Vidal Martinez, Victor M.; Pech, Daniel; Sures, Bernd; Purucker, S. Thomas; Poulin, Robert:

Can parasites really reveal environmental impact?

In: Trends in Parasitology, Jg. 26 (2010), S. 44-51
ISSN: 1471-4922
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Biologie
This review assesses the usefulness of parasites as
bioindicators of environmental impact. Relevant studies
published in the past decade were compiled; factorial
meta-analysis demonstrated significant effects and
interactions between parasite levels and the presence
and concentration of various pollutants and/or environmental
stressors. These effects and interactions were
also evident in subsets of studies that used different
methods such as field surveys or experimental exposure.
From this meta-analysis we conclude that parasites are
useful bioindicators of environmental impact. Further,
by examining aspects of study design, we put forward
recommendations for the design of future studies to
evaluate anthropogenic impact on host–parasite interactions
and increase the efficiency of environmental
monitoring programs.