Abundance and distribution of fleas on desert rodents: Linking Taylor's power law to ecological specialization and epidemiology Academic Article uri icon


  • We investigated variation in the abundance-prevalence relationships of fleas among 17 different flea-host associations as well as among different species of hosts and fleas in the Negev desert. We explored variation in the value of exponent of Taylor's power relationship with changes in flea community size and flea specialization (host specificity and seasonal pattern of activity). We tested if a simple epidemiological model can reproduce the pattern of the abundance-prevalence relationship. We confirmed aggregated distribution of fleas within a population of host species as well as across a whole host community and the existence of a positive relationship between local flea abundance and their prevalence. Prevalence, mean abundance and variance of abundance were significantly higher in host specific than host opportunistic fleas. When ecological specialization was considered …

publication date

  • January 1, 2005