News headlines are forever reporting diseases that take huge tolls on humans, wildlife, domestic animals, and both cultivated and native plants worldwide. These diseases can also completely transform the ecosystems that feed us and provide us with other critical benefits, from flood control to water purification. And yet diseases sometimes serve to maintain the structure and function of the ecosystems on which humans depend.
Gathering thirteen essays by forty leading experts who convened at the Cary Conference at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in 2005, this book develops an integrated framework for understanding where these diseases come from, what ecological factors influence their impacts, and how they in turn influence ecosystem dynamics. It marks the first comprehensive and in-depth exploration of the rich and complex linkages between ecology and disease, and provides conceptual underpinnings to understand and ameliorate epidemics. It also sheds light on the roles that diseases play in ecosystems, bringing vital new insights to landscape management issues in particular. While the ecological context is a key piece of the puzzle, effective control and understanding of diseases requires the interaction of professionals in medicine, epidemiology, veterinary medicine, forestry, agriculture, and ecology. The essential resource on the subject, Infectious Disease Ecology seeks to bridge these fields with an ecological approach that focuses on systems thinking and complex interactions.
"One exciting aspect of this book is that 'ecologists' and 'epidemiologists' and 'microbiologists' and 'botanists' and various other scholars were brought together to share ideas, data, and inferences. This volume reflects such interdisciplinary exchange, and more interactions like this are sorely needed. . . . It is highly recommended as a useful set of readings for ecologists interested in disease-causing microbes, and for epidemiologists seeking understanding of the ecosystem interactions that affect infectious agent transmission."--Mark L. Wilson, Ecology
"Infectious Disease Ecology provides new and useful insights that expand upon earlier works in the field."--Gregory E. Glass, BioScience
"[T]his is an enormously useful book which, for the first time, brings together a wide range of disciplinary expertise under the umbrella of a comprehensive, integrated approach towards understanding the interrelationship between disease and ecology. . . . This book is tremendously recommendable. It provides comprehensive cutting edge insights into the fascinating interplay of the proximate and ultimate forces that shape the host-pathogen race. . . . It will be the standard for some time to come."--Holger Schutkowski, Journal of Archaeological Science
"Overall, the book is quite strong, and offers useful and thorough overviews, a difference from the usual reworks and overviews that pervade edited volumes--in this sense, the editors are to be congratulated. . . . [T]his book is a useful picture of the state of the field, and could be a basis for graduate-level seminars treating the field of disease ecology."--A. Townsend Peterson, Quarterly Review of Biology
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