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1 August 2008 Structure and Similarity of Helminth Communities of Six Species of Australian Turtles
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Patterns of infracommunity structure and infra- and component community similarity were examined for helminths of 6 species of turtles, each collected from a single locality in Australia in 1993 and 1994. Elseya latisternum (N = 11) and Emydura kreffti (N = 16) were collected from northern Queensland, Emydura macquarii macquarii (N = 11) from southern Queensland, Emydura macquarii dhara (N = 11) and Chelodina longicollis (N = 11) from northern New South Wales, and Chelodina oblonga (N = 5) from Western Australia. Local parasite species richness was not correlated with host geographical range. Differences in parasite diversity among host species were related primarily to differences in evenness, a pattern attributed to local habitat characteristics, rather than species-specific differences in colonization potential. Ordination and analysis of similarity demonstrated the patterns of infracommunity structure of Chelodina spp. to be distinct from those of the other host species sampled, which showed considerable overlap among patterns of infracommunity structure. Despite overlap with the component communities of Em. kreffti and El. latisternum, the component communities of Em. m. dhara and Em. m. macquarii were more distinct from one another than either was to the component communities of Em. kreffti or El. latisternum.

Derek A. Zelmer and Thomas R. Platt "Structure and Similarity of Helminth Communities of Six Species of Australian Turtles," Journal of Parasitology 94(4), (1 August 2008).
Received: 28 September 2007; Accepted: 1 January 2008; Published: 1 August 2008

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