Zuckerman Postdoctoral Scholar Adam Zvanut Hasik publishes paper in Ecology Letters
Ground-breaking research shows that parasites can be beneficial to their hosts in the context of their effects on other species interaction.
A meta-analysis of 154 studies that examined how the outcomes of species interactions differed between hosts with parasites and those without. Overall, parasitism did not significantly affect the outcomes. Instead, there was considerable variation in outcomes, ranging from strongly detrimental to strongly beneficial for infected hosts. For instance, parasites had particularly strong negative effects on host species interactions in freshwater and marine habitats, yet were beneficial in terrestrial environments. Their results imply that whether the cumulative effects of parasitism are considered detrimental depends not only on the interactions between hosts and their parasites but also on the many other interactions that hosts experience.