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Discovering, Describing, and Inferring Evolutionary Relationships of Drivers of Endoparasite Biodiversity Through Analyses of Biodiversity, Taxonomy, and Phylogeny With a Focus on Hymenolepis Weinland 1858 Sensu Stricto

Sara Elizabeth Racz, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Due to the scale, speed, and pervasive nature of changes in climate and habitat quality from anthropogenic sources, substantial impacts across the biosphere are anticipated and necessitate an integrative approach which incorporates historical and contemporary analyses of biodiversity, including endoparasites. Parasites are powerful probes of biodiversity (Gardner and Campbell, 1992). This dissertation addresses evolutionary and ecological factors of parasites and host-parasite relationships utilizing the documentation–assessment–monitoring–action platform (DAMA) and applies the conceptual framework of the Stockholm Paradigm (Brooks, 2014). First, the need for and details of the DAMA protocol and each component of the Stockholm paradigm, Oscillation Hypothesis (Janz and Nylin, 2008), Taxon Pulse (Erwin, 1979; 1985), Ecological Fitting (Janzen, 1985), and the Geographic Mosaic of Coevolution (Thompson, 2005), are defined. Second, descriptions of two new species of Cestoda, one a new species of Hymenolepis Weinland 1858 sensu stricto and the other a new genus and species from the Neotropics within the Hymenolepididae, add to humankind's knowledge of biodiversity via rigorous taxonomic descriptions — the basic building block of all further scientific study. Finally, the data of morphological characters from hymenolepidids, collected via light microscopy, were used to construct a character matrix and, ultimately, infer the first phylogenetic hypothesis for species of Hymenolepis from the Nearctic, Panamanian, and Neotropical zoogeographic regions (Holt et al., 2013). Biodiversity assessments for informed and effective conservation decisions must include evolutionary and ecological factors, i.e. investigate the historical ecology of a region, drivers of diversification, and the current and evolutionary relationships of species important for ecosystem function and stability.^

Subject Area

Conservation biology|Systematic biology|Parasitology

Recommended Citation

Racz, Sara Elizabeth, "Discovering, Describing, and Inferring Evolutionary Relationships of Drivers of Endoparasite Biodiversity Through Analyses of Biodiversity, Taxonomy, and Phylogeny With a Focus on Hymenolepis Weinland 1858 Sensu Stricto" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10271405.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI10271405

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