Parasites in Ecological Communities

From Interactions to Ecosystems

Parasites in Ecological Communities

Interactions between competitors, predators and their prey have traditionally been viewed as the foundation of community structure. Parasites – long ignored in community ecology – are now recognized as playing an important part in influencing species interactions and consequently affecting ecosystem function. Parasitism can interact with other ecological drivers, resulting in both detrimental and beneficial effects on biodiversity and ecosystem health. Species interactions involving parasites are also key to understanding many biological invasions and emerging infectious diseases. This book bridges the gap between community ecology and epidemiology to create a wide-ranging examination of how parasites and pathogens affect all aspects of ecological communities, enabling the new generation of ecologists to include parasites as a key consideration in their studies. This comprehensive guide to a newly emerging field is of relevance to academics, practitioners and graduates in biodiversity, conservation and population management, and animal and human health.


"For epidemiology and community ecology, the time is now, and Hatcher and Dunn's book might just be the synthesis we need. Overall, Hatcher and Dunn have done us a great service. Theirs is an important and timely book that should catalyse research at the interface of epidemiology and community ecology. With its nice combination of models and empirical examples, it seems tailor-made for a graduate course in community ecology or ecological parasitology. I will certainly expect my graduate students to read parts of it, and keep my own copy within easy reach."
Robert Poulin, Ecology

"The ecology of infectious disease is a fast growing topic, and many universities are now offering new courses on the subject. To date, there has not been an adequate text to teach from. Hatcher and Dunn's Parasites in Ecological Communities fills this niche well. In contrast to contributed volumes, this book speaks with a single voice. The authors use themes centered around mathematical epidemiology and community ecology, but they do so in such a way that is accessible to non-math savvy students. In addition, the book does a very good job summarizing the relevant literature in tables that efficiently indicate who has done what on a particular question. The text covers many systems, including human disease, plant pathogens, animal parasites, etc. We just finished using it in our graduate seminar and found it to be up to date and comprehensive. Since then, I have referred to it regularly as a reference. It will be required reading for our future graduate students. Although this book is most obviously suitable for students of infectious disease, it should be required reading for any ecologist."
Kevin Lafferty, US Geological Survey

"...This is a very useful book which is likely to have considerable impact in stimulating both theoretical as well as empirical studies on the way in which parasites manipulate and modify the world in which we live. It is particularly recommended to graduate and post-graduate students for its logical, comprehensive layout and the wealth of literature, mostly recent, which is discussed."
Trevor Petney, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology for the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography