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A core goal of ecology is to understand the abiotic and biotic variables that regulate species distributions and community composition. A major obstacle is that the rules governing species distributions can change with spatial scale. Here, we illustrate this point using data from a spatially nested metacommunity of parasites infecting a metapopulation of threespine stickleback fish from 34 lakes on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Like most parasite metacommunities, the composition of stickleback parasites differs among host individuals within each host population, and differs between host populations. The distribution of each parasite taxon depends, to varying degrees, on individual host traits (e.g., mass, diet) and on host‐population characteristics (e.g., lake size, mean host mass, mean diet). However, in most cases in this data set, a given parasite was regulated by different factors at the host‐individual and host‐population scales, leading to scale‐dependent patterns of parasite‐species co‐occurrence.
Bolnick, Daniel I.; Resetarits, Emlyn J.; Ballare, Kimberly; Stuart, Yoel E.; and Stutz, William E.. Scale‐dependent effects of host patch traits on species composition in a stickleback parasite metacommunity. Ecology, 101, 12: , 2020. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, Biology: Faculty Publications and Other Works, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3181
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© The Authors, 2020.