Introduction of alien species is a well-known threat to biodiversity. Where newly introduced, alien species may pose a risk for the local ecological community by competing for resources or by introducing pathogens. Sylvilagus floridanus is an American lagomorph introduced into Europe in the second half of 20th century, for hunting. This study evaluated the structure and epidemiological characteristics of the gastrointestinal parasite community in an introduced population of S. floridanus in the Province of Alessandria (Piedmont Region—Italy). Three alien parasites were reported out of 271 animals: Obeliscoides cuniculi in the stomach, Trichostrongylus calcaratus in the small intestine, and Passarulus nonnanulatus in the large intestine. All these nematodes are commonly reported in S. floridanus in its natural range, but they represent alien species in Europe. The report of these alien parasites is an example of the unexpected consequences caused by the introduction of non-native vertebrates. The documented introduction of new pathogens may alter the parasite community of the native lagomorphs, with possible long-term effects on local ecological dynamics.

Does the introduction of alien species represent a sanitary threat for native species? The case of the eastern cottontail sylvilagus floridanus in italy

Tizzani P.;Peano A.;Meneguz P. G.
2020

Abstract

Introduction of alien species is a well-known threat to biodiversity. Where newly introduced, alien species may pose a risk for the local ecological community by competing for resources or by introducing pathogens. Sylvilagus floridanus is an American lagomorph introduced into Europe in the second half of 20th century, for hunting. This study evaluated the structure and epidemiological characteristics of the gastrointestinal parasite community in an introduced population of S. floridanus in the Province of Alessandria (Piedmont Region—Italy). Three alien parasites were reported out of 271 animals: Obeliscoides cuniculi in the stomach, Trichostrongylus calcaratus in the small intestine, and Passarulus nonnanulatus in the large intestine. All these nematodes are commonly reported in S. floridanus in its natural range, but they represent alien species in Europe. The report of these alien parasites is an example of the unexpected consequences caused by the introduction of non-native vertebrates. The documented introduction of new pathogens may alter the parasite community of the native lagomorphs, with possible long-term effects on local ecological dynamics.
10
8
1
10
Alien parasites; Invasive species; Sanitary risk; Sylvilagus floridanus
Tizzani P.; Andrade D.; Min A.R.M.; Peano A.; Meneguz P.G.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
life-10-00142-v2.pdf

Accesso aperto

Tipo di file: PDF EDITORIALE
Dimensione 2.33 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.33 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1792478
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact