Ecology of hemiparasitic Orobanchaceae with special reference to their interaction with plant communities

D.D. Cameron, G.K. Phoenix

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A parasite species has multiple roles in its habitat at the individual and the plant community levels, as deduced from studies on model hemiparasitic species. A parasite population can reduce the overall productivity and fecundity of susceptible species while fostering resistant species. For example, the population of forbs can increase at the expense of Rhinanthus-susceptible grasses. Reduction in host productivity by the parasite is due to both resource abstraction and suppression of host photosynthesis. Mathematical modelling described the spatio-temporally dynamic negative feedbacks between parasite and host community that can result in cycling of community composition. Parasites can also be active in nutrient recycling in the plant community. Other interactions are less obvious. The parasites interact with soil microorganisms, may benefit from host association with mycorrhizal fungi and may interact directly and indirectly with other organism including pollinators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParasitic Orobanchaceae
Subtitle of host publicationParasitic Mechanisms and Control Strategies
EditorsDaniel M. Joel, Jonathan Gressel, Lytton J. Musselman
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
PublisherSpringer Berlin
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783642381461
ISBN (Print)9783642381454, 9783642447075
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Parasitic plant
  • Host community
  • Plant community structure
  • Nurse plant
  • Great Leaf Area Index


Dive into the research topics of 'Ecology of hemiparasitic Orobanchaceae with special reference to their interaction with plant communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this