Submitted to: Society of Nematologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: April 5, 2006
Publication Date: June 21, 2006
Citation: Campbell, J.F. 2006. Assessing the fitness consequences of parasite infection decisions [abstract]. Society of Nematologists Proceedings, Kauai, Hawaii, June 18-21, 2006. Technical Abstract: Important ‘decisions’ confront all animals as they search for and assess resources, and the outcomes of these ‘decisions’ may be strong agents of selection on life history strategies. The relative costs and benefits have been studied in many systems, and have led to the development of some basic theories in behavioral ecology. For example, considerable theoretical and empirical research has been done on insect parasitoid host acceptance. However, there are likely to be substantial differences between the costs and benefits of infection for a parasitoid female depositing eggs, compared to a parasite infective stage. In the last decade, there has also been a considerable amount of research done on how parasite infection influences host behavior, and whether or not these changes are adaptive for the parasite. Receiving less attention, however, has been the influence of variation in host quality on the infection behavior of parasite infective stages and the fitness consequences of host preference for the parasite. As the talks in this session have illustrated, parasite infection biology is an interesting and challenging avenue of research, which also has a great deal of potential applied application. In this presentation, research on parasitic nematode infection behavior will be reviewed and placed in a broader behavioral ecology context. Emphasis will be placed on the insights gained from the integration of mechanistic and functional approaches to understanding host infection.