Parasites have a variety of behavioural effects on their hosts, which can in turn affect species with which the host interacts. Here we review how these trait-mediated indirect effects of parasites can alter the outcomes of invader-native interactions, illustrating with examples from the literature and with particular regard to the invader-native crustacean systems studied in our laboratories. Parasites may potentially inhibit or exacerbate invasions via their effects on host behaviour, in addition to their direct virulence effects on hosts. In several crustacean systems, we have found that parasites influence both host predation rates on intra- and inter-guild prey and host vulnerability to being preyed upon. These trait effects can theoretically alter invasion impact and patterns of coexistence, as they indirectly affect interactions between predators and prey with the potential for further ramifications to other species in the food web. The fitness consequences of parasite-induced trait-mediated effects are rarely considered in traditional parasitological contexts, but demand attention in the context of ecological communities. We can regard these trait effects as a form of cryptic virulence that only becomes apparent when hosts are examined in the context of the other species with which they interact.
|Name||Parasitology Research Monographs|
- Species interactions
- Trait-mediated indirect effect
- Indirect interaction