2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

Small Mammal Community Structure and Ectoparasite Diversity
Amanda M. Groebl
Dr. Laura Fielden and Dr. Stephanie Fore, Faculty Mentors

The influence of host diversity on ectoparasite abundance has been studied in small mammals, as has the influence of host density on ectoparasite richness and abundance. However, little research has examined the impact of host diversity and evenness. We hypothesized that when host species diversity and evenness are high, ectoparasite species diversity and evenness would also be high. Small mammals were trapped in two habitats and identified, and their ectoparasites including fleas, ticks, and mites were counted and identified. We found that when small mammal diversity and evenness were high, ectoparasite diversity and evenness were also high. Within a host species, parasite load varied among individuals and part of this variation may be due to body surface area. In future work, we plan to investigate how seasonal differences in parasite life cycles may influence diversity and community structure.

Keywords: small mammal, ectoparasite, parasite, diversity, community structure, rodent, ecology, biology

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 7-5
Location: OP Lobby
Time: 4:15 pm

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