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This content will become publicly available on March 9, 2023

Title: Long-distance dispersal of pigeons and doves generated new ecological opportunities for host-switching and adaptive radiation by their parasites
Adaptive radiation is an important mechanism of organismal diversification and can be triggered by new ecological opportunities. Although poorly studied in this regard, parasites are an ideal group in which to study adaptive radiations because of their close associations with host species. Both experimental and comparative studies suggest that the ectoparasitic wing lice of pigeons and doves have adaptively radiated, leading to differences in body size and overall coloration. Here, we show that long-distance dispersal by dove hosts was central to parasite diversification because it provided new ecological opportunities for parasites to speciate after host-switching. We further show that among extant parasite lineages host-switching decreased over time, with cospeciation becoming the more dominant mode of parasite speciation. Taken together, our results suggest that host dispersal, followed by host-switching, provided novel ecological opportunities that facilitated adaptive radiation by parasites.
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Award ID(s):
1925487 1925312 1926919
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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