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Forests and emerging infectious diseases: unleashing the beast within

Abstract : Deforestation and associated changing landscapes are major components of environmental changes, with important implications for ecosystem functioning and biodiversity conservation. Tropical forests are hot spots of biodiversity and provide multiple goods and ecosystem services which benefit people in many ways. Forests also play an important role in health-related legends, myths, and fairy tales from all over the world, and are important sources of new potential emerging microbial threats to humans. Although plausibly numerous abundant microbial forms with a forest origin may exist, our systematic literature review shows that forest-derived infection studies are relatively unexplored, and both taxonomically and geographically biased. Since biodiversity has been associated with emergence of novel infectious diseases at macro-scale, we describe the main biogeographical patterns in the emerging infection-biodiversity-forest loss nexus. Then, we illustrate four fine-scale case studies to decipher the underlying processes of increased infection risk in changing forest clearing landscapes. Finally, we identify scientific challenges and regional management measures required to mitigate these important new emerging threats.
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Soumis le : mercredi 9 septembre 2020 - 11:01:03
Dernière modification le : lundi 29 mars 2021 - 14:42:43
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Jean-François Guégan, Ahidjo Ayouba, Julien Cappelle, Benoît de Thoisy. Forests and emerging infectious diseases: unleashing the beast within. Environmental Research Letters, IOP Publishing, 2020, 15 (8), pp.083007. ⟨10.1088/1748-9326/ab8dd7⟩. ⟨hal-02934318⟩



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