Meeting Abstract

78.8  Friday, Jan. 6  Do changes in parasite prevalence facilitate range expansion of Kenyan house sparrows (Passer domesticus)? COON, CAC*; MARTIN, LB; University of South Florida; University of South Florida

The enemy release hypothesis (ERH) posits that invaders are less affected by parasites and predators in their new range, either due to life history characteristics of the enemy or by chance alone, thereby allowing invaders to reallocate resources to growth and reproduction and/or increase their competitive ability, facilitating successful establishment and spread. Traditionally, the ERH refers to the loss of parasite diversity, specifically parasite species richness. However, the ERH could potentially be expanded to include information about changes in parasite prevalence and abundance with specific predictions about the functional types of parasites (based on transmission, pace-of-life, etc.) with time since invasion. This information could greatly inform our understanding of the success of invasive species and allow us to model the colonization and spread of nonindigenous species based on their parasite fauna. We used house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in one of their latest independent invasions, in Kenya, to make and test our predictions regarding infection prevalence with time since invasion and loss and gain of parasites given the parasites’ life history characteristics.