Kareiva, Peter M. Department of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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- Threshold theorem
- Population effects
- Disease emergence
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The interaction of the behavior and ecology of hosts with the biology of pathogens as relating to the impact of diseases on populations. Although human diseases have been studied from an ecological perspective for centuries, diseases in plant and animal populations have received much less attention. The reason that ecologists have generally overlooked diseases is that diseases tend to be "invisible" compared to predators or competitors. The toll that diseases can take on all organisms (even bacteria are attacked by diseases) is enormous, and the ecology of diseases is one of the most vigorous areas of research in modern biology (Fig. 1). In addition, the role of natural ecosystems in diseases and the possibility that human activities can profoundly alter the ecology of diseases are very significant. See also: Disease; Ecology; Ecosystem; Pathogen; Pathology; Physiological ecology (animal); Physiological ecology (plant); Population ecology
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