Meghan A Duffy

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Epidemiologists increasingly realize that species interactions (e.g. selective predation) can determine when epidemics start and end. We hypothesize here that resource quality can also strongly influence disease dynamics: epidemics can be inhibited when resource quality for hosts is too poor and too good. In three lakes, resource quality for the zooplankton(More)
Seasonal change in the intensity of fish predation affects succession in lake zooplankton communities. Predation affects not only the zooplankton prey, but also their parasites. Because the ability of a parasite to spread depends in part on the death rate of the hosts, seasonal reductions in the intensity of predation on zooplankton could lead to parasite(More)
Species interactions may profoundly influence disease outbreaks. However, disease ecology has only begun to integrate interactions between hosts and their food resources (foraging ecology) despite that hosts often encounter their parasites while feeding. A zooplankton-fungal system illustrated this central connection between foraging and transmission. Using(More)
The "dilution effect" concept in disease ecology offers the intriguing possibility that clever manipulation of less competent hosts could reduce disease prevalence in populations of more competent hosts. The basic concept is straightforward: host species vary in suitability (competence) for parasites, and disease transmission decreases when there are more(More)
Some aspects of habitat seem to enhance the spread of disease whereas others inhibit it. Here, we illustrate and identify mechanisms that connect habitat to epidemiology using a case study of disease in plankton. We see a pronounced relationship between the basin shapes of lakes and fungal (Metschnikowia bicuspidata) disease in the zooplankton grazer(More)
Parasites can certainly harm host fitness. Given such virulence, hosts should evolve strategies to resist or tolerate infection. But what governs those strategies and the costs that they incur? This study illustrates how a fecundity‐susceptibility trade‐off among clonally reared genotypes of a zooplankton (Daphnia dentifera) infected by a fungal parasite(More)
Traditionally, the termination of parasite epidemics has been attributed to ecological causes: namely, the depletion of susceptible hosts as a result of mortality or acquired immunity. Here, we suggest that epidemics can also end because of rapid host evolution. Focusing on a particular host-parasite system, Daphnia dentifera and its parasite Metschnikowia(More)
Successful invasion of a parasite into a host population and resulting host-parasite dynamics can depend crucially on other members of a host's community such as predators. We do not fully understand how predation intensity and selectivity shape host-parasite dynamics because the interplay between predator density, predator foraging behavior, and ecosystem(More)
Parasites are integral parts of most ecosystems, yet attention has only recently focused on how community structure and abiotic factors impact host-parasite interactions. In lakes, both factors are influenced by habitat morphology. To investigate the role of habitat structure in mediating parasitism in the plankton, we quantified timing and prevalence of a(More)
Spatially explicit models show that local interactions of hosts and parasites can strongly influence invasion and persistence of parasites and can create lasting spatial patchiness of parasite distributions. These predictions have been supported by experiments conducted in two-dimensional landscapes. Yet, three-dimensional systems, such as lakes, ponds, and(More)