12. Infectious Disease and Novel Ecosystems

  1. Richard J. Hobbs2,
  2. Eric S. Higgs3 and
  3. Carol M. Hall3
  1. Laith Yakob

Published Online: 31 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118354186.ch12

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order

How to Cite

Yakob, L. (2013) Infectious Disease and Novel Ecosystems, in Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order (eds R. J. Hobbs, E. S. Higgs and C. M. Hall), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118354186.ch12

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Ecosystem Restoration and Intervention Ecology (ERIE) Research Group, School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia

  2. 3

    School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Author Information

  1. School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 19 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118354223

Online ISBN: 9781118354186



  • African highland malaria;
  • anthropogenic environmental changes;
  • Caribbean coral reef;
  • infectious disease;
  • marine infectious disease;
  • novel ecosystems


The contributions of habitat destruction, exotic species invasion and climate change on infectious disease ecology are difficult to disentangle. This chapter considers two case studies. The first, African Highland malaria, offers a case study for the multiplicity of anthropogenic changes to natural ecosystems and their effects on infectious disease epidemiology. A natural bias exists in the scientific literature towards human pathogens in linking infectious diseases with novel ecosystems because of the amenability of these subjects to observation. Inaccessibility continues to hamper the study of marine systems. Consequently, marine infectious disease understanding is less developed than it is for terrestrial systems. This issue is addressed in the second case study in the chapter: novel Caribbean coral reef ecosystems. Temporal dynamics of this drastically altered marine system demonstrates not only the effect that infectious disease can have in reshaping ecosystems, but also the recursive nature of the relationship between infectious disease and novel ecosystems.