NCEAS Project 2226

Comparative Studies of Abundance and Species Richness Patterns among Mammalian Nematodes

  • Per Arneberg

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Center Associate25th October—26th November 1999Participant List  

My research interests are in the domain of macroecology. I am doing comparative studies of abundance and species richness patterns among mammalian nematodes. Papers have been published so far in The American Naturalist (Arneberg et al. 1998, 151: 497-513), Oikos (Arneberg et al. 1997, 80: 289-300) and Proceedings of The Royal Society of London, Series B (Arneberg et al. 1998, 265:1283-1289).

The questions I ask are about general determinants of abundance and species richness in communities of nematodes in mammals. Thus, I aim to focus directly on ecological processes that are common to large number of species and that hence can be used to make general predictions about community dynamics. I am also interested in the implications general ecological processes have for the ways we address evolutionary questions.

My work this fall will include analyses of a large number of sets or raw data obtained from parasitologists around the world. Species richness estimates are biased by number of host individuals examined, and data on the number of parasites from each individual host is required to obtain estimates that are unbiased by host sample size. In the literature only summary data are normally available, and I have therefore written to a number of colleagues, either directly or through journals (Arneberg, Parasitology Today 1999, 15: 208 + various society bulletines) asking for access to their raw data. The community has responded positively, and I am now in the process of building up the database that may allow me to perform comparative studies of parasite species richness patterns that are not hampered by the otherwise biasing effect of unequal sampling effort. As I see it, such cooperation between field and comparative ecologists is a potentially powerful way to synthesize ecological data, and may be of general interest to NCEAS.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Arneberg, Per. 2001. An ecological law and its macroecological consequences as revealed by studies of relationships between host densities and parasite prevalence. Ecography. Vol: 24. Pages 352-358.
Journal Article Arneberg, Per. 2002. Host population density and body mass as determinants of species richness in parasite communities: Comparative analyses of directly transmitted nematodes of mammals. Ecography. Vol: 25. Pages 88-94.