Should we expect population thresholds for wildlife disease?

Trends in Ecology and Evolution
By: , and 



Host population thresholds for invasion or persistence of infectious disease are core concepts of disease ecology, and underlie on-going and controversial disease control policies based on culling and vaccination. Empirical evidence for these thresholds in wildlife populations has been sparse, however, though recent studies have narrowed this gap. Here we review the theoretical bases for population thresholds for disease, revealing why they are difficult to measure and sometimes are not even expected, and identifying important facets of wildlife ecology left out of current theories. We discuss strengths and weaknesses of selected empirical studies that have reported disease thresholds for wildlife, identify recurring obstacles, and discuss implications of our imperfect understanding of wildlife thresholds for disease control policy.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Should we expect population thresholds for wildlife disease?
Series title Trends in Ecology and Evolution
DOI 10.1016/j.tree.2005.07.004
Volume 20
Issue 9
Year Published 2005
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 511
Last page 519
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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