Understanding pathogen transmission dynamics in waterbird communities: at what scale should interactions be studied?

MacGregor, Lindy H., Cumming, Graeme S., and Hockey, Philip A.R. (2011) Understanding pathogen transmission dynamics in waterbird communities: at what scale should interactions be studied? South African Journal of Science, 107 (9-10). pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Pathogen transmission in animal populations is contingent on interactions between and within species. Often standard ornithological data (e.g. total counts at a wetland) are the only data available for assessing the risks of avian pathogen transmission. In this paper we ask whether these data can be used to infer fine-scale transmission patterns. We tested for non-randomness in waterbird assemblages and explored waterbird interactions using social network analysis. Certain network parameter values were then compared to a data set on avian influenza prevalence in southern Africa. Our results showed that species associations were strongly non-random, implying that most standard ornithological data sets would not provide adequate information on which to base models of pathogen spread. In both aquatic and terrestrial networks, all species regularly associated closely with other network members. The spread of pathogens through the community could thus be rapid. Network analysis together with detailed, fine-scale observations offers a promising avenue for further research and management-oriented applications.

Item ID: 40970
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1996-7489
Keywords: avian influenza; species association; disease transmission; social network analysis; wild birds; scale
Additional Information:

© 2011. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS OpenJournals. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Funders: DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute, USAID, Wildlife Conservation Society, Gordon Sprigg Scholarship Fund
Projects and Grants: Global Avian Influenza network for Surveillance (GRIPAVI) project
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2015 00:06
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified @ 34%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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