncinaria sp.) interaction offers an ideal system to overcome these difficulties and study the behavioral and physiological effects of parasites in their hosts. Hookworms cause stunted growth and anemia in pinniped pups, which could affect early life active behaviors such as swimming. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of hookworms (Uncinaria sp.) on the development of swimming capabilities in A. australis through physiological and ethological analyses. Higher parasite burden was associated with reduced growth rates and lower blood hemoglobin concentrations, whereas scaled body mass and blood hemoglobin levels had an important positive effect on the water activity of the pups. However, antihookworm treatment did not affect the level of water activity of the pups, and pups with high hookworm burden increased their time budget in water. This was probably related to lower maternal attendance in heavily parasitized pups, leaving these pups more time to perform water activities. Therefore, pups with heavy hookworm burden, despite having decreased growth rates and blood hemoglobin concentrations, compensated for their handicap in physiological traits related to swimming by spending more time in the water. This work offers new insights to understand the contrasting effects of parasites on aquatic organisms, and the compensatory mechanisms employed by infected animals to avoid the worst consequences of parasitism.",
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The contrasting hidden consequences of parasitism : Effects of a hematophagous nematode (Uncinaria sp.) in the development of a marine mammal swimming behavior. / Montalva, Felipe; Pérez-Venegas, Diego; Gutiérrez, Josefina; Seguel, Mauricio.

En: Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 9, N.º 7, 01.04.2019, p. 3689-3699.

Resultado de la investigación: Article

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T1 - The contrasting hidden consequences of parasitism

T2 - Effects of a hematophagous nematode (Uncinaria sp.) in the development of a marine mammal swimming behavior

AU - Montalva, Felipe

AU - Pérez-Venegas, Diego

AU - Gutiérrez, Josefina

AU - Seguel, Mauricio

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