Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp 953–962

Parasites, biodiversity and ecosystem stability

  • Claude Combes

DOI: 10.1007/BF00054413

Cite this article as:
Combes, C. Biodivers Conserv (1996) 5: 953. doi:10.1007/BF00054413

The influence of parasites in ecosystems, especially on biodiversity, is discussed. Various examples illustrate the role that parasites play in the outcome of interspecific competition, in the success of invading species, and in the separation of emerging species. Parasites can be stabilizers or destabilizers, depending on factors such as susceptibility of hosts and size of the ecosystem. Parasites play a major role each time ‘something’ disturbs living beings at the populational and/or specific level, as they do at the individual level.


biodiversityhybrid zonesoutcome of competitionparasitesstability

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude Combes
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre de Biologie et Ecologie tropicale, UniversitéPerpignan CedexFrance