Murray State University

Poster Title

Differences in Body Weight and Parasitism of White-footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus) Between Floodplain and Dry Sites

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

Abiotic environmental factors such as cold and moisture can have a major effect on host animals and on host-parasite relationships. These factors have been linked to increased stress and decreased immunity. In this study, we sampled floodplain areas adjacent to a reservoir and dry areas outside of that floodplain to assess the effect of flooding as an environmental stressor. We trapped Peromyscus leucopus on two dry and two floodplain areas monthly for a one-year period. Each animal was weighed and tested for Eimeria arizonensis (Protista; Coccidia) parasitism each month. Male P. leucopus on floodplain sites were parasitized significantly more often (P=0.015) than on dry sites, but there was no significant difference in female parasitism between floodplain and dry sites (P=0.660). However, female P. leucopus caught during fall/winter months on dry sites were significantly heavier (P=0.012) than those caught on floodplain sites. Weights of females caught during spring/summer were not significantly different between site types. There were no significant differences in male weights between site types. These results suggest, through higher prevalence of parasites in males and lower body weights in females, that the floodplain represents an area of increased stress for P. leucopus.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Differences in Body Weight and Parasitism of White-footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus) Between Floodplain and Dry Sites

Abiotic environmental factors such as cold and moisture can have a major effect on host animals and on host-parasite relationships. These factors have been linked to increased stress and decreased immunity. In this study, we sampled floodplain areas adjacent to a reservoir and dry areas outside of that floodplain to assess the effect of flooding as an environmental stressor. We trapped Peromyscus leucopus on two dry and two floodplain areas monthly for a one-year period. Each animal was weighed and tested for Eimeria arizonensis (Protista; Coccidia) parasitism each month. Male P. leucopus on floodplain sites were parasitized significantly more often (P=0.015) than on dry sites, but there was no significant difference in female parasitism between floodplain and dry sites (P=0.660). However, female P. leucopus caught during fall/winter months on dry sites were significantly heavier (P=0.012) than those caught on floodplain sites. Weights of females caught during spring/summer were not significantly different between site types. There were no significant differences in male weights between site types. These results suggest, through higher prevalence of parasites in males and lower body weights in females, that the floodplain represents an area of increased stress for P. leucopus.