Disentangling interactions among mercury, immunity, and infection in a Neotropical bat community

Daniel Becker, Kelly Speer, Jennifer Korstian, Dmitriy Volokhov, Hannah Droke, Alexis Brown, Catherene Baijnauth, Ticha Padgett-Stewart, Hugh Broders, Raina Plowright, Thomas Rainwater, Brock Fenton, Nancy Simmons & Matthew Chumchal
Contaminants such as mercury are pervasive and can have immunosuppressive effects on wildlife. Impaired immunity could be important for forecasting pathogen spillover risks, as many land-use changes that generate mercury contamination also bring wildlife into close contact with humans and domestic animals. However, the interactions among contaminants, immunity, and infection are difficult to study in natural systems, and empirical tests of possible directional relationships remain rare. We capitalized on extreme mercury variation in a diverse...
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