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Data from: Bovine tuberculosis disturbs functional trait composition in African buffalo

Citation

Beechler, Brianna R. (2019), Data from: Bovine tuberculosis disturbs functional trait composition in African buffalo, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vk15g0c

Abstract

Novel parasites can have wide-ranging impacts, not only on host populations, but also on the resident parasite community. Historically, impacts of novel parasites have been assessed by examining pairwise interactions between parasite species. However, parasite communities are complex networks of interacting species. Here, we used multivariate taxonomic and trait-based approaches to determine how parasite community composition changed when African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) acquired an emerging disease, bovine tuberculosis (BTB). Both taxonomic and functional parasite richness increased significantly in animals that acquired BTB than in those that did not. Thus, the presence of BTB seems to catalyze extraordinary shifts in community composition. There were, however, no differences in overall parasite taxonomic composition between infected and uninfected individuals. The trait-based analysis revealed that direct-transmitted, quickly replicating parasites increased following BTB infection. This study demonstrates that trait-based approaches provide novel insight for understanding parasite community dynamics in the context of emerging infections.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1102493

Location

South Africa