Apr 18, 2020

Detecting turnover among complex communities using null models: A case study with sky-island haemosporidian parasites

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
L. N. BarrowChristopher C Witt


Turnover in species composition between sites, or beta diversity, is a critical component of species diversity that is typically influenced by geography, environment, and biotic interactions. Quantifying turnover is particularly challenging, however, in multi-host, multi-parasite assemblages where undersampling is unavoidable, resulting in inflated estimates of turnover and uncertainty about its spatial scale. We developed and implemented a framework using null models to test for community turnover in avian haemosporidian communities of three sky islands in the southwestern United States. We screened 776 birds for haemosporidian parasites from three genera (Parahaemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon) by amplifying and sequencing a mitochondrial DNA barcode. We detected infections in 280 birds (36.1%), sequenced 357 infections, and found a total of 99 parasite haplotypes. When compared to communities simulated from a regional pool, we observed more unique, single-mountain haplotypes and fewer haplotypes shared among three mountain ranges than expected, indicating that haemosporidian communities differ to some degree among adjacent mountain ranges. These results were robust even after pruning datasets to include only identic...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biological Markers
Drug Response
Somatic Mutation
Comparative Genomic Analysis
Malignant Neoplasms
Genome Sequencing
Gene Mutant
Biological Evolution

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