Linking ecosystem and parasite ecology

Michel Loreau, Jacques Roy, David Tilman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Community ecology and ecosystem ecology provide different perspectives on ecological systems, and have followed increasingly divergent pathways for decades. Recent theoretical and experimental work has begun to integrate these perspectives and provides new light on how species and ecosystems are mutually interdependent. A number of experiments and models have shown that species diversity affects ecosystem functioning through either selection of appropriate dominant species or complementarity among species with different traits. Although particular species may have a large functional impact only at small scales, some hypotheses and experimental evidence suggest that species diversity may also be critical at large temporal and spatial scales. These conclusions, however, have been obtained in relatively simple systems. A major future challenge is to extend this knowledge to full ecosystems with multiple trophic levels and multiple processes, and to determine how biodiversity dynamics, ecosystem processes, and abiotic factors interact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationParasitism and Ecosystems
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191712777
ISBN (Print)0198529864, 9780198529873
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2005. All rights reserved.


  • Functional ecology
  • Parasitism
  • Spatial scale
  • Species diversity
  • Temporal scale


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