Parasite establishment in host communities

Robert D. Holt, Andrew P. Dobson, Michael Begon, Roger G. Bowers, Eric M. Schauber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

172 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many pathogens and parasites attack multiple host species, so their ability to invade a host community can depend on host community composition. We present a graphical isocline framework for studying disease establishment in systems with two host species, based on treating host species as resources. The isocline approach provides a natural generalization to multi-host systems of two related concepts in disease ecology - the basic reproductive rate of a parasite, and threshold host density. Qualitative isocline shape characterizes the threshold community configurations that permit parasite establishment. In general, isocline shape reflects the relative forces of inter- and intraspecific transmission of shared parasites. We discuss the qualitative implications of parasite isocline shape for issues of mounting concern in conservation ecology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-842
Number of pages6
JournalEcology letters
Volume6
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Keywords

  • Host-parasite interaction
  • Indirect effects
  • Infectious disease
  • Isocline analysis
  • Multiple host species
  • Parasite invasion

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    Holt, R. D., Dobson, A. P., Begon, M., Bowers, R. G., & Schauber, E. M. (2003). Parasite establishment in host communities. Ecology letters, 6(9), 837-842. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1461-0248.2003.00501.x