Term of Award

Fall 2005

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

C. Ray Chandler

Committee Member 1

Lance A. Durden

Committee Member 2

Oscar J. Pung

Abstract

I tested the hypothesis that fire significantly decreases prevalence and abundance of ectoparasites and therefore increases the condition of small mammals in longleaf pine habitats. I trapped two areas with paired burned and unburned sites in east central Georgia during 2002 2003. I collected 190 mammals from 9 species and recovered 32 ectoparasite species. I found little overlap in mammal species between paired sites. The overall chance for any mammal of having an ectoparasite was significantly greater on unburned sites (87.7% prevalence on burned vs. 100% unburned). There was no significant relationship between the number of individual ectoparasites on a mammal and its condition. Although I provide some evidence that fire can affect ectoparasite abundance, the pattern varied by site and was not consistent for all species. Several new host ectoparasite associations were recorded.

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