Scaling of House Finch Conjunctivitis Dynamics.
Hosseini, Parviez*,1, 2, Dobson, Andy1, Dhondt, Andre2, 1 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton, NJ, USA2 Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA
ABSTRACT- House finch conjunctivitis is a wildlife disease that has emerged relatively recently, yet has quickly settled into regular endemic cycles since emergence. These dynamics of ongoing interest, particularly in light of recent concerns around emerging infectious diseases, and potential spread into the western USA, the native range of the House Finch. Yet as field studies have begun to examine the disease dynamics in detail in local populations, the regular dynamics seen at larger scales have not been apparent. Thus we examine how the disease dynamics behave at varying scales of spatial aggregation of the data. We aggregate data at 1x1 to 8x8 degree latitude-longitude blocks, and demonstrate that the appearance of both fall and spring peaks in the disease dynamics of the house finch conjunctivitis system is phenomenon that occurs at relatively large scales. Using this information, we find that these scaling issues may change how we understand the results from earlier mathematical models by using newer, stochastic spatial ones. This suggests that while it may be driven by biological and climatological factors, that spatial averaging of more erratic local epidemics causes the pattern to appear at larger scales. It further suggests that House Finch populations are well linked by movement throughout the eastern United States.
Key words: disease, modeling, scaling, birds
All materials copyright The Ecological Society of America (ESA), and may not be used without written permission.