Ectoparasites of small-mammals: determinants of community structure in South American savannah

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2017
Authors:J. Sponchiado, Melo, G. L., Martins, T. F., Krawczak, F. S., Jacinavicius, F. C., Labruna, M. B., Barros-Battesti, D. Moraes, Cáceres, N. C.
Pagination:475 - 483
Date Published:Jan-04-2017
Keywords:Didelphimorphia, lice., mites, rodentia, savannah, ticks, variation partitioning

This study aimed to assess the contribution of hosts characteristics (rodents and marsupials) in the organization of ecto- parasite communities present in woodland patches in western central Brazil. We verified the effect of host species, sex, body mass and vertical strata in addition to the role of seasonality on the ectoparasite composition, richness and abundance. The total sampling effort was 22 032 trap-nights equally distributed in 54 woodland patches. Variance partition and prin- cipal coordinate analysis were used to verify the existence of significant relationships between response variables and pre- dictors. As expected, host species was the most important variable in ectoparasite community assembly. The composition, richness and abundance of mites and lice were highly influenced by host species, although higher for mites than for lice. Host body mass had a determining role on the richness and abundance of tick species. Vertical stratification and seasonality had weak influence, while the sex of the host had no influence on the organization of these communities. The results are closely related to the evolutionary characteristics of the species involved, as well as with local environmental characteristics of the study area.

Short Title:Parasitology
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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith