The Tropics are home to the greatest biodiversity in the world, but tropical species are at risk due to anthropogenic activities, mainly land use change, habitat loss, invasive species, and pathogens. Over the past 20 years, the avian malaria and related parasites (Order: Haemosporida) systems have received increased attention in the tropical regions from a diverse array of research perspectives. However, to date no attempts have been made to synthesize the available information and to propose new lines of research. This book provides such a synthesis by not only focusing on the antagonistic interactions, but also by providing conceptual chapters on topics going from avian haemosporidians life cycles and study techniques, to chapters addressing current concepts on ecology and evolution. For example, a chapter synthesizing basic biogeography and ecological niche model concepts is presented, followed by one on the island biogeography of avian haemosporidians. Accordingly, researchers and professionals interested in these antagonistic interaction systems will find both an overview of the field with special emphasis on the tropics, and access to the necessary conceptual framework for various topics in ecology, evolution and systematics. Given its conceptual perspective, the book will appeal not only to readers interested in avian haemosporidians, but also to those more generally interested in the ecology, evolution and systematics of host-parasite interactions.
Diego Santiago-Alarcon is a Staff Researcher at the Instituto de Ecología, A.C. - CONACYT in Mexico. He completed his MSc and PhD at the University of Missouri in St Louis, USA, and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Freiburg, Germany. His research focuses on understanding the ecology, evolution and systematics of host-parasite-vector interactions, in particular how avian haemosporidians dynamics respond to anthropogenic impacts.
Alfonso Marzal is an Associate Professor at the University of Extremadura, Spain. After completing his PhD at the University of Extremadura, he pursued postdoctoral research at Lund University, Sweden. His main research interest is in the field of avian malaria, mainly focusing on the negative effects of avian haemosporidians on their host populations, as well as the environmental and global factors determining the emergence of wildlife diseases.
1 - Avian Haemosporida research in the Neotropics before the year 2000.- 2 - Phylogenetics and systematics in a nutshell.- 3 - Life cycle, taxonomy, and molecular biology of avian haemosporidian parasites, with a discussion of research techniques.- 4 - Introduction to the taxonomy of Diptera vectors of medical and veterinary importance in the tropics.- 5 - The ecology of Diptera vectors of avian haemosporidians in the tropics: with emphasis in the neotropical region.- 6 - Geographical distribution patterns of malaria and other haemosporida in the Neotropics: a review from a biogeographical perspective and ecological niche modelling.- 7 - Island biogeography of avian haemosporidians in the tropics: with emphasis on the neotropical region.- 8 - Altitudinal and latitudinal patterns of tropical avian haemosporidians.- 9 - An introduction to macroecology and ecological networks for antagonistic interactions.- 10 - Host specialization and dispersal in avian haemosporidians.- 11 - Cophylogenetic patterns and speciation.- 12 - Community ecology and network analysis of tropical avian haemosporidians.- 13 - An introduction to urban and landscape ecology.- 14 - Anthropic impacts on avian haemosporidians and their vectors.- 15 - The role of parasites in invasion biology16 - Avian migration as a mechanism of latitudinal parasite spread between tropical and temperate regions.- 17 - Experimental parasitology and ecoimmunology: concepts and opportunities.- 18 - Concluding remarks.