Could biodiversity help spread disease?

By Francesca Jackman and Morgan Jackson

Wildlife conservation is good for the planet, right? It seems like a no-brainer, but maybe not. Some researchers are wondering whether biodiversity is leading to an increase in infectious diseases.

Felipe Dargent and Prof. Mark Forbes probe into the mechanisms behind the spread of disease to see how parasites are affecting the balance of an ecosystem. They say understanding the theory behind disease spread is key to making decisions about species conservation.

What is amplification?

This theory suggests an increase in species diversity leads to an increase in abundance, which leads to an increase in disease within an ecosystem.

What is dilution?

This theory suggests an increase in diversity causes a reduced proportion of disease in an ecosystem.


Tune in to learn about how a parasite spreads through an ecosystem.



Prof. Mark Forbes (left) and Felipe Dargent (right). © Morgan Jackson

Prof. Mark Forbes (left) and Felipe Dargent (right) looking at the theoretical effects of parasite diversity in an ecosystem. © Morgan Jackson


© Morgan Jackson

Forbes and Dargent plan to take a closer look at diverse ecosystems to see if what is happening in nature reflects the theoretical outcomes. © Morgan Jackson

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