Disease Ecology Workshop: Elizabeth Warburton
This workshop will be led by Elizabeth Warburton, Postdoctoral Scholar with the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases. A Zoom link will be distributed to e-mail the morning of the workshop to those who have RSVP'd.
Workshop title: "Community similarity of immature and adult parasites: different drivers at different stages"
Abstract: Comparing patterns of β-diversity over various environmental conditions across multiple scales can help determine which, if any, local factors are key for determining community composition and structure across a variety of taxa, both free-living and parasitic. Non-random parasite community structure can occur at the individual host level and host-related factors can play a critical role in shaping these assemblages; however, investigations of β-diversity at this scale remain rare. Such investigations also focus on adult parasite communities but immature stages are often responsible for parasite transmission and understanding variation in their communities is key for disease prevention. Thus, we determined host- and environment-related conditions affecting parasite communities at both adult and immature life stages, using African buffalo and their gastrointestinal nematodes as our study system. To achieve this, nematode communities of African buffalo were sampled over multiple years and overall β-diversity, as well as its component fractions, were assessed. Overall similarity and its constitutive fractions were affected by interactions that included host-related variables in adult communities; however, spatiotemporal variables appeared to be more critical drivers of immature nematode community similarity. Parasites are unique in that they experience a dual environment and thus, both the host and the external habitat can play crucial roles in shaping parasite assemblages at different life stages. In the context of parasitism, this could help explain the likelihood of host colonization by infective stages and the drivers that shape persistence of individual adult parasite assemblages, both of which are useful for predicting and preventing infection.
Wednesday, September 23 at 12:30pm to 1:45pm