Agricultural activities are of increasing concern with respect to both wildlife and human diseases. A common problem is eutrophication: massive increases in aquatic primary productivity due to artificial nutrient enrichment from terrestrial run-off. High amounts of aquatic vegetation may impede the ability of hosts to evade free-swimming parasite infectious stages, or possibly affect the ability of parasites to detect and find hosts. The structure of aquatic vegetation (complexity) may also be a factor in addition to amount. It is thus important to consider how the vegetative structure of aquatic habitats may influence disease dynamics in freshwater systems. This will allow us to identify vulnerable species and populations, as well as work towards mitigation and management efforts.
Principal Investigator: Janet Koprivnikar