Species density distributions as null models for ecologically significant interactions of parasite species in an assemblage

J. Janovy, R. E. Clopton, D. A. Clopton, Scott D. Snyder, Aris Efting, Laura Krebs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

A multiple-kind lottery model is presented for use in determining whether species density distributions in parasite species assemblages reveal regularly occurring species-to-species interactions. The model utilizes a recurrence vector algorithm to rapidly calculate expected frequencies of species per host classes in such assemblages. These calculations have been a computational problem because the probability of a host individual acquiring one species of parasite is not necessarily equal to that of acquiring another species. Thus although the number of possible ways for a host to acquire x parasite species of a possible n is given by the familiar binomial expansion term n! [x!(x!(n - x)!], each of these ways can have a different probability. The model is applicable to any system that mimics a multiple-kind lottery in which (1) successes are independent events and (2) it is possible to fail completely to acquire any parasites or their analogs. The algorithm is thus a null model for species density distributions in general. Application of the model is illustrated by host/parasite systems involving snails and trematodes, fish and their protozoan and platyhelminth parasites, and a relatively rich assemblage of parasites in bats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalEcological Modelling
Volume77
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1995

Keywords

  • Parasitism
  • Species interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling

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