Volume 52/Number4/Abstract 1
Acta Parasitologica Homepage
Tables of Contents
Volume 52 Tables of Contents

Acta Parasitologica, Vol. 52, No. 4, 2007, 403–413. DOI: 10.2478/s11686-007-0056-6
Màrius V. Fuentes*, Sandra Sainz-Elipe and M. Teresa Galán-Puchades – Ecological study of the wood mouse helminth community in a burned Mediterranean ecosystem in regeneration five years after a wildfire

Departament de Parasitologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de València, Av. Vicent Andrés Estellés s/n, 46100 Burjassot-València, Spain
*Corresponding author: mario.v.fuentes@uv.es
Parasites are used as biological tags in environmental impact studies. However, terrestrial systems in general and small mammals in particular are rarely considered in these ecological studies. Based on the effects of a wildfire which occurred in the Spanish Serra Calderona Natural Park – a typical Mediterranean ecosystem – the regeneration process of the wood mouse population and its helminth community is analysed. A total of 217 individuals of Apodemus sylvaticus were studied in a five year period, from the second to the fifth post-fire year: 152 mice originating from the burned area and 65 from the control – nonburned – area. The helminth community for both burned and non-burned areas as well as the effect of intrinsic (host age and sex) and extrinsic (site, period and season of capture) factors on helminth prevalences and abundances were analysed. Taking into account the most important results of this study, various aspects of the helminth community dynamics of the wood mouse are postulated as biological tags of the environmental impact of a wildfire, such as the changes in the frequency distribution of the helminth species, the higher diversity in the burned area, and the prevalences of helminth species having biological cycles directly affected by climatic conditions and the vegetal regeneration process. Consequently, the helminth species of A. sylvaticus should be considered suitable biological tags of environmental perturbations, such as a wildfire, and the wood mouse/helminth model can be applied to predict the consequences for helminth species in general.
KEY WORDS: Helminth community, Apodemus sylvaticus, post-fire, Mediterranean ecosystem, Serra Calderona, Spain

Page compiled by R. Salamatin. Last modification: