Recently published in Diversity and Distributions (PDF available above), this article builds on previous research on Parasite Host Specificity and Parasite Colonisation to describe a broad regional analysis of factors that influence the dispersal, assembly and phylogenetic makeup of avian blood parasites. By capturing wild birds and sampling them for blood parasites, we show that host dispersal ability and phylogenetic ancestry are key drivers of parasite assembly, suggesting that shifting host communities will have wide ramifications for parasite invasion potential in the future.
A huge diversity of malaria parasites exist in Australasia, but how parasite communities vary across regions has remained unclear due to inadequate sampling. Here we apply turnover analyses to one of the largest avian malaria datasets in the world to illustrate connectivity of parasite phylogenetic lineages. Larger circles indicate more ‘connected’ parasite communities