Predicting the distribution of a parasite using the ecological niche model, GARP

Terry R. Haverkost, Scott L Gardner, A. Townsend Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ecological niche of a parasite exists only at the nexus of certain abiotic and biotic conditions suitable for both the definitive and intermediate hosts. However, the life cycles of most parasites are not known, or are poorly known, and using known ranges of hosts to find endemic parasitic infections has been difficult. However, with ecological niche modeling, we can create potential range maps using known localities of infection. Testing the validity of such maps requires knowledge of the localities of other parasites with common history. Here, we find that the ecological niche of a tapeworm parasite of voles, Paranoplocephala macrocephala (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae), allows prediction of the presence (in ecological and geographic space) of 19 related parasite species from 3 genera in 23 different hosts throughout the Nearctic. These results give credence to the idea that this group shares similar life cycle requirements despite phylogenetic distance. This work further validates ecological niche modeling as a means by which to predict occurrence of parasites when not all facets of the life cycle are confirmed. Such inductive methods create the opportunity for deducing potential reservoir or intermediate hosts, and complementing studies of parasite biodiversity and community ecology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-902
Number of pages8
JournalRevista Mexicana de Biodiversidad
Volume81
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

Fingerprint

parasite
niches
parasites
life cycle (organisms)
intermediate host
life cycle
intermediate hosts
Anoplocephalidae
definitive host
disease reservoirs
community ecology
tapeworms
parasitoses
ecological niche
distribution
Cestoda
host range
modeling
biodiversity
phylogenetics

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Cestodes
  • Ecology
  • Geographical distribution
  • Paranoplocephala
  • Phylogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Predicting the distribution of a parasite using the ecological niche model, GARP. / Haverkost, Terry R.; Gardner, Scott L; Townsend Peterson, A.

In: Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, Vol. 81, No. 3, 01.12.2010, p. 895-902.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Haverkost, Terry R. ; Gardner, Scott L ; Townsend Peterson, A. / Predicting the distribution of a parasite using the ecological niche model, GARP. In: Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad. 2010 ; Vol. 81, No. 3. pp. 895-902.
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