Compositional turnover in ecto- And endoparasite assemblages of an African bat, Miniopterus natalensis (Chiroptera, Miniopteridae): effects of hierarchical scale and host sex

Boris R. Krasnov, Kerstin Junker, Simon Wood, Edward A. Ueckermann, Gert J. Venter, Luther Van Der Mescht, Heloise Heyne, David S. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We studied the compositional turnover in infracommunities and component communities of ecto- and endoparasites infesting a bat, Miniopterus natalensis (Chiroptera, Miniopteridae), across seven sampling sites using the zeta diversity metric (measuring similarity between multiple communities) and calculating zeta decline and retention rate (both scales) and zeta decay (component communities). We asked whether the patterns of zeta diversity differ between (a) infracommunities and component communities; (b) ecto- and endoparasites and (c) subsets of communities infecting male and female bats. The pattern of compositional turnover differed between infracommunities and component communities in endoparasites only. The shape of zeta decline for infracommunities indicated that there were approximately equal probabilities of ecto- and endoparasitic species to occur on/in any bat individual within a site. The shape of zeta decline for component communities suggested the stochasticity of ectoparasite turnover, whereas the turnover of endoparasites was driven by niche-based processes. Compositional turnover in component communities of ectoparasites was more spatially dependent than that of endoparasites. Spatial independence of compositional turnover in endoparasites was due to subcommunities harboured by female bats. We conclude that the patterns of compositional turnover in infracommunities were similar in ecto- and endoparasites, whereas the patterns of turnover in component communities differed between these groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1728-1742
Number of pages15
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Ectoparasites
  • Miniopterus natalensis
  • endoparasites
  • zeta decay
  • zeta diversity


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