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Dispersal of Dictyocaulus viviparus larvae from bovine faeces in Ireland
  1. CJ Somers,
  2. NE Downey and
  3. JN Grainger


An involvement of Pilobolus species fungus in the dispersal of Dictyocaulus viviparus third stage larvae from dung to surrounding herbage under Irish conditions was investigated. The presence of Pilobolus kleinii on artificial dung pats containing first stage larvae of D viviparus was associated with a 19-fold increase (P less than 0.05) in numbers of third stage larvae recovered from the surrounding herbage. A subjective examination of natural dung pats showed that the presence of Pilobolus species was significantly correlated with hours of bright sunshine (r = -0.5, P less than 0.01), total rainfall (r = 0.41, P less than 0.05) and the height of herbage surrounding the pats (r = 0.31, P less than 0.001). A multiple regression analysis showed that meteorological parameters and the height of surrounding herbage accounted for 38 per cent of the variation in growth of Pilobolus species on dung pats. The incidence of extensive damage to natural dung pats within five days of deposition, caused by biotic factors, another possible cause of D viviparus third stage larvae dispersal, varied from 0 to 92 per cent of the pats depending on their degree of dryness.

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