A pathosystem is a subsystem of an ecosystem, and it is defined by parasitism. A parasite is defined here as any organism that spends a considerable proportion of its life cycle inhabiting one host individual, and obtaining nutrients from that individual. A pathosystem involves the interaction of a population of parasite individuals with a population of host individuals. Like an ecosystem, a pathosystem is a complex adaptive system with all the characteristics of self-organisation, resilience, homeostasis, and dynamic stability. A pathosystem also has subsystems (see 1.24).

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