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Data from: Genetic erosion in wild populations makes resistance to a pathogen more costly


Luquet, Emilien et al. (2012), Data from: Genetic erosion in wild populations makes resistance to a pathogen more costly, Dryad, Dataset,


Populations that have suffered from genetic erosion are expected to exhibit reduced average trait values or decreased variation in adaptive traits when experiencing periodic or emergent stressors such as infectious disease. Genetic erosion may consequentially modify the ability of a potential host population to cope with infectious disease emergence. We experimentally investigate this relationship between genetic variability and host response to exposure to an infectious agent both in terms of susceptibility to infection and indirect parasite-mediated responses that also impact fitness. We hypothesized that the deleterious consequences of exposure to the pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) would be more severe for tadpoles descended from European tree frog (Hyla arborea) populations lacking genetic variability. Although all exposed tadpoles lacked detectable infection, we detected this relationship for some indirect host responses, predominantly in genetically depleted animals, as well as an interaction between genetic variability and pathogen dose on lifespan during the post-metamorphic period. Lack of infection and a decreased mass and post-metamorphic lifespan in low genetic diversity tadpoles lead us to conclude that genetic erosion, while not affecting the ability to mount effective resistance strategies, also erodes the capacity to invest in resistance, increased tadpole growth rate and metamorphosis relatively simultaneously.

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