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The overlooked complexity of avian brood parasite-host relationships

Kennerley, James A; Somveille, Marius; Hauber, Mark E; Richardson, Nicole M; Manica, Andrea; Feeney, William E; (2022) The overlooked complexity of avian brood parasite-host relationships. Ecology Letters 10.1111/ele.14062. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The relationships between avian brood parasites and their hosts are widely recognised as model systems for studying coevolution. However, while most brood parasites are known to parasitise multiple species of host and hosts are often subject to parasitism by multiple brood parasite species, the examination of multispecies interactions remains rare. Here, we compile data on all known brood parasite–host relationships and find that complex brood parasite–host systems, where multiple species of brood parasites and hosts coexist and interact, are globally commonplace. By examining patterns of past research, we outline the disparity between patterns of network complexity and past research emphases and discuss factors that may be associated with these patterns. Drawing on insights gained from other systems that have embraced a multispecies framework, we highlight the potential benefits of considering brood parasite–host interactions as ecological networks and brood parasitism as a model system for studying multispecies interactions. Overall, our results provide new insights into the diversity of these relationships, highlight the stark mismatch between past research efforts and global patterns of network complexity, and draw attention to the opportunities that more complex arrangements offer for examining how species interactions shape global patterns of biodiversity.

Type: Article
Title: The overlooked complexity of avian brood parasite-host relationships
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ele.14062
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.14062
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Ecology, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, bird, brood parasitism, coevolution, cowbird, cuckoo, ecology, evolution, multispecies interactions, COEVOLUTIONARY ARMS-RACE, CUCKOOS CUCULUS-CANORUS, REED WARBLER HOSTS, GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION, SPECIES RICHNESS, COMMON CUCKOOS, EGG MIMICRY, EVOLUTION, ADAPTATIONS, SPECIATION
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10151350
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