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Landuse, biodiversity and rodent-borne pathogens (Biodiversitäts-Exploratorien)

04/2020-03/2023

Funding programme / funding institution: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Grant number: 433328097

Project homepage: https://www.biodiversity-exploratories.de/

Project description:

In the project funded by DFG the effect of gradients in land use intensity on the transmission of rodent-borne pathogens with different traits in transmission (direct/ vector) and host specialization (multi-host) will be tested. The study will focus on the small mammal community on grassland and forest, as they are hosts for a diverse range of pathogens and exhibit marked variation in abundance and community structure depending on local environmental conditions. Detailed information about land use intensity will be linked to small mammal and vector abundance, diversity and community composition. Trapped individuals will be screened for different pathogens such as Leptospira and ectoparasites. The results will highlight specific pathogen traits that are favored or disfavored by different forms of land use intensity. The infrastructure of the Biodiversity Exploratories allows for the incorporation of various important environmental factors that might be associated with disease transmission including vegetation cover, food nutrition or soil type. It is our aim to intertwine our methodological approach with multiple other Biodiversity Exploratories projects so that results can be incorporated into a variety of research questions.

Project partners:

  • Universität Leipzig

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