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Plos One : Helminth Communities of Owls Strigiformes Indicate Strong Biological and Ecological Differences from Birds of Prey Accipitriformes and Falconiformes in Southern Italy, Volume 7

By Fenton, Brock

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Book Id: WPLBN0003938412
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos One : Helminth Communities of Owls Strigiformes Indicate Strong Biological and Ecological Differences from Birds of Prey Accipitriformes and Falconiformes in Southern Italy, Volume 7  
Author: Fenton, Brock
Volume: Volume 7
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Medical Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary)
Historic
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Publisher: Plos

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Fenton, B. (n.d.). Plos One : Helminth Communities of Owls Strigiformes Indicate Strong Biological and Ecological Differences from Birds of Prey Accipitriformes and Falconiformes in Southern Italy, Volume 7. Retrieved from http://netlibrary.net/


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Description : We compared the helminth communities of 5 owl species from Calabria (Italy) and evaluated the effect of phylogenetic and ecological factors on community structure. Two host taxonomic scales were considered, i.e., owl species, and owls vs. birds of prey. The latter scale was dealt with by comparing the data here obtained with that of birds of prey from the same locality and with those published previously on owls and birds of prey from Galicia (Spain). A total of 19 helminth taxa were found in owls from Calabria. Statistical comparison showed only marginal differences between scops owls (Otus scops) and little owls (Athene noctua) and tawny owls (Strix aluco). It would indicate that all owl species are exposed to a common pool of ‘owl generalist’ helminth taxa, with quantitative differences being determined by differences in diet within a range of prey relatively narrow. In contrast, birds of prey from the same region exhibited strong differences because they feed on different and wider spectra of prey. In Calabria, owls can be separated as a whole from birds of prey with regard to the structure of their helminth communities while in Galicia helminths of owls represent a subset of those of birds of prey. This difference is related to the occurrence in Calabria, but not Galicia, of a pool of ‘owl specialist’ species. The wide geographical occurrence of these taxa suggest that local conditions may determine fundamental differences in the composition of local communities. Finally, in both Calabria and Galicia, helminth communities from owls were species-poor compared to those from sympatric birds of prey. However, birds of prey appear to share a greater pool of specific helmith taxa derived from cospeciation processes, and a greater potential exchange of parasites between them than with owls because of phylogenetic closeness.

 

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