|About the Book|
Parasite community ecologists focus attention primarily on the infracommunity (all parasites infecting the same host individual) and the component community (assemblage of parasites species found in a subset of hosts) levels of resolution. WithinMoreParasite community ecologists focus attention primarily on the infracommunity (all parasites infecting the same host individual) and the component community (assemblage of parasites species found in a subset of hosts) levels of resolution. Within these levels, several factors and hypotheses can be evaluated to determine structures and patterns of parasites within hosts examined. Three hundred forty-eight columbids representing 6 species (60 rock pigeons, Columba livia- 60 mourning doves, Zenaida macroura- 60 Eurasian collared-doves, Streptopelia decaocto- 60 white-winged doves, Zenaida asiatica- 60 common ground doves, Columbina passerina - and 48 Inca doves, Columbina inca) were collected in the summer of 2006 and examined for helminths. Twelve helminth species were revealed (9 nematodes and 3 cestodes), representing 486 individuals. Helminths occurred in 6 microhabitats, of which the jejunum was the most commonly occupied. Nematodes numerically dominated the component community in all host species. Overall, 63% of all columbids examined were uninfected (rock pigeon 52%, mourning dove 63%, Eurasian collared-dove 73%, white-winged dove 63%, common ground dove 40%, and Inca dove 96%). Collectively, 31% of all columbids were infected with 1 helminth species (rock pigeon 43%, mourning dove 33%, Eurasian collared-dove 27%, white-winged dove 32%, common ground dove 40%, and Inca dove 4%). Six percent of hosts were infected with 2 or more helminth species (rock pigeon 5%, mourning dove 3%, Eurasian collared-dove 0%, white-winged dove 5%, common ground dove 20%, and Inca dove 0%). Prevalence values were too low to test among columbid species. Mixed infections occurred in 22% of infected columbids (rock pigeon 10%, mourning dove 9%, white-winged dove 14%, and common ground dove 50%). Prevalence was similar among host sex within all dove species. However, prevalence was significantly different among host age within species for Skrjabinia bonini (P = 0.01) and Hymenolepis sp. (P = 0.0002) in rock pigeon adults. Killigrewia delafondi was higher (P = 0.0001) in adult white-winged doves. Based on percent similarity and Jaccards coefficient of community indices, helminth component communities were dissimilar and number of shared helminth species varied among host species. The study herein also addresses factors pertaining to the infracommunity (competition, site specificity, niche utilization, and guild) and evaluates classic hypotheses at the component community level (Island Biogeography, Co-Speciation Model of Brooks, Isolationist-Interactive Community Hypothesis, and the Biogeographic Model of Brown). In addition, several new host records have been discovered for hosts examined, which include common ground dove: Ascaridia columbae, Splendidofilaria wehri, Ornithostrongylus quadriradiatus, Ornithostrongylus minutus, Oswaldostrongylus sp., K. delafondi, and S. bonini- Inca dove: A. columbae- white-winged dove: Oswaldostrongylus sp. and S. bonini - and mourning dove: Oswaldostrongylus sp.