Six degrees of Apodemus separation


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S.E. Perkins, F. Cagnacci, A. Stradiotto, D. Arnoldi & P.J. Hudson (2009) A comparison of social networks derived from ecological data: implications for inferring infectious disease dynamics. Journal of Animal Ecology, 78, 1015–1022.

Social network analysis has been widely used to help understand the transmission of human diseases. Its application to wildlife disease is very much in its infancy, largely because of the difficulty of recording contacts between wild animals. Sarah Perkins et al. have constructed contact networks for yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) in the Italian Alps, comparing networks derived from radio-tracking and mark–recapture data. They found that the method producing the most informative data depended on population density. However, all networks had aggregated contact distributions, which is important for understanding disease transmission.