Linking anthropogenic resources to wildlife-pathogen dynamics: a review and meta-analysis.
Bottom Line: Urbanisation and agriculture cause declines for many wildlife, but some species benefit from novel resources, especially food, provided in human-dominated habitats.By integrating results of our meta-analysis back into a theoretical framework, we find provisioning amplifies pathogen invasion under increased host aggregation and tolerance, but reduces transmission if provisioned food decreases dietary exposure to parasites.These results carry implications for wildlife disease management and highlight areas for future work, such as how resource shifts might affect virulence evolution.
Affiliation: Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Our meta-analysis demonstrated that provisioning is associated with a wide range of infection outcomes in wildlife (Fig.2a). Of the 132 wildlife–pathogen interactions identified, most showed no relationship between provisioning and infection measures (65%, n = 86), with 24% (n = 31) identifying positive and 11% (n = 15) identifying negative effects of anthropogenic resources. After adjusting for missing data due to suppression of extreme or non-significant results (Fig. S4), there was significant heterogeneity in infection outcomes (τ2 = 0.18; Q = 16902, d.f. = 176, P < 0.001) but no net directional effect of provisioning in the REM (z = −1.79, P = 0.07; Fig.2a).
Affiliation: Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.