Parasites and food webs - the ultimate missing links

Principal Investigators:

Kevin D. Lafferty, Andrew P. Dobson, and Mercedes Pascual

Food webs are a conceptual underpinning for community ecology. Unfortunately, nearly all webs do not include parasites. Considering that parasitism is the most popular lifestyle on Earth, there is concern that food webs may not be complete without parasites. This working group brings together a range of experts on parasitism, food web theory, and empirical food webs to consider how parasites can be included into food-webs and to explore the consequences of their inclusion. The working group will focus on developing theoretical food webs capable... more

Participants and Meetings

Working Group Participants
ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group13th—17th September 2007Participant List  
Working Group3rd—8th March 2008Participant List  
Working Group6th—11th April 2009Participant List  
Working Group26th—30th October 2009Participant List  
Working Group22nd—26th February 2010Participant List  
Working Group24th—28th January 2011Participant List  

Participant Contact Information

Stefano Allesinasallesina@uchicago.eduUniversity of Michigan
Matias Universidad Católica de Chile
Cheryl J. Briggscherie.briggs@lifesci.ucsb.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Andrew P. Dobsondobber@princeton.eduPrinceton University
Jennifer A. Dunnejdunne@santafe.eduSanta Fe Institute
Ryan HechingerHechinge@lifesci.ucsb.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Armand Kuriskuris@lifesci.ucsb.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Kevin D. Laffertylafferty@lifesci.ucsb.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
David J. Marcogliesedavid.marcogliese@ec.gc.caEnvironment Canada
Pablo A. Marquetpmarquet@bio.puc.clPontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Neo Martinezneo@peacelab.netUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
John McLaughlinjohnmcla@gmail.comUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Jane of Bristol
Erin A. Mordecaiemordeca@stanford.eduUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Mercedes Pascualpascual@umich.eduUniversity of Michigan
David of Otago
Robert of Otago
Andrew of Sheffield
Alice Boitboit@pik-potsdam.dePacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab
Giulio De Leodeleo@stanford.eduUniversità degli Studi di Parma
Thilo Grossthilo2gross@gmail.comMax-Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems
Owen of Sheffield
Richard J. Williamsrichardw@ocs-consulting.comMicrosoft Research Ltd.
Edward B. Baskervilleebaskerv@umich.eduUniversity of Michigan

Products: Publications, Reports, Datasets, Presentations, Visualizations

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Dobson, Andrew P.; Allesina, Stefano; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Pascual, Mercedes. 2009. The assembly, collapse and restoration of food webs. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. Vol: 364. Pages 1803-1806. (Online version)
Journal Article Dunne, Jennifer A.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Hechinger, Ryan; Kuris, Armand; Martinez, Neo; McLaughlin, John; Mouritsen, Kim; Poulin, Robert; Reise, Karsten; Stouffer, Daniel B.; Thieltges, David; Williams, Richard J.; Dieter Zander, Claus. 2013. Parasites affect food web structure primarily through increased diversity and complexity. PLoS Biology. Vol: 11. Pages e1001579-e1001579. (Online version)
Journal Article Hechinger, Ryan; Lafferty, Kevin D.; McLaughlin, John; Fredensborg, Brian L.; Huspeni, Todd C.; Lorda, Julio; Sandhu, Parwant K.; Shaw, Jenny C.; Torchin, Mark E.; Kuris, Armand. 2011. Food webs including parasites, biomass, body sizes, and life stages for three California/Baja California estuaries. Ecology. Vol: 92(3). Pages 791. (Online version)
Journal Article Johnson, Pieter; Dobson, Andrew P.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Marcogliese, David J.; Memmott, Jane; Orlofske, Sarah A.; Poulin, Robert; Thieltges, David. 2010. When parasites become prey: Ecological and epidemiological significance of eating parasites. Vol: 25(6). Pages 362-371. (Online version)
Journal Article Lafferty, Kevin D.; Allesina, Stefano; Arim, Matias; Briggs, Cheryl J.; De Leo, Giulio; Dobson, Andrew P.; Dunne, Jennifer A.; Johnson, Pieter; Kuris, Armand; Marcogliese, David J.; Martinez, Neo; Memmott, Jane; Marquet, Pablo A.; McLaughlin, John; Mordecai, Erin A.; Pascual, Mercedes; Poulin, Robert; Thieltges, David. 2008. Parasites in food webs: The ultimate missing links. Ecology Letters. Vol: 11. Pages 533-546. (Online version)
Journal Article Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand. 2009. Parasites reduce food web robustness because they are sensitive to secondary extinction as illustrated by an invasive estuarine snail. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Vol: 364(1524). Pages 1659-1663. (Online version)
Journal Article Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dunne, Jennifer A. 2010. Stochastic ecological network occupancy (SENO) models: A new tool for modeling ecological networks across spatial scales. Theoretical Ecology. Vol: 3(3). Pages 123-135. (Online version)
Report or White Paper Lafferty, Kevin D.; De Leo, Giulio; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Gross, Thilo; Kuris, Armand. 2015. A general consumer-resource population model. Science. Vol: 349(6250). Pages 854-857. (Abstract) (Online version)
Journal Article Michalska-Smith, Matthew; Sander, Elizabeth L.; Pascual, Mercedes; Allesina, Stefano. 2017. Understanding the role of parasites in food webs using the group model. Journal of Animal Ecology. (Abstract) (Online version)
Journal Article Thieltges, David; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Hechinger, Ryan; Johnson, Pieter; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Mouritsen, Kim; Preston, Daniel L.; Reise, Karsten; Dieter Zander, Claus; Poulin, Robert. 2013. Parasites as prey in aquatic food webs: Implications for predator infection and parasite transmission. Oikos. Vol: 122. Pages 1473-1482. (Online version)
Journal Article Thompson, Ross M.; Poulin, Robert; Mouritsen, Kim; Thieltges, David. 2013. Resource tracking in marine parasites: Going with the flow?. Oikos. Vol: 122. Pages 1187-1194. (Online version)
Journal Article Valtonen, E. T.; Marcogliese, David J.; Julkunen, Markku. 2010. Vertebrate diets derived from trophically transmitted fish parasites in the Bothnian Bay. Oecologia. Vol: 162. Pages 139-152. (Online version)
Journal Article Warren, Christopher P.; Pascual, Mercedes; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand. 2010. The inverse niche model for food webs with parasites. Theoretical Ecology. Vol: 3(4). Pages 285-294. (Online version)
"Parasites and food webs - the ultimate missing links" is project ID: 12106