Meeting Abstract

P1.10  Wednesday, Jan. 4  How intensive forest management affects disease in wildlife: Patterns of Sin Nombre virus infection and gastrointestinal parasitism in wild deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). HANSELMANN, R*; JOLLES, AE; Oregon State University; Oregon State University

Ecosystems are increasingly being eroded by anthropogenic disturbances, including habitat fragmentation, ecosystem simplification, and toxic exposures from agricultural activities. One important ecosystem service that may suffer from such environmental disruption is the abatement of disease in organisms inhabiting said communities. This can occur through altered species composition of an ecological community or by affecting the physiology of the organisms inhabiting the disturbed ecosystem. However, the ultimate effects of such disturbance on the dynamics of disease harbored within a host community are variable and poorly described. Wild deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are major carriers of zoonotic pathogens. In North America, these include Sin Nombre virus (SNV), the causative agent of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, a fatal respiratory disease in people. Frequently, deer mice are also infected with gastrointestinal (GI) parasites, including various helminths and protozoa. Here, we examine the patterns of different endemic infections in P. maniculatus populations inhabiting forestry plots of varying management intensities: 40-50 year old stands, recently clearcut sites that were not further managed (control), and recently clearcut forests that were also heavily treated with herbicides. Considering the potentially negative impacts intensive forest management is likely to exert on wildlife host physiology, we hypothesized that deer mice inhabiting intensively managed sites are more likely to carry pathogens when compared to animals found on control plots, or in older stands. Interestingly, both SNV and GI parasite prevalence differs among deer mice inhabiting the three plot types, but prevalence patterns are not consistent for the different infections.