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Bottom-Up Control Of Parasites, David S. Johnson, Richard Heard Oct 2017

Bottom-Up Control Of Parasites, David S. Johnson, Richard Heard

VIMS Articles

Parasitism is a fundamental ecological interaction. Yet we understand relatively little about the ecological role of parasites compared to the role of free-living organisms. Bottom-up theory predicts that resource enhancement will increase the abundance and biomass of free-living organisms. Similarly, parasite abundance and biomass should increase in an ecosystem with resource enhancement. We tested this hypothesis in a landscape-level experiment in which salt marshes (60,000 m2 each) received elevated nutrient concentrations via flooding tidal waters for 11 yr to mimic eutrophication. Nutrient enrichment elevated the densities of the talitrid amphipod, Orchestia grillus, and the density and biomass of its ...