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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Revealing the Faunal Tapestry:coevolution and Historical Biogeography of Hosts and Parasites in Marine Systems

Authors
item Hoberg, Eric
item Klassen, G - UNIV. NEW BRUNSWICK

Submitted to: Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2001
Publication Date: July 20, 2002
Citation: HOBERG, E.P., KLASSEN, G.J. REVEALING THE FAUNAL TAPESTRY:COEVOLUTION AND HISTORICAL BIOGEOGRAPHY OF HOSTS AND PARASITES IN MARINE SYSTEMS. PARASITOLOGY. 2002.

Interpretive Summary: Parasites are elegant tools to explore the origins, distribution and maintenance of global biodiversity. Host and geographic ranges described by various helminth parasites are structured and historically constrained by genealogical and ecological associations that can be revealed and evaluated using phylogenetic methodologies within the context of frameworks and hypotheses for coevolution and historical biogeography. Understanding the history and structure of the biosphere is increasingly important with respect to identifying and predicting responses of biotic systems to global change. Studies of such complex systems yield new a understanding of evolutionary processes and the history of marine organisms including fishes that represent important resources for humans. Integration of ecological and phylogenetic knowledge from the study of parasites is synergistic, contributing substantial insights into the history and maintenance of the marine systems.

Technical Abstract: Parasites are integral components of marine ecosystems, a general observation accepted by parasitologists, but often considered of trifling significance to the broader zoological community. Parasites, however, represent elegant tools to explore the origins, distribution and maintenance of biodiversity. Among these diverse assemblages, host and geographic ranges described by various helminths are structured and historically constrained by genealogical and ecological associations that can be revealed and evaluated using phylogenetic methodologies within the context of frameworks and hypotheses for coevolution and historical biogeography. Despite over 200 years of sporadic investigations of helminth systematics, knowledge of parasite faunal diversity in chondrichthyan and osteichthyan fishes, seabirds and marine mammals remains to be distilled into a coherent and comprehensive picture that can be assessed using phylogenetic approaches. Phylogenetic studies among comple host-parasite assemblages that encompass varying temporal and geographic scales are the critical context for elucidating biodiversity and faunal structure, and for identifying historical and contemporary determinants of ecological organization and biogeographic patterns across the marine biosphere. Integration of ecological and phylogenetic knowledge from the study of parasites is synergistic, contributing substantial insights into the history and maintenance of the marine systems.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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