A Functional Biology of Parasitism: Ecological and by Gerald W. Esch, Jacqueline C. Fernández (auth.) PDF

By Gerald W. Esch, Jacqueline C. Fernández (auth.)

Series Editor: Peter Calow, division of Zoology, collage of Sheffield, England the most goal of this sequence can be to demonstrate and to give an explanation for the best way organisms 'make a residing' in nature. on the center of this - their useful biology - is the best way organisms gather after which utilize assets in metabolism, flow, development, replica, and so forth. those strategies will shape the basic framework of the entire books within the sequence. each one e-book will pay attention to a selected taxon (species, kin, category or perhaps phylum) and should collect info at the shape, body structure, ecology and evolutionary biology of the gang. the purpose could be not just to explain how organisms paintings, but in addition to contemplate why they've got come to paintings in that method. via focus on taxa that are popular, it really is was hoping that the sequence won't in basic terms illustrate the luck of choice, but additionally exhibit the limitations imposed upon it by way of the physiological, morphological and developmental barriers of the teams. one other very important function of the sequence may be its organismic orientation. each one publication will emphasize the significance of sensible integration within the day­ to-day lives and the evolution of organisms. this is often the most important seeing that, although it can be precise that organisms may be regarded as collections of gene­ decided characteristics, they however engage with their setting as built-in wholes and it really is during this context that specific qualities were subjected to traditional choice and feature evolved.

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For example, the parasite in a vertebrate host, and in many invertebrate hosts as well, will be subjected to the host's immune system or, perhaps, its digestive enzymes. In contrast to free-living organisms, most parasites are not confronted with the possibility of predation (excepting intramolluscan stages of some digenetic trematodes). In completing their life cycles, most parasitic organisms are subjected to more physical and biotic environmental challenges than virtually any other group of organisms.

The large triangle represents the metapopulation of parasites in snail hosts which, in turn, is comprised of a series of individual snails (smaller triangles), each with its own infrapopulation of parasites. The same kind of nesting is associated with the large rectangle and the large circle. The latter represent metapopulations of metacercariae in fish second intermediate hosts and the rectangles are definitive hosts. Infrapopulations within individual fish are smaller circles and individual birds are the smaller rectangles.

Be documented, the parasite does not kill the host. Instead, it alters the host's behaviour, causing the host to be killed and consumed by a predator and ensuring successful parasite transmission in the process. Another highly unusual behavioural adaptation is associated with the filarial nematode, Wucheren'a bancrofti. This parasite's definitive host is man and, when constantly infected by mosquito vectors over a long period of time, the nematode can cause blockages within the lymphatic system of the host, producing the horribly disfiguring disease known as elephantiasis.

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