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      Parasite metacommunities: Evaluating the roles of host community composition and environmental gradients in structuring symbiont communities within amphibians

      1 , 2 , 1 , 1

      Journal of Animal Ecology

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          <p id="P1">1. Ecologists increasingly report the structures of metacommunities for free-living species, yet far less is known about the composition of symbiont communities through space and time. Understanding the drivers of symbiont community patterns has implications ranging from emerging infectious disease to managing host microbiomes. </p><p id="P2">2. Using symbiont communities from amphibian hosts sampled from wetlands of California, USA, we quantified the effects of spatial, habitat filtering, and host community components on symbiont occupancy and overall metacommunity structure. </p><p id="P3">3. We built upon a statistical method to describe metacommunity structure that accounts for imperfect detection in survey data – detection error-corrected elements of metacommunity structure (DECEMS) – by adding an analysis to identify covariates of community turnover. We applied our model to a metacommunity of 8 parasite taxa observed in 3571 Pacific chorus frogs ( <i>Pseudacris regilla</i>) surveyed from 174 wetlands over 5 years. </p><p id="P4">4. Symbiont metacommunity structure varied across years, showing nested structure in three years and random structure in two years. Species turnover was most consistently influenced by spatial and host community components. Occupancy generally increased in more southeastern wetlands, and snail (intermediate-host) community composition had strong effects on most symbiont taxa. </p><p id="P5">5. We have used sophisticated but accessible statistical methods to reveal that spatial components - which influence colonization - and host community composition - which mediates transmission - both drive symbiont community composition in this system. These methods allow us to associate broad patterns of community turnover to local, species-level effects, ultimately improving our understanding of spatial community dynamics. </p><p id="P6">The authors introduce a rigorous statistical framework to explore how environmental gradients affect species turnover. These methods are relevant for free-living and symbiotic communities alike. Moreover, by using a well-studied and thoroughly sampled study system, they show how our framework can lead to interesting biological conclusions and hypotheses for future research. </p><p id="P7"> <div class="figure-container so-text-align-c"> <img alt="" class="figure" src="/document_file/8643c5e9-df3c-4ca4-a23d-256cf8c3042e/PubMedCentral/image/nihms897765u1.jpg"/> </div> </p>

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          Most cited references 45

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          NULL MODEL ANALYSIS OF SPECIES CO-OCCURRENCE PATTERNS

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            Fecal microbiota transplant for relapsing Clostridium difficile infection using a frozen inoculum from unrelated donors: a randomized, open-label, controlled pilot study.

            Recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) with poor response to standard antimicrobial therapy is a growing medical concern. We aimed to investigate the outcomes of fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) for relapsing CDI using a frozen suspension from unrelated donors, comparing colonoscopic and nasogastric tube (NGT) administration. Healthy volunteer donors were screened and a frozen fecal suspension was generated. Patients with relapsing/refractory CDI were randomized to receive an infusion of donor stools by colonoscopy or NGT. The primary endpoint was clinical resolution of diarrhea without relapse after 8 weeks. The secondary endpoint was self-reported health score using standardized questionnaires. A total of 20 patients were enrolled, 10 in each treatment arm. Patients had a median of 4 (range, 2-16) relapses prior to study enrollment, with 5 (range, 3-15) antibiotic treatment failures. Resolution of diarrhea was achieved in 14 patients (70%) after a single FMT (8 of 10 in the colonoscopy group and 6 of 10 in the NGT group). Five patients were retreated, with 4 obtaining cure, resulting in an overall cure rate of 90%. Daily number of bowel movements changed from a median of 7 (interquartile range [IQR], 5-10) the day prior to FMT to 2 (IQR, 1-2) after the infusion. Self-ranked health score improved significantly, from a median of 4 (IQR, 2-6) before transplant to 8 (IQR, 5-9) after transplant. No serious or unexpected adverse events occurred. In our initial feasibility study, FMT using a frozen inoculum from unrelated donors is effective in treating relapsing CDI. NGT administration appears to be as effective as colonoscopic administration. NCT01704937.
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              How to make more out of community data? A conceptual framework and its implementation as models and software.

              Community ecology aims to understand what factors determine the assembly and dynamics of species assemblages at different spatiotemporal scales. To facilitate the integration between conceptual and statistical approaches in community ecology, we propose Hierarchical Modelling of Species Communities (HMSC) as a general, flexible framework for modern analysis of community data. While non-manipulative data allow for only correlative and not causal inference, this framework facilitates the formulation of data-driven hypotheses regarding the processes that structure communities. We model environmental filtering by variation and covariation in the responses of individual species to the characteristics of their environment, with potential contingencies on species traits and phylogenetic relationships. We capture biotic assembly rules by species-to-species association matrices, which may be estimated at multiple spatial or temporal scales. We operationalise the HMSC framework as a hierarchical Bayesian joint species distribution model, and implement it as R- and Matlab-packages which enable computationally efficient analyses of large data sets. Armed with this tool, community ecologists can make sense of many types of data, including spatially explicit data and time-series data. We illustrate the use of this framework through a series of diverse ecological examples.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Animal Ecology
                J Anim Ecol
                Wiley
                00218790
                March 2018
                March 2018
                October 04 2017
                : 87
                : 2
                : 354-368
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; University of Colorado; Boulder CO USA
                [2 ]School of Informatics; Computing, and Cyber Systems; Northern Arizona University; Flagstaff AZ USA
                Article
                10.1111/1365-2656.12735
                5807239
                28795407
                © 2017

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