Abstracts (first author)
Effects of pathogens and food on host population dynamics in Daphnia magna populations
In nature, hosts are exposed to a multitude of diseases and a wide range of food qualities and quantities. Hereby, hosts and diseases are in a constant co-evolutionary struggle, which might be influenced by the hosts‘ food intake. This could lead to non-linear responses in host-pathogen interactions. These host food intake dependent host-pathogen interactions on individual level could be translated to the dynamics in populations. Nevertheless, food and disease effects are usually studied independently. So far, prediction models from host individual to population level exist, which either predict food or disease effects, but not effects of both factors at the same time. To fill this gap, a new mathematical model was developed. Due to its characteristics, the model can additionally be used to inversely predict individual level host parameters from population parameters. The given predictions were then compared to the results of life history and population experiments. Therefore, we tested the crustacean model organism Daphnia magna, which offers a wide range of pathogens and foods. We concluded, that population parameters can be successfully predicted from single host parameters and vice versa, depending on specific host, disease and food properties.