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The Hamilton and Zuk hypothesis on haemoparasite-mediated sexual selection and certain studies of reproductive costs are based on the assumption that avian blood parasite infections are detrimental to their hosts. However, there is no experimental evidence demonstrating harmful effects of blood parasites on fitness in wild populations, it even having been(More)
Parasitism is a common cause of host mortality, but little is known about the ecological factors affecting parasite virulence (the rate of mortality among infected hosts). We reviewed 117 field estimates of parasite-induced nestling mortality in birds, showing that there was significant consistency in mortality among host and parasite taxa. Virulence(More)
Abstract We investigated determinants of the physiological stress response mediated by stress proteins in blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus nestlings growing up in oak forests in central Spain, resulting from different forest management practices. We assessed circulating levels of the heat-shock protein HSP60 as an integrated physiological measure of the(More)
INTRODUCTION While blood parasites are common in many birds in the wild, some groups seem to be much less affected. Seabirds, in particular, have often been reported free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. RESULTS From a literature review of hemosporidian prevalence in seabirds, we collated a dataset of 60 species, in which(More)
1. Kin selection is one of the mechanisms that can explain apparent altruism by subordinate individuals in cooperatively breeding species, if subordinates boost the production of kin. We compared productivity and breeder survival in pairs with and without subordinates in a genetically monogamous cooperatively breeding bird, the purple-crowned fairy-wren(More)
Introduced parasites threaten native host species that lack effective defenses. Such parasites increase the risk of extinction, particularly in small host populations like those on islands. If some host species are tolerant to introduced parasites, this could amplify the risk of the parasite to vulnerable host species. Recently, the introduced parasitic(More)
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(More)
The relationship between hemoparasite infection (measured just after egg laying) and primary reproductive output (laying date, clutch size and egg volume) was studied in female pied flycatchers, Ficedula hypoleuca, of different ages (2 years old vs. 4 or more years old). The hemoparasite (Haemoproteus balmorali and Trypanosoma spp.) prevalence increased(More)
Identifying host traits associated with the number of different parasite species or strains harboured by a particular host species can have important implications for understanding the impact of parasitism on hosts. We investigated associations between host ecology and life history, and parasite richness and prevalence of the four major avian blood parasite(More)
Ecological immunology posits a trade-off between parental effort and immunocompetence underlying the cost of reproduction. The moult-breeding overlap observed in several bird species represents a conflict in resource allocation between two energy-demanding processes. Moult processes have been associated with enlargements of immune system organs. In the(More)