Monday, October 06, 2008

Choose Life

Following a recent pub discussion about parasite populations (I don't get out much), I thought I'd post this thoughtful article on parasites.

Was especially taken with this:

[...]a healthy ecosystem is usually rife with parasites, and when the parasites begin to disappear, this may foreshadow serious problems. For example, Lafferty has found that the fish in pristine Pacific coral atolls carry many more kinds of parasites than fish living in nearby overharvested atolls. Marcogliese has found that when acid rain damages Canadian rivers, the parasites fall out of the river food webs even while their fish hosts seem in good shape. Pollution can kill delicate parasites outright, while overfishing may wipe out parasites by removing some of their hosts.

No more on parasites, I promise. Unless I find some seriously cool new vids.

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