Prof. Dr. Bernd Sures (Uni Duisburg-Essen)
in: 'Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution': "Parasites in ecosystems: are they ignorable?"
by Prof. Dr. Bernd Sures (Uni Duisburg-Essen)
Despite the advances in our understanding of the ecological importance of parasites that we have made in recent years, we are still far away from having an in-depth understanding of even selected aspects of ecological implications connected to parasitism. In the present talk selected key issues of my own research are highlighted that illustrate (1) important contributions of parasites to biodiversity, (2) their role in biological invasion processes, and (3) their trophic and nutritional interaction within food-webs. By using selected examples from aquatic ecosystems, an insight into ecological implications of parasites will be provided in order to generate more interest into the topic. Accordingly, directions for future research in the field of ecological parasitology will be presented. This may help to convince more parasitologists and ecologists contributing and advancing our understanding of the complex and fascinating interplay of parasites, hosts and ecosystems.