A model for studying isolation mechanisms in parasite populations: the genus Lepeophtheirus (Copepoda, Caligidae).

Laboratoire de Parasitologie Comparée, UA 698, CNRS, Université des Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, Montpellier, France.
Journal of Experimental Zoology 06/1990; 254(2):207-14. DOI: 10.1002/jez.1402540213
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the Mediterranean, the parasitic copepod Lepeophtheirus thompsoni Baird, 1850 specifically infests turbot (Psetta maxima L., 1758), whereas L. europaensis Zeddam, Berrebi, Renaud, Raibaut, and Gabrion, 1988 infests brill (Scophthalmus rhombus L., 1758) and flounder (Platichthys flesus L., 1758). Experimental infestation of turbot by copepods from each of the three fish species showed an absence of any physiological incompatibility preventing natural development of the two parasite species, at least on one host species, i.e., the turbot. Moreover, interspecific hybrids were obtained experimentally, which implies that 1) there is no strict genetic barrier between the two species and 2) the natural prezygotic isolation results from a choice of the most favorable habitat. We discuss the origin and possible consequences of the presence, in the Mediterranean, of L. europaensis on brill and flounder, two hosts separated by their taxonomic status and ecobiology.

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    ABSTRACT: The stable co-existence of two haploid genotypes or two species is studied in a spatially hetero-geneous environment submitted to a mixture of soft selection (within-patch regulation) and hard selection (outside-patch regulation) and where two kinds of resource are available. This is analysed both at an ecological time-scale (short term) and at an evolutionary time-scale (long term). At an ecological scale, we show that co-existence is very unlikely if the two competitors are symmetrical specialists exploiting different resources. In this case, the most favourable con-ditions are met when the two resources are equally available, a situation that should favour generalists at an evolutionary scale. Alternatively, low within-patch density dependence (soft selection) enhances the co-existence between two slightly different specialists of the most avail-able resource. This results from the opposing forces that are acting in hard and soft regulation modes. In the case of unbalanced accessibility to the two resources, hard selection favours the most specialized genotype, whereas soft selection strongly favours the less specialized one. Our results suggest that competition for different resources may be difficult to demonstrate in the wild even when it is a key factor in the maintenance of adaptive diversity. At an evolutionary scale, a monomorphic invasive evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) always exists. When a linear trade-off exists between survival in one habitat versus that in another, this ESS lies between an absolute adjustment of survival to niche size (for mainly soft-regulated populations) and absolute survival (specialization) in a single niche (for mainly hard-regulated populations). This suggests that environments in agreement with the assumptions of such models should lead to an absence of adaptive variation in the long term.
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    ABSTRACT: The adaptation to a variable environment has been studied within soft and hard selection frameworks. It is shown that an epistatically determined habitat preference, following a Markovian process, always leads to the maintenance of an adaptive polymorphism, in a soft selection context. Although local mating does not alter the conditions for polymorphism maintenance, it is shown that, in that case, habitat selection also leads to the evolution of isolated reproductive units within each available habitat. Habitat selection, however, cannot evolve in the total absence of adaptive polymorphism. This represents a theoretical problem for all models assuming habitat selection to be an initially fixed trait, and means that within a soft selection framework, all the available habitats will be exploited, even the less favourable ones.On the other hand, polymorphism cannot be maintained when selection is hard, even when all individuals select their habitat. Here, the evolution of habitat selection does not need any prerequisite polymorphism, and always leads to the exploitation of only one habitat by the most specialized genotype. It appears then that hard selection can account for the existence of empty habitat and for an easier evolution of habitat specialization.
    Evolutionary Ecology 02/1993; 7(2):175-198. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the laboratory, the two species of copepodsLepeophtheirus thompsoni andLepeophtheirus europaensis, ectoparasites of flatfishes, can meet and mate on at least one host species. In the wild however, these two species are found isolated on their sympatric hosts. Habitat selection theoretically represents a powerful enough mechanism to explain the maintenance of genetic heterogeneity in the wide sense. In this paper, the host colonization process is studied for both parasite species. It is shown that each parasite can develop and reach adult age on each host species. However,L. thompsoni is highly selective; it almost totally refuses to colonize hosts other than its natural one.Lepeophtheirus europaensis, on the contrary, readily infests turbot and brill in single-host experiments, but strongly prefers the brill when it has a choice. It appears that these two genetic entities are sympatrically maintained due to strong habitat selection. Such a pattern could theoretically only occur in a soft-selection context (density dependence). This point is discussed with respect to the different patterns in host use found in the geographical distribution of these parasites.
    Evolutionary Ecology 02/1995; 9(2):131-138. · 2.37 Impact Factor

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