Landscape and Host Attributes are Related to Mistletoe Load and Prevalence in Neotropical Urban Areas

31 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2022

See all articles by Marcelo Oliveira Teles de Menezes

Marcelo Oliveira Teles de Menezes

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Marcelo Freire Moro

Federal University of Ceara

Marina Oliveira Souza

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jorhan Marinho Almeida

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Dávila Vitoria de Freitas Braga

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pedro Lucas Rodrigues de Alencar

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Francisca Soares Araújo

Federal University of Ceara

Abstract

Mistletoes are hemiparasitic plants from the Santalales order that commonly grow on aerial branches of host trees. They occur in tropical and temperate ecosystems all over the world. In urban areas mistletoes can become weedy and affect the health of cultivated trees. We examined the presence of these hemiparasitic plants in an urban setting and analyzed the factors involved in the infestation patterns. Field studies were performed in Fortaleza, one of the largest cities in Brazil. The trees and their mistletoes were surveyed in four green areas to examine the relationship between their presence (prevalence and severity) and host variables (trunk diameter, relative abundance, nativeness, and distance to the nearest infested host). We also gathered data from published studies in other cities of the Neotropical region to evaluate the relationships between prevalence and five urban landscape attributes (species richness, % of exotic trees, latitude, rainfall, and tree density). We used the Generalized Linear Mixed Model approach. Our analyses resulted in statistically significant models that were capable of explaining the relationships between all host attributes and both mistletoe indicators (prevalence and severity). We also obtained significant models for the relationship between prevalence and two landscape attributes: tree species richness and % of exotic trees. Our findings show that mistletoe infestations in urban environment may be jointly driven by a number of factors that have been isolatedly analyzed in previous studies. Based on our results, a higher diversity of trees and the moderate usage of exotic trees may help avoid overspreading of mistletoes in urban environments.

Keywords: biodiversity, city, green area, tree, hemiparasite

Suggested Citation

Menezes, Marcelo Oliveira Teles de and Moro, Marcelo Freire and Souza, Marina Oliveira and Almeida, Jorhan Marinho and Braga, Dávila Vitoria de Freitas and Alencar, Pedro Lucas Rodrigues de and Araújo, Francisca Soares, Landscape and Host Attributes are Related to Mistletoe Load and Prevalence in Neotropical Urban Areas. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4167083 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4167083

Marcelo Oliveira Teles de Menezes (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Marcelo Freire Moro

Federal University of Ceara ( email )

Rua Papi Júnior 1225 - Rodolfo Teófilo
Fortaleza, 60431970
Portugal

Marina Oliveira Souza

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Jorhan Marinho Almeida

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Dávila Vitoria de Freitas Braga

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Pedro Lucas Rodrigues de Alencar

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Francisca Soares Araújo

Federal University of Ceara ( email )

Rua Papi Júnior 1225 - Rodolfo Teófilo
Fortaleza, 60431970
Portugal

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