Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-m42fx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-20T10:40:49.369Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

A Candide response to Panglossian accusations by Randolph and Dobson: biodiversity buffers disease

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 May 2013

RICHARD S. OSTFELD*
Affiliation:
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Box AB, Millbrook, NY 12545, USA
*
*Corresponding author:Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Box AB, Millbrook, NY 12545, USA. E-mail: Rostfeld@caryinstitute.org

Summary

Randolph and Dobson (2012) criticize the dilution effect, which describes the negative relationship between biodiversity and infectious disease risk. Unfortunately, their commentary includes distortions, errors of omission, and errors of commission, which are rebutted herein. Contrary to their claims, the dilution effect is not a ‘mantra’ that asserts that reduced disease risk is a ‘universal’ outcome of high diversity. Although universality of the dilution effect has not been claimed, and conditions under which diversity can amplify disease risk have been described, the growing literature indicates that the dilution effect is indeed a widespread phenomenon.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Cardinale, B. J., Duffy, J. E., Gonzalez, A., Hooper, D. U., Perrings, C., Venail, P., Narwani, A., Mace, G. M., Tilman, D., Wardle, D. A., Kinzig, A. P., Daily, G. C., Loreau, M., Grace, J. B., Larigauderie, A., Srivastava, D. S. and Naeem, S. (2012). Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity. Nature 486, 5967.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Johnson, P. T. J. and Thieltges, D. W. (2010). Diversity, decoys and the dilution effect: how ecological communities affect disease risk. Journal of Experimental Biology 213, 961970.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Johnson, P. T., Preston, D. L., Hoverman, J. T. and Richgels, K. L. (2013). Biodiversity decreases disease through predictable changes in host community competence. Nature 494, 230233.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Keesing, F., Holt, R. D. and Ostfeld, R. S. (2006). Effects of species diversity on disease risk. Ecology Letters 9, 485498.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Keesing, F., Brunner, J., Duerr, S., Killilea, M., LoGiudice, K., Schmidt, K., Vuong, H. and Ostfeld, R. S. (2009). Hosts as ecological traps for the vector of Lyme disease. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276, 39113919.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Keesing, F., Belden, L. K., Daszak, P., Dobson, A., Harvell, C. D., Holt, R. D., Hudson, P., Jolles, A., Jones, K. E., Mitchell, C. E., Myers, S. S., Bogich, T. and Ostfeld, R. S. (2010). Impacts of biodiversity on the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. Nature 468, 647652.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
LoGiudice, K., Ostfeld, R. S., Schmidt, K. A. and Keesing, F. (2003). The ecology of infectious disease: Effects of host diversity and community composition on Lyme disease risk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100, 567571.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Norman, R., Bowers, R. G., Begon, M. and Hudson, P. J. (1999). Persistence of tick-borne virus in the presence of multiple host species: tick reservoirs and parasite mediated competition. Journal of Theoretical Biology 200, 111118.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ostfeld, R. and Keesing, F. (2000 a). The function of biodiversity in the ecology of vector-borne zoonotic diseases. Canadian Journal of Zoology–Revue Canadienne De Zoologie 78, 20612078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ostfeld, R. S. and Keesing, F. (2000 b). Biodiversity and disease risk: the case of Lyme disease. Conservation Biology 14, 722728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ostfeld, R. S. and Keesing, F. (2012). Effects of host diversity on infectious disease. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 43, 157182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ostfeld, R. S. and LoGiudice, K. (2003). Community disassembly, biodiversity loss, and the erosion of an ecosystem service. Ecology 84, 14211427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ostfeld, R. S., Canham, C. D., Oggenfuss, K., Winchcombe, R. J. and Keesing, F. (2006). Climate, deer, rodents, and acorns as determinants of variation in Lyme-disease risk. PLoS Biology 4, 10581068.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pongsiri, M. J., Roman, J., Ezenwa, V. O., Goldberg, T. L., Koren, H. S., Newbold, S. C., Ostfeld, R. S., Pattanayak, S. K. and Salkeld, D. J. (2009). Biodiversity loss affects global disease ecology. Bioscience 59, 945954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Randolph, S. E. and Dobson, A. D. M. (2012). Pangloss revisited: a critique of the dilution effect and the biodiversity-buffers-disease paradigm. Parasitology 139, 847863.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schmidt, K. A. and Ostfeld, R. S. (2001). Biodiversity and the dilution effect in disease ecology. Ecology 82, 609619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Buskirk, J. and Ostfeld, R. S. (1995). Controlling Lyme disease by modifying the density and species composition of tick hosts. Ecological Applications 5, 11331140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar