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      Diversity, Loss, and Gain of Malaria Parasites in a Globally Invasive Bird

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          Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) infecting house sparrows ( Passer domesticus). We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820) from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

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            Positional effect of single bulge nucleotide on PNA(peptide nucleic acid)/DNA hybrid stability

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              The evolutionary impact of invasive species.

              Since the Age of Exploration began, there has been a drastic breaching of biogeographic barriers that previously had isolated the continental biotas for millions of years. We explore the nature of these recent biotic exchanges and their consequences on evolutionary processes. The direct evidence of evolutionary consequences of the biotic rearrangements is of variable quality, but the results of trajectories are becoming clear as the number of studies increases. There are examples of invasive species altering the evolutionary pathway of native species by competitive exclusion, niche displacement, hybridization, introgression, predation, and ultimately extinction. Invaders themselves evolve in response to their interactions with natives, as well as in response to the new abiotic environment. Flexibility in behavior, and mutualistic interactions, can aid in the success of invaders in their new environment.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                11 July 2011
                : 6
                : 7
                [1 ]Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
                [2 ]Department of Anatomy, Cellular Biology and Zoology, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain
                [3 ]Department of Biology, University of Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
                [4 ]Nature Research Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
                [5 ]Mehmet Akif Ersoy Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Biyoloji Bölümü, Burdur, Turkey
                [6 ]Laboratoire de Parasitologie Evolutive, CNRS UMR7103, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Paris, France
                [7 ]Station d'Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS USR 2973, Moulis, France
                [8 ]Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
                [9 ]Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
                [10 ]Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
                [11 ]Department of Biology, Centre for Conservation Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
                [12 ]Departamento de Ecologia-IB, Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Brazil
                [13 ]Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Faroes, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
                [14 ]Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States of America
                [15 ]Laboratoire d'Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, CNRS UMR 8079, Université Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 362, Orsay, France
                [16 ]Department of Taxonomy and Ecology, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
                [17 ]Department of Zoology and Physical Anthropology, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
                [18 ]Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America
                [19 ]Department of Animal Biology, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
                [20 ]Department of Systematic Zoology and Ecology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
                [21 ]Central Laboratory of General Ecology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
                [22 ]Centre of Ecology and Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Cornwall, United Kingdom
                [23 ]Center for Advanced Study, Oslo, Norway
                Smithsonian Institution National Zoological Park, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: AM SB RER GV. Performed the experiments: AM SB RER GV. Analyzed the data: AM RER GV TA EA CB GAC JE OH DH TAI HJ AK MRL FL EM LBM APM VP PLP JP RNMS MS ES HW PZ SB. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: AM RER GV TA EA CB GAC JE OH DH TAI HJ AK MRL FdL EM LBM APM VP PLP JP RNMS MS ES HW PZ SB. Wrote the paper: AM SB RER GV.

                Marzal et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 8
                Research Article
                Microbial Ecology
                Spatial and Landscape Ecology
                Evolutionary Biology
                Evolutionary Ecology
                Population Biology
                Population Ecology
                Infectious Diseases
                Parasitic Diseases



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