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Data from: Living on the edge: parasite prevalence changes dramatically across a range edge in an invasive gecko

Citation

Coates, Andrew; Barnett, Louise K.; Hoskin, Conrad; Phillips, Ben L. (2016), Data from: Living on the edge: parasite prevalence changes dramatically across a range edge in an invasive gecko, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gr3p6

Abstract

Species interactions can determine range limits, and parasitism is the most intimate of such interactions. Intriguingly, the very conditions on range edges likely change host-parasite dynamics in nontrivial ways. Range edges are often associated with clines in host density and with environmental transitions, both of which may affect parasite transmission. On advancing range edges, founder events and fitness/dispersal costs of parasitism may also cause parasites to be lost on range edges. Here we examine the prevalence of three species of parasite across the range edge of an invasive gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus, in northeastern Australia. The gecko’s range edge spans the urban-woodland interface at the edge of urban areas. Across this edge, gecko abundance shows a steep decline, being lower in the woodland. Two parasite species (a mite and a pentastome) are coevolved with H. frenatus, and these species become less prevalent as the geckos become less abundant. A third species of parasite (another pentastome) is native to Australia and has no coevolutionary history with H. frenatus. This species became more prevalent as the geckos become less abundant. These dramatic shifts in parasitism (occurring over 3.5 km) confirm that host-parasite dynamics can vary substantially across the range edge of this gecko host.

Usage Notes

Location

Australian Wet Tropics