Regulation of complex host dynamics by a macroparasite

K. A.J. White, B. T. Grenfell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of a macroparasite on a host population which can exhibit highly complex dynamics is considered. We focus on the case where the host reproduces annually, in which case we couple within-season density dependent interactions with a discrete-time pulse to reflect seasonal reproduction. Results from analytic arguments, supported by extensive numerical simulations, indicate that within season parasite-induced host mortality is potentially capable of stabilising and simplifying host dynamics. Moreover, the interaction of demographic processes occurring on different time-scales is, in some cases, stabilising. In particular, parasite reduction in host fecundity, which is a destabilising process in the May and Anderson continuous time model, is found to stabilise host macroparasite interactions under certain conditions. These results are discussed in an ecological context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-91
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 7 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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