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Research Article

A Role for Parasites in Stabilising the Fig-Pollinator Mutualism

  • Derek W Dunn,

    Affiliations: Division of Biology, Imperial College London, Ascot, United Kingdom, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

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  • Simon T Segar,

    Affiliations: Division of Biology, Imperial College London, Ascot, United Kingdom, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

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  • Jo Ridley,

    Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

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  • Ruth Chan,

    Affiliation: Division of Biology, Imperial College London, Ascot, United Kingdom

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  • Ross H Crozier,

    Affiliation: School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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  • Douglas W Yu,

    Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

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  • James M Cook mail

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: james.cook@reading.ac.uk

    Affiliations: Division of Biology, Imperial College London, Ascot, United Kingdom, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College London, Ascot, United Kingdom

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  • Published: March 11, 2008
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060059

About the Authors

Derek W Dunn, Simon T Segar, Ruth Chan, James M Cook
Division of Biology, Imperial College London, Ascot, United Kingdom
Derek W Dunn, Simon T Segar, James M Cook
School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
Derek W Dunn, Jo Ridley, Douglas W Yu
School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
Ross H Crozier
School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
James M Cook
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College London, Ascot, United Kingdom

Corresponding Author

Email: james.cook@reading.ac.uk

Competing Interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Author Contributions

DWD, JR, DWY, and JMC developed the research plan and all authors discussed the results. DWD formulated the parasite hypothesis and then collected, dissected, and measured syconia and wasps; collated and analyzed the data; drew Figures 2, 3, and 5; and wrote the basic framework of the paper. STS and RC collected, dissected, and measured syconia and wasps, and helped collate data. JR drew Figure 4 and helped write the paper. RHC helped write the paper. DWY helped write the paper and contributed to data analysis. JMC collected foundress number data, helped write the paper, and drew Figure 1.