RESEARCH PAPER
Variation in the prevalence and abundance of mites parasitizing Abrothrix olivacea (Rodentia) in the native forest and Pinus radiata plantations in central Chile
 
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Universidad de Concepción, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias
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Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias y Pecuarias
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Universidad de Concepción, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanográficas
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Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Carlos Landaeta-Aqueveque   

Universidad de Concepción, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias
Publish date: 2019-11-26
 
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2019;30(2)
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ABSTRACT
This study aimed to assess the association between habitat type, season, and host density, sex, mass, and body condition with the parasitism (i.e., prevalence and abundance) of two taxa of parasitic mites: Ornithonyssus sp. and Androlaelaps sp. (Mesostigmata) parasitising Abrothrix olivacea (Cricetidae). This study considered habitat types, including both the native forest of western-central Chile (NF) and the surrounding pine plantation, which were sub-grouped as adult pine with an abundant understory (AP), young pine with an abundant understory (YPWU), and young pine plantation with a scarce or null understory (YPNU). Rodents were sampled during seasonal trapping sessions in the Los Queules National Reserve (Chile) and in the surrounding pine plantations. The association of these factors with the presence and abundance of mites was assessed with logistic and negative binomial regressions, respectively. Among 484 captured rodents, the prevalence of Ornithonyssus sp. (n=2445 mites) was 70.87%, and that of Androlaelaps sp. (n=182) was 16.1%. Parasitism by Ornithonyssus sp. was higher in plantations than in NF, and it featured seasonal and host sex-associated variation. The parasitism of Androlaelaps sp. in plantations was not significantly different from that in the NF, and only seasonal variation was significant. When comparing YPWU and YPNU, the parasitism of Ornithonyssus sp. was higher in YPWU, and that of Androlaelaps sp. was higher in YPNU. The effect of habitat depended on mite species, as the effect was stronger in Ornithonyssus. Host density was not significantly associated after correcting for habitat and season; this consideration was not frequently found in previous studies. There is a different effect of habitat type for each mite species, and the results also suggest an effect of the understory on the parasitism of each mite species.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Authors thank reviewers' comments with helpful suggestions that improved this manuscript. This study was financed by the Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (FONDECYT 3160037, 1140657, 11170294). English-language editing of this manuscript was provided by Journal Prep Services.
FUNDING
This study was financed by the Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (FONDECYT 3160037, 1140657, 11170294).
eISSN:1825-5272
ISSN:0394-1914