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Dryad

Vegetation cover and biodiversity reduce parasite infection in wild hosts across ecological levels and scales

Cite this dataset

Andreazzi, Cecilia et al. (2023). Vegetation cover and biodiversity reduce parasite infection in wild hosts across ecological levels and scales [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n2z34tn1f

Abstract

Land use changes and biodiversity loss critically disrupt ecosystem functioning and are major drivers of infectious disease outbreaks. Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, is a multi-host parasite whose epidemiology has changed due to the expansion of anthropogenic activities over natural areas. We aimed to understand the ecological processes increasing parasite prevalence at the individual, the community and the landscape levels using the largest database on small mammal infection by T. cruzi in Brazil. We applied machine learning techniques and structural equation models to show that allometric traits and the relative abundance of rodents in the community were important predictors of infection risk, followed by variables associated with the landscape environmental quality. Natural vegetation cover change and the taxonomic and functional dimensions of biodiversity indirectly reduced infection through its effect on the abundance distribution and composition of host communities. According to our findings, approaches to biodiversity conservation and restoration based on the integration of social inclusion and human welfare would contribute to regulating the prevalence of T. cruzi in wild hosts, which may reduce overall transmission risk.

Methods

Please see the README document ("README.txt") and the accompanying published article: Andreazzi, C. S., Martinez-Vaquero, L. A.,  Winck, G. R., Cardoso, T. S., Teixeira, B. R., Xavier, S. C. C., Gentile, R., Jansen, A. M., and P. S D’Andrea. 2023. Vegetation cover and biodiversity reduce parasite infection in wild hosts across ecological levels and scales. Ecography. Accepted. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.06579

 

Funding

Inova Fiocruz, Award: 2501557112

Instituto Serrapilheira, Award: 1912-32354

National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Award: 442410/2019-0

European Commission, Award: 847635