The bitterling–mussel coevolutionary relationship in areas of recent and ancient sympatry

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Authors

REICHARD Martin POLAČIK Matej TARKAN Serhan SPENCE Rowena GAYGUSUZ Ozcan ERCAN Ertan ONDRAČKOVÁ Markéta SMITH Carl

Year of publication 2010
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Evolution
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Citation
Field Zoology
Keywords coevolutionary arm races; evolutionary lag; gentes; host race; specialization
Description Host-parasite relationships are characterized by the rapid evolution of adaptations and counter-adaptations. Hence, the current coevolutionary state between a parasite and its hosts varies according to the history of sympatry. We compared a unique reciprocal coevolutionary relationship of Rhodeus amarus and mussels between areas of recent and ancient sympatry. Bitterling parasitize freshwater mussels by laying their eggs in the gills and, in turn, mussel larvae parasitize the fish. We found that all bitterling from both regions avoided one mussel species. Preferences among other mussel species were related to local mussel abundance. Individual fish were not consistent in their choices. Mussels o have evolved strong defenses to bitterling parasitism in the area of ancient sympatry. Bitterling avoided glochidia infection irrespective of the duration of sympatry.
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