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Predicting the potential distribution of Vexillata (Nematoda: Ornithostrongylidae) and its hosts (Mammalia: Rodentia) within America

  • E.A. Martínez-Salazar (a1) (a2), T. Escalante (a3), M. Linaje (a4) and J. Falcón-Ordaz (a5)

Abstract

Species distribution modelling has been a powerful tool to explore the potential distribution of parasites in wildlife, being the basis of studies on biogeography. Vexillata spp. are intestinal nematodes found in several species of mammalian hosts, such as rodents (Geomyoidea) and hares (Leporidae) in the Nearctic and northern Neotropical regions. In the present study, we modelled the potential distribution of Vexillata spp. and their hosts, using exclusively species from the Geomyidae and Heteromyidae families, in order to identify their distributional patterns. Bioclimatic and topographic variables were used to identify and predict suitable habitats for Vexillata and its hosts. Using these models, we identified that temperature seasonality is a significant environmental factor that influences the distribution of the parasite genus and its host. In particular, the geographical distribution is estimated to be larger than that predicted for its hosts. This suggests that the nematode has the potential to extend its geographical range and also its spectrum of host species. Increasing sample size and geographical coverage will contribute to recommendations for conservation of this host–parasite system.

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Predicting the potential distribution of Vexillata (Nematoda: Ornithostrongylidae) and its hosts (Mammalia: Rodentia) within America

  • E.A. Martínez-Salazar (a1) (a2), T. Escalante (a3), M. Linaje (a4) and J. Falcón-Ordaz (a5)

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