The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 5676

Special Issue Editors

Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 59, Gdańsk, Poland
Interests: acarology; parasitology; taxonomy; host–parasite interactions; communities of vertebrate parasites; parasitic mites; skin mites; ectoparasites; medical and veterinary parasitology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 59, Gdańsk, Poland
Interests: animal parasitology; taxonomy; diversity and ecology of parasites; alien and invasive parasites; applied parasitology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Being common in animal populations, parasites demonstrate great biodiversity and a different range of relationships with the host, i.e., from one of high plasticity to high host specificity, and their location in the body. While infections are often asymptomatic at low intensity, various factors can cause parasite numbers to multiply, resulting in the development of very dangerous, even fatal, parasitic diseases. This development is influenced not only by the condition and individual immunity status of the host, but also by changes in the external environment that disturb the functioning of the ecosystem, such as anthropopression, environmental pollution, and climate change. In order to describe the biodiversity of animal parasites, it is first of all necessary to learn about their taxonomy, systematics, and phylogeny, as well as the adaptations of the host to parasitism, and the factors determining the evolution of various host–parasite relationships, i.e., those created by a host with different parasites or a parasite with different hosts. In order to recognize the impact of a parasite on the host, it is also very important to understand the relationship: the coexistence of the parasites, the functioning of parasite communities within the host, and the geographical distribution of parasites in host populations. The latter will be influenced, in turn, by host and parasite migration and changes in the distribution range, including the emergence of alien and invasive species. In order to understand and develop global patterns of parasite infection, it is necessary to recognize their local distribution and diversity.

This Special Issue of “The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites” will provide an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the identification of current problems and research directions, as well as the development of future research trends.

Dr. Joanna N. Izdebska
Dr. Leszek Rolbiecki
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • parasites of animals
  • ecology
  • biodiversity and regional diversity
  • genetic diversity
  • host-parasite interaction
  • taxonomy
  • climate change
  • invasive species

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

9 pages, 2939 KiB  
Article
Utilizing Ecological Modeling to Follow the Potential Spread of Honey Bee Pest (Megaselia scalaris) from Nearby Countries towards Saudi Arabia under Climate Change Conditions
Diversity 2022, 14(4), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14040261 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1882
Abstract
The current challenge for the development of beekeeping is the possibility of bee pests invading new areas. It is well known that each geographical range has its unique pest species. The fly Megaselia scalaris is a facultative parasitoid to honey bees. This fly [...] Read more.
The current challenge for the development of beekeeping is the possibility of bee pests invading new areas. It is well known that each geographical range has its unique pest species. The fly Megaselia scalaris is a facultative parasitoid to honey bees. This fly has been recorded in various countries while information about it in Saudi Arabia is still seldom. The main objective of this study was to follow the spread of this fly from North Africa/South Europe towards Gulf countries utilizing ecological modeling. Maxent, as a specialist software in analyzing species distribution, was used in combination of five environmental factors. The analysis was performed to cover current and future conditions (2050). The outputs of the model were analyzed in regard to their performance and distribution of M. scalaris in the study area. The top factor contributing to the model was the annual mean temperature with a percentage of 56.3. The model maps emphasized the possible occurrence of this pest in the northern parts of Saudi Arabia. The wide establishment and distribution towards the central and southern parts of Saudi Arabia were not supported. Screening apiaries located in Northern areas in Saudi Arabia for the presence of this pest using specific bait traps could be a good recommendation from this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites)
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14 pages, 2398 KiB  
Article
The First Data on Parasitic Arthropods of the European Bison in the Summer Season with a World Checklist
Diversity 2022, 14(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14020075 - 22 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2861
Abstract
The European bison (wisent) Bison bonasus is not only the largest terrestrial mammal in Europe, but also an example of the successful restitution and reintroduction of a species that became extinct in nature at the beginning of the 20th century. Even so, it [...] Read more.
The European bison (wisent) Bison bonasus is not only the largest terrestrial mammal in Europe, but also an example of the successful restitution and reintroduction of a species that became extinct in nature at the beginning of the 20th century. Even so, it remains a rare, protected species, and one susceptible to varied threats, including diseases. It has a specific parasitofauna, comprising only a few specific species retained with the last hosts in the restitution process, and some others acquired from other ungulates, or via environmental interactions. The current data on parasitic arthropods originated from the winter season, and less frequently, from autumn and early spring. The present study contains the first information on the occurrence of arthropods in the European bison (n = 6) in the summer season, which is the period of their increased activity. Data on the seasonal and populational dynamics of ectoparasites have been verified; specific parasite species (Demodex bisonianus, Bisonicola sedecimdecembrii, and recently described Demodex bialoviensis) and typical parasite species (Chorioptes bovis, Ixodes ricinus) have been recorded. The data refer to the information from other study periods, summarizing and valorizing data on parasitic arthropods in the form of a global checklist. These arthropods occur in European bison frequently (prevalence reaches up to 100%), but they are present in small numbers, and do not present a burden for the host; only sometimes, with high intensity of infection, they cause parasitoses (chorioptosis, mallohagosis). However, as an effect of regular activity, by penetrating the skin of the host, they create gateways for secondary infections, and hematophagous parasites (e.g., ticks) can be vectors of pathogens that can be hazardous, even at low infection levels. The identification of the parasitological threats faced by European bison is not only important from the standpoint of the study object, i.e., the Białowieża Forest European bison population, from which the existing bison population of Europe has been derived, but also the fact that their transfer to different parts of Europe can entail the additional transfer of their parasites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites)
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