Perspectives on the biodiversity of parasitic protozoa in Australia

Adlard, RD and O'Donoghue, PJ (1998). Perspectives on the biodiversity of parasitic protozoa in Australia. In: International Journal for Parasitology. Annual Meeting of the Australian-Society-for-Parasitology, Canberra Australia, (887-897). Jul 14-18, 1997. doi:10.1016/S0020-7519(98)00043-5

Author Adlard, RD
O'Donoghue, PJ
Title of paper Perspectives on the biodiversity of parasitic protozoa in Australia
Conference name Annual Meeting of the Australian-Society-for-Parasitology
Conference location Canberra Australia
Conference dates Jul 14-18, 1997
Proceedings title International Journal for Parasitology   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name International Journal for Parasitology   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication OXFORD
Publication Year 1998
Year available 1998
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1016/S0020-7519(98)00043-5
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
ISSN 0020-7519
Volume 28
Issue 6
Start page 887
End page 897
Total pages 11
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Biodiversity is a term applied to describe the number, variety and variability of organisms. Its colloquial application is usually as a measure of species diversity or species richness. Thus, the concepts of "species" and "species boundaries" are integral to any discussion on biodiversity, and with them, the basal question of what constitutes meaningful variation. Protozoan taxonomy is an evolving mix of morphological and molecular characters, and is based largely on decisions made intuitively and arbitrarily using multiple characters. Where to draw species boundaries has become more difficult in the face of a bewildering level of variation uncovered in recent years, due largely to an increase in the resolution of our taxonomic techniques (e.g., ultrastructural and genetic studies). A major challenge for contemporary protozoan taxonomists is to update the existing systematic framework to incorporate our current level of knowledge and to decide on the relative importance of parasite morphology, genetics and biology to the concept of the protozoan "species". This task is compounded by the relative paucity of information on our endemic protozoan parasites. In Australia, even in vertebrate hosts, little is known of the biodiversity of parasitic protozoa. Not surprisingly, what knowledge we do have is linked to clinical disease, e.g., detailed knowledge of some species of coccidia and of some enteric ciliates, flagellates and amoebae of mammals. We have some knowledge of a few species of haemosporidia of reptiles and birds but, even here, molecular studies and experimental work are required to identify species boundaries. In view of these limitations, the best estimate of the biodiversity of Australia's parasitic protozoa in at least the vertebrate fauna of Australia, is that less than one third of the total species have been discovered to date. (C) 1998 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
Keyword biodiversity
species diversity
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Conference Paper
Sub-type: Fully published paper
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