Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub

    Description

    Anthropogenic disturbance may lead to the spread of vector-borne diseases through effects on pathogens, vectors, and hosts. Identifying the type and extent of vector response to habitat change will enable better and more accurate management strategies for anthropogenic disease spread. We compiled and analyzed data from published empirical studies to test for patterns among flea and small mammal diversity, abundance, several measures of flea infestation, and host specificity in 70 small mammal communities of five biomes and three levels of human disturbance: remote/wild areas, agricultural areas, and urban areas. Ten of 12 mammal and flea characteristics showed a significant effect of disturbance category (six), biome (four), or both (two). Six variables had a significant interaction effect. For mammal-flea communities in forest habitats (39 of the 70 communities), disturbance affected all 12 characteristics. Overall, flea and mammal richness were higher in remote versus urban sites. Most measures of flea infestation, including percent of infested mammals and fleas/mammal and fleas/mammal species increased with increasing disturbance or peaked at intermediate levels of disturbance. In addition, host use increased, and the number of specialist fleas decreased, as human disturbance increased. Of the three most common biomes (forest, grassland/savanna, desert), deserts were most sensitive to disturbance. Finally, sites of intermediate disturbance were most diverse and exhibited characteristics associated with increased disease spread. Anthropogenic disturbance was associated with conditions conducive to increased transmission of flea-borne diseases.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Friggens, Megan M.; Beier, Paul. 2010. Anthropogenic disturbance and the risk of flea-borne disease transmission. Oecologia. 164: 809-820.

    Keywords

    global change, biodiversity, zoonotic disease, vector, emerging disease

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/36691