|Year of Publication:||2023|
|Authors:||K. McKay Davis|
|Academic Department:||School of Biology|
|Number of Pages:||75 pp|
|Date Published:||Aug 2023|
|University:||UNiversity of Utah|
|City:||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Thesis Type:||Master of Science in Biology|
|Keywords:||Accipitriformes, Cardellina pusilla, Columbina inca|
Climate change will impact ecosystems as abiotic factors such as temperature and humidity change. Changes in ecosystems will lead to changes in species composition as species either relocate, adapt to their new environment, or go extinct. It is only possible to make robust predictions about how climate change will influence the distribution of species if information about their natural history is known. There is, however, a gap in our knowledge about the natural history of many organisms, which makes it difficult to predict how these species will be influenced by changes in the environment. Organisms such as parasites, are understudied even though they represent a large percentage of eukaryotic biodiversity and can impact their hosts. With ectoparasites on doves and pigeons (Columbiformes), it has been found that humidity may influence their populations, with more ectoparasites being found in regions with higher humidity than in regions with lower humidity. Unfortunately, there is a sampling bias with more surveys of parasites being carried out in humid regions than arid regions.
To better understand how parasites will be influenced by climate change, I conducted surveys of ectoparasites found on birds in urban and montane Utah. The prevalence of chewing lice was 10% in the montane region and 5.6% in the urban region.
For Chapter 3, faunal surveys of birds and their ectoparasitic lice were used to investigate how likely changes in humidity will influence ectoparasite pressure on birds. Louse prevalence was significantly positively correlated with humidity, and louse
HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE INFLUENCE PARASITE PRESSURE ON BIRDS?
Phthiraptera (Lice), Apodiformes (Avian), Galliformes (Avian), Passeriformes (Avian), Piciformes (Avian), Strigiformes (Avian), Chelopistes (Lice), Myrsidea (Lice), Oxylipeurus (Lice), Penenirmus (Lice), Picicola (Lice), Strigiphilus (Lice), Menacanthus (Lice), Philopterus (Lice), Brueelia (Lice), Ricinus (Lice), Zenaida macroura (Avian), Columba livia (Avian), Columba livia (Avian)