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Migration and parasitism: habitat use, not migration distance, influences helminth species richness in Charadriiform birds
Gutiérrez, J.S.; Rakhimberdiev, E.; Piersma, T.; Thieltges, D.W. (2017). Migration and parasitism: habitat use, not migration distance, influences helminth species richness in Charadriiform birds. J. Biogeogr. 44(5): 1137-1147.
In: Journal of Biogeography. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 0305-0270; e-ISSN 1365-2699, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    birds; habitat use; life history; migration; parasite species richness

Auteurs  Top 
  • Gutiérrez, J.S., meer
  • Rakhimberdiev, E., meer
  • Piersma, T., meer
  • Thieltges, D.W., meer

    Aim Habitat use and migration strategies of animals are often associated withspatial variation in parasite pressure, but how they relate to one another is notwell understood. Here, we use a large dataset on helminth species richness ofCharadriiform birds to test whether higher habitat diversity and seasonalmigration increase parasite richness in avian hosts.Location Global.Methods We compiled a global dataset on helminth species richness, habitatuse strategies (marine/freshwater/mixed wintering and osmotic generalist/specialist)and various ecological/life-history traits (migration distance, geographicalrange size, diet, body mass, sampling latitude) of Charadriiform birds. Totest if hosts with different habitat use strategies encounter different parasitepressures, we used comparative methods that correct for shared ancestry andphylogenetic uncertainty.Results Habitat generalists (mixed wintering habitats and osmotic generalists)harboured more parasite species than habitat specialists; marine- and freshwater-restricted hosts had similar helminth species richness. Contrary to previousresults, we found no association between parasite species richness and migrationdistance. Overall helminth species richness also increased with diet diversity,with no effects of other ecological/life-history traits.Main conclusions We suggest that birds exploiting diverse habitats and dietsare exposed to a more diverse parasite fauna and conclude that distributionpatterns and habitat use, rather than migration distance, shape parasite diversitywithin host populations. Overall, these results demonstrate the significantrole of habitat use in explaining how migration may indirectly affect parasiterichness in host populations.

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