Human activities can dramatically alter the types, abundance, and distribution of resources—such as food—available to wildlife. A growing number of studies indicate that resources produced in human-dominated environments can alter the interactions between pathogens and their hosts, leading to either increased or decreased infection risk for wildlife and humans.
In a recent paper out in Ecology Letters, Daniel Becker (lead author) and Sonia Altizer of the University of Georgia, and Daniel Streicker, a research fellow at the University of Glasgow showed that by making use of human-generated food resources, wildlife can have higher, lower, or no change in the risk of infection. Moreover, they found that these outcomes vary depending on the type of pathogen and food source.
Joining us to discuss the study’s findings on Naturally Speaking Shorts is Daniel Streicker (University of Glasgow).
Episode 23: Complex effects of food provisioning on wildlife disease
Interested in learning more? Find the paper here:
Becker, D., Streicker, D.G., & Altizer (2015) Linking anthropogenic resources to wildlife-pathogen dynamics: a review and meta-analysis. Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/ele.12428
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