Special Issue "Cues Followed by Parasites and Predators in Detecting Their Victims"
A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 15622
Interests: host-parasite interactions; ecological immunology; behavioural ecology; avian ecology; evolutionary biology; sexual selection
Interests: coevolution between avian brood parasites and their hosts; parasitism and ecological immunology; interactions between bacteria and their avian hosts; avian signalling and sexual selection
Parasites and predators share many evolutionary aspects. Both have evolved strategies to maximise the probability of encounter with their host and prey victims, while hosts and prey have evolved defensive characteristics to reduce their detectability. Parasites and predators mainly use visual, chemical, auditory, or thermal cues to find their hosts and prey. Most cues are derived from essential biological activities such as respiration, feeding, or defecation. These activities cannot be supressed, but the selection pressure exerted by parasites and predators would limit their expression. Parasites and predators could also exploit sexual signals and behaviours of hosts and prey. These signals are key to reproduction but can increase the detectability of the signaller by unintended receivers. Therefore, parasites and predators might constrain the evolution of these signals.
Some cues involved in host and prey location are indirectly produced by symbiotic microorganisms or derived from materials used to build nests or similar constructions. Nest materials and/or the metabolism of symbiotic microorganisms are important factors affecting, for instance, the odours released or the faeces characteristics of hosts and prey that can be detected by parasites and predators. On the other hand, host and prey organisms may also use byproducts of microbial metabolism and nest materials to deter or even kill parasites and predators.
Selection pressures are not similar for all hosts and prey because certain phenotypes may provide the parasites and predators with relatively greater benefits and be preferred for this reason. Understanding preferences for particular host and prey phenotypes is particularly important for the evolution of host and prey traits, and for epidemiologic and demographic processes associated with these interactions.
This Special Issue will highlight recent advances within this field, focusing on cues and signals employed by parasites and predators to locate their hosts and prey in different systems. It will include the role of microorganisms and nest materials in these interactions, and the biased preferences of parasites and predators over hosts and prey as well as their effects on host and prey populations. We welcome experimental, correlational, and review manuscripts on this topic.
Dr. Gustavo Tomás
Dr. Juan José Soler
Manuscript Submission Information
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- parasite–host interactions
- predator–prey interactions
- host location mechanisms
- prey location mechanisms
- host preference
- prey selection
- sexual signals
- nest materials