Fine-scale population genetic analysis of the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) was conducted to determine if genetic structure and inferred dispersal patterns could provide insight to the emergence, spread, and maintenance of West Nile Virus (WNV) along an urban-rural gradient in southern California. WNV sero-prevalence and annual return rates of birds marked from 2001 to 2007 across sites with varying levels of urbanization were used to estimate virus spread and site fidelity, respectively. I found higher return rates and WNV incidence in urban sites than in less urban sites. Microsatellite analysis revealed low levels of genetic structure and high levels of dispersal among local sites. Some sites with low WNV activity were found to contribute high numbers of migrant birds to urban areas of high WNV incidence, suggesting that some locations could have an important impact on herd immunity in distant sites and may influence future local WNV outbreaks.
|Commitee:||Archie, James, Fernandez-Juricic, Esteban, Pernet, Bruno|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 51/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Molecular biology, Ecology, Genetics|
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