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Long-term spatiotemporal stability and dynamic changes in helminth infracommunities of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in NE Poland

  • MACIEJ GRZYBEK (a1) (a2), ANNA BAJER (a3), MAŁGORZATA BEDNARSKA (a3), MOHAMMED AL-SARRAF (a3), JOLANTA BEHNKE-BOROWCZYK (a4), PHILIP D. HARRIS (a5), STEPHEN J. PRICE (a1), GABRIELLE S. BROWN (a1), SARAH-JANE OSBORNE (a1), EDWARD SIŃSKI (a3) and JERZY M. BEHNKE (a1)...

Summary

Parasites are considered to be an important selective force in host evolution but ecological studies of host-parasite systems are usually short-term providing only snap-shots of what may be dynamic systems. We have conducted four surveys of helminths of bank voles at three ecologically similar woodland sites in NE Poland, spaced over a period of 11 years, to assess the relative importance of temporal and spatial effects on helminth infracommunities. Some measures of infracommunity structure maintained relative stability: the rank order of prevalence and abundance of Heligmosomum mixtum, Heligmosomoides glareoli and Mastophorus muris changed little between the four surveys. Other measures changed markedly: dynamic changes were evident in Syphacia petrusewiczi which declined to local extinction, while the capillariid Aonchotheca annulosa first appeared in 2002 and then increased in prevalence and abundance over the remaining three surveys. Some species are therefore dynamic and both introductions and extinctions can be expected in ecological time. At higher taxonomic levels and for derived measures, year and host-age effects and their interactions with site are important. Our surveys emphasize that the site of capture is the major determinant of the species contributing to helminth community structure, providing some predictability in these systems.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author. School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. E-mail: jerzy.behnke@nottingham.ac.uk

References

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Long-term spatiotemporal stability and dynamic changes in helminth infracommunities of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in NE Poland

  • MACIEJ GRZYBEK (a1) (a2), ANNA BAJER (a3), MAŁGORZATA BEDNARSKA (a3), MOHAMMED AL-SARRAF (a3), JOLANTA BEHNKE-BOROWCZYK (a4), PHILIP D. HARRIS (a5), STEPHEN J. PRICE (a1), GABRIELLE S. BROWN (a1), SARAH-JANE OSBORNE (a1), EDWARD SIŃSKI (a3) and JERZY M. BEHNKE (a1)...

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