DO HAEMOSPORIDIAN PARASITES USE LONG-DISTANCE MIGRANTS TO COLONIZE NEW AREAS?

with Sergei V. Drovetski | March 2, 2012 - 14h30 | CIBIO-InBIO, Vairão

Sergei V. Drovetski (Research Associate Professor at CIBIO-InBIO) will present a seminar entitled "Do haemosporidian parasites use long-distance migrants to colonize new areas?” on 2nd of March, at 14.30, in Campus Agrário de Vairão auditorium.


The traditional view of the ecology of avian haemosporidian parasites placed an emphasis on host specificity and transmission on the breeding grounds. The wintering period was considered as a time of latent infection in resident and migratory birds alike. Advent of the molecular identification of haemosporidians has demonstrated the existence of a large cryptic diversity of haemosporidian parasites and discovered a frequent occurrence of host switching and transmission between resident and migratory birds on wintering grounds. Low haemosporidian host specificity and transmission on wintering grounds prompted concerns about the potential for haemosporidians to "hitchhike" on their long-distant migratory hosts and colonize new geographic regions and communities. We tested the "hitchhike" hypothesis using two Southeast Asian migratory birds breeding in the Caucasus and their resident relatives. We found little overlap between haemosporidian communities of the migrants and their resident relatives. Our data suggest limited transfer of parasites from resident to migratory species in the Caucasus, but not vice versa.
Included in this seminar, Georgy Semenov, a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology, Russian Academy of Sciences, will do a short presentation of his collaborative work with Sergei on “Genetic effects of sexual selection on hybridization between White and Masked wagtails”.