Computational Ecology and Software, 2015, 5(4): 367-379
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Modeling at the interface of ecology and epidemiology

Min Su, Hong Wang
School of Mathematics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China

Received 25 July 2015;Accepted 3 August 2015;Published online 1 December 2015

We briefly present a synthesis of theoretical models in eco-epidemiology which merges the fields of ecology and epidemics. In particular we discuss the role of parasites/pathogens in community assembly formation and species coexistence, as well as the potential of biological control. Recent works have revealed that the complexity in parasite-mediated interactions can alter the dynamic behavior of eco-epidemiological systems, exhibiting oscillations, switching stability regimes. Both community structure and interaction strength also can affect the role of parasites in the host-parasite dynamics. The emerging research area focuses on the spatial structure and distribution pattern in eco-epidemiology. Compared with the well mixed system, spatial structure in eco-epidemiology can lead to different dynamic behavior. We therefore highlight the need to address the impact of parasites/pathogens on real community structures and combine the evolutionary potential to predict the complex dynamics during the biological control in eco-epidemiological systems.

Keywords eco-epidemiology;community structure;spatial structure;predation pressure;species coexistence.

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