Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Parasitism and Ecosystems$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Frédéric Thomas, François Renaud, and Jean-François Guegan

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529873.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 January 2020

Parasitism and environmental disturbances

Parasitism and environmental disturbances

Chapter:
(p.113) CHAPTER 7 Parasitism and environmental disturbances
Source:
Parasitism and Ecosystems
Author(s):

Kevin D. Lafferty

Armand M. Kuris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529873.003.0008

The major threats to biodiversity: habitat loss, invasive species, over-harvesting, and pollution, impact parasites as well as hosts. Given the interest in the role of parasites in ecosystems and the fact that most ecosystems are impacted by human activities, it would be useful to understand the association between parasitism and environmental disturbance. Unfortunately, a general prediction about this association is not available, given the great variety of stressors coupled with the great diversity of parasites. However, by acknowledging the diversity of parasite life histories and how they interact with different sorts of stressors, the ecological situations where the impact of parasites should increase or decrease in association with anthropogenic impacts to the environment can be predicted. A key environmental concern is that stressors may increase susceptibility to infectious disease in important species. Increases in some diseases, therefore, may indicate impairment of ecosystems. However, some stressors impact parasites more than they do their hosts. In addition, stressors that reduce population density will make it more difficult for parasites to persist due to low contact rates between hosts. In these cases, the loss of parasites will represent ecosystem degradation. Hence, parasites may provide useful indicators of ecosystem integrity. The loss of parasites from these ecosystems may further reduce biodiversity and other measures of ecosystem function.

Keywords:   habitat alteration, biodiversity loss, pollution, climate change, introduced species, pollutogens

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .