Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Calendar
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Speaker: Dr. Catharina Alves-de-Souza, Research Professor, Director of the Algal Resources Collection, MARBIONC at UNC-Wilmington (hosted by A. Schnetzer) |
Seminar Title: Parasites as Biological Control Agents of Harmful Algal Blooms
Abstract: Biological control by unicellular parasites has been suggested as a major factor affecting the formation and demise of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). However, information on the quantitative relevance of eukaryote parasites to HAB dynamics in the field remains scarce. This is due mainly to the inconspicuous nature of parasites, which untimely preclude their detection during traditional environmental surveys. In addition, the understanding of parasite-mediated HAB dynamics requires the detection of parasites within a community context since parasite and host populations do not exist as isolated pairs. Rather, they exist as parts of multispecies systems involving biotic interactions others than parasitism such as predation and allelopathy. Here, we review the main aspects to take into account when investigating the relevance of host-parasite interactions for HAB dynamics in natural populations.