Effect of macroparasites on the energy budget of small mammals

  • A. Allan Degen

Concluding remarks

Seeing the importance of parasites on the life history of their hosts, it is surprising to find the paucity of studies on this subject. In this chapter I attempted to divide the studies into different subjects, however, results among and within host species were so variable, that it was difficult to generalize responses to parasitism. For example, responses ranged from improvement in reproduction to relatively high mortality of the host, from a decrease in apparent dry matter digestibility to no effect on apparent dry matter digestibility, from an increase in metabolic rate to no effect on metabolic rate and from an increase in size in some body organs to a decrease in size in the same body organs. Furthermore, reproductive success in parasitized free-living and parasitized laboratory maintained small mammals appear to be quite different. It is evident that the impact of parasites on life-history traits in mammals is still poorly understood.


Energy Budget Body Mass Change Field Metabolic Rate Untreated Female Anim Ecol 
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