The 100,000 ha Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) in central New Mexico lies in a transition zone that straddles several major biomes of the Southwest, including Great Basin Shrub-Steppe, Mogollon Pinon-Juniper Woodland, Great Plains Grassland and Chihuahuan Desert. During 9 years, (1990-1998), collaborating with the University of New Mexico's Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, 3,235 rodents (28 species in 4 families) were collected and identified from permanent collecting sites on the 3 major habitat types (grassland, desert/creosote, woodland) on the SNWR. Hosts were necropsied for endoparasites (protozoa [coccidia], helminths) and some ectoparasites. We identified and analyzed all the parasites found in these hosts. By 1998, we had in place the means to easily identify and moniter the parasites from all mammalian hosts caught on the LTER Phase II grant.This is not just another parasite survey; the data we collected was unique for several reasons: 1) This was the first complete inventory of a natural assemblage of parasites from all mammalian (rodent) hosts in 3 different communities, each from a distinctly defined geographic locality (habitat type) over the period of a decade, and beyond; 2) This study was part of a multidisciplinary approach to address conceptual issues of climate change on ecosystem structure and function at multiple scales (individuals, communities, etc) and correlative data from these related studies will strengthen and contribute to the robustness of this data set; 3) As the only parasite study on any of the LTER projects nationwide, it provided an ideal model, and perhaps incentive for parallel longterm studies of parasite communities to be examined in a variety of other habitat types, and from a variety of different perspectives, and other LTER sites in the network.Upon completing the work, we were able to use these long-term data to try to understand the dynamics of natural host-parasite assemblages. Hypotheses were then erected to test/address at least these questions: How do the different parasite communities colonize, mature, climax and senesce over time (or do they?), Do they vary in response to abiotic (climate change) and/or biotic (dispersal, colonization) factors? What temporal and spatial scales, and among what kinds of organisms, do coevolutionary processes influence the community organization of these parasites? Studies of the dynamics of multiple, coexisting species are confined primarily to microtine rodents and have hinted that multiannual cycles tend to be synchronous (Brown and Heske 1990). Are similar patterns seen for the parasites of our desert rodents? Answers to these questions relating to community structure, as well as to questions concerning parasite biodiversity on the SNWR, can be answered paritially or completely by the information we gathered on the parasite species infecting rodents collected on the SNWR. Initial emphasis of our work was on identifying all the parasites collected, by processing 8 consecutive years of parasite data, and on training the undergraduate and graduate students involved in the art of taxonomy and nomenclature of parasitic protozoans and helminths, to supply some of these answers.
Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier
Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (http://www.lternet.edu/data/netpolicy.html).
1990-01-01 - 1998-01-01
Location: Sepultura Canyon is one of the largest ravines coming down from the Los Pinos Mountains to McKenzie Flats. Originally a core site, rodent webs and vegetation line-intersept transects were located in Sepultura Canyon through 1992, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service established the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in the area.Vegetation: Vegetation is characterized as juniper-savanna with arroyo-riparian species., siteid: 5Location: Five Points Black Grama is on the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitat. The site is subject to intensive research activity, including assessments of net primary productivity, phenology, and pollinator diversity, amongst other projects. It is the site of the unburned black grama (GU) component of the Burn NPP study. On August 4, 2009, a lightning-initiated fire began on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. By August 5, 2009, the fire had reached the Five Points Black Grama site. Portions of this site were burned, but not the entirety. See individual projects for further information on the effects of the burn. Vegetation: The Five Points Black Grama site is ecotonal in nature, bordering Chihuahuan Desert Scrub at its southern extent and Plains-Mesa Grassland at its northern, more mesic boundary. Characteristically, the dominant grass is black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda)., Location: The Five Points area emcompasses both the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote study sites. Five Points falls along the transition between the Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitats. Both core sites are subject to intensive research activities, including NPP measurements, phenology observations, pollinator diversity studies, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent population assessments. There are rain-out shelters for drought studies in both the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote sites.Vegetation: The Five Points Creosote site is characterized as Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, dominated by a creosote overstory, with broom snakeweed, purple pricklypear (Opuntia macrocentra), and soapweed yucca as co-occurring shrubs. The site is also characterized by numerous, dense, grass-dominated patches, reflecting proximity to the Five Points Black Grama Site. Dominant grasses are black grama, fluffgrass (Dasyochloa pulchellum), burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolia), bushmuhly (Muhlenbergia porteri), and galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii). Notable forbs include field bahia (Bahia absinthifolia), baby aster (Chaetopappa ericoides), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), Indian rushpea (Hoffmannseggia glauca), Fendlers bladderpod (Lesquerella fendleri), and globemallows (Sphaeralcea spp.)., siteid: 3Location: The Rio Salado is an ephemeral tributary of the Rio Grande on the west side of the Sevilleta NWR, flowing west by northwest to east by southeast. Rio Salado Grassland and Rio Salado Larrea are two study sites established in 1989. These sites were established as counterparts to sites at Five Points. Between 1989 and 1998, vegetation, litter decomposition, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent populations were studied at both sites. Core studies at these sites were largely terminated in 1998, although rodent populations are still monitored at the Rio Salado Larrea site because the Small Mammal Exclosure Study's Larrea plots are co-located there. Rio Salado Grassland is the location Met Station 44.The Rio Salado study sites are accessed by taking the San Acacia exit, going west and then taking the frontage road back north to the Sevilleta NWR gate. After entering the refuge turn left after 0.2 mi and take this road 1.4 mi to a "T" in the road at the power lines. An earthen berm stops road travel here and the met station is located about 300 m west on the blocked road. Vegetation: The Rio Salado Larrea site is characterized as Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, dominated by creosotebush (Larrea tridentata), with honey mesquite, fourwing saltbush, purple pricklypear (O. macrocentra), and broom snakeweed as co-occurring shrubs. Dominant grasses are black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda), galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii), burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolia), and fluffgrass (Dasyochloa pulchellum). Common forb species include desert holly (Acourtia nana), spectaclepod (Dimorphocarpa spp.), blackfoot daisey (Melampodium leucanthum), twinleaf (Senna bauhinoides), globemallow (Sphaeralcea wrightii), and plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala). While individual creosote bushes tend to be larger, overall plant cover is less than at the creosote core site at Five Points, with more exposed embedded stones and gravel on the soil surface, creating a pavement-like appearance., Location: The Rio Salado is an ephemeral tributary of the Rio Grande on the west side of the Sevilleta NWR, flowing west by northwest to east by southeast. Rio Salado Grassland and Rio Salado Larrea are two study sites established in 1989. These sites were established as counterparts to sites at Five Points. Between 1989 and 1998, vegetation, litter decomposition, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent populations were studied at both sites. Core studies at these sites were largely terminated in 1998, although rodent populations are still monitored at the Rio Salado Larrea site as the Small Mammal Exclosure Study's Larrea plots are co-located there. Rio Salado Grassland is the location of Met Station 44. The Rio Salado study sites are accessed by taking the San Acacia exit, going west and then taking the frontage road back north to the Sevilleta NWR gate. After entering the refuge turn left after 0.2 mi and take this road 1.4 mi to a "T" in the road at the power lines. An earthen berm stops road travel here and the met station is located about 300 m west on the blocked road. Vegetation: The Rio Salado Grassland site is Plains-Mesa Sand Scrub habitat characterized by stabilized deep-sand dominated by coppice dunes of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). Co-dominant shrubs are sand sagebrush (Artemesia filifolia) and fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), with winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata), Mormon tea (Ephedra torreyana), broom indigobush (Psorothamnus scoparius), soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), and broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae) as other notable shrubs. One-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma) is present as well, especially along shallow washes. Compared to the Black Grama Core Site, grass cover is sparse and dominated by poverty threeawn (Aristida divaricata), Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides), mesa and spike dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus and S. contractus), as well as patches of black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda). Notable forbs included spectaclepod (Dimorphocarpa wislizenii), tansy aster (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia), desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata), Abert buckwheat (Eriogonum abertianum), dwarf gilia (Ipomopsis pumila), rattlesnake weed (Chamaesyce albomarginata), blunt tansymustard (Descarania obtusa), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), and Rocky Mountain zinnia (Zinnia grandiflora)., siteid: 13Location: Ladron Foothills sites include Red Tank and Two-22 in the foothills of the Sierra Ladrones on the West side of the refuge.Soils: Soils in the Arroyo Riparian area are loose granitic gravel with many rocks and boulders., Vegetation: Two-22 site is characterized as Juniper Savanna/Arroyo Riparian (Dick-Peddie 1993). Two-22 trapping webs span 2 two vegetation types. The upland Juniper Savanna portion of the site is dominated by widely scattered, relatively small stature one-seed Juniper. Other shrubs are sparse, including scrub liveoak, skunkbush, tree cholla, pricklypear, and banana and soapweed yucca. Rocky open spaces are dominated by black, hairy, and blue grama. The lower Arroyo Riparian area consists of a more dense, more diverse vegetation, dominated by large specimens of scrub liveoak, one-seed juniper and Apache plume, as well as tree cholla, Engelman cholla (O. engelmanii), pricklypear, broom snakeweed, tarragon (Artemesia dracunculus), sacahuista, chamisa (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), fourwing saltbush, wolfberry (Lycium pallidum), and skunkbush. Grass diversity is relatively high and dominated by blue grama and bush muhly., Location: The Goat Draw Juniper Savanna Core Site was established in 1998 in order to provide data at the lower end of the transition from the Pinon-Juniper Woodland habitat at the Cerro Montoso site to Juniper Savanna.Vegetation: While the site is positioned between two ridgelines, the vegetation is best characterized as Juniper Savanna, dominated by one-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), scrub liveoak (Quercus turbinella), and grama grasses (Bouteloua curtipendula, B. gracilis, B. eriopoda, and B. hirsuta), with scattered Colorado pinyon pine trees (Pinus edulis) in the upper reaches. There is also a significant influence of Arroyo Riparian vegetation in the main arroyo, Goat Draw, and its tributaries, siteid: 39
Duszyinski, Don (2010): Rodent Parasite Data for the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1990-1998). Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/b2f1f0dd39da440d6ee17300c9044989