Data from: Fatal diseases and parasitoids: from competition to facilitation in a shared host.
Hajek, Ann E.; van Nouhuys, Saskya (2016), Data from: Fatal diseases and parasitoids: from competition to facilitation in a shared host., Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3tn08
Diverse parasite taxa share hosts both at the population level and within individual hosts and their interactions, ranging from competitive exclusion to facilitation, can drive community structure and dynamics. Emergent pathogens have the potential to greatly alter community interactions. We found that an emergent fungal entomopathogen dominated pre-existing lethal parasites in populations of the forest defoliating gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar. The parasite community was composed of the fungus and four parasitoid species that only develop successfully after they kill the host, and a virus that produces viable propagules before the host has died. A low density site was sampled over 17 years and compared with 66 sites across a range of host densities, including outbreaks. The emergent fungal pathogen and competing parasitoids rarely co-infected host individuals because each taxa must kill its host. The virus was not present at low host densities, but successfully co-infected with all other parasite species. In fact there was facilitation between the virus and one parasitoid species hosting a polydnavirus. This newly formed parasite community, altered by an emergent pathogen, is shaped both by parasite response to host density and relative abilities of parasites to co-inhabit the same host individuals.
Eastern North America