Using social network measures in wildlife disease ecology, epidemiology and management
Oxford university Press (OUP) for American Institute of Biological Sciences
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Contact networks, behavioural interactions and shared use of space can all have important implications for the spread of disease in animals. Social networks enable the quantification of complex patterns of interactions, and therefore network analysis is becoming increasingly widespread in the study of infectious disease in animals, including wildlife. We present an introductory guide to using social network analytical approaches in wildlife disease ecology, epidemiology and management. We focus on providing detailed practical guidance for the use of basic descriptive network metrics by suggesting the research questions to which each technique is best suited and detailing the software available for each. We also discuss how using network approaches can be used beyond the study of social contacts, and across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Finally, we integrate these approaches to examine how network analysis can be used to inform the implementation and monitoring of effective disease management strategies.
MS is funded by a NERC standard grant (NE/M004546/1) awarded to RM, DC, DH and MB, with the Animal and Plant Health Agency team at Woodchester Park, UK (lead scientist is RD) as project partners.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Oxford University Press via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 67 (3), pp. 245-257