The Effects of Urbanization on Peromyscus sonoriensis: A Microbiome Analysis

carrollscholars.object.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences
dc.contributor.advisorBeck, Ashley
dc.contributor.advisorHonzel, Nikki
dc.contributor.advisorGreiner, Katherine
dc.contributor.authorWald, Elliot
dc.description.abstractMicrobiome diversity is one of many intersecting factors serving as a key indicator of wildlife and ecosystem health. Gut microbiomes are intricately linked with host organism health and behavior, and can be influenced by environmental factors such as diet or exposure to new microorganisms. Here, we investigated a range of urban and rural habitats around Spokane, Washington, with the aim of assessing microbiome diversity of both soil and the western deer mouse, Peromyscus sonoriensis. Soil microbiome composition was compared to that of mice in order to study the relationship between environment and organism. In this field-based observational study, deer mice were live-trapped at 10 different parks over a two-week period in early summer of 2023. Fecal pellets (57 total samples from 43 unique mice) and soil samples (51 total, n = 3-9 per location) were collected and analyzed for microbial diversity using Nanopore MinION sequencing technology. Results showed that urbanization did not affect the deer mouse microbiome at the phylum level, but did impact soil microbiome composition. Soil samples exhibited higher overall diversity while fecal samples consisted of three main phyla. Additional measures of habitat characteristics and wildlife health were also collected in the field, and future research will investigate potential associations among microbiome composition, habitat, and other health metrics. These results provide an important baseline to establish detailed physiological impacts of habitat alteration on deer mouse health.
dc.titleThe Effects of Urbanization on Peromyscus sonoriensis: A Microbiome Analysis
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