Biography:

In the past Richard S. Ostfeld has collaborated on articles with Felicia Keesing and Stacy Mowry. One of their most recent publications is ReviewThe ecology of territoriality in small mammals. Which was published in journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

More information about Richard S. Ostfeld research including statistics on their citations can be found on their Copernicus Academic profile page.

Richard S. Ostfeld's Articles: (6)

ReviewThe ecology of territoriality in small mammals

AbstractRecent research on space use and social behavior of small mammals has revealed pronounced differences in the degree of territoriality between species and between sexes within species. Hypotheses to explain these differences have been based on optimality approaches. Leading hypotheses are that the spatial distribution, abundance and renewal rates of food resources determine whether females defend territories, and that the spatial and temporal pattern of availability of females determines whether males are territorial. Other hypotheses invoke resources other than food, or maintain that territoriality in females deters infanticide. This review briefly summarizes these hypotheses and evaluates recently collected evidence from comparative and experimental studies.

ReviewPulsed resources and community dynamics of consumers in terrestrial ecosystems

AbstractMany terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by intermittent production of abundant resources for consumers, such as mast seeding and pulses of primary production following unusually heavy rains. Recent research is revealing patterns in the ways that consumer communities respond to these pulsed resources. Studies of the ramifying effects of pulsed resources on consumer communities integrate ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches to community dynamics, and illustrate how the strength of species interactions can change dramatically through time.

Science & SocietyThe Tick Project: Testing Environmental Methods of Preventing Tick-borne Diseases

Prevention of tick-borne diseases in humans is challenging. To date, no prevention strategies have been shown to be consistently effective. Here, we describe the design of a new large-scale study, involving hundreds of households in Dutchess County, New York, testing whether environmental interventions, applied intensively and over 4 years, can prevent human cases.

Predicting larval tick burden on white-footed mice with an artificial neural network

Highlights•Highest larval burden on white-footed mice is expected in warmer, drier years.•Climate traits are important to predict a mouse's larval burden.•Host density is important to predict a mouse's larval burden.•Individual-host traits are less important to predict a mouse's larval burden.•There are substantial interactions between attributes affecting larval burden.

Short communicationPotential effects of blood meal host on bacterial community composition in Ixodes scapularis nymphs

AbstractTick microbiomes may play an important role in pathogen transmission. However, the drivers of microbiome variation are poorly understood, and this limitation has impeded mechanistic understanding of the functions of microbial communities for pathogen acquisition. The goal of this research was to characterize the role of the blood meal host in structuring the microbiome of Ixodes scapularis, the primary vector of Lyme disease in the eastern United States, and to determine if ticks that fed from different host species harbor distinct bacterial communities. We performed high-throughput 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing on I. scapularis nymphs that fed as larvae from known wildlife hosts: raccoon, Virginia opossum, striped skunk, red squirrel or gray squirrel. Using Analysis of Similarity, we found significant differences in the abundance-weighted Unifrac distance matrix among ticks fed from different host species (p =  0.048) and a highly significant difference in the weighted and unweighted Unifrac matrices for individuals within species (p <  0.01). This finding of associations between the blood meal host and I. scapularis microbiome demonstrates that the blood meal host may be a driver of microbiome variation that should be accounted for in studies of pathogen acquisition by ticks.

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