The microparasite component communities of 2 species of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, were investigated for the first time in 2 isolated and 3 continuous landscapes in southern California. With microscopical examination, a total of 6 parasite species was found in N. crawfordi and 8 species in S. ornatus. The highest number (5) of parasite species was detected in the lungs. The corrected estimate of parasite species richness did not significantly correlate with the host abundance in either shrew species. Altitude, and also latitude in N. crawfordi, appeared to be significantly positively associated with the parasite species richness, but this could be due to a false association because of the rare occurrence of some of the parasites or the small altitude range (or both). No other landscape variable analyzed (location, size of the study site, disturbance) was significantly associated with the parasite species richness of the shrews. The parasite assemblages of the 2 shrew species were similar despite the fact that N. crawfordi has a lower metabolic rate than S. ornatus.
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Microparasite assemblages of conspecific shrew populations in Southern California