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Diversity, prevalence, and host specificity of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in a western Amazon assemblage

Svensson-Coelho, Maria LU ; Blake, John G.; Loiselle, Bette A.; Penrose, Amanda S; Parker, Patricia G and Ricklefs, Robert E (2013) In Ornithological Monographs 76(1). p.1-47
Abstract
We used PCR and DNA sequencing to screen for haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus and Plasmodium) in 2,488 individual birds from 104 species and 22 families, primarily understory suboscine passerines, captured in a lowland Amazonian forest in Ecuador as a first major step to understanding the transmission dynamics of this cosmopolitan group of parasites in this region. To assess diversity of avian haemosporidia in our study site, we identified putative evolutionary lineages of haemosporidia using the mtDNA gene cytochrome b (cyt b). We sampled birds over 9 years, which allowed us to assess annual variation in haemosporidian prevalence. Additionally, we investigated among-species variation in prevalence and tested relationships between... (More)
We used PCR and DNA sequencing to screen for haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus and Plasmodium) in 2,488 individual birds from 104 species and 22 families, primarily understory suboscine passerines, captured in a lowland Amazonian forest in Ecuador as a first major step to understanding the transmission dynamics of this cosmopolitan group of parasites in this region. To assess diversity of avian haemosporidia in our study site, we identified putative evolutionary lineages of haemosporidia using the mtDNA gene cytochrome b (cyt b). We sampled birds over 9 years, which allowed us to assess annual variation in haemosporidian prevalence. Additionally, we investigated among-species variation in prevalence and tested relationships between traits of hosts and prevalence of haemosporidia in a comparative analysis. Finally, we estimated host specificity of each recovered parasite lineage and compared several indices with different details of host information. Prevalence of haemosporidia was 21.7% when we combined years and ranged from 5.6% to 91.2% among well-sampled host species. Prevalence varied significantly among years, ranging from 14.5% in 2006 to 33.2% in 2009. The hypothesis that haemosporidian prevalence increases with level of sexual dimorphism and decreases with foraging height of a host species received some support. We identified 65 unique cyt b haplotypes, some of which we considered variation within the same evolutionary lineage. In total, we defined 45 putative evolutionary lineages based on 363 identified parasites. Fourteen haplotypes were identical to haplotypes found elsewhere, sometimes on different continents. Host specificity varied greatly among parasite lineages. Collectively, our findings indicate that within a local Neotropical assemblage of avian haemosporidia, community organization is highly complex and part of this complexity can be attributed to differences in host life history; diversity, particularly of Plasmodium spp., is high; and individual parasite lineages can differ greatly in both abundance and number of host species. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
avian blood parasites, avian malaria, community ecology, compound community, Neotropics, parasite diversity, parasite prevalence
in
Ornithological Monographs
volume
76
issue
1
pages
47 pages
publisher
AMER ORNITHOLOGISTS UNION
external identifiers
  • scopus:84891507852
ISSN
0078-6594
DOI
10.1525/om.2013.76.1.1
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
a3ebc04a-2ce5-464a-9389-97a7fe84a737
date added to LUP
2017-05-09 15:03:10
date last changed
2018-09-30 04:41:14
@article{a3ebc04a-2ce5-464a-9389-97a7fe84a737,
  abstract     = {We used PCR and DNA sequencing to screen for haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus and Plasmodium) in 2,488 individual birds from 104 species and 22 families, primarily understory suboscine passerines, captured in a lowland Amazonian forest in Ecuador as a first major step to understanding the transmission dynamics of this cosmopolitan group of parasites in this region. To assess diversity of avian haemosporidia in our study site, we identified putative evolutionary lineages of haemosporidia using the mtDNA gene cytochrome b (cyt b). We sampled birds over 9 years, which allowed us to assess annual variation in haemosporidian prevalence. Additionally, we investigated among-species variation in prevalence and tested relationships between traits of hosts and prevalence of haemosporidia in a comparative analysis. Finally, we estimated host specificity of each recovered parasite lineage and compared several indices with different details of host information. Prevalence of haemosporidia was 21.7% when we combined years and ranged from 5.6% to 91.2% among well-sampled host species. Prevalence varied significantly among years, ranging from 14.5% in 2006 to 33.2% in 2009. The hypothesis that haemosporidian prevalence increases with level of sexual dimorphism and decreases with foraging height of a host species received some support. We identified 65 unique cyt b haplotypes, some of which we considered variation within the same evolutionary lineage. In total, we defined 45 putative evolutionary lineages based on 363 identified parasites. Fourteen haplotypes were identical to haplotypes found elsewhere, sometimes on different continents. Host specificity varied greatly among parasite lineages. Collectively, our findings indicate that within a local Neotropical assemblage of avian haemosporidia, community organization is highly complex and part of this complexity can be attributed to differences in host life history; diversity, particularly of Plasmodium spp., is high; and individual parasite lineages can differ greatly in both abundance and number of host species.},
  author       = {Svensson-Coelho, Maria and Blake, John G. and Loiselle, Bette A. and Penrose, Amanda S and Parker, Patricia G and Ricklefs, Robert E},
  issn         = {0078-6594},
  keyword      = {avian blood parasites,avian malaria,community ecology,compound community,Neotropics,parasite diversity,parasite prevalence},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--47},
  publisher    = {AMER ORNITHOLOGISTS UNION},
  series       = {Ornithological Monographs},
  title        = {Diversity, prevalence, and host specificity of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in a western Amazon assemblage},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/om.2013.76.1.1},
  volume       = {76},
  year         = {2013},
}