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Rodent Sociality and Parasite Diversity



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Stanko et al 2002 as well as for vector borne arthropods Nunn Heymann 2005 Other studies that focused on investment in immune function as an indirect measure of parasitic pressures have also found positive relationships between the group size and the level of immunological investment M ller et al 2001 Brown Brown 2002 Notably however some studies have failed to find such positive correlations Arnold Lichtenstein 1993 Van Vuren 1996 Ezenwa et al 2006 and recent theoretical studies suggest that spatial segregation of individuals into social groups can actually reduce the spread of disease Wilson et al 2003 Group size alone is a somewhat imprecise measure of sociality because it does not recognize more complex social relationships Wey et al in press The aim of this study was to identify in rodents the relationship between host sociality and PSR using an index of sociality We expected to find a positive relationship between the level of host sociality and the species richness of directly transmitted ectoparasites because a main determinant of ectoparasite species richness is host density Stanko et al 2002 By contrast the relationship between host sociality and the species richness of indirectly transmitted endoparasites is difficult to predict as these parasites are transmitted by animals ingesting them The main determinants of their species richness are host diet prey abundance and diversity and host density S imkova et al 2003 Biol Lett 2007 3 692 694 doi 10 1098 rsbl 2007 0393 Published online 9 October 2007 Evolutionary biology Rodent sociality and parasite diversity Fre de ric Bordes1 Daniel T Blumstein2 and Serge Morand1 3 1 Institut des Sciences de l e volution CNRS UM2 CC065 Universite de Montpellier 2 34095 Montpellier France 2 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of California Los Angeles CA 90095 1606 USA 3 UR22 Faune Sauvage CIRAD Campus International de Baillarguet 34398 Montpellier Cedex 05 France Author for correspondence morand isem



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