Mark R. L. Forbes

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Researchers have suggested fluctuating asymmetry (FA) as an indicator of environmental stress and have usually tested this assertion by examining relations between FA of single traits and stress. Fluctuating asymmetry stress relations are real but are typically weak and difficult to detect. Researchers would like to maximize the probability of detecting(More)
Susceptibility of free-living infective stages of parasites to contaminants is relatively understudied compared with independent effects on measures of host health or immunity, but may be important in affecting prevalence and intensity of parasite infections. We investigated whether atrazine, an herbicide commonly used in North America, affected the(More)
Females of the brood-parasitic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) search for host nests in which to lay their eggs. Females normally return to lay a single egg from one to several days after first locating a potential host nest and lay up to 40 eggs in a breeding season. Male brown-headed cowbirds do not assist females in locating nests. We predicted(More)
The emergence or increased prevalence of various parasites may be linked to alterations in host-parasite interactions caused by environmental changes. We investigated prevalence of trematode infections in grey tree frog (Hyla versicolor) tadpoles from ponds in nonagricultural settings versus ponds adjacent to cornfields in southern Ontario. We found that(More)
The effects of contaminants on multispecies interactions can be difficult to predict. The herbicide atrazine is commonly used in North America for corn crops, runs off into wetlands, and has been implicated in the increasing susceptibility of larval frogs to trematode parasites. Using experimental challenges with free-living stages of trematodes(More)
Using field surveys and histological methods, we show that a dragonfly species (Sympetrum internum) has an effective resistance, not seen previously in other odonates, to a mite parasite (Arrenurus planus). This mite is a generalist parasite known to effectively engorge on several other odonate species. We argue that selection is likely weak, favouring(More)
For birds, unpredictable environments during the energetically stressful times of moulting and breeding are expected to have negative fitness effects. Detecting those effects however, might be difficult if individuals modulate their physiology and/or behaviours in ways to minimize short-term fitness costs. Corticosterone in feathers (CORTf) is thought to(More)
Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis is becoming increasingly popular as a method for generating molecular markers for population genetic applications. For practical considerations, it is generally assumed in population studies that AFLPs segregate as dominant markers, i.e., that present and absent are the only possible states of a given(More)
Host race formation generates diversity within species and may even lead to speciation. This phenomenon could be particularly prevalent in the Acari due to the often intimate interaction these species have with their hosts. In this review, we explore the process of host race formation, whether it is likely to occur in this group and what features may favour(More)
The extent, magnitude, and cause of natural covariation between degree of parasitism and other variables known or suspected of influencing host fitness (such as host age or body size) has been understudied. We demonstrate that degree of parasitism by larval water mites (Arrenurus spp.) was associated with reduced condition of males and with lowered(More)