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Ecological Section

Armstrong, Joseph E. [1].

Is hemiparasitism an evolutionary stable strategy?

Is hemiparasitism an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) or just a way station on the road from autotrophy to holoparasitism? Studies on the obligate hemiparasite Pedicularis canadensis (Rhinanthaceae) suggest that in prairie communities where nutrients or water are very limiting factors, parasitism is an adaptation both for enhancing acquisition of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, and/or water and for enhancing photosynthesis, thus maintaining both systems. The presence of the hemiparasite even enhances species diversity by extracting a higher cost upon dominate species, like grasses, in comparison to ephemerals like shooting star, Dodecatheon meadia. This lousewort species also inhabits forest communities in eastern North America where the prairie model predicts increased gain via parasitism without enhancing photosynthesis. If so, the lousewort's photosynthetic potential should decline in forest communities shifting the balance toward holoparasitism.


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1 - Illinois State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Campus Box 4120, Normal, Illinois, 61790-4120, USA

Keywords:
hemiparasitism
Rhinanthaceae
prairies.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 52-1
Location: Salon F - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, August 17th, 2005
Time: 1:30 PM
Abstract ID:19


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