Data from: Use it or lose it: reproductive implications of ecological specialization in a haematophagous ectoparasite

Adi Arbiv, Irina S. Khokhlova, Ofer Ovadia, Ariel Novoplansky & Boris R. Krasnov
Using experimentally induced disruptive selection, we tested two hypotheses regarding the evolution of specialization in parasites. The ‘trade-off’ hypothesis suggests that adaptation to a specific host may come at the expense of a reduced performance when exploiting another host. The alternative ‘relaxed selection’ hypothesis suggests that the ability to exploit a given host would deteriorate when becoming obsolete. Three replicate populations of a flea Xenopsylla ramesis were maintained on each of two rodent hosts, Meriones...
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