Parasitism - The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites

Edited by Albert O. Bush, Jacqueline C. Fernandez, Gerald W. Esch, J. Richard Seed 
Cambridge University Press  2001  

Paperback  576 pp, 157 diags, 162 illus, 42 tabs, 319 figs  ISBN 9780521664479      £48.00
Almost all living organisms are exploited by parasites of one type or another. But what are parasites? How many different types are there? And what exactly is parasitism? In this undergraduate textbook parasitism is described as an ecological relationship. Ecology implies the study of the interaction between organisms and their environments and the fact that parasites' hosts are alive makes this concept even more exciting, combining traditionally disparate disciplines such as immunology and physiology with ecology and epidemiology! All the major groups of animal parasites are described, who they are and how they live. Also examined are their biogeography, evolution, and the way they influence the populations of their hosts and the immunological, pathological and biochemical implications of parasites. Written in an accessible style, the subject matter is brought to life with numerous illustrations and textboxes containing anecdotal, interesting and supplementary material. Essential for all undergraduate students studying parasitology, Parasitism: The Ecology and Diversity of Animal Parasites will also be useful reading for graduates and researchers in zoology and ecology.


1. Introduction: Parasitism in perspective; Symbiotic relationships; Kinds of parasites; Kinds of hosts; Ecology and host-parasite relationships; 2. Immunological, pathological and biochemical aspects of parasitism: Host resistance: immunoecology; Pathology; Biochemistry: physiological ecology; Metabolism in an environmental context; 3. The Protozoa: Introduction; Phylum Sarcomastigophora; Phylum Apicomplexa; Phylum Ciliophora; 4. Platyhelminthes: the flatworms: Temnocephalida; Udonellidea; Aspidobothrea; Digenea; Monogenea; Gyrocotylidea; Amphilinidea; Eucestoda; Phylogenetic considerations; 5. Nematoda: the roundworms; 6. Acanthocephala: the thorny-headed worms; 7. Pentastomida: the tongue worms; 8. The Arthropoda: Crustacea; Arachnida; Insecta; Phylogenetic considerations; 9. Parasitism in other metazoan groups: Porifera: the sponges; Cnidaria: hydras, jellyfishes, anemones, corals; Myxozoa; Ctenophora: the combjellies; Mesozoa; Nemertea: the ribbon worms; Nematomorpha: the horse hair worms; Rotifera: the wheel animals; Annelida: polychaetes, earthworms, and leeches; Echiuria: the spoonworms; Mollusca: mussels, clams, snails, squids and the like; 10. Population concepts: Background; General definitions; Factors affecting parasite populations; The dispersion concept; Dynamics of population growth; 11. Factors infuencing parasite populations: Density-independent factors; Density dependent factors; Suprapopulation dynamics; 12. Influence of parasites on host populations: Introduction to the concept of regulation; Crofton€s approach; Aggregation and regulation; Epidemiological implications; Models; 13. From reproduction and transmission to colonization: Reproduction and fecundity; Transmission and dispersal; Dispersion, colonization, and the theory of island biogeography; 14. Communities of parasites: General considerations; The kinds of communities of parasites; Describing and quantifying parasite communities; The kinds of parasites found in communities; Niche restriction in parasites; The composition of parasite communities - species richness; The structure of parasite communities; 15. Biogeographical aspects: factors affecting the geographical distribution of parasites; Patterns of distribution; Ecological aspects; Applied aspects of biogeography; 16. Evolutionary aspects: Microevolution; Evolutionary biology of parasites; Evolution of host-parasite associations; Parasite influence on the evolutionary biology of the host.

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