Interactions between interactions: predator-prey, parasite-host, and mutualistic interactions.

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7103, Laboratoire de Parasitologie Evolutive, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.38). 07/2008; 1133:180-6. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1438.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ecological interactions such as those between predators and prey, parasites and hosts, and pollinators and plants are usually studied on their own while neglecting that one category of interactions can have dramatic effects on another. Such interactions between interactions will have both ecological and evolutionary effects because the actions of one party will influence interactions among other parties, thereby eventually causing feedback on the first party. Examples of such interactions include the effects of predators and parasites on the evolution of host sexual selection, the effects of parasites and predators on the evolution of virulence, and the effects of parasites and predators on the evolution of pollinator mutualisms. Such interactions among interactions will generally prevent simple cases of coevolution, because any single case of interaction between two parties may be affected by an entire range of additional interacting factors. These phenomena will have implications not only for how ecologists and evolutionary biologists empirically study interactions but also on how such interactions are modeled.

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