Trait‐based variation in host contribution to pathogen transmission across species and resource supplies

Ecology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Two key knowledge gaps currently limit the development of more predictive and general models of pathogen transmission: (1) the physiological basis of heterogeneity in host contribution to pathogen transmission (reservoir potential) remains poorly understood, and (2) a general means of integrating the ecological dynamics of host communities has yet to emerge. If the traits responsible for differences in reservoir potential also modulate host community dynamics, these traits could be used to predict pathogen transmission as host communities change. In two greenhouse experiments, across 23 host species and two levels of resource supply, the reservoir potential of plant hosts increased significantly along the Leaf Economic Spectrum, a global axis of plant physiological trait covariation that features prominently in models of plant community ecology. This indicates that the traits of the Leaf Economic Spectrum underlie broad differences in reservoir potential across host species and resource supplies. Therefore, host traits could be used to integrate epidemiological models of pathogen transmission with ecological models of host community change.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Trait‐based variation in host contribution to pathogen transmission across species and resource supplies
Series title Ecology
DOI 10.1002/ecy.3164
Edition Online First
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
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