Helminth infracommunity Helminths co-occurrences Semipermanent and permanent pond Host ecology Subtropical habitat
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. The need for studies on helminth communities of South American amphibians was addressed by examining changes in composition and population dynamics of the helminth component and infracommunities in the frog Lysapsus limellus Cope, 1862, from 1994 to 1996. Two pond types were considered, one permanent and one semipermanent. The main goals of this study were (1) to investigate the relationships between pond type, season, study time, frog body size, and frog sex and the presence-absence and counts of helminth parasite species in the frog host, L. limellus, and (2) to examine the co-occurrence of the different parasite species in the frog host in terms of the structure, assembly, and dynamics of the helminth infracommunity. Parasite presence and absence were analyzed using logistic regression and parasite counts were analyzed using log-linear modeling. To examine the association between parasite species, a principal components analysis was carried out on the correlation matrix for the counts. The pattern of co-occurrences was also examined through a randomization test. The main results were as follows: (1) five parasite species were found in the infracommunity; (2) the pond type and the host size class were the principal factors related to the presence and absence of parasites for the three dominant species, while the year of study and the host sex were only important for one of the species; (3) for the parasite counts, many more factors were significant, with body size class and pond type always important factors for the three core species of the infracommunity, with season, year of study, and sex also sometimes important, and (4) strong associations were observed between some helminth species of the host from the permanent pond, but the same species did not co-occur in frogs in the semipermanent pond. The life histories of the five species can be considered as opportunistic or "r strategists."
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