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Publication Information

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Title: Is there a link between anthropogenic disturbance and the diversity and abundance of rodent flea communities?

Author: Friggens, Megan M.

Date: 2008

Source: In: Multifunctional grasslands in a changing world, Volume II; XXI International Grassland Congress; VIII International Rangeland Congress. Beijing, China: Guangdong People's Publishing House: 77.

Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)

Description: Fleas are among the most common arthropod vectors of many of rodent borne diseases like plague (Yersina pestis). Human outbreaks of plague are commonly associated with the presence of peridomestic rodent species (Perry and Featherston, 1997) . Anthropogenic disturbance with respect to both habitat use and climate change can affect disease emergence and prevalence through its impact on hosts and host-parasite (vector) ecology (Daszak et al., 2001) . Vector-borne disease transmission is often related to species diversity (Keesing et al., 2006). In addition, flea abundance and host spectrum (number of hosts infested) relate to the likelihood of flea-mediated disease transmission, particularly with respect to plague (Krasnov et al., 2006). Anthropogenic disturbance can influence rodent community diversity (Tikhonova et al., 2006), which in turn can affect flea diversity (Krasnov et al., 2004), and may lead to decreased host specificity among flea parasites (Gettinger and Ernest, 1995). The goal of this paper is to examine the influence of anthropogenic disturbance on flea communities from a variety of habitats across the world. In particular, this analysis focuses on the effect of disturbance on flea diversity and flea species abundance and specificity behaviors.

Keywords: flea assemblages, rodents, vector-borne disease, anthropogenic disturbance

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Friggens, Megan M. 2008. Is there a link between anthropogenic disturbance and the diversity and abundance of rodent flea communities? In: Multifunctional grasslands in a changing world, Volume II; XXI International Grassland Congress; VIII International Rangeland Congress. Beijing, China: Guangdong People's Publishing House: 77.

 


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