An equilibrium theory signature in the island biogeography of human parasites and pathogens

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Nov 06, 2015
Kévin Jean, William R. Burnside, Lynn Carlson, et al.


Our understanding of the ecology and biogeography of microbes, including those that cause human disease, lags behind that for larger species. Despite recent focus on the geographical distribution of viruses and bacteria, the overall environmental distribution of human pathogens and parasites on Earth remains incompletely understood. As islands have long inspired basic ecological insights, we aimed to assess whether the microorganisms that cause human disease in modern times follow patterns common to insular plants and animals.

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