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  1. Abstract

    Diverse host communities commonly inhibit the spread of parasites at small scales. However, the generality of this effect remains controversial. Here, we present the analysis of 205 biodiversity–disease relationships on 67 parasite species to test whether biodiversity–disease relationships are generally nonlinear, moderated by spatial scale, and sensitive to underrepresentation in the literature. Our analysis of the published literature reveals that biodiversity–disease relationships are generally hump-shaped (i.e., nonlinear) and biodiversity generally inhibits disease at local scales, but this effect weakens as spatial scale increases. Spatial scale is, however, related to study design and parasite type, highlighting the need for additional multiscale research. Few studies are unrepresentative of communities at low diversity, but missing data at low diversity from field studies could result in underreporting of amplification effects. Experiments appear to underrepresent high-diversity communities, which could result in underreporting of dilution effects. Despite context dependence, biodiversity loss at local scales appears to increase disease, suggesting that at local scales, biodiversity loss could negatively impact human and wildlife populations.

  2. Abstract Outbreaks of zoonotic diseases are accelerating at an unprecedented rate in the current era of globalization, with substantial impacts on the global economy, public health, and sustainability. Alien species invasions have been hypothesized to be important to zoonotic diseases by introducing both existing and novel pathogens to invaded ranges. However, few studies have evaluated the generality of alien species facilitating zoonoses across multiple host and parasite taxa worldwide. Here, we simultaneously quantify the role of 795 established alien hosts on the 10,473 zoonosis events across the globe since the 14 th century. We observe an average of ~5.9 zoonoses per alien zoonotic host. After accounting for species-, disease-, and geographic-level sampling biases, spatial autocorrelation, and the lack of independence of zoonosis events, we find that the number of zoonosis events increase with the richness of alien zoonotic hosts, both across space and through time. We also detect positive associations between the number of zoonosis events per unit space and climate change, land-use change, biodiversity loss, human population density, and PubMed citations. These findings suggest that alien host introductions have likely contributed to zoonosis emergences throughout recent history and that minimizing future zoonotic host species introductions could have global healthmore »benefits.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
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  8. Introduced species pose a threat to biodiversity, and ecological and physiological factors are important in determining whether an introduced species becomes successfully established in a new region. Locomotor performance is one such factor that can influence the abundance and distribution of an introduced species. We investigated the effects of temperature and parasitism by the intestinal nematode Aplectana hamatospicula on the maximum jump distance and endurance in one invasive and two native treefrogs in Florida, USA. We collected frogs from the wild, estimated their parasite loads, and tested their locomotor performance at three temperatures. Contrary to expectations, invasive Cuban treefrogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis), which are adapted to a warmer climate in the Caribbean, outperformed pinewoods treefrogs (Hyla femoralis) and squirrel treefrogs (H. squirella) at each temperature, even when controlling for body size differences. In all three species, maximum jump distance was positively related to temperature, and this relationship was stronger for larger frogs. Parasites influenced both the maximum jump distance and endurance of frogs. In all three species, larger frogs jumped farther maximum distances than smaller frogs, but this relationship was stronger when frogs had lower, rather than higher, parasite loads. Parasitism had little effect on endurance in invasive frogs, but itmore »tended to decrease the endurance of native frogs at high temperatures. Furthermore, at low temperatures, the lengths of consecutive jumps of infected native frogs tended to increase, suggesting that parasites limited the distances of initial jumps. Effects of temperature and parasites on the locomotor performance of frogs could influence their abilities to forage, escape predators, and disperse. The tremendous locomotor performance of O. septentrionalis, which is maintained across temperatures and parasite loads, likely contributes to the invasion success of this species.« less