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The effects of seasonality on host–bat fly ecological networks in a temperate mountain cave

  • KARINA D. RIVERA-GARCÍA (a1), CÉSAR A. SANDOVAL-RUIZ (a1), ROMEO A. SALDAÑA-VÁZQUEZ (a2) and JORGE E. SCHONDUBE (a2)

Summary

Changes in the specialization of parasite–host interactions will be influenced by variations in host species composition. We evaluated this hypothesis by comparing the composition of bats and bat flies within a roost cave over one annual. Five bat and five bat fly species occupied the cave over the course of the study. Bat species composition was 40% different in the rainy season compared with the dry–cold and dry–warm seasons. Despite the incorporation of three new bat species into the cave during the rainy season, bat fly species composition was not affected by seasonality, since the bats that arrived in the rainy season only contributed one new bat fly species at a low prevalence. Bat–bat fly ecological networks were less specialized in the rainy season compared with the dry–cold and dry–warm seasons because of the increase of host overlap among bat fly species during this season. This study suggests that seasonality promote: (1) differences in host species composition, and (2) a reduction in the specialization of host–parasite ecological networks.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro No. 8701, Col. Ex-Hacienda de San José de La Huerta, C.P. 58190, Morelia Michoacán, México. Email: romeo.saldana@gmail.com; chon@iies.unam.mx

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Keywords

The effects of seasonality on host–bat fly ecological networks in a temperate mountain cave

  • KARINA D. RIVERA-GARCÍA (a1), CÉSAR A. SANDOVAL-RUIZ (a1), ROMEO A. SALDAÑA-VÁZQUEZ (a2) and JORGE E. SCHONDUBE (a2)

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