Academic
Publications
Parasites of the superorganism: Are they indicators of ecosystem health?

Parasites of the superorganism: Are they indicators of ecosystem health?,10.1016/j.ijpara.2005.01.015,International Journal for Parasitology,David J.

Parasites of the superorganism: Are they indicators of ecosystem health?   (Citations: 42)
BibTex | RIS | RefWorks Download
The concept of ecosystem health is derived from analogies with human health, which subsequently leads to the implication that the ecosystem has organismal properties, a ’superorganism’ in the Clementsian sense. Its application and usefulness has been the subject of a contentious debate; yet, the term ’ecosystem health’ has captured the public's imagination and woven its way into the current lexicon, even incorporated into public policy. However, the application of parasites as bioindicators of ecosystem health poses a curious conundrum. Perceptions of parasites range from mild distaste to sheer disgust among the general public, the media, environmental managers and non-parasitologists in the scientific community. Nevertheless, the biological nature of parasitism incorporates natural characteristics that are informative and useful for environmental management. The helminths in particular have evolved elegant means to ensure their transmission, often relying on complex life cycle interactions that include a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. The assemblage of these diverse parasites within a host organism potentially reflect that host's trophic position within the food web as well as the presence in the ecosystem of any other organisms that participate in the various parasite life cycles. Perturbations in ecosystem structure and function that affect food web topology will also impact upon parasite transmission, thus affecting parasite species abundance and composition. As such, parasite populations and communities are useful indicators of environmental stress, food web structure and biodiversity. In addition, there may be useful other means to utilise parasitic organisms based on their biology and life histories such as suites or guilds that may be effective bioindicators of particular forms of environmental degradation. The challenge for parasitology is to convince resource managers and fellow scientists that parasites are a natural part of all ecosystems, each species being a potentially useful information unit, and that healthy ecosystems have healthy parasites.
Journal: International Journal for Parasitology - INT J PARASITOL , vol. 35, no. 7, pp. 705-716, 2005
Cumulative Annual
View Publication
The following links allow you to view full publications. These links are maintained by other sources not affiliated with Microsoft Academic Search.
    • ...Thus, parasites are indeed eVective information units with which trophic relationships can be constructed (Marcogliese 2003, 2004, 2005)...

    E. T. Valtonenet al. Vertebrate diets derived from trophically transmitted fish parasites i...

    • ...One general trend reported from polluted aquatic environments is a decrease in diversity of macroparasite communities in fish (Cone et al. 1993; MacKenzie et al. 1995; Kennedy 1997; Lafferty 1997; Overstreet 1997; MacKenzie 1999 ;S ures2004; Marcogliese 2005 ;B lanar et al.2009)...
    • ...This typically occurs through the loss of parasites with short-lived freeliving stages that are assumed to be sensitive to pollutants (Pietrock and Marcogliese 2003) or through the loss of parasites with indirect life cycles that use intermediate hosts that are sensitive to pollution (MacKenzie et al. 1995; Marcogliese 2005; Pietrock et al. 2008)...
    • ...Digenetic trematodes in particular may be lost from communities under contaminant stress because of reductions in survival, longevity, or infectivity of their free-living stages or reductions in survival of their molluscan intermediate hosts (Marcogliese and Cone 1997; Marcogliese 2005)...
    • ...Particular effects of pollutants on parasite communities may vary by type of pollution (MacKenzie et al. 1995; Lafferty 1997; Marcogliese 2005; Blanar et al. 2009)...
    • ...Their toxicity may be further affected by other abiotic factors such as pH and temperature (Poulin 1992; Lafferty 1997; Pietrock and Marcogliese 2003; Marcogliese 2005)...
    • ...This characteristic makes them appropriate subjects on which to study the chronic effects of local long-term exposure to sublethal concentrations of pollutants on benthic fish (Marcogliese 2005)...
    • ...These patterns of lower parasite abundance and diversity in polluted environments have also been reported in field studies from other systems (reviewed by Marcogliese 2005)...
    • ...However, the relationship between pollution and parasite community diversity is seldom simple to interpret and may be confounded by the type of pollution or by other abiotic or ecological factors (Poulin 1992; MacKenzie et al. 1995; Kennedy 1997; Lafferty 1997; Marcogliese 2005)...
    • ...Thus, our data suggest that the type of contaminant mixture may impact parasite communities of fish differently, resulting in measures of diversity and abundance that do not always follow previously widely accepted patterns (see MacKenzie et al. 1995; Lafferty 1997; Marcogliese 2005; Blanar et al. 2009)...

    Rachel J. Krauseet al. Parasite fauna of Etheostoma nigrum (Percidae: Etheostomatinae) in loc...

    • ...restored sites was very soon reflected by an increase of the prevalence and species richness of parasites (Marcogliese 2005)...

    Mikuláš Oroset al. Reestablishment of the fish parasite fauna in the Tisa River system (S...

    • ...Also, fish parasites can be used as biological indicators (e.g., Lafferty 1997; Marcogliese and Cone 1997; Overstreet 1997; Marcogliese 2005), e.g., for the host’s ecology (feeding, Palm 1999; migration and recruitment, Moser 1991; Palm and Schröder 2001; Williams et al. 1992) or for environmental conditions (water quality, MacKenzie et al. 1995; Galli et al. 2001; pollution, Sures and Reimann 2003; environmental stress Khan and ...

    H. W. Palmet al. A new approach to visualize ecosystem health by using parasites

    • ...Once the causes are identified, gnathostomes could be considered useful bioindicators of particular forms of environmental degradation (Marcogliese 2005)...

    Miguel Ángel Mosqueda-Cabreraet al. Abnormalities on cephalic hooklets of advanced third-stage larvae from...

Sort by: