COS 155-1 - Urban landscapes can slow viral spread and evolution in a fragmentation-sensitive carnivore

Thursday, August 10, 2017: 1:30 PM
D137, Oregon Convention Center
Scott Carver, School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, Nick M. Fountain-Jones, Scool of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Australia, Meggan E. Craft, Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota, W. Chris Funk, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Chris Kozakiewicz, University of Tasmania, Erin E. Boydston, Western Ecological Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Thousand Oaks, CA, Lisa M. Lyren, Western Ecological Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Carlsbad, CA, Kevin R. Crooks, Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Justin Lee, Colorado State University and Sue VandeWoude, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Urban landscapes shift wildlife distribution and behaviour, but how these landscapes modify pathogen spread remains obscure. Individual host traits and regional landscape structure (natural and anthropogenic) combine to shape pathogen spread, yet demonstrating disease spread over meaningful timescales has been a major limitation to comprehending urban impacts. Here we bring together multiple sources of information (host, landscape, and pathogen) using a novel “landscape phylodynamics” approach, coupling machine learning with Bayesian phylogeography, to understand pathogen gene flow and transmission of the fast-evolving feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in an urban bobcat (Lynx rufus) population.


Preferred host habitat types (forest and grassland) and host relatedness best predicted FIV gene flow, with FIV transmission events most likely to occur in more natural habitat at greater distances from the urban edge and among more related individuals. Urban habitat fragmentation dramatically slowed FIV movement and rates of evolution. Together we show that urban landscapes can have a profound impact on pathogen gene flow and spread in one of the most fragmented and urban systems in North America.