Phylogenetic patterns in regional flea assemblages from 6 biogeographic realms: Strong links between flea and host phylogenetic turnovers and weak effects of phylogenetic originality on host specificity

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated phylogenetic patterns in flea assemblages from 80 regions in 6 biogeographic realms and asked whether (a) flea phylogenetic turnover is driven by host phylogenetic turnover, environmental dissimilarity or geographic distance; (b) the relative importance of these drivers differs between realms; and (c) the environmental drivers of flea phylogenetic turnover are similar to those of host phylogenetic turnover. We also asked whether the phylogenetic originality of a flea species correlates with the degree of its host specificity and whether the phylogenetic originality of a host species correlates with the diversity of its flea assemblages. We found that host phylogenetic turnover was the best predictor of flea phylogenetic turnover in all realms, whereas the effect of the environment was weaker. Environmental predictors of flea phylogenetic turnover differed between realms. The importance of spatial distances as a predictor of the phylogenetic dissimilarity between regional assemblages varied between realms. The responses of host turnover differed from those of fleas. In 4 of the 6 realms, geographic distances were substantially better predictors of host phylogenetic turnover than environmental gradients. We also found no general relationship between flea phylogenetic originality and its host specificity in terms of either host species richness or host phylogenetic diversity. We conclude that flea phylogenetic turnover is determined mainly by the phylogenetic turnover of their hosts rather than by environmental gradients. Phylogenetic patterns in fleas are manifested at the level of regional assemblages rather than at the level of individual species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-467
Number of pages13
JournalParasitology
Volume150
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Biogeographic realms
  • environment
  • fleas
  • hosts
  • phylogenetic originality
  • phylogenetic turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Parasitology

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