WorldWideScience

Sample records for amazonian amphibian diversity

  1. North American amphibians: distribution and diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    : Green, David M.; Weir, Linda A.; Casper, Gary S.; Lannoo, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Some 300 species of amphibians inhabit North America. The past two decades have seen an enormous growth in interest about amphibians and an increased intensity of scientific research into their fascinating biology and continent-wide distribution. This atlas presents the spectacular diversity of North American amphibians in a geographic context. It covers all formally recognized amphibian species found in the United States and Canada, many of which are endangered or threatened with extinction. Illustrated with maps and photos, the species accounts provide current information about distribution, habitat, and conservation. Researchers, professional herpetologists, and anyone intrigued by amphibians will value North American Amphibians as a guide and reference.

  2. Global patterns of amphibian phylogenetic diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritz, Susanne; Rahbek, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    phylogeny (2792 species). We combined each tree with global species distributions to map four indices of phylogenetic diversity. To investigate congruence between global spatial patterns of amphibian species richness and phylogenetic diversity, we selected Faith’s phylogenetic diversity (PD) index......Aim  Phylogenetic diversity can provide insight into how evolutionary processes may have shaped contemporary patterns of species richness. Here, we aim to test for the influence of phylogenetic history on global patterns of amphibian species richness, and to identify areas where macroevolutionary...... and the total taxonomic distinctness (TTD) index, because we found that the variance of the other two indices we examined (average taxonomic distinctness and mean root distance) strongly depended on species richness. We then identified regions with unusually high or low phylogenetic diversity given...

  3. Carbon dynamics and ecosystem diversity of Amazonian peatlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laehteenoja, O.

    2011-07-01

    The overall aim was to initiate peatland research in Amazonia, which has been referred to as 'one of the large white spots on the global peatland map'. Specifically, the study was to clarify how common peat accumulation is on Amazonian floodplains, and how extensive and thick peat deposits can be encountered. Secondly, the intention was to study how rapidly Amazonian peatlands sequester carbon, and how much carbon they store and thirdly, to gain some understanding of the diversity of peatland ecosystem types and of the processes forming these ecosystems

  4. Climate change and amphibian diversity patterns in Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ochoa-Ochoa, Leticia M.; Rodríguez, Pilar; Mora, Franz

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this article is to characterize at fine scale alpha and beta diversity patterns for Mexican amphibians and analyze how these patterns might change under a moderate climate-change scenario, highlighting the overall consequences for amphibian diversity at the country level. We used a geo...

  5. Amphibian and reptile diversity of the Lahontan Valley

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report is about a survey that was done to assess the amphibian and reptile diversity of the Lahontan Valley in Nevada. The work contained in this summary can be...

  6. Phylogenetic diversity of Amazonian tree communities

    OpenAIRE

    Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N.; Dexter, Kyle G.; Pennington, R. Toby; Chave, Jérôme; Lewis, Simon L.; Alexiades, Miguel N.; Alvarez, Esteban; Alves de Oliveira, Atila; Amaral, Iêda L.; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J. M. M.; Aymard, Gerardo A.; Baraloto, Christopher; Bonal, Damien; Brienen, Roel

    2015-01-01

    Aim: To examine variation in the phylogenetic diversity (PD) of tree communities across geographical and environmental gradients in Amazonia. Location: Two hundred and eighty-three c. 1 ha forest inventory plots from across Amazonia. Methods: We evaluated PD as the total phylogenetic branch length across species in each plot (PDss), the mean pairwise phylogenetic distance between species (MPD), the mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD) and their equivalents standardized for species richness (ses...

  7. Diversity and distribution of amphibians in Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Cogălniceanu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Nineteen species of amphibians inhabit Romania, 9 of which reach their range limit on this territory. Based on published occurrence reports, museum collections and our own data we compiled a national database of amphibian occurrences. We georeferenced 26779 amphibian species occurrences, and performed an analysis of their spatial patterns, checking for hotspots and patterns of species richness. The results of spatial statistic analyses supported the idea of a biased sampling for Romania, with clear hotspots of increased sampling efforts. The sampling effort is biased towards species with high detectability, protected areas, and large cities. Future sampling efforts should be focused mostly on species with a high rarity score in order to accurately map their range. Our results are an important step in achieving the long-term goals of increasing the efficiency of conservation efforts and evaluating the species range shifts under climate change scenarios.

  8. Towards an understanding of tree diversity in Amazonian forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stropp Carneiro, J.

    2011-01-01

    Amazonian forests harbor the highest biodiversity of all terrestrial ecosystems on Earth. The origin of this extraordinary biodiversity and its current distribution are recently becoming better understood. Still, our knowledge of the contribution of processes operating at different temporal and spat

  9. Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of amphibians. Contains teaching activities ranging from a "frog sing-along" to lessons on amphibian adaptations, and night hikes to identify frog calls. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with the activities, and a quiz. (TW)

  10. Experimental canopy removal enhances diversity of vernal pond amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skelly, David K; Bolden, Susan R; Freidenburg, L Kealoha

    2014-03-01

    Vernal ponds are often treated as protected environments receiving special regulation and management. Within the landscapes where they are found, forest vegetation frequently dominates surrounding uplands and can grow to overtop and shade pond basins. Two bodies of research offer differing views of the role of forest canopy for vernal pond systems. Studies of landscape conversion suggest that removing forest overstory within uplands can cause local extinctions of amphibians by altering terrestrial habitat or hindering movement. Studies of canopy above pond basins imply an opposite relationship; encroachment of overstory vegetation can be associated with local extinctions potentially via changes in light, thermal, and food resource environments. Unresolved uncertainties about the role of forest canopy reveal significant gaps in our understanding of wetland species distributions and dynamics. Any misunderstanding of canopy influences is simultaneously important to managers because current practices emphasize promoting or conserving vegetation growth particularly within buffers immediately adjacent to ponds. We evaluated this apparent contradiction by conducting a landscape-scale, long-term experiment using 14 natural vernal ponds. Tree felling at six manipulated ponds was limited in spatial scope but was nevertheless effective in increasing water temperature. Compared with eight control ponds, manipulated ponds maintained more amphibian species during five years post-manipulation. There was little evidence that any species was negatively influenced, and the reproductive effort of species for which we estimated egg inputs maintained pretreatment population densities in manipulated compared with control ponds. Overall, our experiment shows that a carefully circumscribed reduction of overhead forest canopy can enhance the capacity of vernal ponds to support wildlife diversity and suggests a scale dependence of canopy influences on amphibians. These findings have

  11. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…

  12. Expansion of amphibian intronless interferons revises the paradigm for interferon evolution and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sang, Yongming; Liu, Qinfang; Lee, Jinhwa; Ma, Wenjun; McVey, D Scott; Blecha, Frank

    2016-06-30

    Interferons (IFNs) are key cytokines identified in vertebrates and evolutionary dominance of intronless IFN genes in amniotes is a signature event in IFN evolution. For the first time, we show that the emergence and expansion of intronless IFN genes is evident in amphibians, shown by 24-37 intronless IFN genes in each frog species. Amphibian IFNs represent a molecular complex more complicated than those in other vertebrate species, which revises the established model of IFN evolution to facilitate re-inspection of IFN molecular and functional diversity. We identified these intronless amphibian IFNs and their intron-containing progenitors, and functionally characterized constitutive and inductive expression and antimicrobial roles in infections caused by zoonotic pathogens, such as influenza viruses and Listeria monocytogenes. Amphibians, therefore, may serve as overlooked vectors/hosts for zoonotic pathogens, and the amphibian IFN system provides a model to study IFN evolution in molecular and functional diversity in coping with dramatic environmental changes during terrestrial adaption.

  13. Historical legacies in world amphibian diversity revealed by the turnover and nestedness components of Beta diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Baselga

    Full Text Available Historic processes are expected to influence present diversity patterns in combination with contemporary environmental factors. We hypothesise that the joint use of beta diversity partitioning methods and a threshold-based approach may help reveal the effect of large-scale historic processes on present biodiversity. We partitioned intra-regional beta diversity into its turnover (differences in composition caused by species replacements and nestedness-resultant (differences in species composition caused by species losses components. We used piecewise regressions to show that, for amphibian beta diversity, two different world regions can be distinguished. Below parallel 37, beta diversity is dominated by turnover, while above parallel 37, beta diversity is dominated by nestedness. Notably, these regions are revealed when the piecewise regression method is applied to the relationship between latitude and the difference between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM and the present temperature but not when present energy-water factors are analysed. When this threshold effect of historic climatic change is partialled out, current energy-water variables become more relevant to the nestedness-resultant dissimilarity patterns, while mountainous areas are associated with higher spatial turnover. This result suggests that nested patterns are caused by species losses that are determined by physiological constraints, whereas turnover is associated with speciation and/or Pleistocene refugia. Thus, the new threshold-based view may help reveal the role of historic factors in shaping present amphibian beta diversity patterns.

  14. Historical legacies in world amphibian diversity revealed by the turnover and nestedness components of Beta diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baselga, Andrés; Gómez-Rodríguez, Carola; Lobo, Jorge M

    2012-01-01

    Historic processes are expected to influence present diversity patterns in combination with contemporary environmental factors. We hypothesise that the joint use of beta diversity partitioning methods and a threshold-based approach may help reveal the effect of large-scale historic processes on present biodiversity. We partitioned intra-regional beta diversity into its turnover (differences in composition caused by species replacements) and nestedness-resultant (differences in species composition caused by species losses) components. We used piecewise regressions to show that, for amphibian beta diversity, two different world regions can be distinguished. Below parallel 37, beta diversity is dominated by turnover, while above parallel 37, beta diversity is dominated by nestedness. Notably, these regions are revealed when the piecewise regression method is applied to the relationship between latitude and the difference between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the present temperature but not when present energy-water factors are analysed. When this threshold effect of historic climatic change is partialled out, current energy-water variables become more relevant to the nestedness-resultant dissimilarity patterns, while mountainous areas are associated with higher spatial turnover. This result suggests that nested patterns are caused by species losses that are determined by physiological constraints, whereas turnover is associated with speciation and/or Pleistocene refugia. Thus, the new threshold-based view may help reveal the role of historic factors in shaping present amphibian beta diversity patterns.

  15. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Andrew J; Lips, Karen R; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-08-01

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event. The epidemic reduced taxonomic, lineage, and phylogenetic diversity similarly. We discovered that 30 species were lost, including five undescribed species, representing 41% of total amphibian lineage diversity in El Copé. These extirpations represented 33% of the evolutionary history of amphibians within the community, and variation in the degree of population loss and decline among species was random with respect to the community phylogeny. Our approach provides a fast, economical, and informative analysis of loss in a community whether measured by species or phylogenetic diversity.

  16. Diversity and dynamics of amphibians in floodplain ecosystems of the Samara river

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. V. Zhukov

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available High emphasis is placed on amphibian importance as a buffer system, which has inhibiting effect on technogenic transformation of biogeocoenoses. Issues of the animals’ use in biological restoration, ecological rehabilitation of technogenic landscapes and in bioindication of environmental conditions are covered. Сhange in any component of the ecosystem leads to changing of the whole ecosystem. Anuran amphibians are extremely vulnerable to harmful effects of many factors of natural and anthropogenic origin. That is why, the destruction of forests, draining of wetlands, global climate change, global and local environmental pollution lead to complete disappearance or drastic decrease in numbers of many species of amphibians, reduction and fragmentation of their habitats, increased diversity and overall proportion of morphological anomalies in the natural populations of this group of animals. Recent studies of morphological changes in amphibians are increasingly being used to assess the state of the natural state of their populations and quality of their environment. In the biogeocenoses which are in the conditions of transformation amphibians have a number of advantages relative to their activity, the rate of reproduction, and euribiont character. Practical recommendations on protection and enrichment of the regional herpetofauna are given. The impact of the number and species diversity of amphibians on forest ecosystems of the steppe Dnieperin various conditions is assessed. Parametric entropy factors, the coefficient of biodiversity helped to identify the dominant species of amphibians. Taking into account the influence of predictors, there is the possibility to determine the number and species diversity of amphibians in the conditions of floodplain lime-ash forest. As a result of recording, the following species were caught: Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768, Rana arvalis Nilsson, 1842, Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758, Bombina bombina (Linnaeus, 1758

  17. Phylogenetic origins of local-scale diversity patterns and the causes of Amazonian megadiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John J; Pyron, R Alexander; Moen, Daniel S

    2011-07-01

    What explains the striking variation in local species richness across the globe and the remarkable diversity of rainforest sites in Amazonia? Here, we apply a novel phylogenetic approach to these questions, using treefrogs (Hylidae) as a model system. Hylids show dramatic variation in local richness globally and incredible local diversity in Amazonia. We find that variation in local richness is not explained primarily by climatic factors, rates of diversification (speciation and extinction) nor morphological variation. Instead, local richness patterns are explained predominantly by the timing of colonization of each region, and Amazonian megadiversity is linked to the long-term sympatry of multiple clades in that region. Our results also suggest intriguing interactions between clade diversification, trait evolution and the accumulation of local richness. Specifically, sympatry between clades seems to slow diversification and trait evolution, but prevents neither the accumulation of local richness over time nor the co-occurrence of similar species.

  18. Diversity and abundance of amphibian species in the Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Abeje Kassie Teme; Mengistu Wale Mollaleign; Asersie MekonnenAregie

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To describe the population status, abundance and diversity of amphibians found in Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland. Methods: The present study dealed with amphibian diversity at Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland during the period of August 2015 to September 2015. Transect line and visual encounter survey methods were used in careful visual estimation and amphibians were recorded in all possible habitats of the study area. Results: The total of 251 individuals of amphibians within 12 species grouped into 5 families were recorded in the Guguftu highland and Chefa wetland. Chefa wetland had the highest species abundance as well as richness with a total of 231 individuals falling in 11 species. Conclusions: This study reveals that the Chefa wetland is rich in amphibian diversity and supports many more species. Further studies are needed on molecular basis, population structure, habitat use by amphibians for better understanding and also imposing several conservation strategies in Chefa wetland.

  19. Species diversity, habitat utilization and blood parasites of amphibians in and around Ndumo Game Reserve / Edward Charles Netherlands

    OpenAIRE

    Netherlands, Edward Charles

    2014-01-01

    Ndumo Game Reserve is the only officially protected area within the Phongolo Floodplain; an area in the northern parts of KwaZulu-­‐Natal known to boast a rich diversity of amphibians, thus becoming one of the focal areas for this study. The study’s aim was to monitor and record amphibian diversity, as well as associated blood parasi...

  20. Global Amphibian Declines, Loss of Genetic Diversity and Fitness: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John O’Brien

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available It is well established that a decrease in genetic variation can lead to reduced fitness and lack of adaptability to a changing environment. Amphibians are declining on a global scale, and we present a four-point argument as to why this taxonomic group seems especially prone to such genetic processes. We elaborate on the extent of recent fragmentation of amphibian gene pools and we propose the term dissociated populations to describe the residual population structure. To put their well-documented loss of genetic diversity into context, we provide an overview of 34 studies (covering 17 amphibian species that address a link between genetic variation and >20 different fitness traits in amphibians. Although not all results are unequivocal, clear genetic-fitness-correlations (GFCs are documented in the majority of the published investigations. In light of the threats faced by amphibians, it is of particular concern that the negative effects of various pollutants, pathogens and increased UV-B radiation are magnified in individuals with little genetic variability. Indeed, ongoing loss of genetic variation might be an important underlying factor in global amphibian declines.

  1. Diversity of form in the amphibian papilla of Puerto Rican frogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, E. R.; Hecht, E. I.; Narins, P. M.

    1992-01-01

    In modern frogs, the amphibian papilla exhibits a caudal extension whose shape, relative length, and proportion of hair cells vary markedly from species to species. Tuning in the caudal extension is organized tonotopically and evidently involves the tectorium. In terms of the proportion of amphibian-papillar hair cells in the caudal extension, we report more diversity among 8 species of a single genus (Eleutherodactylus) on a single island (Puerto Rico) than has been found so far among all of the (more than 50) other modern anurans examined for this feature from around the world. These 8 Puerto Rican species have overlapping habitat and conspicuous diversity in the male advertisement call. For 7 of the 8 species, we report that the call has transient spectral components in the frequency range of the amphibian papilla, and that the proportion of caudal extension hair cells and the frequency distribution of those components are correlated. Thus one might conclude that the selective pressures that led to diversity of calls among the 8 species also led to diversity in form of the amphibian papilla.

  2. Intermediate pond sizes contain the highest density, richness, and diversity of pond-breeding amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond D Semlitsch

    Full Text Available We present data on amphibian density, species richness, and diversity from a 7140-ha area consisting of 200 ponds in the Midwestern U.S. that represents most of the possible lentic aquatic breeding habitats common in this region. Our study includes all possible breeding sites with natural and anthropogenic disturbance processes that can be missing from studies where sampling intensity is low, sample area is small, or partial disturbance gradients are sampled. We tested whether pond area was a significant predictor of density, species richness, and diversity of amphibians and if values peaked at intermediate pond areas. We found that in all cases a quadratic model fit our data significantly better than a linear model. Because small ponds have a high probability of pond drying and large ponds have a high probability of fish colonization and accumulation of invertebrate predators, drying and predation may be two mechanisms driving the peak of density and diversity towards intermediate values of pond size. We also found that not all intermediate sized ponds produced many larvae; in fact, some had low amphibian density, richness, and diversity. Further analyses of the subset of ponds represented in the peak of the area distribution showed that fish, hydroperiod, invertebrate density, and canopy are additional factors that drive density, richness and diversity of ponds up or down, when extremely small or large ponds are eliminated. Our results indicate that fishless ponds at intermediate sizes are more diverse, produce more larvae, and have greater potential to recruit juveniles into adult populations of most species sampled. Further, hylid and chorus frogs are found predictably more often in ephemeral ponds whereas bullfrogs, green frogs, and cricket frogs are found most often in permanent ponds with fish. Our data increase understanding of what factors structure and maintain amphibian diversity across large landscapes.

  3. Intermediate pond sizes contain the highest density, richness, and diversity of pond-breeding amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semlitsch, Raymond D; Peterman, William E; Anderson, Thomas L; Drake, Dana L; Ousterhout, Brittany H

    2015-01-01

    We present data on amphibian density, species richness, and diversity from a 7140-ha area consisting of 200 ponds in the Midwestern U.S. that represents most of the possible lentic aquatic breeding habitats common in this region. Our study includes all possible breeding sites with natural and anthropogenic disturbance processes that can be missing from studies where sampling intensity is low, sample area is small, or partial disturbance gradients are sampled. We tested whether pond area was a significant predictor of density, species richness, and diversity of amphibians and if values peaked at intermediate pond areas. We found that in all cases a quadratic model fit our data significantly better than a linear model. Because small ponds have a high probability of pond drying and large ponds have a high probability of fish colonization and accumulation of invertebrate predators, drying and predation may be two mechanisms driving the peak of density and diversity towards intermediate values of pond size. We also found that not all intermediate sized ponds produced many larvae; in fact, some had low amphibian density, richness, and diversity. Further analyses of the subset of ponds represented in the peak of the area distribution showed that fish, hydroperiod, invertebrate density, and canopy are additional factors that drive density, richness and diversity of ponds up or down, when extremely small or large ponds are eliminated. Our results indicate that fishless ponds at intermediate sizes are more diverse, produce more larvae, and have greater potential to recruit juveniles into adult populations of most species sampled. Further, hylid and chorus frogs are found predictably more often in ephemeral ponds whereas bullfrogs, green frogs, and cricket frogs are found most often in permanent ponds with fish. Our data increase understanding of what factors structure and maintain amphibian diversity across large landscapes.

  4. A Molecular Survey of the Diversity of Microbial Communities in Different Amazonian Agricultural Model Systems

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    Acácio A. Navarrete

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The processes of land conversion and agricultural intensification are a significant cause of biodiversity loss, with consequent negative effects both on the environment and the sustainability of food production.The anthrosols associated with pre-Colombian settlements in the Amazonian region are examples of how anthropogenic activities may sustain the native populations against harsh tropical environments for human establishment, even without a previous intentionality of anthropic soil formation. In a case study (Model I—“Slash-and-Burn” the community structures detected by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA revealed that soil archaeal, bacterial and fungal communities are heterogeneous and each capable of responding differently to environmental characteristics. ARISA data evidenced considerable difference in structure existing between microbial communities in forest and agricultural soils. In a second study (Model II—“Anthropogenic Soil”, the bacterial community structures revealed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP differed among an Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE, black carbon (BC and its adjacent non-anthropogenic oxisoil. The bacterial 16S rRNA gene (OTU richness estimated by pyrosequencing was higher in ADE than BC. The most abundant bacterial phyla in ADE soils and BC were Proteobacteria—24% ADE, 15% BC; Acidobacteria—10% ADE, 21% BC; Actinobacteria—7% ADE, 12% BC; Verrucomicrobia, 8% ADE; 9% BC; Firmicutes—3% ADE, 8% BC. Overall, unclassified bacteria corresponded to 36% ADE, and 26% BC. Regardless of current land uses, our data suggest that soil microbial community structures may be strongly influenced by the historical soil management and that anthrosols in Amazonia, of anthropogenic origins, in addition to their capacity of enhancing crop yields, may also improve microbial diversity, with the support of the black carbon, which may sustain a particular and unique habitat for the

  5. Amphibian Diversity and Threatened Species in a Severely Transformed Neotropical Region in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meza-Parral, Yocoyani; Pineda, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Many regions around the world concentrate a large number of highly endangered species that have very restricted distributions. The mountainous region of central Veracruz, Mexico, is considered a priority area for amphibian conservation because of its high level of endemism and the number of threatened species. The original tropical montane cloud forest in the region has been dramatically reduced and fragmented and is now mainly confined to ravines and hillsides. We evaluated the current situation of amphibian diversity in the cloud forest fragments of this region by analyzing species richness and abundance, comparing assemblage structure and species composition, examining the distribution and abundance of threatened species, and identifying the local and landscape variables associated with the observed amphibian diversity. From June to October 2012 we sampled ten forest fragments, investing 944 person-hours of sampling effort. A total of 895 amphibians belonging to 16 species were recorded. Notable differences in species richness, abundance, and assemblage structure between forest fragments were observed. Species composition between pairs of fragments differed by an average of 53%, with the majority (58%) resulting from species replacement and the rest (42%) explained by differences in species richness. Half of the species detected are under threat of extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and although their distribution and abundance varied markedly, there were also ubiquitous and abundant species, along with rare species of restricted distribution. The evident heterogeneity of the ten study sites indicates that to conserve amphibians in a mountainous region such as this one it is necessary to protect groups of fragments which represent the variability of the system. Both individually and together cloud forest fragments are very important to conservation because each remnant is inhabited by several threatened species, some of

  6. Diverse Early Life-History Strategies in Migratory Amazonian Catfish: Implications for Conservation and Management.

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    Jens C Hegg

    Full Text Available Animal migrations provide important ecological functions and can allow for increased biodiversity through habitat and niche diversification. However, aquatic migrations in general, and those of the world's largest fish in particular, are imperiled worldwide and are often poorly understood. Several species of large Amazonian catfish carry out some of the longest freshwater fish migrations in the world, travelling from the Amazon River estuary to the Andes foothills. These species are important apex predators in the main stem rivers of the Amazon Basin and make up the region's largest fishery. They are also the only species to utilize the entire Amazon Basin to complete their life cycle. Studies indicate both that the fisheries may be declining due to overfishing, and that the proposed and completed dams in their upstream range threaten spawning migrations. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about the details of these species' migrations, or their life history. Otolith microchemistry has been an effective method for quantifying and reconstructing fish migrations worldwide across multiple spatial scales and may provide a powerful tool to understand the movements of Amazonian migratory catfish. Our objective was to describe the migratory behaviors of the three most populous and commercially important migratory catfish species, Dourada (Brachyplatystoma rousseauxii, Piramutaba (Brachyplatystoma vaillantii, and Piraíba (Brachyplatystoma filamentosum. We collected fish from the mouth of the Amazon River and the Central Amazon and used strontium isotope signatures ((87Sr/(86Sr recorded in their otoliths to determine the location of early rearing and subsequent. Fish location was determined through discriminant function classification, using water chemistry data from the literature as a training set. Where water chemistry data was unavailable, we successfully in predicted (87Sr/(86Sr isotope values using a regression-based approach that related

  7. Morphological diversity and evolution of egg and clutch structure in amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altig, Ronald; McDiarmid, Roy W.

    2007-01-01

    The first part of this synthesis summarizes the morphology of the jelly layers surrounding an amphibian ovum. We propose a standard terminology and discuss the evolution of jelly layers. The second part reviews the morphological diversity and arrangement of deposited eggs?the ovipositional mode; we recognize 5 morphological classes including 14 modes. We discuss some of the oviductal, ovipositional, and postovipositional events that contribute to these morphologies. We have incorporated data from taxa from throughout the world but recognize that other types will be discovered that may modify understanding of these modes. Finally, we discuss the evolutionary context of the diversity of clutch structure and present a first estimate of its evolution.

  8. Amphibian diversity and endemism in the swamp forests of Agusan Marsh, Agusan del Sur, Philippines

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    Merlita L. Almeria

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Agusan Marsh, an ecologically significant wetland in the Philippines, consists of an extensivefloodplain heavily dissected by numerous rivers and streams making it a very important source offreshwater, storing more than 15% of the nation’s freshwater resource in the form of swamp forests.Since amphibians are very good indicators of climate change and ecosystem health, species diversity andendemism were assessed in sago swamp, terminalia, mixed swamp, and peat swamp forests in AgusanMarsh using a combination of cruising, pitfall trap and quadrat methods. Seventeen species with 41%endemism were recorded. Of the seven endemic species, five are Mindanao endemic. The twoundescribed species of Oreophryne and one Philautus could be new species and were observed in theterminalia, sago, and mixed swamp forests but not in the peat swamp forest. The peat swamp forestwhere the invasive Rhinella marina was abundant, had the least species richness owing to habitatdisturbance brought about by human encroachment. The highest species richness and abundance wereobserved in the terminalia forest primarily due to the presence of suitable microhabitats. Four vulnerablespecies were recorded in the marsh. Most of the vulnerable and endemic species were documented in theterminalia and mixed swamp forests. High diversity and more or less even distribution were observed inall sites. Three amphibian species are considered socio-economically important and are hunted for foodand bait for fish. The presence of endemic and vulnerable species indicates that Agusan Marsh is a keyconservation site. Logging and widespread mining, discharging tons of mine tailings into the rivers whichfind their way into the swamp forests are just some of the threats to the amphibians in the marsh.Conservation action is necessary to protect the endemic and vulnerable species in the swamp forests andthe Agusan marsh in general.

  9. Diversity and aspects of the ecology of social wasps (Vespidae, Polistinae in Central Amazonian "terra firme" forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Somavilla

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Diversity and aspects of the ecology of social wasps (Vespidae, Polistinae in Central Amazonian "terra firme" forest. The knowledge of social wasp richness and biology in the Amazonian region is considered insufficient. Although the Amazonas state is the largest in the region, until now only two brief surveys were conducted there. Considering that the systematic inventory of an area is the first step towards its conservation and wise use, this study presents faunal data on social wasp diversity in a 25 km² area of "terra firme" (upland forest at the Ducke Reserve, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. Wasps were collected in the understory, following a protocol of three collectors walking along 60 trails 1,000 m in extension for 16 days between August and October 2010. Methods used were active search of individuals with entomological nets and nest collecting. Fifty-eight species of social wasps, allocated in 13 genera, were recorded; 67% of the collected species belong to Polybia, Agelaia and Mischocyttarus; other genera were represented by only four species or less. The most frequent species in active searches were Agelaia fulvofasciata (DeGeer, 1773, Agelaia testacea (Fabricius, 1804 and Angiopolybia pallens (Lepeletier, 1836. Twelve species were collected in nests. Prior to this study, 65 Polistinae species were deposited at the INPA Collection. Collecting in the study grid, an area not previously sampled for wasps, resulted in an increase of 25% species, and species richness was 86. According to the results, there is evidence that the diversity of social wasps at the Ducke Reserve is even higher, making it one of the richest areas in the Brazilian Amazonia.

  10. Historical Legacies in World Amphibian Diversity Revealed by the Turnover and Nestedness Components of Beta Diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Andrés Baselga; Carola Gómez-Rodríguez; Jorge M. Lobo

    2012-01-01

    Historic processes are expected to influence present diversity patterns in combination with contemporary environmental factors. We hypothesise that the joint use of beta diversity partitioning methods and a threshold-based approach may help reveal the effect of large-scale historic processes on present biodiversity. We partitioned intra-regional beta diversity into its turnover (differences in composition caused by species replacements) and nestedness-resultant (differences in species composi...

  11. Global comparisons of beta diversity among mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians across spatial scales and taxonomic ranks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hong QIAN

    2009-01-01

    Beta diversity is the change in species composition among areas in a geographic region. The proportion of species shared between two areas often decreases when the distance separating them increases, leading to an increase in beta diversity. This study compares beta diversity among four classes of terrestrial vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians) at both regional (biogeographic realm) and global extents, using the same sets of faunal sample units for all four groups in each comparison. Beta diversity is lower for the two endothermic taxa (birds and mammals) than for the two ectothermic taxa (reptiles and amphibians) in all six biogeographic realms examined. When the four taxa in the six biogeographic realms are combined, beta diversity at the species rank is higher than that of the genus rank by a factor of 1.24, and is higher than that of the family rank by a factor of 1.85. The ratio of beta diversity at the genus rank to that at the family rank is 1.50. Beta diversity is slightly higher for ecoregious of 5000-99,999 km2 than for ecoregions of 100,000-5,000,000 km2.

  12. Amazonian coca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plowman, T

    1981-01-01

    A general overview of various aspects of Amazonian coca (Erythroxylum coca var. ipadu) is presented. This plant is considered a distinct variety of coca which has been developed as a cultivated plant in the upper Amazon basin. It differs from typical Andean coca in morphological, physiological and chemical features as well as in the method of preparation and use by Amazonian tribes. The main topics here discussed are the history, distribution, botany, chemistry, origin, methods of preparation and use, and the effects of Amazonian coca.

  13. A trans-Amazonian screening of mtDNA reveals deep intraspecific divergence in forest birds and suggests a vast underestimation of species diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borja Milá

    Full Text Available The Amazonian avifauna remains severely understudied relative to that of the temperate zone, and its species richness is thought to be underestimated by current taxonomy. Recent molecular systematic studies using mtDNA sequence reveal that traditionally accepted species-level taxa often conceal genetically divergent subspecific lineages found to represent new species upon close taxonomic scrutiny, suggesting that intraspecific mtDNA variation could be useful in species discovery. Surveys of mtDNA variation in Holarctic species have revealed patterns of variation that are largely congruent with species boundaries. However, little information exists on intraspecific divergence in most Amazonian species. Here we screen intraspecific mtDNA genetic variation in 41 Amazonian forest understory species belonging to 36 genera and 17 families in 6 orders, using 758 individual samples from Ecuador and French Guiana. For 13 of these species, we also analyzed trans-Andean populations from the Ecuadorian Chocó. A consistent pattern of deep intraspecific divergence among trans-Amazonian haplogroups was found for 33 of the 41 taxa, and genetic differentiation and genetic diversity among them was highly variable, suggesting a complex range of evolutionary histories. Mean sequence divergence within families was the same as that found in North American birds (13%, yet mean intraspecific divergence in Neotropical species was an order of magnitude larger (2.13% vs. 0.23%, with mean distance between intraspecific lineages reaching 3.56%. We found no clear relationship between genetic distances and differentiation in plumage color. Our results identify numerous genetically and phenotypically divergent lineages which may result in new species-level designations upon closer taxonomic scrutiny and thorough sampling, although lineages in the tropical region could be older than those in the temperate zone without necessarily representing separate species. In

  14. Hyperdominance in Amazonian forest carbon cycling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fauset, S.; Arets, E.J.M.M.; Steege, ter H.; Pena Claros, M.; Poorter, L.; Levis, C.; Toledo, M.

    2015-01-01

    While Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, the abundance of trees is skewed strongly towards relatively few ‘hyperdominant’ species. In addition to their diversity, Amazonian trees are a key component of the global carbon cycle, assimilating and storing more carbon than any other ecosystem

  15. Additive threats from pathogens, climate and land-use change for global amphibian diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hof, Christian; Araújo, Miguel B; Jetz, Walter; Rahbek, Carsten

    2011-11-16

    Amphibian population declines far exceed those of other vertebrate groups, with 30% of all species listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The causes of these declines are a matter of continued research, but probably include climate change, land-use change and spread of the pathogenic fungal disease chytridiomycosis. Here we assess the spatial distribution and interactions of these primary threats in relation to the global distribution of amphibian species. We show that the greatest proportions of species negatively affected by climate change are projected to be found in Africa, parts of northern South America and the Andes. Regions with the highest projected impact of land-use and climate change coincide, but there is little spatial overlap with regions highly threatened by the fungal disease. Overall, the areas harbouring the richest amphibian faunas are disproportionately more affected by one or multiple threat factors than areas with low richness. Amphibian declines are likely to accelerate in the twenty-first century, because multiple drivers of extinction could jeopardize their populations more than previous, mono-causal, assessments have suggested.

  16. Expansion of amphibian intronless interferons revises the paradigm for interferon evolution and functional diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interferons (IFNs) are key cytokines identified in vertebrates, and evolutionary dominance of intronless IFN genes in amniotes is a signature event in IFN evolution. For the first time, we show that the emergence and expansion of intronless IFN genes is evident in amphibians, shown by 24-37 intronle...

  17. Additive threats from pathogens, climate and land-use change for global amphibian diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Jetz, Walter

    2011-01-01

    are disproportionately more affected by one or multiple threat factors than areas with low richness. Amphibian declines are likely to accelerate in the twenty-first century, because multiple drivers of extinction could jeopardize their populations more than previous, mono-causal, assessments have suggested....

  18. Diversity of pulsed field gel electrophoresis pulsotypes, serovars and antibiotic resistance among Salmonella isolates from wild amphibians and reptiles in the California central coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    A survey of cold-blooded vertebrates and associated surface waters in a produce-growing region on the Central California Coast was done between May and September, 2011 to determine the diversity of Salmonella strains in these habitats and individuals. Samples from 460 amphibians and reptiles and 119...

  19. Amphibian beta diversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: contrasting the roles of historical events and contemporary conditions at different spatial scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Rodrigues da Silva

    Full Text Available Current patterns of biodiversity distribution result from a combination of historical and contemporary processes. Here, we compiled checklists of amphibian species to assess the roles of long-term climate stability (Quaternary oscillations, contemporary environmental gradients and geographical distance as determinants of change in amphibian taxonomic and phylogenetic composition in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We calculated beta diversity as both variation in species composition (CBD and phylogenetic differentiation (PBD among the assemblages. In both cases, overall beta diversity was partitioned into two basic components: species replacement and difference in species richness. Our results suggest that the CBD and PBD of amphibians are determined by spatial turnover. Geographical distance, current environmental gradients and long-term climatic conditions were complementary predictors of the variation in CBD and PBD of amphibian species. Furthermore, the turnover components between sites from different regions and between sites within the stable region were greater than between sites within the unstable region. On the other hand, the proportion of beta-diversity due to species richness difference for both CBD and PBD was higher between sites in the unstable region than between sites in the stable region. The high turnover components from CBD and PBD between sites in unstable vs stable regions suggest that these distinct regions have different biogeographic histories. Sites in the stable region shared distinct clades that might have led to greater diversity, whereas sites in the unstable region shared close relatives. Taken together, these results indicate that speciation, environmental filtering and limited dispersal are complementary drivers of beta-diversity of amphibian assemblages in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

  20. Diversity of Andean amphibians of the Tamá National Natural Park in Colombia: a survey for the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acevedo, A. A.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Changes in diversity and possible decreases in populations of amphibians have not yet been determined in many areas in the Andes. This study aimed to develop an inventory of the biodiversity of amphibians in the Andean areas of the Tamá National Natural Park (Tamá NNP and to evaluate the patterns of infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd in preserved and degraded areas. We performed samplings focused on three habitats (forest, open areas and streams in four localities from 2,000 to 3,200 m in altitude. Fourteen species were recorded, 12 of which were positive for Bd. A total of 541 individuals were diagnosed and 100 were positive. Our analyses showed that preserved areas play an important role in keeping many individuals Bd–free as compared to those in degraded areas. This was the first study to evaluate diversity and infection by Bd in the northeast region of Colombia. Our findings may help improve our knowledge of the diversity of amphibian species in the area and facilitate the implementation of action plans to mitigate the causes associated with the decrease in amphibian populations.

  1. Life-cycle evolution as response to diverse lake habitats in Paleozoic amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoch, Rainer R

    2009-10-01

    The evolution of life cycles forms the subject of numerous studies on extant organisms, but is rarely documented in the fossil record. Here, I analyze patterns of development in time-averaged samples of late Carboniferous and early Permian amphibians, and compare them to paleoecological patterns derived from the same deposits located within a large sedimentary basin (Saar-Nahe, Germany). In 300-297 million years (myr) old Sclerocephalus haeuseri (1-1.7 m), adult size, morphology, and the course of ontogeny varied with respect to the habitats in which the species existed. These differences are best exemplified by ontogenetic trajectories, which reveal a full range of modifications correlating with environmental parameters (lake properties, food resources, competitors). In a 2- to 3-myr-long interval, six different lake habitats were inhabited by this species, which responded to changes by modification of growth rate, adult size, developmental sequence, skeletal features, prey preference, and relative degree of terrestriality.

  2. Comparative Phylogeography Reveals Cryptic Diversity and Repeated Patterns of Cladogenesis for Amphibians and Reptiles in Northwestern Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arteaga, Alejandro; Pyron, R Alexander; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Romero-Barreto, Paulina; Culebras, Jaime; Bustamante, Lucas; Yánez-Muñoz, Mario H; Guayasamin, Juan M

    2016-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography allow us to understand how shared historical circumstances have shaped the formation of lineages, by examining a broad spectrum of co-distributed populations of different taxa. However, these types of studies are scarce in the Neotropics, a region that is characterized by high diversity, complex geology, and poorly understood biogeography. Here, we investigate the diversification patterns of five lineages of amphibians and reptiles, co-distributed across the Choco and Andes ecoregions in northwestern Ecuador. Mitochondrial DNA and occurrence records were used to determine the degree of geographic genetic divergence within species. Our results highlight congruent patterns of parapatric speciation and common geographical barriers for distantly related taxa. These comparisons indicate similar biological and demographic characteristics for the included clades, and reveal the existence of two new species of Pristimantis previously subsumed under P. walkeri, which we describe herein. Our data supports the hypothesis that widely distributed Chocoan taxa may generally experience their greatest opportunities for isolation and parapatric speciation across thermal elevational gradients. Finally, our study provides critical information to predict which unstudied lineages may harbor cryptic diversity, and how geology and climate are likely to have shaped their evolutionary history.

  3. Comparative Phylogeography Reveals Cryptic Diversity and Repeated Patterns of Cladogenesis for Amphibians and Reptiles in Northwestern Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyron, R. Alexander; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Romero-Barreto, Paulina; Culebras, Jaime; Bustamante, Lucas; Yánez-Muñoz, Mario H.; Guayasamin, Juan M.

    2016-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography allow us to understand how shared historical circumstances have shaped the formation of lineages, by examining a broad spectrum of co-distributed populations of different taxa. However, these types of studies are scarce in the Neotropics, a region that is characterized by high diversity, complex geology, and poorly understood biogeography. Here, we investigate the diversification patterns of five lineages of amphibians and reptiles, co-distributed across the Choco and Andes ecoregions in northwestern Ecuador. Mitochondrial DNA and occurrence records were used to determine the degree of geographic genetic divergence within species. Our results highlight congruent patterns of parapatric speciation and common geographical barriers for distantly related taxa. These comparisons indicate similar biological and demographic characteristics for the included clades, and reveal the existence of two new species of Pristimantis previously subsumed under P. walkeri, which we describe herein. Our data supports the hypothesis that widely distributed Chocoan taxa may generally experience their greatest opportunities for isolation and parapatric speciation across thermal elevational gradients. Finally, our study provides critical information to predict which unstudied lineages may harbor cryptic diversity, and how geology and climate are likely to have shaped their evolutionary history. PMID:27120100

  4. Comparative Phylogeography Reveals Cryptic Diversity and Repeated Patterns of Cladogenesis for Amphibians and Reptiles in Northwestern Ecuador.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Arteaga

    Full Text Available Comparative phylogeography allow us to understand how shared historical circumstances have shaped the formation of lineages, by examining a broad spectrum of co-distributed populations of different taxa. However, these types of studies are scarce in the Neotropics, a region that is characterized by high diversity, complex geology, and poorly understood biogeography. Here, we investigate the diversification patterns of five lineages of amphibians and reptiles, co-distributed across the Choco and Andes ecoregions in northwestern Ecuador. Mitochondrial DNA and occurrence records were used to determine the degree of geographic genetic divergence within species. Our results highlight congruent patterns of parapatric speciation and common geographical barriers for distantly related taxa. These comparisons indicate similar biological and demographic characteristics for the included clades, and reveal the existence of two new species of Pristimantis previously subsumed under P. walkeri, which we describe herein. Our data supports the hypothesis that widely distributed Chocoan taxa may generally experience their greatest opportunities for isolation and parapatric speciation across thermal elevational gradients. Finally, our study provides critical information to predict which unstudied lineages may harbor cryptic diversity, and how geology and climate are likely to have shaped their evolutionary history.

  5. Diversity of bile salts in fish and amphibians: evolution of a complex biochemical pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagey, Lee R; Møller, Peter R; Hofmann, Alan F; Krasowski, Matthew D

    2010-01-01

    Bile salts are the major end metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion, as well as shaping of the gut microflora. Previous studies had demonstrated variation of bile salt structures across vertebrate species. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt variation in fish and amphibians, particularly in analysis of the biliary bile salts of Agnatha and Chondrichthyes. While there is significant structural variation of bile salts across all fish orders, bile salt profiles are generally stable within orders of fish and do not correlate with differences in diet. This large data set allowed us to infer evolutionary changes in the bile salt synthetic pathway. The hypothesized ancestral bile salt synthetic pathway, likely exemplified in extant hagfish, is simpler and much shorter than the pathway of most teleost fish and terrestrial vertebrates. Thus, the bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt synthetic pathways provides a rich model system for the molecular evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates.

  6. 云南省镇沅县两栖动物多样性研究%Study on the Diversity of Amphibians in Zhenyuan County of Yunnan Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李奇生; 张庆; 周杰珑; 杨丽萍

    2012-01-01

    Amphibian habitat is divided into residential areas, paddy field, lakes, rivers, woodlands and forest stream in Zhenyuan County of Yunnan Province, and different habitats were surveyed by setting transects. 10m×l000 m belt transects were designed and 50 transects were involved. Finally, 2096 amphibians were recorded, which belongs to 2 orders, 7 families 22 species; the diversity of amphibians in each habitat was evaluated using Shannon-weaver index and Pielou index, and the relationship of the habitat of amphibians and the human activities with amphibian diversity were also discussed.%对云南省镇沅县两栖动物生境的居民区、水田、湖泊、农地溪流、林地以及林区山涧等不同生境进行样带调查,设计样带10m×1000m,共涉及调查样带50条.共记录两栖动物2096只,隶属2目、7科、22种;利用物种多样性测定法(Shannon-weaver index & Pielou index)评价了各生境条件下两栖动物的多样性,并进一步探讨了两栖动物物种多样性与栖息环境的关系及其与人类活动干扰程度的关系.

  7. Species composition, diversity and relative abundance of amphibians in forests and non-forest habitats on Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nur Johana, J.; Muzzneena, A. M.; Grismer, L. L.; Norhayati, A.

    2016-11-01

    Anurans on Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia exhibit variation in their habits and forms, ranging from small (SVL 150 mm), and occupy a range of habitats, such as riverine forests, agricultural fields, peat swamps, and lowland and upland dipterocarp forests. These variations provide a platform to explore species diversity, distribution, abundance, microhabitat, and other ecological parameters to understand the distribution patterns and to facilitate conservation and management of sensitive or important species and areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diversity and distribution of anuran species in different types of habitat on Langkawi Island. Specimens were collected based on active sampling using the Visual Encounter Survey (VES) method. We surveyed anuran species inhabiting seven types of habitat, namely agriculture (AG), coastal (CL), forest (FT), pond (PD), mangrove (MG), riparian forest (RF) and river (RV). A total of 775 individuals were sampled from all localities, representing 23 species from 12 genera and included all six families of frogs in Malaysia. FT and RF showed high values of Shannon Index, H', 2.60 and 2.38, respectively, followed by the other types of habitat, CL (1.82), RV (1.71), MG (1.56), PD (1.54), and AG (1.53). AG had the highest abundance (156 individuals) compared to other habitat types. Based on Cluster Analysis by using Jaccard coefficient (UPGMA), two groups can be clearly seen and assigned as forested species group (FT and RF) and species associating with human activity (AG, CL, PD, MG and RV). Forest species group is more diverse compared to non-forest group. Nevertheless, non-forest species are found in abundance, highlighting the relevance of these disturbed habitats in supporting the amphibians.

  8. 泉州市两栖动物物种多样性研究%Research on Species Diversity of Amphibian Species in Quanzhou City

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何中声; 刘金福; 洪伟; 王智苑; 郑雯; 杨文晖

    2012-01-01

    A survey of amphibian species of Quanzhou City was conducted and the diversity of amphibian species was assessed by using diversity indices and G-Findex. Also the cluster analysis of amphibian species' geographical distribution was studied in Quanzhou City. The results showed that there were thirty-two species amphibian in Quanzhou City, belonging to eleven geners, seven families and two orders. The species diversity of amphibian species in different City was significant. Amphibian species in Dehua was the most including 27 species, the second ones were Yongchun including 17 species and the area of Licheng and Shishi was the least including only 3 species because of the amphibian habitat was severely destroyed by the industry development. The G-F indices of amphibian species in Dehua was the highest value with /'-index 3.54 and C-index 2.43 among all the districts of Quanzhou area, while those of G-F indices was the lowest with F-index 0.69 and C-index 0.33 in Licheng and Shishi. The cluster analysis showed that the distribution of amphibian species in Quanzhou City was effected by the factors of geographical position, temperature and climates. The results could provide a scientific basis for amphibian species conservation and monitor in Quanzhou City.%通过对福建省泉州市两栖动物资源进行调查,采用物种多样性指数和G-F指数对泉州市两栖动物多样性进行评估以及对其地理分布进行了聚类分析.结果表明,泉州市两栖动物共计32种,隶属2目7科11属;各地区的两栖类物种多样性差异较大,德化两栖动物的种类最多,为27种,其次是永春,为17种,物种数最少的分别是鲤城和石狮,均为3种.其中德化两栖类的F指数达3.54,G指数达2.43,为泉州地区最高,鲤城和石狮的F指数(0.69)和G指数(0.33)均为泉州地区的最低值;聚类分析表明两栖动物在泉州地区的分布主要受地理位置、温度和气候等因素影响.研究结果为泉州市两栖动

  9. Species Diversity and Distribution of Amphibians and Reptiles in Nature Park "Sinite Kamani" in Stara Planina Mt. (Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanimira R. Deleva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The current study presents briefly the species composition and distribution of the amphibians and reptiles in the Nature Park "Sinite Kamani" in Stara Planina Mnt. Bulgaria, based on a 2×2 km UTM grid. Between 2012 and 2014, we identified total 20 species (7 amphibians and 13 reptiles. We documented three new amphibian species for the region (Hyla arborea, Rana dalmatina and Rana graeca, which is discovered for the area for the first time and three species of reptiles (Testudo hermanni, Ablepharus kitaibelii and Lacerta trilienata. The contemporary conservation status for each species is presented and conservation threats and problems, specific for the park are discussed.

  10. Genetic evidence for a high diversity and wide distribution of endemic strains of the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild Asian amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bataille, Arnaud; Fong, Jonathan J; Cha, Moonsuk; Wogan, Guinevere O U; Baek, Hae Jun; Lee, Hang; Min, Mi-Sook; Waldman, Bruce

    2013-08-01

    Population declines and extinctions of amphibians have been attributed to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), especially one globally emerging recombinant lineage ('Bd-GPL'). We used PCR assays that target the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of Bd to determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of Bd in South Korea, where Bd is widely distributed but is not known to cause morbidity or mortality in wild populations. We isolated Korean Bd strains from native amphibians with low infection loads and compared them to known worldwide Bd strains using 19 polymorphic SNP and microsatellite loci. Bd prevalence ranged between 12.5 and 48.0%, in 11 of 17 native Korean species, and 24.7% in the introduced bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus. Based on ITS sequence variation, 47 of the 50 identified Korean haplotypes formed a group closely associated with a native Brazilian Bd lineage, separated from the Bd-GPL lineage. However, multilocus genotyping of three Korean Bd isolates revealed strong divergence from both Bd-GPL and the native Brazilian Bd lineages. Thus, the ITS region resolves genotypes that diverge from Bd-GPL but otherwise generates ambiguous phylogenies. Our results point to the presence of highly diversified endemic strains of Bd across Asian amphibian species. The rarity of Bd-GPL-associated haplotypes suggests that either this lineage was introduced into Korea only recently or Bd-GPL has been outcompeted by native Bd strains. Our results highlight the need to consider possible complex interactions among native Bd lineages, Bd-GPL and their associated amphibian hosts when assessing the spread and impact of Bd-GPL on worldwide amphibian populations.

  11. Voices of Contact: Politics of Language in Urban Amazonian Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wroblewski, Michael

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation is a study of diverse linguistic resources and contentious identity politics among indigenous Amazonian Kichwas in the city of Tena, Ecuador. Tena is a rapidly developing Amazonian provincial capital city with a long history of interethnic and interlinguistic contact. In recent decades, the course of indigenous Kichwa identity…

  12. High Species Richness of Scinax Treefrogs (Hylidae) in a Threatened Amazonian Landscape Revealed by an Integrative Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrão, Miquéias; Colatreli, Olavo; de Fraga, Rafael; Kaefer, Igor L; Moravec, Jiří; Lima, Albertina P

    2016-01-01

    Rising habitat loss is one of the main drivers of the global amphibian decline. Nevertheless, knowledge of amphibian diversity needed for effective habitat protection is still highly inadequate in remote tropical regions, the greater part of the Amazonia. In this study we integrated molecular, morphological and bioacoustic evidence to evaluate the species richness of the treefrogs genus Scinax over a 1000 km transect across rainforest of the Purus-Madeira interfluve, and along the east bank of the upper Madeira river, Brazilian Amazonia. Analysis revealed that 82% of the regional species richness of Scinax is still undescribed; two nominal species, seven confirmed candidate species, two unconfirmed candidate species, and one deep conspecific lineage were detected in the study area. DNA barcoding based analysis of the 16s rRNA gene indicates possible existence of three discrete species groups within the genus Scinax, in addition to the already-known S. rostratus species Group. Quantifying and characterizing the number of undescribed Scinax taxa on a regional scale, we provide a framework for future taxonomic study in Amazonia. These findings indicate that the level to which Amazonian anura species richness has been underestimated is far greater than expected. Consequently, special attention should be paid both to taxonomic studies and protection of the still-neglected Amazonian Scinax treefrogs.

  13. High Species Richness of Scinax Treefrogs (Hylidae) in a Threatened Amazonian Landscape Revealed by an Integrative Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrão, Miquéias; Colatreli, Olavo; de Fraga, Rafael; Kaefer, Igor L.; Moravec, Jiří; Lima, Albertina P.

    2016-01-01

    Rising habitat loss is one of the main drivers of the global amphibian decline. Nevertheless, knowledge of amphibian diversity needed for effective habitat protection is still highly inadequate in remote tropical regions, the greater part of the Amazonia. In this study we integrated molecular, morphological and bioacoustic evidence to evaluate the species richness of the treefrogs genus Scinax over a 1000 km transect across rainforest of the Purus-Madeira interfluve, and along the east bank of the upper Madeira river, Brazilian Amazonia. Analysis revealed that 82% of the regional species richness of Scinax is still undescribed; two nominal species, seven confirmed candidate species, two unconfirmed candidate species, and one deep conspecific lineage were detected in the study area. DNA barcoding based analysis of the 16s rRNA gene indicates possible existence of three discrete species groups within the genus Scinax, in addition to the already-known S. rostratus species Group. Quantifying and characterizing the number of undescribed Scinax taxa on a regional scale, we provide a framework for future taxonomic study in Amazonia. These findings indicate that the level to which Amazonian anura species richness has been underestimated is far greater than expected. Consequently, special attention should be paid both to taxonomic studies and protection of the still-neglected Amazonian Scinax treefrogs. PMID:27806089

  14. How much effort should be employed for surveying a low-diversity Amazonian mammal assemblage using line-transects?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ítalo Mourthé

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Line-transect surveys are commonly used for sampling large mammals, but estimates of the effort needed to reliably surveying low-diversity assemblages of mammals are scarce. Using data from line-transects and species accumulation curves, I examined whether or not a sampling effort previously suggested to survey mammals elsewhere (ca. 85-100 km would be satisfactory for surveying a low-diversity assemblage of large mammals in the Rio Negro basin in northern Amazonia. In total, 14 mammals were recorded after an accumulated effort of 690 km walked. The desired threshold of completeness was only achieved in one of six transects after an average effort of 115 km surveyed. Considering the entire landscape (all transects pooled, survey completeness was reached after a much higher effort. Moreover, the theoretical effort required to achieve completeness was estimated to be 150-360 km per transect, and 512 km for the landscape. Further studies are required to fully understand this issue, but meanwhile it is safest to assume that higher sampling efforts should be employed when surveying low-diversity assemblages through diurnal line-transects in northwestern Amazonia to get robust estimates of mammal richness.

  15. Density and diversity of diazotrophic bacteria isolated from Amazonian soils using N-free semi-solid media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krisle da Silva

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Non-symbiotic diazotrophic bacteria are amongst the most important functional groups of soil-dwelling microorganisms. These bacteria contribute to plant growth predominantly through biological N2 fixation. Here, we evaluated the density and diversity of non-symbiotic diazotrophic bacteria in soils taken from diverse land use systems (LUS in Amazonia using nitrogen-free media. A total of 30 soil samples were collected from the following LUS: pristine forest, young secondary forest, old secondary forest, agroforestry, agriculture and pasture. Bacterial density was evaluated by the most probable number (MPN method utilizing N-free semi-solid media with varied compositions (JNFb, NFb, LGI and Fam. Individual isolates were characterized by colony and cellular morphology as well as total protein profiles and nitrogenase activity. Isolate genotypes were determined by partial 16S rDNA sequences. No typical diazotrophic growth in the JNFb medium was observed. Bacterial densities in the NFb medium were higher in the agriculture and agroforestry soil samples. In LGI and Fam media, bacterial densities were highest in the pasture soil samples. Overall, 22 isolates with high phenotypic diversity were obtained. Eleven isolates exhibited nitrogenase activity. Sequences of 16S rDNA genes of 14 out of 19 isolates had similarities below 100 % with known nitrogen-fixing species. Isolates were identified as belonging to the Burkholderia, Enterobacter, Serratia, Klebsiella, and Bacillus genera. A higher number of isolates from pasture soil samples were isolated, with the majority of these belonging to the Burkholderia and Bacillus genera. Among the isolates, unknown sequences were obtained, possibly indicating new species. Taken together, these data demonstrate that Fam, NFb, and LGI semi-solid media allowed the growth of diazotrophic bacteria belonging to different phylogenetic lines.

  16. The Amphibians and Reptiles Species Diversity in Jiangxi%江西两栖爬行动物物种多样性研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    涂飞云; 韩卫杰; 孙志勇; 刘晓华; 黄挺; 黄晓凤

    2015-01-01

    弄清区域物种组成是区域物种多样性保护的基础。本研究参照最新版本的两栖爬行动物分类体系,通过查阅文献资料确定江西两栖爬行动物组成及受威胁物种状况,并根据物种组成分析了区系特点。经确认江西两栖动物有2目8科24属63种,爬行动物2目18科55属93种。两栖爬行动物区系均东洋界占绝对优势,分布型上均以南中国型占绝对优势,其次是东洋型。江西两栖、爬行动物受威胁物种数分别占江西两栖、爬行动物总物种数的20.6%和32.3%。研究认为应加强对受威胁物种,特别是极危等级物种的重点调查与监测。%The understanding of regional species composition is the foundation of regional species di-versity conservation. The amphibians and reptiles composition and the threat species condition were confirmed by documented literature following the latest taxonomic system. Additionally the fauna was analyzed according to the species composition. The results confirm that there are 63 amphibian spe-cies ( belonging to 2 orders 8 families 24 genera ) and 93 reptile species ( 2 orders 18 families 55 genera) within Jiangxi. Both amphibian and reptile fauna are dominated by the oriental realm spe-cies. As for distribution types,the Southern China type species are dominate,and the oriental type species are in the second place. The proportions of the threat species of amphibians and reptiles with-in Jiangxi are 20 . 6% and 32 . 3%. The study proposes that more investigation and monitor should be conducted for the critically endangered species.

  17. Molecular-based rapid inventories of sympatric diversity: A comparison of DNA barcode clustering methods applied to geography-based vs clade-based sampling of amphibians

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Andrea Paz; Andrew J Crawford

    2012-11-01

    Molecular markers offer a universal source of data for quantifying biodiversity. DNA barcoding uses a standardized genetic marker and a curated reference database to identify known species and to reveal cryptic diversity within well-sampled clades. Rapid biological inventories, e.g. rapid assessment programs (RAPs), unlike most barcoding campaigns, are focused on particular geographic localities rather than on clades. Because of the potentially sparse phylogenetic sampling, the addition of DNA barcoding to RAPs may present a greater challenge for the identification of named species or for revealing cryptic diversity. In this article we evaluate the use of DNA barcoding for quantifying lineage diversity within a single sampling site as compared to clade-based sampling, and present examples from amphibians. We compared algorithms for identifying DNA barcode clusters (e.g. species, cryptic species or Evolutionary Significant Units) using previously published DNA barcode data obtained from geography-based sampling at a site in Central Panama, and from clade-based sampling in Madagascar. We found that clustering algorithms based on genetic distance performed similarly on sympatric as well as clade-based barcode data, while a promising coalescent-based method performed poorly on sympatric data. The various clustering algorithms were also compared in terms of speed and software implementation. Although each method has its shortcomings in certain contexts, we recommend the use of the ABGD method, which not only performs fairly well under either sampling method, but does so in a few seconds and with a user-friendly Web interface.

  18. Molecular-based rapid inventories of sympatric diversity: a comparison of DNA barcode clustering methods applied to geography-based vs clade-based sampling of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz, Andrea; Crawford, Andrew J

    2012-11-01

    Molecular markers offer a universal source of data for quantifying biodiversity. DNA barcoding uses a standardized genetic marker and a curated reference database to identify known species and to reveal cryptic diversity within wellsampled clades. Rapid biological inventories, e.g. rapid assessment programs (RAPs), unlike most barcoding campaigns, are focused on particular geographic localities rather than on clades. Because of the potentially sparse phylogenetic sampling, the addition of DNA barcoding to RAPs may present a greater challenge for the identification of named species or for revealing cryptic diversity. In this article we evaluate the use of DNA barcoding for quantifying lineage diversity within a single sampling site as compared to clade-based sampling, and present examples from amphibians. We compared algorithms for identifying DNA barcode clusters (e.g. species, cryptic species or Evolutionary Significant Units) using previously published DNA barcode data obtained from geography-based sampling at a site in Central Panama, and from clade-based sampling in Madagascar. We found that clustering algorithms based on genetic distance performed similarly on sympatric as well as clade-based barcode data, while a promising coalescent-based method performed poorly on sympatric data. The various clustering algorithms were also compared in terms of speed and software implementation. Although each method has its shortcomings in certain contexts, we recommend the use of the ABGD method, which not only performs fairly well under either sampling method, but does so in a few seconds and with a user-friendly Web interface.

  19. Rich diversity and potency of skin antioxidant peptides revealed a novel molecular basis for high-altitude adaptation of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xinwang; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Yue; Lee, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Yun

    2016-01-27

    Elucidating the mechanisms of high-altitude adaptation is an important research area in modern biology. To date, however, knowledge has been limited to the genetic mechanisms of adaptation to the lower oxygen and temperature levels prevalent at high altitudes, with adaptation to UV radiation largely neglected. Furthermore, few proteomic or peptidomic analyses of these factors have been performed. In this study, the molecular adaptation of high-altitude Odorrana andersonii and cavernicolous O. wuchuanensis to elevated UV radiation was investigated. Compared with O. wuchuanensis, O. andersonii exhibited greater diversity and free radical scavenging potentiality of skin antioxidant peptides to cope with UV radiation. This implied that O. andersonii evolved a much more complicated and powerful skin antioxidant peptide system to survive high-altitude UV levels. Our results provided valuable peptidomic clues for understanding the novel molecular basis for adaptation to high elevation habitats.

  20. Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M

    2009-01-01

    The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered.

  1. Diversity of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pulsotypes, serovars, and antibiotic resistance among Salmonella isolates from wild amphibians and reptiles in the California Central Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorski, Lisa; Jay-Russell, Michele T; Liang, Anita S; Walker, Samarpita; Bengson, Yingjia; Govoni, Jessica; Mandrell, Robert E

    2013-06-01

    A survey of cold-blooded vertebrates and associated surface waters in a produce-growing region on the Central California Coast was done between May and September 2011 to determine the diversity of Salmonella. Samples from 460 amphibians and reptiles and 119 water samples were collected and cultured for Salmonella. Animals sampled were frogs (n=331), lizards (n=59), newts (n=5), salamanders (n=6), snakes (n=39), and toads (n=20). Salmonella was isolated from 37 individual animals, including frogs, lizards, snakes, and toads. Snakes were the most likely to contain Salmonella, with 59% testing positive followed by 15.3% of lizards, 5% of toads, and 1.2% of frogs. Fifteen water samples (12.6%) were positive. Twenty-two different serovars were identified, and the majority of isolates were S. enterica subsp. IIIb, with subsp. I, II, and IIIa also found. The serovar isolated most frequently was S. enterica subsp. IIIb 16:z₁₀:e,n,x,z₁₅, from snakes and frogs in five different locations. S. enterica subsp. I serovar Typhimurium and the monophasic I 6,8:d:- were isolated from water, and subspecies I Duisburg and its variants were found in animals and water. Some samples contained more than one type of Salmonella. Analysis of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pulsotypes indicated that some strains persisted in animals and water collected from the same location. Sixty-six isolates displayed antibiotic resistance, with 27 isolates resistant to more than one antibiotic, including a subspecies IIIb isolate from snake having resistance to five different antibiotics. Twenty-three isolates were resistant to more than one class of antibiotic, and six isolates were resistant to three classes. While these subspecies of IIIa and IIIb cause fewer instances of human illness, they may serve as reservoirs of antibiotic resistance, determinants in the environment, and be sources of contamination of leafy greens associated with product recalls.

  2. Floristic composition and diversity of Amazonian rainforest bryophytes in the state of Acre, Brazil Composição florística e diversidade de briófitas em floresta no estado do Acre, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Pinheiro da Costa

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Bryophyte diversity in Amazonian Brazil is high, presently recorded at 514 species distributed among 36 families and 89 genera. Comparisions of species richness among the Amazonian states of Brazil suggests that the bryoflora of Acre is still underestimated, presently recorded at 106 species distributed among 33 families and 63 genera. After two field trips, the diversity increased 50% showing that the bryoflora is still poorly known. Collection data and comments on morphology, ecology and distribution are given for sixty-two species of bryophytes collected in the state of Acre, Brazil, which are new (fifty-two species or interesting floristic records (ten species. Microlejeunea crenulifolia (Gottsche Steph. and Stictolejeunea balfourdii Mitt. are new records for Brazil and fifty species are new records for Acre.A diversidade de briófitas na região Amazônica brasileira é alta, sendo citado atualmente, 514 espécies, em 36 famílias e 89 gêneros. Comparações entre a riqueza de espécies dos estados da Amazônia brasileira sugerem que a brioflora do Acre ainda é subestimada, contando atualmente com 106 espécies, distribuídas em 33 famílias e 63 gêneros. Após duas excursões científicas, a diversidade para o estado aumentou em 50 %, demonstrando que a brioflora ainda é pouco conhecida. Dados sobre a morfologia, ecologia e distribuição geográfica são apresentados para sessenta e duas espécies de briófitas coletadas no estado do Acre, Brasil, as quais são registros florísticos novos (cinquenta e duas espécies ou interessantes (dez espécies. Microlejeunea crenulifolia (Gottsche Steph. e Stictolejeunea balfourdii Mitt. são citadas pela primeira vez para o Brasil e cinquenta espécies são novas ocorrências para o estado do Acre.

  3. Joint simulation of carbon and tree diversity dynamics in an Amazonian forest succession using TROLL, an individual-based forest dynamics model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maréchaux, Isabelle; Chave, Jérôme

    2016-04-01

    Amazonian forests are critical for biogeochemical cycles and provide also key ecosystem services. One approach for modelling forest vegetation dynamics is to parameterize species using field-measured plant traits in individual-based forest growth simulators, a method that has been successfully implemented in temperate forests. Here we extend this approach to the tropics. We parameterized the forest dynamics simulator TROLL over a hundred species and simulated the first decades of an ecological succession with tree species encountered in the coastal zone of French Guiana. The model reproduced well the empirically measured values of gross and net primary productivities (GPP and NPP, obtained from eddy-flux measurements) as well as canopy structure (obtained from aerial LiDAR scanning). Modelled species trajectories compared well with empirically measured ones at a clear-cut site for the past four decades. Modelled carbon accumulation curves show that forests are not mature even after 100 years of regeneration. Finally, we discuss how plant hydrology and responses to drought can be integrated into this modelling scheme using data from leaf water potential at wilting point.

  4. Highly restricted diversity of TCR delta chains of the amphibian Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) in peripheral tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Sébastien; Kerfourn, Fabienne; Affaticati, Pierre; Guerci, Aline; Ravassard, Philippe; Fellah, Julien S

    2007-06-01

    Gammadelta T cells localize at mammalian epithelial surfaces to exert both protective and regulatory roles in response to infections. We have previously characterized the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) T cell receptor delta (TRD) chain. In this study, TRD repertoires in spleen, liver, intestine and skin from larvae, pre-adult and adult axolotls were examined and compared to the thymic TRD repertoire. A TRDV transcript without N/D diversity, TRDV1S1-TRDJ1, dominates the TRD repertoires until sexual maturation. In adult tissues, this canonical transcript is replaced by another dominant TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript. In the thymus, these two transcripts are detected early in development. Our results suggest that gammadelta T cells that express the canonical TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript emerge from the thymus and colonize the peripheral tissues, where they are selectively expanded by recurrent ligands. This particular situation is probably related to the neotenic state and the slow development of the axolotl. In thymectomized axolotls, TRD repertoires appear different from those of normal axolotls, suggesting that extrathymic gammadelta T cell differentiation could occur. Gene expression analysis showed the importance of the gut in T cell development.

  5. 3D computational mechanics elucidate the evolutionary implications of orbit position and size diversity of early amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Fortuny, Josep; De Esteban-Trivigno, Soledad; Sánchez, Montserrat; Gil, Lluís; Galobart, Àngel

    2015-01-01

    For the first time in vertebrate palaeontology, the potential of joining Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Parametrical Analysis (PA) is used to shed new light on two different cranial parameters from the orbits to evaluate their biomechanical role and evolutionary patterns. The early tetrapod group of Stereospondyls, one of the largest groups of Temnospondyls is used as a case study because its orbits position and size vary hugely within the members of this group. An adult skull of Edingerella madagascariensis was analysed using two different cases of boundary and loading conditions in order to quantify stress and deformation response under a bilateral bite and during skull raising. Firstly, the variation of the original geometry of its orbits was introduced in the models producing new FEA results, allowing the exploration of the ecomorphology, feeding strategy and evolutionary patterns of these top predators. Secondly, the quantitative results were analysed in order to check if the orbit size and position were correlated with different stress patterns. These results revealed that in most of the cases the stress distribution is not affected by changes in the size and position of the orbit. This finding supports the high mechanical plasticity of this group during the Triassic period. The absence of mechanical constraints regarding the orbit probably promoted the ecomorphological diversity acknowledged for this group, as well as its ecological niche differentiation in the terrestrial Triassic ecosystems in clades as lydekkerinids, trematosaurs, capitosaurs or metoposaurs.

  6. Fire and amphibians in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, D.S.; Bury, R.B.; Hyde, E.J.; Pearl, C.A.; Corn, P.S.

    2003-01-01

    Information on amphibian responses to fire and fuel reduction practices is critically needed due to potential declines of species and the prevalence of new, more intensive fire management practices in North American forests. The goals of this review are to summarize the known and potential effects of fire and fuels management on amphibians and their aquatic habitats, and to identify information gaps to help direct future scientific research. Amphibians as a group are taxonomically and ecologically diverse; in turn, responses to fire and associated habitat alteration are expected to vary widely among species and among geographic regions. Available data suggest that amphibian responses to fire are spatially and temporally variable and incompletely understood. Much of the limited research has addressed short-term (1-3 years) effects of prescribed fire on terrestrial life stages of amphibians in the southeastern United States. Information on the long-term negative effects of fire on amphibians and the importance of fire for maintaining amphibian communities is sparse for the majority of taxa in North America. Given the size and severity of recent wildland fires and the national effort to reduce fuels on federal lands, future studies are needed to examine the effects of these landscape disturbances on amphibians. We encourage studies to address population-level responses of amphibians to fire by examining how different life stages are affected by changes in aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats. Research designs need to be credible and provide information that is relevant for fire managers and those responsible for assessing the potential effects of various fuel reduction alternatives on rare, sensitive, and endangered amphibian species. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Endoscopy in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2015-09-01

    Despite advances in exotic animal endoscopy, descriptions involving amphibians are scarce. Amphibian endoscopy shares some similarities with reptiles, especially in lizards. Selected procedures are discussed, including stomatoscopy, gastroscopy, coelioscopy, and biopsy of coelomic organs and lesions. This short overview provides the practitioner with pragmatic advice on how to conduct safe and effective endoscopic examinations in amphibians.

  8. Fungal community assembly in the Amazonian Dark Earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucheta, A.R.; Souza Cannavan, F.S.; Roesch, L.; Tsai, S.M.; Kuramae, E.E.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we compare the fungal community composition and diversity in Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE) and the respective non-anthropogenic origin adjacent (ADJ) soils from four different sites in Brazilian Central Amazon using pyrosequencing of 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene. Fungal community composition in

  9. The odd man out? Might climate explain the lower tree alpha-diversity of African rain forests relative to Amazonian rain forests?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parmentier, I.; Malhi, Y.; Senterre, B.; Whittaker, R.J.; Alonso, A.; Balinga, M.P.B.; Bakayoko, A.; Bongers, F.J.J.M.; Chatelain, C.; Comiskey, J.; Cortay, R.; Djuikouo Kamdem, M.N.; Doucet, J.L.; Gauier, L.; Hawthorne, W.D.; Issembe, Y.A.; Kouamé, F.N.; Kouka, L.; Leal, M.E.; Lejoly, J.; Lewis, S.L.; Newbery, D.; Nusbaumer, L.; Parren, M.P.E.; Peh, K.S.H.; Phillips, O.L.; Sheil, D.; Sonké, B.; Sosef, M.S.M.; Sunderland, T.; Stropp, J.; Steege, ter H.; Swaine, M.; Tchouto, P.; Gemerden, van B.S.; Valkenburg, van J.; Wöll, H.

    2007-01-01

    1. Comparative analyses of diversity variation among and between regions allow testing of alternative explanatory models and ideas. Here, we explore the relationships between the tree alpha-diversity of small rain forest plots in Africa and in Amazonia and climatic variables, to test the explanatory

  10. [Perspective on gravitational biology of amphibians].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Naitoh, Tomio; Wassersug, Richard J

    2002-12-01

    We review here the scientific significance of the use of amphibians for research in gravitational biology. Since amphibian eggs are quite large, yet develop rapidly and externally, it is easy to observe their development. Consequently amphibians were the first vertebrates to have their early developmental processes investigated in space. Though several deviations from normal embryonic development occur when amphibians are raised in microgravity, their developmental program is robust enough to return the organisms to an ostensibly normal morphology by the time they hatch. Evolutionally, amphibians were the first vertebrate animal to come out of the water and onto land. Subsequently they diversified and have adaptively radiated to various habitats. They now inhabit aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal and fossorial niches. This diversity can be used to help study the biological effects of gravity at the organismal level, where macroscopic phenomena are associated with gravitational loading. By choosing different amphibian models and using a comparative approach one can effectively identify the action of gravity on biological systems, and the adaptation that vertebrates have made to this loading. Advances in cellular and molecular biology provide powerful tools for the study in many fields, including gravitational biology, and amphibians have proven to be good models for studies at those levels as well. The low metabolic rates of amphibians make them convenient organisms to work with (compared to birds and mammals) in the difficult and confined spaces on orbiting research platforms. We include here a review of what is known about and the potential for further behavioral and physiological researches in space using amphibians.

  11. Amphibians as animal models for laboratory research in physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burggren, Warren W; Warburton, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    The concept of animal models is well honored, and amphibians have played a prominent part in the success of using key species to discover new information about all animals. As animal models, amphibians offer several advantages that include a well-understood basic physiology, a taxonomic diversity well suited to comparative studies, tolerance to temperature and oxygen variation, and a greater similarity to humans than many other currently popular animal models. Amphibians now account for approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of lower vertebrate and invertebrate research, and this proportion is especially true in physiological research, as evident from the high profile of amphibians as animal models in Nobel Prize research. Currently, amphibians play prominent roles in research in the physiology of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, reproductive, and sensory systems. Amphibians are also used extensively in physiological studies aimed at generating new insights in evolutionary biology, especially in the investigation of the evolution of air breathing and terrestriality. Environmental physiology also utilizes amphibians, ranging from studies of cryoprotectants for tissue preservation to physiological reactions to hypergravity and space exploration. Amphibians are also playing a key role in studies of environmental endocrine disruptors that are having disproportionately large effects on amphibian populations and where specific species can serve as sentinel species for environmental pollution. Finally, amphibian genera such as Xenopus, a genus relatively well understood metabolically and physiologically, will continue to contribute increasingly in this new era of systems biology and "X-omics."

  12. DNA barcoding survey of Trichoderma diversity in soil and litter of the Colombian lowland Amazonian rainforest reveals Trichoderma strigosellum sp. nov. and other species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lopez-Quintero, C.A.; Atanasova, L.; Franco-Molano, A.E.; Gams, W.; Komon-Zelazowska, M.; Theelen, B.; Muller, W.H.; Boekhout, T.; Druzhinina, I.

    2013-01-01

    The diversity of Trichoderma (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) colonizing leaf litter as well as the rhizosphere of Garcinia macrophylla (Clusiaceae) was investigated in primary and secondary rain forests in Colombian Amazonia. DNA barcoding of 107 strains based on the internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 (

  13. Diversidade fenotípica e eficiência simbiótica de estirpes de Bradyrhizobium spp. de solos da Amazônia Phenotypic diversity and symbiotic efficiency of Bradyrhizobium spp. strains from Amazonian soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Silva Lima

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Este trabalho teve como objetivo avaliar a diversidade fenotípica e a eficiência simbiótica de estirpes de Bradyrhizobium, isoladas de solos da Amazônia, sob diferentes sistemas de uso da terra (monocultura, capoeira, pastagem, floresta e sistema agroflorestal. A análise dos perfis de proteína total de 46 estirpes, obtidos por eletroforese em gel de poliacrilamida (SDS-PAGE, mostrou grande diversidade, tendo formado 11 grupos com similaridade acima de 80%. Apenas um dos grupos continha a estirpe referência de B. elkanii: BR29, recomendada como inoculante para soja. Vinte e duas estirpes testadas em vasos de Leonard, com caupi (Vigna unguiculata (L. Walp., induziram à produção de matéria seca e ao acúmulo de nitrogênio, na parte aérea da planta, e à eficiência relativa superiores aos da testemunha (sem N e sem inoculação. Entre as estirpes testadas, 13 induziram à produção de matéria seca e à eficiência relativa similares às da testemunha nitrogenada (com N, sem inoculação; cinco estirpes induziram a acúmulo de N superior ao da testemunha nitrogenada. Essas populações nativas são constituídas por grande diversidade de estirpes, com eficiência simbiótica variável, algumas das quais podem ser recomendadas para testes de eficiência agronômica.This work aimed to evaluate the phenotypic diversity and symbiotic efficiency of Bradyrhizobium strains isolated from Amazonian soils, under different land use systems (crop, fallow, pasture, forest and agroforestry system. Total protein profiles obtained by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE of 46 strains showed great diversity, while 11 groups presented similarity above 80%. One of these groups contained the reference strain of B. elkanii: BR29, recommended as soybean inoculant. Twenty-two strains, tested in Leonard jars for symbiotic efficiency with Vigna unguiculata (L. Walp. (cowpea produced shoot dry matter, N-content, and relative efficiency higher than the

  14. Surgery in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian surgery has been especially described in research. Since the last decade, interest for captive amphibians has increased, so have the indications for surgical intervention. Clinicians should not hesitate to advocate such manipulations. Amphibian surgeries have no overwhelming obstacles. These patients heal well and tolerate blood loss more than higher vertebrates. Most procedures described in reptiles (mostly lizards) can be undertaken in most amphibians if equipment can be matched to the patients' size. In general, the most difficult aspect would be the provision of adequate anesthesia.

  15. Hyperdominance in Amazonian forest carbon cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauset, Sophie; Johnson, Michelle O.; Gloor, Manuel; Baker, Timothy R.; Monteagudo M., Abel; Brienen, Roel J.W.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela; Malhi, Yadvinder; ter Steege, Hans; Pitman, Nigel C.A.; Baraloto, Christopher; Engel, Julien; Pétronelli, Pascal; Andrade, Ana; Camargo, José Luís C.; Laurance, Susan G.W.; Laurance, William F.; Chave, Jerôme; Allie, Elodie; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Terborgh, John W.; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Silveira, Marcos; Aymard C., Gerardo A.; Arroyo, Luzmila; Bonal, Damien; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Neill, David; Hérault, Bruno; Dourdain, Aurélie; Torres-Lezama, Armando; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Salomão, Rafael P.; Comiskey, James A.; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Toledo, Marisol; Licona, Juan Carlos; Alarcón, Alfredo; Prieto, Adriana; Rudas, Agustín; van der Meer, Peter J.; Killeen, Timothy J.; Marimon Junior, Ben-Hur; Poorter, Lourens; Boot, Rene G.A.; Stergios, Basil; Torre, Emilio Vilanova; Costa, Flávia R.C.; Levis, Carolina; Schietti, Juliana; Souza, Priscila; Groot, Nikée; Arets, Eric; Moscoso, Victor Chama; Castro, Wendeson; Coronado, Euridice N. Honorio; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Stahl, Clement; Barroso, Jorcely; Talbot, Joey; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; van der Heijden, Geertje; Thomas, Raquel; Vos, Vincent A.; Almeida, Everton C.; Davila, Esteban Álvarez; Aragão, Luiz E.O.C.; Erwin, Terry L.; Morandi, Paulo S.; de Oliveira, Edmar Almeida; Valadão, Marco B.X.; Zagt, Roderick J.; van der Hout, Peter; Loayza, Patricia Alvarez; Pipoly, John J.; Wang, Ophelia; Alexiades, Miguel; Cerón, Carlos E.; Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Isau; Di Fiore, Anthony; Peacock, Julie; Camacho, Nadir C. Pallqui; Umetsu, Ricardo K.; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Burnham, Robyn J.; Herrera, Rafael; Quesada, Carlos A.; Stropp, Juliana; Vieira, Simone A.; Steininger, Marc; Rodríguez, Carlos Reynel; Restrepo, Zorayda; Muelbert, Adriane Esquivel; Lewis, Simon L.; Pickavance, Georgia C.; Phillips, Oliver L.

    2015-01-01

    While Amazonian forests are extraordinarily diverse, the abundance of trees is skewed strongly towards relatively few ‘hyperdominant' species. In addition to their diversity, Amazonian trees are a key component of the global carbon cycle, assimilating and storing more carbon than any other ecosystem on Earth. Here we ask, using a unique data set of 530 forest plots, if the functions of storing and producing woody carbon are concentrated in a small number of tree species, whether the most abundant species also dominate carbon cycling, and whether dominant species are characterized by specific functional traits. We find that dominance of forest function is even more concentrated in a few species than is dominance of tree abundance, with only ≈1% of Amazon tree species responsible for 50% of carbon storage and productivity. Although those species that contribute most to biomass and productivity are often abundant, species maximum size is also influential, while the identity and ranking of dominant species varies by function and by region. PMID:25919449

  16. Diversidad de anfibios y reptiles de la Reserva de la Biosfera Barranca de Metztitlán, Hidalgo, México Diversity of amphibians and reptiles from the Barranca de Metztitlán Biosphera Reserve in Hidalgo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor D. Vite-Silva

    2010-08-01

    scrubland. Field work was carried out between June 2006 and August 2007, a period spanning both wet and dry seasons. Overall, we found 7 species of amphibians and 31 species of reptiles in the BMBR, distributed in 14 families and 29 genera. Across all vegetation types, reptile species richness was greater in the rainy season, whereas amphibian species richness was greater in the dry season. Among vegetation types, tropical deciduous forest exhibited the highest diversity and richness of amphibians and reptiles. Pine-oak forest exhibited greatest species evenness and species diversity than the other vegetation types. Arid tropical scrubland and sub-montane shrubland were more similar to each other in species diversity. This study represents a significant addition to our knowledge of the herpetofauna from the BMBR, and an important base for future studies on the natural history of amphibians and reptiles in this reserve.

  17. Climate science: The resilience of Amazonian forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Mark B.

    2017-01-01

    Isotope evidence suggests that, during dry periods associated with the most recent ice age, the Amazonian forest survived in a region that is sensitive to rainfall changes -- settling a debate about Amazonian aridity. See Letter p.204

  18. DNA barcoding survey of Trichoderma diversity in soil and litter of the Colombian lowland Amazonian rainforest reveals Trichoderma strigosellum sp. nov. and other species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Quintero, Carlos A; Atanasova, Lea; Franco-Molano, A Esperanza; Gams, Walter; Komon-Zelazowska, Monika; Theelen, Bart; Müller, Wally H; Boekhout, Teun; Druzhinina, Irina

    2013-11-01

    The diversity of Trichoderma (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) colonizing leaf litter as well as the rhizosphere of Garcinia macrophylla (Clusiaceae) was investigated in primary and secondary rain forests in Colombian Amazonia. DNA barcoding of 107 strains based on the internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 (ITS1 and 2) of the ribosomal RNA gene cluster and the partial sequence of the translation elongation factor 1 alpha (tef1) gene revealed that the diversity of Trichoderma was dominated (71 %) by three common cosmopolitan species, namely Trichoderma harzianum sensu lato (41 %), Trichoderma spirale (17 %) and Trichoderma koningiopsis (13 %). Four ITS 1 and 2 phylotypes (13 strains) could not be identified with certainty. Multigene phylogenetic analysis and phenotype profiling of four strains with an ITS1 and 2 phylotype similar to Trichoderma strigosum revealed a new sister species of the latter that is described here as Trichoderma strigosellum sp. nov. Sequence similarity searches revealed that this species also occurs in soils of Malaysia and Cameroon, suggesting a pantropical distribution.

  19. Climate change and amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species

  20. Amphibian monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddle, Hardin

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians are a diverse group of animals that includes frogs, toads, and salamanders. They are adapted to living in a variety of habitats, but most require water for at least one life stage. Amphibians have recently become a worldwide conservation concern because of declines and extinctions even in remote protected areas previously thought to be safe from the pressures of habitat loss and degradation. Amphibians are an important part of ecosystem dynamics because they can be quite abundant and serve both as a predator of smaller organisms and as prey to a suite of vertebrate predators. Their permeable skin and aquatic life history also make them useful as indicators of ecosystem health. Since 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey has been studying the frog and toad species inhabiting the Atchafalaya Basin to monitor for population declines and to better understand how the species are potentially affected by disease, environmental contaminants, and climate change.

  1. Reptiles and amphibians of a poorly known region in southwest Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico Gustavo Rodrigues França

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The Amazon is the largest tropical forest of the world and it is extremely rich in biodiversity. However, some portions of the biome are still poorly known. This work presents an inventory of the herpetofauna of Boca do Acre municipality, a still preserved region located in southwest Amazonas state. The inventory was carried out in two periods, a sampling during the middle of the rainy season and another one at the end of the rains. Diverse survey methods were employed, such as pitfall traps, diurnal and nocturnal visual searches, car searches on the BR 317 highway, and opportunistic registrations. We recorded 56 amphibians and 53 reptiles during the field work. We captured 27 species in pitfall traps, and 38 were found along the BR 317, alive or dead on the road, being snakes principally affected by road-kills. The species accumulation curves did not reach stability, indicating that the inventory was not complete. Our results show the high species richness of this region, its importance for the Amazonian biodiversity, and the urgency of its preservation.

  2. Diversity of the land resources in the Amazonian State of Rondônia, Brazil Diversidade dos terrenos e solos do estado de Rondônia, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.T. Cochrane

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Conflicting opinions are recorded in the literature concerning the suitability of Amazon lands for sustainable agriculture following deforestation. This article has been written to shed light on this question by summarizing climate, landform, soil and vegetation features from the findings of a land resource study of the Brazilian state of Rondônia in south-west Amazonia. The work, which followed the World Soils and Terrain Digital Database (SOTER methodology, was financed by the World Bank. During the course of the survey special emphasis was given to studying soils; 2914 profiles were analyzed and recorded. The study identified a complex pattern of land units with clear differences in climate, landform, soils and native vegetation. Forested areas mosaic with lesser areas of natural savannas. The latter occur on both poorly-drained and well-drained, albeit nutrient deficient sandy soils. The tallest and most vigorous forests or their remnants were seen growing on well-drained soils formed from nutrient-rich parent materials. Many of these soils could, or are being used for productive agriculture. Soils developed on nutrient-poor parent materials support forests that are significantly lower in height, and would require large lime and fertilizer inputs for agriculture. Low forests with high palm populations and minor areas of wet land savannas cover the poorly drained soils. It is evident that forest clearing in the past was indiscriminant; this cannot be condoned. The diversity of land conditions found throughout Rondônia would suggest that many past studies in the Amazon have simply been too broad to identify significant soil differences.Opiniões divergentes são encontradas na literatura com respeito ao uso de terras da Amazônia para agricultura sustentável apos desmatamento. Este artigo busca clarificar a questão com um resumo dos resultados de um estudo dos recursos naturais (clima, atributos de solos e terrenos, e vegetação do estado

  3. AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DYNAMICS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agriculture has contributed to loss of vertebrate biodiversity in many regions, including the U.S. Corn Belt. Amphibian populations, in particular, have experienced widespread and often inexplicable declines, range reductions, and extinctions. However, few attempts have been made...

  4. Antiviral immunity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-11-01

    Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the wide range of host species infected by RVs, the variability in host resistance among population of the same species and among different developmental stages, all suggest an important involvement of the amphibian immune system. Nevertheless, the roles of the immune system in the etiology of viral diseases in amphibians are still poorly investigated. We review here the current knowledge of antiviral immunity in amphibians, focusing on model species such as the frog Xenopus and the salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and on recent progress in generating tools to better understand how host immune defenses control RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission.

  5. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection of amphibians in the Doñana National Park, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidalgo-Vila, Judit; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Marchand, Marc A; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-03-20

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the non-hyphal, zoosporic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emerging infectious disease recognised as a cause of recent amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. The Doñana National Park (DNP) is located in southwestern Spain, a country with widespread Bd infection. This protected area has a great diversity of aquatic habitats that constitute important breeding habitats for 11 native amphibian species. We sampled 625 amphibians in December 2007 and February to March 2008, months that correspond to the early and intermediate breeding seasons for amphibians, respectively. We found 7 of 9 sampled species to be infected with Bd and found differences in prevalence between sampling periods. Although some amphibians tested had higher intensities of infection than others, all animals sampled were apparently healthy and, so far, there has been no evidence of either unusually high rates of mortality or amphibian population declines in the DNP.

  6. The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI): 5-year report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin; Gallant, Alisa L.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Battaglin, William A.; Green, David E.; Staiger, Jennifer S.; Walls, Susan C.; Gunzburger, Margaret S.; Kearney, Rick F.

    2006-01-01

    The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is an innovative, multidisciplinary program that began in 2000 in response to a congressional directive for the Department of the Interior to address the issue of amphibian declines in the United States. ARMI’s formulation was cross-disciplinary, integrating U.S. Geological Survey scientists from Biology, Water, and Geography to develop a course of action (Corn and others, 2005a). The result has been an effective program with diverse, yet complementary, expertise.

  7. Captive breeding, reintroduction, and the conservation of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2008-08-01

    The global amphibian crisis has resulted in renewed interest in captive breeding as a conservation tool for amphibians. Although captive breeding and reintroduction are controversial management actions, amphibians possess a number of attributes that make them potentially good models for such programs. We reviewed the extent and effectiveness of captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians through an analysis of data from the Global Amphibian Assessment and other sources. Most captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians have focused on threatened species from industrialized countries with relatively low amphibian diversity. Out of 110 species in such programs, 52 were in programs with no plans for reintroduction that had conservation research or conservation education as their main purpose. A further 39 species were in programs that entailed captive breeding and reintroduction or combined captive breeding with relocations of wild animals. Nineteen species were in programs with relocations of wild animals only. Eighteen out of 58 reintroduced species have subsequently bred successfully in the wild, and 13 of these species have established self-sustaining populations. As with threatened amphibians generally, amphibians in captive breeding or reintroduction programs face multiple threats, with habitat loss being the most important. Nevertheless, only 18 out of 58 reintroduced species faced threats that are all potentially reversible. When selecting species for captive programs, dilemmas may emerge between choosing species that have a good chance of surviving after reintroduction because their threats are reversible and those that are doomed to extinction in the wild as a result of irreversible threats. Captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians require long-term commitments to ensure success, and different management strategies may be needed for species earmarked for reintroduction and species used for conservation

  8. The role of amphibian antimicrobial peptides in protection of amphibians from pathogens linked to global amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2009-08-01

    Amphibian species have experienced population declines and extinctions worldwide that are unprecedented in recent history. Many of these recent declines have been linked to a pathogenic skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or to iridoviruses of the genus Ranavirus. One of the first lines of defense against pathogens that enter by way of the skin are antimicrobial peptides synthesized and stored in dermal granular glands and secreted into the mucus following alarm or injury. Here, I review what is known about the capacity of amphibian antimicrobial peptides from diverse amphibians to inhibit B. dendrobatidis or ranavirus infections. When multiple species were compared for the effectiveness of their in vitro antimicrobial peptides defenses against B. dendrobatidis, non-declining species of rainforest amphibians had more effective antimicrobial peptides than species in the same habitat that had recently experienced population declines. Further, there was a significant correlation between the effectiveness of the antimicrobial peptides and resistance of the species to experimental infection. These studies support the hypothesis that antimicrobial peptides are an important component of innate defenses against B. dendrobatidis. Some amphibian antimicrobial peptides inhibit ranavirus infections and infection of human T lymphocytes by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). An effective antimicrobial peptide defense against skin pathogens appears to depend on a diverse array of genes expressing antimicrobial peptides. The production of antimicrobial peptides may be regulated by signals from the pathogens. However, this defense must also accommodate potentially beneficial microbes on the skin that compete or inhibit growth of the pathogens. How this delicate balancing act is accomplished is an important area of future research.

  9. Adaptive colouration in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudh, Andreas; Qvarnström, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, i.e. salamanders, frogs and caecilians show a wide range of bright colours in combination with contrasting patterns. There is variation among species, populations and also within species and populations. Furthermore, individuals often change colours during developmental stages or in response to environmental factors. This extraordinary variation means that there are excellent opportunities to test hypotheses of the adaptive significance of colours using amphibian species as models. We review the present view of functions of colouration in amphibians with the main focus on relatively unexplored topics. Variation in colouration has been found to play a role in thermoregulation, UV protection, predator avoidance and sexual signalling. However, many proposed cases of adaptive functions of colouration in amphibians remain virtually scientifically unexplored and surprisingly few genes influencing pigmentation or patterning have been detected. We would like to especially encourage more studies that take advantage of recent developments in measurement of visual properties of several possible signalling receivers (e.g. predators, competitors or mates). Future investigations on interactions between behaviour, ecology and vision have the potential to challenge our current view of the adaptive function of colouration in amphibians.

  10. Drought tolerance as predicted by leaf water potential at turgor loss point varies strongly across species within an Amazonian forest

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    1. Amazonian droughts are predicted to become increasingly frequent and intense, and the vulnerability of Amazonian trees has become increasingly documented. However, little is known about the physiological mechanisms and the diversity of drought tolerance of tropical trees due to the lack of quantitative measurements. 2. Leaf water potential at wilting or turgor loss point (pi(tlp)) is a determinant of the tolerance of leaves to drought stress and contributes to plant-level physiological...

  11. Amphibian skin may select for rare environmental microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walke, Jenifer B; Becker, Matthew H; Loftus, Stephen C; House, Leanna L; Cormier, Guy; Jensen, Roderick V; Belden, Lisa K

    2014-11-01

    Host-microbe symbioses rely on the successful transmission or acquisition of symbionts in each new generation. Amphibians host a diverse cutaneous microbiota, and many of these symbionts appear to be mutualistic and may limit infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions in recent decades. Using bar-coded 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we addressed the question of symbiont transmission by examining variation in amphibian skin microbiota across species and sites and in direct relation to environmental microbes. Although acquisition of environmental microbes occurs in some host-symbiont systems, this has not been extensively examined in free-living vertebrate-microbe symbioses. Juvenile bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), pond water and pond substrate were sampled at a single pond to examine host-specificity and potential environmental transmission of microbiota. To assess population level variation in skin microbiota, adult newts from two additional sites were also sampled. Cohabiting bullfrogs and newts had distinct microbial communities, as did newts across the three sites. The microbial communities of amphibians and the environment were distinct; there was very little overlap in the amphibians' core microbes and the most abundant environmental microbes, and the relative abundances of OTUs that were shared by amphibians and the environment were inversely related. These results suggest that, in a host species-specific manner, amphibian skin may select for microbes that are generally in low abundance in the environment.

  12. Universal COI primers for DNA barcoding amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Jing; Chen, Hong-Man; Yang, Jun-Xiao; Jin, Jie-Qiong; Jiang, Ke; Yuan, Zhi-Yong; Murphy, Robert W; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2012-03-01

    DNA barcoding is a proven tool for the rapid and unambiguous identification of species, which is essential for many activities including the vouchering tissue samples in the genome 10K initiative, genealogical reconstructions, forensics and biodiversity surveys, among many other applications. A large-scale effort is underway to barcode all amphibian species using the universally sequenced DNA region, a partial fragment of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I COI. This fragment is desirable because it appears to be superior to 16S for barcoding, at least for some groups of salamanders. The barcoding of amphibians is essential in part because many species are now endangered. Unfortunately, existing primers for COI often fail to achieve this goal. Herein, we report two new pairs of primers (➀, ➁) that in combination serve to universally amplify and sequence all three orders of Chinese amphibians as represented by 36 genera. This taxonomic diversity, which includes caecilians, salamanders and frogs, suggests that the new primer pairs will universally amplify COI for the vast majority species of amphibians.

  13. A Miocene hyperdiverse crocodylian community reveals peculiar trophic dynamics in proto-Amazonian mega-wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Flynn, John J.; Baby, Patrice; Tejada-Lara, Julia V.; Wesselingh, Frank P.; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Amazonia contains one of the world's richest biotas, but origins of this diversity remain obscure. Onset of the Amazon River drainage at approximately 10.5 Ma represented a major shift in Neotropical ecosystems, and proto-Amazonian biotas just prior to this pivotal episode are integral to understanding origins of Amazonian biodiversity, yet vertebrate fossil evidence is extraordinarily rare. Two new species-rich bonebeds from late Middle Miocene proto-Amazonian deposits of northeastern Peru document the same hyperdiverse assemblage of seven co-occurring crocodylian species. Besides the large-bodied Purussaurus and Mourasuchus, all other crocodylians are new taxa, including a stem caiman—Gnatusuchus pebasensis—bearing a massive shovel-shaped mandible, procumbent anterior and globular posterior teeth, and a mammal-like diastema. This unusual species is an extreme exemplar of a radiation of small caimans with crushing dentitions recording peculiar feeding strategies correlated with a peak in proto-Amazonian molluscan diversity and abundance. These faunas evolved within dysoxic marshes and swamps of the long-lived Pebas Mega-Wetland System and declined with inception of the transcontinental Amazon drainage, favouring diversification of longirostrine crocodylians and more modern generalist-feeding caimans. The rise and demise of distinctive, highly productive aquatic ecosystems substantially influenced evolution of Amazonian biodiversity hotspots of crocodylians and other organisms throughout the Neogene. PMID:25716785

  14. The world's richest tadpole communities show functional redundancy and low functional diversity: ecological data on Madagascar's stream-dwelling amphibian larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randrianiaina Roger-Daniel

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Functional diversity illustrates the range of ecological functions in a community. It allows revealing the appearance of functional redundancy in communities and processes of community assembly. Functional redundancy illustrates the overlap in ecological functions of community members which may be an indicator of community resilience. We evaluated patterns of species richness, functional diversity and functional redundancy on tadpole communities in rainforest streams in Madagascar. This habitat harbours the world's most species-rich stream tadpole communities which are due to their occurrence in primary habitat of particular interest for functional diversity studies. Results Species richness of tadpole communities is largely determined by characteristics of the larval habitat (stream structure, not by adult habitat (forest structure. Species richness is positively correlated with a size-velocity gradient of the streams, i.e. communities follow a classical species-area relationship. While widely observed for other taxa, this is an unusual pattern for anuran larvae which usually is expected to be hump-shaped. Along the species richness gradient, we quantified functional diversity of all communities considering the similarity and dissimilarity of species in 18 traits related to habitat use and foraging. Especially species-rich communities were characterised by an overlap of species function, i.e. by functional redundancy. By comparing the functional diversity of the observed communities with functional diversity of random assemblages, we found no differences at low species richness level, whereas observed species-rich communities have lower functional diversity than respective random assemblages. Conclusions We found functional redundancy being a feature of communities also in primary habitat, what has not been shown before using such a continuous measure. The observed species richness dependent pattern of low functional

  15. Food Plants Eaten by Amazonian Manatees (Trichechus inunguis, Mammalia : Sirenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colares Ioni G.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available To determine the feeding habits of the Amazonian manatee Trichechus inunguis in some Central Amazonian rivers and lakes, we compared plant epidermis found in the stomach contents and/or faeces of animals with a reference collection of plants present in the studied areas. Twenty five samples from digestive tracts of animals found dead and 25 faeces samples found floating were analyzed. From these samples, 24 aquatic macrophytes were identified. The Gramineae family was identified in 96% of the samples, Paspalum repens and Echinochloa polystachya being the most abundant in the samples. The second most frequent family was the Pontederiaceae primarily Eichhornia crassipes. During the high water period, the animals showed a more selective diet (eight identified species. In the low water period, when food was more scarce, the animals showed a larger diversity of species in their diet (21 species of plants. Differences in the diet among the two studied areas reflected the physiographics characteristics of the region. Amazonian manatees fed mostly on emergent plants.

  16. Conservation needs of amphibians in China:A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michael; Wai; Neng; LAU; Simon; N; STUART; Janice; S; CHANSON; Neil; A; COX; Debra; L; FISCHMAN

    2007-01-01

    The conservation status of all the amphibians in China is analyzed,and the country is shown to be a global priority for conservation in comparison to many other countries of the world.Three Chinese regions are particularly rich in amphibian diversity:Hengduan,Nanling,and Wuyi mountains.Sala-manders are more threatened than frogs and toads.Several smaller families show a high propensity to become seriously threatened:Bombinatoridae,Cryptobranchidae,Hynobiidae and Salamandridae.Like other parts of the world,stream-breeding,high-elevation forest amphibians have a much higher likeli-hood of being seriously threatened.Habitat loss,pollution,and over-harvesting are the most serious threats to Chinese amphibians.Over-harvesting is a less pervasive threat than habitat loss,but it is more likely to drive a species into rapid decline.Five conservation challenges are mentioned with recommendations for the highest priority research and conservation actions.

  17. Conservation needs of amphibians in China: A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIE Feng; Michael Wai Neng LAU; Simon N STUART; Janice S CHANSON; Neil A COX; Debra L FISCHMAN

    2007-01-01

    The conservation status of all the amphibians in China is analyzed, and the country is shown to be a global priority for conservation in comparison to many other countries of the world. Three Chinese regions are particularly rich in amphibian diversity: Hengduan, Nanling, and Wuyi mountains. Salamanders are more threatened than frogs and toads. Several smaller families show a high propensity to become seriously threatened: Bombinatoridae, Cryptobranchidae, Hynobiidae and Salamandridae. Like other parts of the world, stream-breeding, high-elevation forest amphibians have a much higher likelihood of being seriously threatened. Habitat loss, pollution, and over-harvesting are the most serious threats to Chinese amphibians. Over-harvesting is a less pervasive threat than habitat loss, but it is more likely to drive a species into rapid decline. Five conservation challenges are mentioned with recommendations for the highest priority research and conservation actions.

  18. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  19. Responding to Amphibian Loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mendelson III, J.R.; Lips, K.R.; Gagliardo, R.W.; Rabb, G.B.; Collins, J.P.; Diffendorfer, J.E.; Daszak, P.; Ibáñez D., R.; Zippel, K.C.; Lawson, D.P.; Wright, K.M.; Stuart, S.N.; Gascon, C.; da Silva, H.R.; Burrowes, P.A.; Joglar, R.L.; La Marca, E.; Lötters, S.; du Preez, L.H.; Weldon, C.; Hyatt, A.; Rodriguez-Mahecha, J.V.; Hunt, S.; Robertson, H.; Lock, B.; Raxworthy, C.J.; Frost, D.R.; Lacy, R.C.; Alford, R.A.; Campbell, J.A.; Parra-Olea, G.; Bolaños, F.; Calvo Domingo, J.J.; Halliday, T.; Murphy, J.B.; Wake, M.H.; Coloma, L.A.; Kuzmin, S.L.; Price, M.S.; Howell, K.M.; Lau, M.; Pethiyagoda, R.; Boone, M.; Lannoo, M.J.; Blaustein, A.R.; Dobson, A.; Griffiths, R.A.; Crump, M.L.; Wake, D.B.; Brodie Jr, E.D.

    2006-01-01

    In their Policy Forum "Confronting amphibian declines and extinctions" (7 July, p. 48), J. R. Mendelson III and colleagues offer a strategy for "stopping" the widespread losses of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Disease research and captive breeding figure prominently in their call for action.

  20. Facility design and associated services for the study of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Robert K; Odum, R Andrew; Herman, Timothy; Zippel, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    The role of facilities and associated services for amphibians has recently undergone diversification. Amphibians traditionally used as research models adjust well to captivity and thrive with established husbandry techniques. However, it is now necessary to maintain hundreds of novel amphibian species in captive breeding, conservation research, and biomedical research programs. These diverse species have a very wide range of husbandry requirements, and in many cases the ultimate survival of threatened species will depend on captive populations. Two critical factors have emerged in the maintenance of amphibians, stringent quarantine and high-quality water. Because exotic diseases such as chytridiomycosis have devastated both natural and captive populations of amphibians, facilities must provide stringent quarantine. The provision of high-quality water is also essential to maintain amphibian health and condition due to the intimate physiological relationship of amphibians to their aquatic environment. Fortunately, novel technologies backed by recent advances in the scientific knowledge of amphibian biology and disease management are available to overcome these challenges. For example, automation can increase the reliability of quarantine and maintain water quality, with a corresponding decrease in handling and the associated disease-transfer risk. It is essential to build facilities with appropriate nontoxic waterproof materials and to provide quarantined amphibian rooms for each population. Other spaces and services include live feed rooms, quarantine stations, isolation rooms, laboratory space, technical support systems, reliable energy and water supplies, high-quality feed, and security. Good husbandry techniques must include reliable and species-specific management by trained staff members who receive support from the administration. It is possible to improve husbandry techniques for many species by sharing knowledge through common information systems. Overall

  1. Parasites lost? An overlooked hypothesis for the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Brian D

    2007-11-01

    Amphibians exhibit the greatest diversity of reproductive strategies of all tetrapod vertebrates. While authors have traditionally attributed the evolution of these strategies to factors such as complex topography, unpredictable larval environments, and predation on larvae and eggs, support for any of these hypotheses has been limited. Importantly, most authors have ignored parasites, including unicellular pathogens and multicellular parasites, as selective agents capable of influencing amphibian evolution. Insights in disease transmission, amphibian immunity, and their interaction with various life histories require that we consider parasites to be selective pressures in our exploration of the evolution of amphibian reproductive strategies. I review recent findings and describe how these principles converge to form a novel conceptual hypothesis for the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies in amphibians. I offer some specific predictions and recommend that parasites be considered with other selective pressures when constructing formal, falsifiable hypotheses during evaluative studies of amphibian reproductive behavior.

  2. Habitat association of amphibians in East African bush- and grassland: an example from Meru National Park, Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wasonga, D.V.; Bakele, A.; Lötters, S.; Balakrishnan, M.

    2006-01-01

    The amphibian diversity in different vegetation communities was investigated in Meru National Park (Kenya), using transect sampling, drift-fences, pitfalls and opportunistic collection. Acacia wooded grassland had highest amphibian diversity (H' = 2.071, D = 6.74), Acacia-Commiphora bushland ranked

  3. Mitochondrial DNA mapping of social-biological interactions in Brazilian Amazonian African-descendant populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Maia Carvalho

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The formation of the Brazilian Amazonian population has historically involved three main ethnic groups, Amerindian, African and European. This has resulted in genetic investigations having been carried out using classical polymorphisms and molecular markers. To better understand the genetic variability and the micro-evolutionary processes acting in human groups in the Brazilian Amazon region we used mitochondrial DNA to investigate 159 maternally unrelated individuals from five Amazonian African-descendant communities. The mitochondrial lineage distribution indicated a contribution of 50.2% from Africans (L0, L1, L2, and L3, 46.6% from Amerindians (haplogroups A, B, C and D and a small European contribution of 1.3%. These results indicated high genetic diversity in the Amerindian and African lineage groups, suggesting that the Brazilian Amazonian African-descendant populations reflect a possible population amalgamation of Amerindian women from different Amazonian indigenous tribes and African women from different geographic regions of Africa who had been brought to Brazil as slaves. The present study partially mapped the historical biological and social interactions that had occurred during the formation and expansion of Amazonian African-descendant communities.

  4. Field Surveys of Amphibian Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodman, Robert

    2000-01-01

    Describes a course on amphibian research for environmental science majors. Involves students in field studies and introduces them to investigative research. Evaluates the course. (Contains 19 references.) (YDS)

  5. Late Amazonian Glaciations in Utopia Planitia, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osinski, G. R.; Capitan, R. D.; Kerrigan, M.; Barry, N.; Blain, S.

    2012-03-01

    We present evidence from western Utopia Planitia, including lineated valley fill and lobate debris aprons, for widespread glaciations over a large expanse of the northern plains and dichotomy boundary during Late Amazonian times.

  6. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…

  7. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  8. Amphibian and benthic macroinvertebrate response to physical and chemical properties of Themi River, Arusha, Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Lyimo, Emmanuel

    2012-01-01

    I hypothesized that variation in physical and chemical properties and habitat destruction of the Themi River as a result of human activities would affect abundance and diversity of amphibian and benthic macroinvertebrates. Variation in habitat physical and chemical conditions, and amphibian and benthic macroinvertebrate diversity and abundance were assessed in the Themi River of Arusha municipality. These physical, chemical and biological conditions were assessed at forty sampling stations...

  9. Sex determination in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Masahisa

    2009-05-01

    The heterogametic sex is male in all mammals, whereas it is female in almost all birds. By contrast, there are two heterogametic types (XX/XY and ZZ/ZW) for genetic sex determination in amphibians. Though the original heterogametic sex was female in amphibians, the two heterogametic types were probably interchangeable, suggesting that sex chromosomes evolved several times in this lineage. Indeed, the frog Rana rugosa has the XX/XY and ZZ/ZW sex-determining systems within a single species, depending on the local population in Japan. The XY and ZW geographic forms with differentiated sex chromosomes probably have a common origin as undifferentiated sex chromosomes resulted from the hybridization between the primary populations of West Japan and Kanto forms. It is clear that the sex chromosomes are still undergoing evolution in this species group. Regardless of the presence of a sex-determining gene in amphibians, the gonadal sex of some species can be changed by sex steroids. Namely, sex steroids can induce the sex reversal, with estrogens inducing the male-to-female sex reversal, whereas androgens have the opposite effect. In R. rugosa, gonadal activity of CYP19 (P450 aromatase) is correlated with the feminization of gonads. Of particular interest is that high levels of CYP19 expression are observed in indifferent gonads at time before sex determination. Increases in the expression of CYP19 in female gonads and CYP17 (P450 17alpha-hydroxylase/C17-20 lyase) in male gonads suggest that the former plays an important role in phenotypic female determination, whereas the latter is needed for male determination. Thus, steroids could be the key factor for sex determination in R. rugosa. In addition to the role of sex steroids in gonadal sex determination in this species, Foxl2 and Sox3 are capable of promoting CYP19 expression. Since both the genes are autosomal, another factor up-regulating CYP19 expression must be recruited. The factor, which may be located on the X or W

  10. Multiple stressor effects in relation to declining amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    This book represents the work of several authors who participated in the symposium entitled 'Multiple Stressor Effects in Relation to Declining Amphibian Populations' convened 16-17 April, 2002, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Declines of amphibian populations of varying severity have been observed for many years, and in the last 8 to 10 years considerable progress has been made in documenting the status and distribution of a range of amphibian species. Habitat alteration and destruction are likely linked to many amphibian declines, but a variety of other factors, both anthropogenic and natural, have been observed or proposed to have caused declines or extinctions of amphibian populations. Unfortunately, determining the environmental causes for the decline of many species has proven difficult. The goals of this symposium were three-fold. First, highlight ASTM's historic role in providing a forum for the standardization of amphibian toxicity test methods and the characterization of adverse effects potentially associated with chemical stressors. Second, demonstrate through case studies the current state of technical 'tools' available to biologists, ecologists, environmental scientists and natural resource professionals for assessing amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors. And third, characterize a process that brings a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis, especially as those relate to a multiple stressor risk assessment 'mind-set.' As part of the symposium, scientists and resource management professionals from diverse fields including ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource management and policy contributed oral presentations and posters that addressed topics related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors have in those losses. The papers contained in this publication reflect the commitment of ASTM

  11. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vences, Miguel; Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Verheyen, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Only a few major research programs are currently targeting COI barcoding of amphibians and reptiles (including chelonians and crocodiles), two major groups of tetrapods. Amphibian and reptile species are typically old, strongly divergent, and contain deep conspecific lineages which might lead to problems in species assignment with incomplete reference databases. As far as known, there is no single pair of COI primers that will guarantee a sufficient rate of success across all amphibian and reptile taxa, or within major subclades of amphibians and reptiles, which means that the PCR amplification strategy needs to be adjusted depending on the specific research question. In general, many more amphibian and reptile taxa have been sequenced for 16S rDNA, which for some purposes may be a suitable complementary marker, at least until a more comprehensive COI reference database becomes available. DNA barcoding has successfully been used to identify amphibian larval stages (tadpoles) in species-rich tropical assemblages. Tissue sampling, DNA extraction, and amplification of COI is straightforward in amphibians and reptiles. Single primer pairs are likely to have a failure rate between 5 and 50% if taxa of a wide taxonomic range are targeted; in such cases the use of primer cocktails or subsequent hierarchical usage of different primer pairs is necessary. If the target group is taxonomically limited, many studies have followed a strategy of designing specific primers which then allow an easy and reliable amplification of all samples.

  12. Fast demographic traits promote high diversification rates of Amazonian trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Timothy R; Pennington, R Toby; Magallon, Susana; Gloor, Emanuel; Laurance, William F; Alexiades, Miguel; Alvarez, Esteban; Araujo, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J M M; Aymard, Gerardo; de Oliveira, Atila Alves; Amaral, Iêda; Arroyo, Luzmila; Bonal, Damien; Brienen, Roel J W; Chave, Jerome; Dexter, Kyle G; Di Fiore, Anthony; Eler, Eduardo; Feldpausch, Ted R; Ferreira, Leandro; Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela; van der Heijden, Geertje; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio, Eurídice; Huamantupa, Isau; Killeen, Tim J; Laurance, Susan; Leaño, Claudio; Lewis, Simon L; Malhi, Yadvinder; Marimon, Beatriz Schwantes; Marimon Junior, Ben Hur; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Neill, David; Peñuela-Mora, Maria Cristina; Pitman, Nigel; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A; Ramírez, Fredy; Ramírez Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruschel, Ademir R; Salomão, Rafael P; de Andrade, Ana Segalin; Silva, J Natalino M; Silveira, Marcos; Simon, Marcelo F; Spironello, Wilson; ter Steege, Hans; Terborgh, John; Toledo, Marisol; Torres-Lezama, Armando; Vasquez, Rodolfo; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A; Phillips, Oliver L; Wiens, John

    2014-01-01

    The Amazon rain forest sustains the world's highest tree diversity, but it remains unclear why some clades of trees are hyperdiverse, whereas others are not. Using dated phylogenies, estimates of current species richness and trait and demographic data from a large network of forest plots, we show that fast demographic traits – short turnover times – are associated with high diversification rates across 51 clades of canopy trees. This relationship is robust to assuming that diversification rates are either constant or decline over time, and occurs in a wide range of Neotropical tree lineages. This finding reveals the crucial role of intrinsic, ecological variation among clades for understanding the origin of the remarkable diversity of Amazonian trees and forests. PMID:24589190

  13. Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew C. Fisher

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history variables with the pathogen's predicted distribution. We apply our rule set to the known global diversity of amphibians in order to prioritize pecies that are most at risk of loss from disease emergence. This risk assessment shows where limited conservation funds are best deployed in order to prevent further loss of species by enabling ex situ amphibian salvage operations and focusing any potential disease mitigation projects.

  14. Herpetofaunal assemblage with special emphasis on community structure and spatiality in amphibians of Cauvery delta region, Tamil Nadu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anukul Nath

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the amphibian community structure, spatial overlap and herpetofaunal assemblage at Mannampandal, Tamil Nadu during October, 2010 to January, 2011. The survey methods involved careful visual estimation of amphibians in all the possible microhabitats present in the study area. Five different microhabitat categories were selected, viz., leaf litters, temporary water pools, tree holes, shrubs & grasses (ground vegetation, pathways, open floor & outer edges of buildings. We identified 26 species of reptiles and 14 species of amphibians. There was a significant difference found among the amphibian species occupying in different microhabitats. Species diversity was calculated, Shanon-Wiener H'= 1.55. The high niche overlap was found between Duttaphrynus scaber and Uperodon systoma followed by Fejervarya sp. and Sphaerotheca breviceps. The present study on amphibian community is just a representation to show the microhabitat occupancy and adjustment by the amphibians in human settlements and competition among them as, spatial resource partitioning.

  15. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis in nature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, Trenton W. J.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Muths, Erin L.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Weldon, Che; Fisher, Matthew C.; Bosch, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians across the planet face the threat of population decline and extirpation caused by the disease chytridiomycosis. Despite consensus that the fungal pathogens responsible for the disease are conservation issues, strategies to mitigate their impacts in the natural world are, at best, nascent. Reducing risk associated with the movement of amphibians, non-amphibian vectors and other sources of infection remains the first line of defence and a primary objective when mitigating the threat of disease in wildlife. Amphibian-associated chytridiomycete fungi and chytridiomycosis are already widespread, though, and we therefore focus on discussing options for mitigating the threats once disease emergence has occurred in wild amphibian populations. All strategies have shortcomings that need to be overcome before implementation, including stronger efforts towards understanding and addressing ethical and legal considerations. Even if these issues can be dealt with, all currently available approaches, or those under discussion, are unlikely to yield the desired conservation outcome of disease mitigation. The decision process for establishing mitigation strategies requires integrated thinking that assesses disease mitigation options critically and embeds them within more comprehensive strategies for the conservation of amphibian populations, communities and ecosystems.

  16. Biodiversity of trematodes associated with amphibians from a variety of habitats in Corrientes Province, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamann, M I; Kehr, A I; González, C E

    2013-09-01

    The main goals of this study were to compare the richness of parasitic trematodes in amphibians with diverse habits (terrestrial, fossorial, semi-aquatic and arboreal), and to evaluate whether the composition of the trematode community is determined by ecological relationships. Specimens were collected between April 2001 and December 2006 from a common area (30 ha) in Corrientes Province, Argentina. Trematodes of amphibians in this area comprised a total of 19 species, and were dominated by common species. Larval trematodes presented highest species richness, with the metacercaria of Bursotrema tetracotyloides being dominant in the majority (7/9, 78%) of the parasite communities. Adults of the trematode Catadiscus inopinatus were dominant in the majority (6/9, 67%) of amphibians. The amphibians Leptodactylus latinasus, Leptodactylus bufonius and Scinax nasicus presented a high diversity of trematodes, whereas Leptodactylus chaquensis had the lowest diversity even though it presented with the highest species richness. The patterns of similarity among amphibian species showed groups linking with their habitats. Leptodactilid amphibians, with a generalist diet and an active foraging strategy showed highest infection rates with adult trematodes. The mean richness of trematode species related to host's habitat preferences was higher in semi-aquatic amphibians. Results suggest that semi-aquatic amphibians, present in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, present a greater diversity of parasites as they have a higher rate of exposure to a wider range of prey species and, hence, to diverse infective states. The trematode composition is related to the diets and mobility of the host, and habitat.

  17. Amazonian dark earths and Caboclo subsistence on the middle Madeira River, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Fraser, James Angus

    2010-01-01

    This thesis examines the relationship between Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE) and Caboclo subsistence on the Middle Madeira River, Brazil. ADE are fertile anthropogenic (man-made) soils formed through practices of burning and waste disposal by pre-Columbian Amerindian populations. “Caboclo” is a social category that refers to the people of diverse origins that form the majority of the contemporary rural population of Brazilian Amazonia. Bitter manioc fields (roças) and homegardens (sítios) are th...

  18. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of

  19. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason L Brown

    Full Text Available Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling

  20. Resilience of Amazonian landscapes to agricultural intensification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jakovac, C.C.

    2015-01-01

    ISBN: 978-94-6257-443-4 Author: Catarina C. Jakovac Title: Resilience of Amazonian landscapes to agricultural intensification Swidden cultivation is the traditional agricultural system in riverine Amazonia, which supports local livelihoods and trans

  1. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

    Growing concern over worldwide amphibian declines warrants serious examination. Amphibians are important to the proper functioning of ecosystems and provide many direct benefits to humans in the form of pest and disease control, pharmaceutical compounds, and even food. Amphibians have permeable skin and rely on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during different seasons and stages of their lives. Their association with these ecosystems renders them likely to serve as sensitive indicators of environmental change. While much research on amphibian declines has centered on mysterious causes, or on causes that directly affect humans (global warming, chemical pollution, ultraviolet-B radiation), most declines are the result of habitat loss and habitat alteration. Improving our ability to characterize, model, and monitor the interactions between environmental variables and amphibian habitats is key to addressing amphibian conservation. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to address issues surrounding amphibian declines.

  2. Louisiana ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for reptiles and amphibians in coastal Louisiana. Vector polygons represent reptile and amphibian habitats,...

  3. Nomimoscolex touzeti n. sp. (Cestoda, a parasite of ceratophrys cornuta (L.: first record of a monticellidae in an amphibian host

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain de Chambrier

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available Nomimoscolex touzeti n. sp. is described from one Ceratophrys cornuta (L. caught in Amazonian Ecuador. Its taxonomic relationships to the others species are discussed. This new species is characterized by a cortical position of vitellaria; by the presence in the uteroduct of conglomerates of 20-40 eggs; by a weak ovary width/proglottis width ratio; by ventral excretory canals anastomosed; by a powerful vaginal sphincter and by a long cirrus. N. touzeti is the first record of Monticellidae in an amphibian host.

  4. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...

  5. [Nested species subsets of amphibians and reptiles in Thousand Island Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xi; Wang, Yan-Ping; Ding, Ping

    2012-10-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a main cause for the loss of biological diversity. Combining line-transect methods to survey the amphibians and reptiles on 23 islands on Thousand Island Lake in Zhejiang province, along with survey data on nearby plant species and habitat variables collected by GIS, we used the"BINMATNEST (binary matrix nestedness temperature calculator)" software and the Spearman rank correlation to examine whether amphibians and reptiles followed nested subsets and their influencing factors. The results showed that amphibians and reptiles were significantly nested, and that the island area and habitat type were significantly associated with their nested ranks. Therefore, to effectively protect amphibians and reptiles in the Thousand Islands Lake area we should pay prior attention to islands with larger areas and more habitat types.

  6. Ecopathology of ranaviruses infecting amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-11-01

    Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry) contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease) than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs.

  7. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Storfer

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs.

  8. The metamorphosis of amphibian toxicogenomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caren eHelbing

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians are important vertebrates in toxicology often representing both aquatic and terrestrial forms within the life history of the same species. Of the thousands of species, only two have substantial genomics resources: the recently published genome of the Pipid, Xenopus (Silurana tropicalis, and transcript information (and ongoing genome sequencing project of Xenopus laevis. However, many more species representative of regional ecological niches and life strategies are used in toxicology worldwide. Since Xenopus species diverged from the most populous frog family, the Ranidae, ~200 million years ago, there are notable differences between them and the even more distant Caudates (salamanders and Caecilians. These differences include genome size, gene composition, and extent of polyploidization. Application of toxicogenomics to amphibians requires the mobilization of resources and expertise to develop de novo sequence assemblies and analysis strategies for a broader range of amphibian species. The present mini-review will present the advances in toxicogenomics as pertains to amphibians with particular emphasis upon the development and use of genomic techniques (inclusive of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics and the challenges inherent therein.

  9. A spatial model of tree α-diversity and tree density for the Amazon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Steege, H.; Pitman, N.C.A.; Sabatier, D.; Castellanos, H.; van der Hout, P.; Daly, D.C.; Silveira, M.; Phillips, O.; Vasquez, R.; van Andel, T.; Duivenvoorden, J.; de Oliveira, A.A.; Ek, R.; Lilwah, R.; Thomas, R.; van Essen, J.; Baider, C.; Maas, P.; Mori, S.; Terborgh, J.; Nuñez-Vargas, P.; Mogollón, H.; Morawetz, W.

    2003-01-01

    Large-scale patterns of Amazonian biodiversity have until now been obscured by a sparse and scattered inventory record. Here we present the first comprehensive spatial model of tree α-diversity and tree density in Amazonian rainforests, based on the largest-yet compilation of forest inventories and

  10. Amphibians as models for studying environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, William A

    2007-01-01

    The use of amphibians as models in ecological research has a rich history. From an early foundation in studies of amphibian natural history sprang generations of scientists who used amphibians as models to address fundamental questions in population and community ecology. More recently, in the wake of an environment that human disturbances rapidly altered, ecologists have adopted amphibians as models for studying applied ecological issues such as habitat loss, pollution, disease, and global climate change. Some of the characteristics of amphibians that make them useful models for studying these environmental problems are highlighted, including their trophic importance, environmental sensitivity, research tractability, and impending extinction. The article provides specific examples from the recent literature to illustrate how studies on amphibians have been instrumental in guiding scientific thought on a broad scale. Included are examples of how amphibian research has transformed scientific disciplines, generated new theories about global health, called into question widely accepted scientific paradigms, and raised awareness in the general public that our daily actions may have widespread repercussions. In addition, studies on amphibian declines have provided insight into the complexity in which multiple independent factors may interact with one another to produce catastrophic and sometimes unpredictable effects. Because of the complexity of these problems, amphibian ecologists have been among the strongest advocates for interdisciplinary research. Future studies of amphibians will be important not only for their conservation but also for the conservation of other species, critical habitats, and entire ecosystems.

  11. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Addo Elephant National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.R. Branch

    1987-10-01

    Full Text Available The results of a survey of the reptiles and amphibians of the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP are presented. A total of 49 species, comprising 16 amphibians, 14 lizards, 15 snakes and 4 chelonians, occur in the AENP. Observations on the biology and distribution of these species in the AENP are given, and the relative composition and diversity is compared with the herpetofauna of the surrounding eastern Cape and the more distant Kruger National Park. The zoogeographic affinities of the AENP herpetofauna are similar to those of the surrounding eastern Cape (i.e. Cape Temperate 46,9, Temperate- Transitional 16,3, Eastern Tropical Transitional 10,2, Western Tropical Transitional 8,2, Tropical East Coast Littoral 2,0 and Temperate Wideranging 16,3. Resource partitioning among the AENP herpetofauna is discussed and the conservation status of the species summarised. A list of species that may still be collected within the AENP is included.

  12. Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, H Bradley; Gidiş, Müge; McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Neal, Kevin M; Oyamaguchi, Hilton M; Tellez, Marisa; Toffelmier, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles as a group are often secretive, reach their greatest diversity often in remote tropical regions, and contain some of the most endangered groups of organisms on earth. Particularly in the past decade, genetics and genomics have been instrumental in the conservation biology of these cryptic vertebrates, enabling work ranging from the identification of populations subject to trade and exploitation, to the identification of cryptic lineages harboring critical genetic variation, to the analysis of genes controlling key life history traits. In this review, we highlight some of the most important ways that genetic analyses have brought new insights to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Although genomics has only recently emerged as part of this conservation tool kit, several large-scale data sources, including full genomes, expressed sequence tags, and transcriptomes, are providing new opportunities to identify key genes, quantify landscape effects, and manage captive breeding stocks of at-risk species.

  13. The Sound-Symbolic Expression of Animacy in Amazonian Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janis B. Nuckolls

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Several anthropologists of Amazonian societies in Ecuador have claimed that for Achuar [1] and Quichua speaking Runa [2-4] there is no fundamental distinction between humans on the one hand, and plants and animals on the other. A related observation is that Runa and Achuar people share an animistic cosmology whereby animals, plants, and even seemingly inert entities such as rocks and stones are believed to have a life force or essence with a subjectivity that can be expressed. This paper will focus on Quichua speaking Runa to seek linguistic evidence for animacy by examining the sound-symbolic properties of a class of expressions called ideophones. I argue that structural features of ideophones such as canonical length and diversity of sound segments as well as type of sound segments, help express the animism of the Runa lifeworld. Moreover, although these features are not indicative of any essential distinctions between plants and animals, they may be indicative of a scalar view of animacy, along the lines suggested by Descola who first proposed a continuum or ‘ladder of animacy’ for the Achuar [1, pp. 321-326]. Ideophones, then, may be understood as one set of linguistic tools for coming to terms with the diversity of their ecological setting, a setting which spans highly animate humans and animals, through less animate plants, trees, and rocks.

  14. Mosquitoes of eastern Amazonian Ecuador: biodiversity, bionomics and barcodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne-Marie Linton

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Two snapshot surveys to establish the diversity and ecological preferences of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae in the terra firme primary rain forest surrounding the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the UNESCO Yasuní Biosphere Reserve of eastern Amazonian Ecuador were carried out in November 1998 and May 1999. The mosquito fauna of this region is poorly known; the focus of this study was to obtain high quality link-reared specimens that could be used to unequivocally confirm species level diversity through integrated systematic study of all life stages and DNA sequences. A total of 2,284 specimens were preserved; 1,671 specimens were link-reared with associated immature exuviae, all but 108 of which are slide mounted. This study identified 68 unique taxa belonging to 17 genera and 27 subgenera. Of these, 12 are new to science and 37 comprise new country records. DNA barcodes [658-bp of the mtDNA cytochrome c oxidase ( COI I gene] are presented for 58 individuals representing 20 species and nine genera. DNA barcoding proved useful in uncovering and confirming new species and we advocate an integrated systematics approach to biodiversity studies in future. Associated bionomics of all species collected are discussed. An updated systematic checklist of the mosquitoes of Ecuador (n = 179 is presented for the first time in 60 years.

  15. Endoparasites in some Swedish Amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cedhagen, Tomas

    1988-01-01

    A study was made of the endoparasites in specimens of Rana arvalis and R. temporaria collected on two occasions from a locality of southern Sweden. Some frogs were investigated directly after capture while other frogs were kept hibernating and the composition of the parasites as well as the behav...... not previously been reported from Sweden. The late Prof. O. Nybelin's unpublished records of parasites found in Swedish amphibians are also given....

  16. Survey for the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Hong Kong in native amphibians and in the international amphibian trade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, Jodi J L; Chan, Simon Kin Fung; Tang, Wing Sze; Speare, Richard; Skerratt, Lee F; Alford, Ross A; Cheung, Ka Shing; Ho, Ching Yee; Campbell, Ruth

    2007-12-13

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is responsible for many amphibian declines and has been identified in wild amphibian populations on all continents where they exist, except for Asia. In order to assess whether B. dendrobatidis is present on the native amphibians of Hong Kong, we sampled wild populations of Amolops hongkongensis, Paa exilispinosa, P. spinosa and Rana chloronota during 2005-2006. Amphibians infected with B. dendrobatidis have been found in the international trade, so we also examined the extent and nature of the amphibian trade in Hong Kong during 2005-2006, and assessed whether B. dendrobatidis was present in imported amphibians. All 274 individuals of 4 native amphibian species sampled tested negative for B. dendrobatidis, giving an upper 95% confidence limit for prevalence of 1.3%. Approximately 4.3 million amphibians of 45 species from 11 countries were imported into Hong Kong via air over 12 mo; we did not detect B. dendrobatidis on any of 137 imported amphibians sampled. As B. dendrobatidis generally occurs at greater than 5% prevalence in infected populations during favorable environmental conditions, native amphibians in Hong Kong appear free of B. dendrobatidis, and may be at severe risk of impact if it is introduced. Until it is established that the pathogen is present in Hong Kong, management strategies should focus on preventing it from being imported and decreasing the risk of it escaping into the wild amphibian populations if imported. Further research is needed to determine the status of B. dendrobatidis in Hong Kong with greater certainty.

  17. Environmental characteristics drive variation in Amazonian understorey bird assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnusson, William E.; Anderson, Marti J.; Schlegel, Martin; Pe’er, Guy; Henle, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Tropical bird assemblages display patterns of high alpha and beta diversity and, as tropical birds exhibit strong habitat specificity, their spatial distributions are generally assumed to be driven primarily by environmental heterogeneity and interspecific interactions. However, spatial distributions of some Amazonian forest birds are also often restricted by large rivers and other large-scale topographic features, suggesting that dispersal limitation may also play a role in driving species’ turnover. In this study, we evaluated the effects of environmental characteristics, topographic and spatial variables on variation in local assemblage structure and diversity of birds in an old-growth forest in central Amazonia. Birds were mist-netted in 72 plots distributed systematically across a 10,000 ha reserve in each of three years. Alpha diversity remained stable through time, but species composition changed. Spatial variation in bird-assemblage structure was significantly related to environmental and topographic variables but not strongly related to spatial variables. At a broad scale, we found bird assemblages to be significantly distinct between two watersheds that are divided by a central ridgeline. We did not detect an effect of the ridgeline per se in driving these patterns, indicating that most birds are able to fly across it, and that differences in assemblage structure between watersheds may be due to unmeasured environmental variables or unique combinations of measured variables. Our study indicates that complex geography and landscape features can act together with environmental variables to drive changes in the diversity and composition of tropical bird assemblages at local scales, but highlights that we still know very little about what makes different parts of tropical forest suitable for different species. PMID:28225774

  18. Amphibian haematology: Metamorphosis-related changes in blood cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenkilde, Per; Sørensen, Inger; Ussing, Anne Phaff

    1995-01-01

    Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder.......Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder....

  19. Neuroendocrine-immune system interactions in amphibians: implications for understanding global amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, L A

    2001-01-01

    Amphibians are ancient creatures valued by biologists and naturalists around the world. They share with all other vertebrates a complex neuroendocrine system that enables them to flourish in a variety of aquatic and semiaquatic environments. Studies from a number of laboratories have demonstrated that the immune system of amphibian species is nearly as complex as that of mammals. Yet for reasons that are not well understood, amphibian species are facing greater survival challenges than in the recent past. This article will review our current understanding of the neuroendocrine immune system interactions in amphibians and address the question of whether environmental stressors may contribute to immunosuppression and amphibian declines.

  20. Endemic and introduced haplotypes of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Japanese amphibians: sink or source?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Matthew C

    2009-12-01

    The global emergence of the amphibian chytrid pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is one of the most compelling, and troubling, examples of a panzootic. Only discovered in 1998, Bd is now recognized as a proximate driver of global declines in amphibian diversity and is now widely acknowledged as a key threatening process for this ancient class of vertebrates. Moreover, Bd has become a member of a small group of highly virulent multihost pathogens that are known to have had effects on entire vertebrate communities and the ecosystem-level effects of Bd-driven amphibian declines are starting to emerge as a consequence of regional decreases in amphibian diversity. Despite the speed at which this species of aquatic chytrid has become a focus of research efforts, major questions still exist about where Bd originated, how it spreads, where it occurs and what are Bd's effects on populations and species inhabiting different regions and biomes. In this issue, Goka et al. (2009) make an important contribution by publishing the first nationwide surveillance for Bd in Asia. Although previous data had suggested that amphibians in Asia are largely uninfected by Bd, these surveys were limited in their extent and few firm conclusions could be drawn about the true extent of infection. Goka et al. herein describe a systematic surveillance of Japan for both native and exotic species in the wild, as well as amphibians housed in captivity, using a Bd-specific nested PCR reaction on a sample of over 2600 amphibians. Their results show that Bd is widely prevalent in native species across Japan in at least three of the islands that make up the archipelago, proving for the first time that Asia harbours Bd.

  1. Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamran Safi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Conservation of phylogenetic diversity allows maximising evolutionary information preserved within fauna and flora. The "EDGE of Existence" programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritises species based on phylogenetic information. Species are ranked in two ways: one according to their evolutionary distinctiveness (ED and second, by including IUCN extinction status, their evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment (EDGE. Here, we describe the global patterns in the spatial distribution of priority ED and EDGE species, in order to identify conservation areas for mammalian and amphibian communities. In addition, we investigate whether environmental conditions can predict the observed spatial pattern in ED and EDGE globally. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Priority zones with high concentrations of ED and EDGE scores were defined using two different methods. The overlap between mammal and amphibian zones was very small, reflecting the different phylo-biogeographic histories. Mammal ED zones were predominantly found on the African continent and the neotropical forests, whereas in amphibians, ED zones were concentrated in North America. Mammal EDGE zones were mainly in South-East Asia, southern Africa and Madagascar; for amphibians they were in central and south America. The spatial pattern of ED and EDGE was poorly described by a suite of environmental variables. CONCLUSIONS: Mapping the spatial distribution of ED and EDGE provides an important step towards identifying priority areas for the conservation of mammalian and amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the EDGE of existence programme.

  2. Acute toxicity tests and meta-analysis identify gaps in tropical ecotoxicology for amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghose, Sonia L; Donnelly, Maureen A; Kerby, Jacob; Whitfield, Steven M

    2014-09-01

    Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, particularly in tropical regions where amphibian diversity is highest. Pollutants, including agricultural pesticides, have been identified as a potential contributor to decline, yet toxicological studies of tropical amphibians are very rare. The present study assesses toxic effects on amphibians of 10 commonly used commercial pesticides in tropical agriculture using 2 approaches. First, the authors conducted 8-d toxicity assays with formulations of each pesticide using individually reared red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) tadpoles. Second, they conducted a review of available data for the lethal concentration to kill 50% of test animals from the US Environmental Protection Agency's ECOTOX database to allow comparison with their findings. Lethal concentration estimates from the assays ranged over several orders of magnitude. The nematicides terbufos and ethoprophos and the fungicide chlorothalonil were very highly toxic, with evident effects within an order of magnitude of environmental concentrations. Acute toxicity assays and meta-analysis show that nematicides and fungicides are generally more toxic than herbicides yet receive far less research attention than less toxic herbicides. Given that the tropics have a high diversity of amphibians, the findings emphasize the need for research into the effects of commonly used pesticides in tropical countries and should help guide future ecotoxicological research in tropical regions.

  3. Amphibians at risk? Susceptibility of terrestrial amphibian life stages to pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühl, Carsten A; Pieper, Silvia; Weber, Brigitte

    2011-11-01

    Current pesticide risk assessment does not specifically consider amphibians. Amphibians in the aquatic environment (aquatic life stages or postmetamorphic aquatic amphibians) and terrestrial living juvenile or adult amphibians are assumed to be covered by the risk assessment for aquatic invertebrates and fish, or mammals and birds, respectively. This procedure has been evaluated as being sufficiently protective regarding the acute risk posed by a number of pesticides to aquatic amphibian life stages (eggs, larvae). However, it is unknown whether the exposure and sensitivity of terrestrial living amphibians are comparable to mammalian and avian exposure and sensitivity. We reviewed the literature on dermal pesticide absorption and toxicity studies for terrestrial life stages of amphibians, focusing on the dermal exposure pathway, that is, through treated soil or direct overspray. In vitro studies demonstrated that cutaneous absorption of chemicals is significant and that chemical percutaneous passage, P (cm/h), is higher in amphibians than in mammals. In vivo, the rapid and substantial uptake of the herbicide atrazine from treated soil by toads (Bufo americanus) has been described. Severe toxic effects on various amphibian species have been reported for field-relevant application rates of different pesticides. In general, exposure and toxicity studies for terrestrial amphibian life stages are scarce, and the reported data indicate the need for further research, especially in light of the global amphibian decline.

  4. Variation in the Presence of Anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Bacteria of Amphibians Across Life Stages and Elevations in Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bresciano, J C; Salvador, C A; Paz-Y-Miño, C; Parody-Merino, A M; Bosch, J; Woodhams, D C

    2015-06-01

    Amphibian populations are decreasing worldwide due to a variety of factors. In South America, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is linked to many population declines. The pathogenic effect of Bd on amphibians can be inhibited by specific bacteria present on host skin. This symbiotic association allows some amphibians to resist the development of the disease chytridiomycosis. Here, we aimed (1) to determine for the first time if specific anti-Bd bacteria are present on amphibians in the Andes of Ecuador, (2) to monitor anti-Bd bacteria across developmental stages in a focal amphibian, the Andean marsupial tree frog, Gastrotheca riobambae, that deposits larvae in aquatic habitats, and (3) to compare the Bd presence associated with host assemblages including 10 species at sites ranging in biogeography from Amazonian rainforest (450 masl) to Andes montane rainforest (3200 masl). We sampled and identified skin-associated bacteria of frogs in the field using swabs and a novel methodology of aerobic counting plates, and a combination of morphological, biochemical, and molecular identification techniques. The following anti-Bd bacteria were identified and found to be shared among several hosts at high-elevation sites where Bd was present at a prevalence of 32.5%: Janthinobacterium lividum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Serratia sp. Bd were detected in Gastrotheca spp. and not detected in the lowlands (sites below 1000 masl). In G. riobambae, recognized Bd-resistant bacteria start to be present at the metamorphic stage. Overall bacterial abundance was significantly higher post-metamorphosis and on species sampled at lower elevations. Further metagenomic studies are needed to evaluate the roles of host identity, life-history stage, and biogeography of the microbiota and their function in disease resistance.

  5. The complexity of amphibian population declines: understanding the role of cofactors in driving amphibian losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Han, Barbara A; Relyea, Rick A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Kats, Lee B

    2011-03-01

    Population losses and extinctions of species are occurring at unprecedented rates, as exemplified by declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. However, studies of amphibian population declines generally do not address the complexity of the phenomenon or its implications for ecological communities, focusing instead on single factors affecting particular amphibian species. We argue that the causes for amphibian population declines are complex; may differ among species, populations, and life stages within a population; and are context dependent with multiple stressors interacting to drive declines. Because amphibians are key components of communities, we emphasize the importance of investigating amphibian declines at the community level. Selection pressures over evolutionary time have molded amphibian life history characteristics, such that they may remain static even in the face of strong, recent human-induced selection pressures.

  6. Effect of biogeographic history on population vulnerability in European amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufresnes, Christophe; Perrin, Nicolas

    2015-08-01

    The genetic diversity of populations, which contributes greatly to their adaptive potential, is negatively affected by anthropogenic habitat fragmentation and destruction. However, continental-scale losses of genetic diversity also resulted from the population expansions that followed the end of the last glaciation, an element that is rarely considered in a conservation context. We addressed this issue in a meta-analysis in which we compared the spatial patterns of vulnerability of 18 widespread European amphibians in light of phylogeographic histories (glacial refugia and postglacial routes) and anthropogenic disturbances. Conservation statuses significantly worsened with distances from refugia, particularly in the context of industrial agriculture; human population density also had a negative effect. These findings suggest that features associated with the loss of genetic diversity in post-glacial amphibian populations (such as enhanced fixation load or depressed adaptive potential) may increase their susceptibility to current threats (e.g., habitat fragmentation and pesticide use). We propose that the phylogeographic status of populations (i.e., refugial vs. post-glacial) should be considered in conservation assessments for regional and national red lists.

  7. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Berger, Lee; Karesh, William B; Preston, Asa; Pessier, Allan P; Skerratt, Lee F

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.

  8. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd and cloacal (ranavirus swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7% and in 105/185 (56.8% of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.

  9. Microevolution due to pollution in amphibians: A review on the genetic erosion hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasola, E; Ribeiro, R; Lopes, I

    2015-09-01

    The loss of genetic diversity, due to exposure to chemical contamination (genetic erosion), is a major threat to population viability. Genetic erosion is the loss of genetic variation: the loss of alleles determining the value of a specific trait or set of traits. Almost a third of the known amphibian species is considered to be endangered and a decrease of genetic variability can push them to the verge of extinction. This review indicates that loss of genetic variation due to chemical contamination has effects on: 1) fitness, 2) environmental plasticity, 3) co-tolerance mechanisms, 4) trade-off mechanisms, and 5) tolerance to pathogens in amphibian populations.

  10. New Brazilian Cerambycidae from the Amazonian region (Coleoptera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Silva, Antonio; Galileo, Maria Helena M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Three new species of Cerambycidae are described from the Brazilian Amazonian region: Psapharochrus bezarki (Lamiinae, Acanthoderini); Xenofrea ayri (Lamiinae, Xenofreini); and Mecometopus wappesi (Cerambycinae, Clytini). Mecometopus wappesi is added to a previous key. PMID:27551200

  11. Ossification sequence heterochrony among amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Sean M; Harrison, Luke B; Sheil, Christopher A

    2013-01-01

    Heterochrony is an important mechanism in the evolution of amphibians. Although studies have centered on the relationship between size and shape and the rates of development, ossification sequence heterochrony also may have been important. Rigorous, phylogenetic methods for assessing sequence heterochrony are relatively new, and a comprehensive study of the relative timing of ossification of skeletal elements has not been used to identify instances of sequence heterochrony across Amphibia. In this study, a new version of the program Parsimov-based genetic inference (PGi) was used to identify shifts in ossification sequences across all extant orders of amphibians, for all major structural units of the skeleton. PGi identified a number of heterochronic sequence shifts in all analyses, the most interesting of which seem to be tied to differences in metamorphic patterns among major clades. Early ossification of the vomer, premaxilla, and dentary is retained by Apateon caducus and members of Gymnophiona and Urodela, which lack the strongly biphasic development seen in anurans. In contrast, bones associated with the jaws and face were identified as shifting late in the ancestor of Anura. The bones that do not shift late, and thereby occupy the earliest positions in the anuran cranial sequence, are those in regions of the skull that undergo the least restructuring throughout anuran metamorphosis. Additionally, within Anura, bones of the hind limb and pelvic girdle were also identified as shifting early in the sequence of ossification, which may be a result of functional constraints imposed by the drastic metamorphosis of most anurans.

  12. Sperm storage in caecilian amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuehnel Susanne

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Female sperm storage has evolved independently multiple times among vertebrates to control reproduction in response to the environment. In internally fertilising amphibians, female salamanders store sperm in cloacal spermathecae, whereas among anurans sperm storage in oviducts is known only in tailed frogs. Facilitated through extensive field sampling following historical observations we tested for sperm storing structures in the female urogenital tract of fossorial, tropical caecilian amphibians. Findings In the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, aggregated sperm were present in a distinct region of the posterior oviduct but not in the cloaca in six out of seven vitellogenic females prior to oviposition. Spermatozoa were found most abundantly between the mucosal folds. In relation to the reproductive status decreased amounts of sperm were present in gravid females compared to pre-ovulatory females. Sperm were absent in females past oviposition. Conclusions Our findings indicate short-term oviductal sperm storage in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. We assume that in female caecilians exhibiting high levels of parental investment sperm storage has evolved in order to optimally coordinate reproductive events and to increase fitness.

  13. Toward immunogenetic studies of amphibian chytridiomycosis: Linking innate and acquired immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, J.Q.; Savage, Anna E.; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Rosenblum, E.B.

    2009-01-01

    Recent declines in amphibian diversity and abundance have contributed significantly to the global loss of biodiversity. The fungal disease chytridiomycosis is widely considered to be a primary cause of these declines, yet the critical question of why amphibian species differ in susceptibility remains unanswered. Considerable evidence links environmental conditions and interspecific variability of the innate immune system to differential infection responses, but other sources of individual, population, or species-typical variation may also be important. In this article we review the preliminary evidence supporting a role for acquired immune defenses against chytridiomycosis, and advocate for targeted investigation of genes controlling acquired responses, as well as those that functionally bridge the innate and acquired immune systems. Immunogenetic data promise to answer key questions about chytridiomycosis susceptibility and host-pathogen coevolution, and will draw much needed attention to the importance of considering evolutionary processes in amphibian conservation management and practice. ?? 2009 by American Institute of Biological Sciences.

  14. Placentation in the Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, A M; Miglino, M A; Ambrosio, C E;

    2008-01-01

    Evidence from several sources supports a close phylogenetic relationship between elephants and sirenians. To explore whether this was reflected in similar placentation, we examined eight delivered placentae from the Amazonian manatee using light microscopy and immunohistochemistry. In addition......, the fetal placental circulation was described by scanning electron microscopy of vessel casts. The manatee placenta was zonary and endotheliochorial, like that of the elephant. The interhaemal barrier comprised maternal endothelium, cytotrophoblasts and fetal endothelium. We found columnar trophoblast...... beneath the chorionic plate and lining lacunae in this region, but there was no trace in the term placenta of haemophagous activity. The gross anatomy of the cord and fetal membranes was consistent with previous descriptions and included a four-chambered allantoic sac, as also found in the elephant...

  15. Chytridiomycosis: a global threat to amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, P L L; Torres, A M C; Soares, D F M; Hijosa-Valsero, M; Bécares, E

    2013-12-01

    Chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. The disease is one of the main causes of the global decline in amphibians. The aetiological agent is ubiquitous, with worldwide distribution, and affects a large number of amphibian species in several biomes. In the last decade, scientific research has substantially increased knowledge of the aetiological agent and the associated infection. However, important epidemiological aspects of the environment-mediated interactions between the aetiological agent and the host are not yet clear. The objective of the present review is to describe chytridiomycosis with regard to the major features of the aetiological agent, the host and the environment.

  16. The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas: A Volunteer-Based Distributional Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather R. Cunningham

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Declines of amphibian and reptile populations are well documented. Yet a lack of understanding of their distribution may hinder conservation planning for these species. The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project (MARA was launched in 2010. This five-year, citizen science project will document the distribution of the 93 amphibian and reptile species in Maryland. During the 2010 and 2011 field seasons, 488 registered MARA volunteers collected 13,919 occurrence records that document 85 of Maryland's amphibian and reptile species, including 19 frog, 20 salamander, five lizard, 25 snake, and 16 turtle species. Thirteen of these species are of conservation concern in Maryland. The MARA will establish a baseline by which future changes in the distribution of populations of native herpetofauna can be assessed as well as provide information for immediate management actions for rare and threatened species. As a citizen science project it has the added benefit of educating citizens about native amphibian and reptile diversity and its ecological benefits—an important step in creating an informed society that actively participates in the long-term conservation of Maryland's nature heritage.

  17. Amphibian declines in the twenty-first century: why we need assisted reproductive technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clulow, John; Trudeau, Vance L; Kouba, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Each amphibian species is evolutionarily distinct, having developed highly specialized and diverse reproductive strategies in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. These unique reproductive patterns and mechanisms, key to species propagation, have only been explored in a limited number of laboratory models. Although the development of applied reproductive technologies for amphibians has proven useful for a few threatened species, the real benefit of this technology has been new insights into the reproductive adaptations, behavior, endocrinology, and physiological mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years. As the basic fundamental database on amphibian reproductive physiology has grown, so has the applied benefit for species conservation. In particular, technologies such as non-invasive fecal and urinary hormone assays, hormone treatments for induced breeding or gamete collection, in vitro fertilization, and the ability to establish genome resource banks have all played important roles in monitoring or managing small populations of captive species. Amphibians have the ability to produce a large excess of germplasm (up to 10,000 ovulated eggs in a single reproductive event) that if not collected and preserved, would represent a wasted valuable resource. We discuss the current state of knowledge in assisted reproductive technologies for amphibians and why their extinction crisis means these available tools can no longer be implemented as small-scale, last-ditch efforts. The reproductive technologies must be established early as a key component of large-scale species recovery.

  18. Report of Amphibian Development Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malacinski, G.

    1985-01-01

    Amphibian and fish embryos are extremely well suited for studies on pattern specification, whereas other systems (e.g., avian or mammalian) might be just as well suited for studies on differentiation or growth. Those distinctions are important for at least two reasons: (1) More precise focus regarding underlying mechanisms is called for when those distinctions are made. That facilitates the formulation of specific models or hypotheses; and (2) stress effects (i.e., the effects of weightlessness on structures (e.g., bones) which normally bear a load) are distinguished as being indirect, in contrast to direct effects of microgravity, which would be expected to act on pattern specification. That is, direct gravity effects are distinguished from indirect stress effects.

  19. Origin and functional diversification of an amphibian defense peptide arsenal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Roelants

    Full Text Available The skin secretion of many amphibians contains an arsenal of bioactive molecules, including hormone-like peptides (HLPs acting as defense toxins against predators, and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs providing protection against infectious microorganisms. Several amphibian taxa seem to have independently acquired the genes to produce skin-secreted peptide arsenals, but it remains unknown how these originated from a non-defensive ancestral gene and evolved diverse defense functions against predators and pathogens. We conducted transcriptome, genome, peptidome and phylogenetic analyses to chart the full gene repertoire underlying the defense peptide arsenal of the frog Silurana tropicalis and reconstruct its evolutionary history. Our study uncovers a cluster of 13 transcriptionally active genes, together encoding up to 19 peptides, including diverse HLP homologues and AMPs. This gene cluster arose from a duplicated gastrointestinal hormone gene that attained a HLP-like defense function after major remodeling of its promoter region. Instead, new defense functions, including antimicrobial activity, arose by mutation of the precursor proteins, resulting in the proteolytic processing of secondary peptides alongside the original ones. Although gene duplication did not trigger functional innovation, it may have subsequently facilitated the convergent loss of the original function in multiple gene lineages (subfunctionalization, completing their transformation from HLP gene to AMP gene. The processing of multiple peptides from a single precursor entails a mechanism through which peptide-encoding genes may establish new functions without the need for gene duplication to avoid adaptive conflicts with older ones.

  20. Origin and functional diversification of an amphibian defense peptide arsenal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelants, Kim; Fry, Bryan G; Ye, Lumeng; Stijlemans, Benoit; Brys, Lea; Kok, Philippe; Clynen, Elke; Schoofs, Liliane; Cornelis, Pierre; Bossuyt, Franky

    2013-01-01

    The skin secretion of many amphibians contains an arsenal of bioactive molecules, including hormone-like peptides (HLPs) acting as defense toxins against predators, and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) providing protection against infectious microorganisms. Several amphibian taxa seem to have independently acquired the genes to produce skin-secreted peptide arsenals, but it remains unknown how these originated from a non-defensive ancestral gene and evolved diverse defense functions against predators and pathogens. We conducted transcriptome, genome, peptidome and phylogenetic analyses to chart the full gene repertoire underlying the defense peptide arsenal of the frog Silurana tropicalis and reconstruct its evolutionary history. Our study uncovers a cluster of 13 transcriptionally active genes, together encoding up to 19 peptides, including diverse HLP homologues and AMPs. This gene cluster arose from a duplicated gastrointestinal hormone gene that attained a HLP-like defense function after major remodeling of its promoter region. Instead, new defense functions, including antimicrobial activity, arose by mutation of the precursor proteins, resulting in the proteolytic processing of secondary peptides alongside the original ones. Although gene duplication did not trigger functional innovation, it may have subsequently facilitated the convergent loss of the original function in multiple gene lineages (subfunctionalization), completing their transformation from HLP gene to AMP gene. The processing of multiple peptides from a single precursor entails a mechanism through which peptide-encoding genes may establish new functions without the need for gene duplication to avoid adaptive conflicts with older ones.

  1. Investigation of host candidate malaria-associated risk/protective SNPs in a Brazilian Amazonian population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone da Silva Santos

    Full Text Available The Brazilian Amazon is a hypo-endemic malaria region with nearly 300,000 cases each year. A variety of genetic polymorphisms, particularly in erythrocyte receptors and immune response related genes, have been described to be associated with susceptibility and resistance to malaria. In order to identify polymorphisms that might be associated with malaria clinical outcomes in a Brazilian Amazonian population, sixty-four human single nucleotide polymorphisms in 37 genes were analyzed using a Sequenom massARRAY iPLEX platform. A total of 648 individuals from two malaria endemic areas were studied, including 535 malaria cases (113 individuals with clinical mild malaria, 122 individuals with asymptomatic infection and 300 individuals with history of previous mild malaria and 113 health controls with no history of malaria. The data revealed significant associations (p<0.003 between one SNP in the IL10 gene (rs1800896 and one SNP in the TLR4 gene (rs4986790 with reduced risk for clinical malaria, one SNP in the IRF1 gene (rs2706384 with increased risk for clinical malaria, one SNP in the LTA gene (rs909253 with protection from clinical malaria and one SNP in the TNF gene (RS1800750 associated with susceptibility to clinical malaria. Also, a new association was found between a SNP in the CTL4 gene (rs2242665, located at the major histocompatibility complex III region, and reduced risk for clinical malaria. This study represents the first association study from an Amazonian population involving a large number of host genetic polymorphisms with susceptibility or resistance to Plasmodium infection and malaria outcomes. Further studies should include a larger number of individuals, refined parameters and a fine-scale map obtained through DNA sequencing to increase the knowledge of the Amazonian population genetic diversity.

  2. Evolution of Life Cycles in Early Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoch, Rainer R.

    2009-05-01

    Many modern amphibians have biphasic life cycles with aquatic larvae and terrestrial adults. The central questions are how and when this complicated ontogeny was established, and what is known about the lives of amphibians in the Paleozoic. Fossil evidence has accumulated that sheds light on the life histories of early amphibians, the origin of metamorphosis, and the transition to a fully terrestrial existence. The majority of early amphibians were aquatic or amphibious and underwent only gradual ontogenetic changes. Developmental plasticity played a major role in some taxa but was restricted to minor modification of ontogeny. In the Permo-Carboniferous dissorophoids, a condensation of crucial ontogenetic steps into a short phase (metamorphosis) is observed. It is likely that the origin of both metamorphosis and neoteny falls within these taxa. Fossil evidence also reveals the sequence of evolutionary changes: apparently, the ontogenetic change in feeding, not the transition to a terrestrial existence per se, made a drastic metamorphosis necessary.

  3. A meta-analysis of the effects of ultraviolet B radiation and its synergistic interactions with pH, contaminants, and disease on amphibian survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bancroft, Betsy A; Baker, Nick J; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2008-08-01

    Human alterations to natural systems have resulted in a loss of biological diversity around the world. Amphibian population losses have been more severe than those of birds and mammals. Amphibian population declines are likely due to many factors including habitat loss, disease, contaminants, introduced species and ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation. The effect of UVB, however, varies widely among species and can vary within populations of the same species or at different life-history stages. This variation has often led to opposing conclusions about how UVB affects amphibians. We used meta-analysis techniques to explore the overall effects of UVB radiation on survival in amphibians. We also used recently developed factorial meta-analytic techniques to quantify potential interactions between UVB radiation and other stressors on amphibians. Ultraviolet-B radiation reduced survival of amphibians by 1.9-fold compared with shielded controls. Larvae were more susceptible to damage from UVB radiation compared with embryos, and salamanders were more susceptible compared with frogs and toads. Furthermore, UVB radiation interacted synergistically with other environmental stressors and resulted in greater than additive effects on survival when 2 stressors were present. Our results suggest that UVB radiation is an important stressor in amphibians, particularly in light of potential synergisms between UVB and other stressors in amphibian habitats.

  4. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  5. An examination of amphibian sensitivity to environmental contaminants: are amphibians poor canaries?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerby, Jacob L; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Storfer, Andrew; Skelly, David K

    2010-01-01

    Nearly two decades ago, the global biodiversity crisis was catapulted to the front pages of newspapers with the recognition of worldwide amphibian declines. Amphibians earned their appellation, 'canaries in a coal mine', because of apparent high sensitivity to human-mediated environmental change. The most frequently cited causes for high susceptibility include permeable skin, a dual aquatic-terrestrial life cycle and a relatively rudimentary immune system. While some researchers have questioned the basis for the canary assertion, there has been no systematic evaluation of amphibian sensitivity to environmental challenges relative to other taxa. Here, we apply a database representing thousands of toxicity tests to compare the responses of amphibians relative to that of other taxonomic groups. The use of standardized methods combined with large numbers of identical challenges enables a particularly powerful test of relative effect size. Overall, we found that amphibians only exhibit moderate relative responses to water-borne toxins. Our findings imply that, as far as chemical contaminants are concerned, amphibians are not particularly sensitive and might more aptly be described as 'miners in a coal mine'. To the extent that amphibian declines have been mediated by chemical contaminants, our findings suggest that population losses and extinctions may have already occurred in a variety of taxa much more sensitive than amphibians.

  6. [Amphibian skin as a source of therapeutic peptides].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiche, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    The search for new bioactive molecules that could be used in therapeutics is a major public health issue, particularly in the treatment of certain diseases such as cancer. In this context the exploration of the venom of animals (snakes, amphibians, cones, scorpions, insects...) that produce molecules of various structures and biological activities, is a very promising direction. Research in this area led to the discovery of neuropeptides, hormones, toxins, antimicrobial peptides and other extremely potent mediators. These are now used in many areas both in fundamental research and in translational research, respectively, to understand biochemical and physiological mechanisms, or to use as medical diagnostic tools and for therapeutic purposes. Pr. V. Erspamer is the first researcher to have shown, in the 1930s, that in addition to biogenic amines and alkaloids, granular glands from the skin of amphibians also produced huge amounts of peptides with various structures and biological activities. He also showed that these peptides had their counterparts, most often in the form of identical or similar peptides, in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract of mammals. These observations are summarized in the form of a triangle concept of "brain-gut-skin" that states that any peptide found in a compartment should be present in the other two. In addition, abundance, ease of extraction and identification of peptides from amphibian skin make this model a means to search for their counterparts in mammals where they are present in minute quantities. This approach has two advantages: (i) at the fundamental level, the large peptide diversity, ubiquity and multiplicity of functions to which they participate, constitute a true chemical library to understand the mechanisms of recognition and signal transduction and study the physicochemical basic of the specificity; and (ii) in terms of applications, the relative simplicity of these peptides and the rise of the

  7. The discovery of the Amazonian tree flora with an updated checklist of all known tree taxa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter Steege, Hans; Vaessen, Rens W.; Cárdenas-López, Dairon; Sabatier, Daniel; Antonelli, Alexandre; de Oliveira, Sylvia Mota; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Jørgensen, Peter Møller; Salomão, Rafael P.

    2016-07-01

    Amazonia is the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth, and the debate over how many tree species grow there remains contentious. Here we provide a checklist of all tree species collected to date, and describe spatial and temporal trends in data accumulation. We report 530,025 unique collections of trees in Amazonia, dating between 1707 and 2015, for a total of 11,676 species in 1225 genera and 140 families. These figures support recent estimates of 16,000 total Amazonian tree species based on ecological plot data from the Amazonian Tree Diversity Network. Botanical collection in Amazonia is characterized by three major peaks, centred around 1840, 1920, and 1980, which are associated with flora projects and the establishment of inventory plots. Most collections were made in the 20th century. The number of collections has increased exponentially, but shows a slowdown in the last two decades. We find that a species’ range size is a better predictor of the number of times it has been collected than the species’ estimated basin-wide population size. Finding, describing, and documenting the distribution of the remaining species will require coordinated efforts at under-collected sites.

  8. Disease concepts and treatment by tribal healers of an Amazonian forest culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Plotkin Mark J

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The extensive medicinal plant knowledge of Amazonian tribal peoples is widely recognized in the scientific literature and celebrated in popular lore. Despite this broad interest, the ethnomedical systems and knowledge of disease which guide indigenous utilization of botanical diversity for healing remain poorly characterized and understood. No study, to our knowledge, has attempted to directly examine patterns of actual disease recognition and treatment by healers of an Amazonian indigenous culture. Methods The establishment of traditional medicine clinics, operated and directed by elder tribal shamans in two remote Trio villages of the Suriname rainforest, presented a unique investigational opportunity. Quantitative analysis of clinic records from both villages permitted examination of diseases treated over a continuous period of four years. Cross-cultural comparative translations were articulated of recorded disease conditions through ethnographic interviews of elder Trio shamans and a comprehensive atlas of indigenous anatomical nomenclature was developed. Results 20,337 patient visits within the period 2000 to 2004 were analyzed. 75 disease conditions and 127 anatomical terms are presented. Trio concepts of disease and medical practices are broadly examined within the present and historical state of their culture. Conclusion The findings of this investigation support the presence of a comprehensive and highly formalized ethnomedical institution within Trio culture with attendant health policy and conservation implications.

  9. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features. Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands. Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads. Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat. Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area. Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  10. Amphibian responses to wildfire in the western united states: Emerging patterns from short-term studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, B.R.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2011-01-01

    The increased frequency and severity of large wildfires in the western United States is an important ecological and management issue with direct relevance to amphibian conservation. Although the knowledge of fire effects on amphibians in the region is still limited relative to most other vertebrate species, we reviewed the current literature to determine if there are evident patterns that might be informative for conservation or management strategies. Of the seven studies that compared pre- and post-wildfire data on a variety of metrics, ranging from amphibian occupancy to body condition, two reported positive responses and five detected negative responses by at least one species. Another seven studies used a retrospective approach to compare effects of wildfire on populations: two studies reported positive effects, three reported negative effects from wildfire, and two reported no effects. All four studies that included plethodontid salamanders reported negative effects on populations or individuals; these effects were greater in forests where fire had been suppressed and in areas that burned with high severity. Species that breed in streams are also vulnerable to post-wildfire changes in habitat, especially in the Southwest. Wildfire is also important for maintaining suitable habitat for diverse amphibian communities, although those results may not be evident immediately after an area burns. We expect that wildfire will extirpate few healthy amphibian populations, but it is still unclear how populations will respond to wildfire in the context of land management (including pre- and post-fire timber harvest) and fragmentation. Wildfire may also increase the risk of decline or extirpation for small, isolated, or stressed (e.g., from drought or disease) populations. Improved understanding of how these effects vary according to changes in fire frequency and severity are critical to form more effective conservation strategies for amphibians in the western United States.

  11. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-01

    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface

  12. DNA Metabarcoding of Amazonian Ichthyoplankton Swarms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggia, M. E.; Vigouroux, Y.; Renno, J. F.; Duponchelle, F.; Desmarais, E.; Nunez, J.; García-Dávila, C.; Carvajal-Vallejos, F. M.; Paradis, E.; Martin, J. F.; Mariac, C.

    2017-01-01

    Tropical rainforests harbor extraordinary biodiversity. The Amazon basin is thought to hold 30% of all river fish species in the world. Information about the ecology, reproduction, and recruitment of most species is still lacking, thus hampering fisheries management and successful conservation strategies. One of the key understudied issues in the study of population dynamics is recruitment. Fish larval ecology in tropical biomes is still in its infancy owing to identification difficulties. Molecular techniques are very promising tools for the identification of larvae at the species level. However, one of their limits is obtaining individual sequences with large samples of larvae. To facilitate this task, we developed a new method based on the massive parallel sequencing capability of next generation sequencing (NGS) coupled with hybridization capture. We focused on the mitochondrial marker cytochrome oxidase I (COI). The results obtained using the new method were compared with individual larval sequencing. We validated the ability of the method to identify Amazonian catfish larvae at the species level and to estimate the relative abundance of species in batches of larvae. Finally, we applied the method and provided evidence for strong temporal variation in reproductive activity of catfish species in the Ucayalí River in the Peruvian Amazon. This new time and cost effective method enables the acquisition of large datasets, paving the way for a finer understanding of reproductive dynamics and recruitment patterns of tropical fish species, with major implications for fisheries management and conservation. PMID:28095487

  13. Phthalate pollution in an Amazonian rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenoir, Alain; Boulay, Raphaël; Dejean, Alain; Touchard, Axel; Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie

    2016-08-01

    Phthalates are ubiquitous contaminants and endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can become trapped in the cuticles of insects, including ants which were recognized as good bioindicators for such pollution. Because phthalates have been noted in developed countries and because they also have been found in the Arctic, a region isolated from direct anthropogenic influence, we hypothesized that they are widespread. So, we looked for their presence on the cuticle of ants gathered from isolated areas of the Amazonian rainforest and along an anthropogenic gradient of pollution (rainforest vs. road sides vs. cities in French Guiana). Phthalate pollution (mainly di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)) was higher on ants gathered in cities and along road sides than on those collected in the pristine rainforest, indicating that it follows a human-mediated gradient of disturbance related to the use of plastics and many other products that contain phthalates in urban zones. Their presence varied with the ant species; the cuticle of Solenopsis saevissima traps higher amount of phthalates than that of compared species. However, the presence of phthalates in isolated areas of pristine rainforests suggests that they are associated both with atmospheric particles and in gaseous form and are transported over long distances by wind, resulting in a worldwide diffusion. These findings suggest that there is no such thing as a "pristine" zone.

  14. Herpetofauna diversity at Gunung Raya, Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehwan, N.; Shukor, M. N.; Salmah, Y.; Grismer, L. L.; Norhayati, A.

    2016-11-01

    An inventory of herpetofauna was conducted on Gunung Raya, Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia from February 2014 to January 2015 to evaluate species diversity in order to: 1) determine the diversity of herpetofauna, 2) determine conservation status of rare or new species, and 3) provide preliminary data that may be used for future conservation of the reptilian and amphibian community. Two methods of passive sampling techniques were used, namely drift-fenced pitfall traps (DPT) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe traps (PPT). Observed species richness is 33 species of herpetofauna, consisting of 10 species of amphibians and 23 species of reptiles. The diversity indices indicated moderate diversity for amphibians (H'= 1.7) and reptiles (H'= 2.4), supported by low dominance index for amphibians (D= 0.24) and reptiles (D= 0.13). Similarity indices suggested species compositions were dissimilar among habitats.

  15. Amphibians do not follow Bergmann's rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Dean C; Church, James O

    2008-02-01

    The tendency for organisms to be larger in cooler climates (Bergmann's rule) is widely observed in endotherms, and has been reputed to apply to some ectotherms including amphibians. However, recent reports provide conflicting support for the pattern, questioning whether Bergmann's clines are generally present in amphibians. In this study, we measured 96,996 adult Plethodon from 3974 populations to test for the presence of Bergmann's clines in these salamanders. Only three Plethodon species exhibited a significant negative correlation between body size and temperature consistent with Bergmann's rule, whereas 37 of 40 species did not display a pattern consistent with this prediction. Further, a phylogenetic comparative analysis found no relationship between body size and temperature among species. A meta-analysis combining our data with the available data for other amphibian species revealed no support for Bergmann's rule at the genus (Plethodon), order (Caudata), or class (Amphibia) levels. Our findings strongly suggest that negative thermal body size clines are not common in amphibians, and we conclude that Bergmann's rule is not generally applicable to these taxa. Thus, evolutionary explanations of Bergmann's clines in other tetrapods need not account for unique life-history attributes of amphibians.

  16. Amphibians used in research and teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Rourke, Dorcas P

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians have long been utilized in scientific research and in education. Historically, investigators have accumulated a wealth of information on the natural history and biology of amphibians, and this body of information is continually expanding as researchers describe new species and study the behaviors of these animals. Amphibians evolved as models for a variety of developmental and physiological processes, largely due to their unique ability to undergo metamorphosis. Scientists have used amphibian embryos to evaluate the effects of toxins, mutagens, and teratogens. Likewise, the animals are invaluable in research due to the ability of some species to regenerate limbs. Certain species of amphibians have short generation times and genetic constructs that make them desirable for transgenic and knockout technology, and there is a current national focus on developing these species for genetic and genomic research. This group of vertebrates is also critically important in the investigation of the inter-relationship of humans and the environment based on their sensitivity to climatic and habitat changes and environmental contamination.

  17. Evolutionary causes and consequences of sequential polyandry in anuran amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Phillip G; Roberts, J Dale

    2012-02-01

    Among anuran amphibians (frogs and toads), there are two types of polyandry: simultaneous polyandry, where sperm from multiple males compete to fertilize eggs, and sequential polyandry, where eggs from a single female are fertilized by multiple males in a series of temporally separate mating events, and sperm competition is absent. Here we review the occurrence of sequential polyandry in anuran amphibians, outline theoretical explanations for the evolution of this mating system and discuss potential evolutionary implications. Sequential polyandry has been reported in a limited number of anurans, but its widespread taxonomic and geographic distribution suggests it may be common. There have been no empirical studies that have explicitly investigated the evolutionary consequences of sequential polyandry in anurans, but species with this mating pattern share an array of behavioural, morphological and physiological characteristics, suggesting that there has been common sexual selection on their reproductive system. Sequential polyandry may have a number of adaptive benefits, including spreading the risk of brood failure in unpredictable environments, insuring against male infertility, or providing genetic benefits, either through good genes, intrinsic compatibility or genetic diversity effects. Anurans with sequential polyandry provide untapped opportunities for innovative research approaches that will contribute significantly to understanding anuran evolution and also, more broadly, to the development of sexual-selection and life-history theory.

  18. Turtle isochore structure is intermediate between amphibians and other amniotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnowski, Jena L; Braun, Edward L

    2008-10-01

    Vertebrate genomes are comprised of isochores that are relatively long (>100 kb) regions with a relatively homogenous (either GC-rich or AT-rich) base composition and with rather sharp boundaries with neighboring isochores. Mammals and living archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) have heterogeneous genomes that include very GC-rich isochores. In sharp contrast, the genomes of amphibians and fishes are more homogeneous and they have a lower overall GC content. Because DNA with higher GC content is more thermostable, the elevated GC content of mammalian and archosaurian DNA has been hypothesized to be an adaptation to higher body temperatures. This hypothesis can be tested by examining structure of isochores across the reptilian clade, which includes the archosaurs, testudines (turtles), and lepidosaurs (lizards and snakes), because reptiles exhibit diverse body sizes, metabolic rates, and patterns of thermoregulation. This study focuses on a comparative analysis of a new set of expressed genes of the red-eared slider turtle and orthologs of the turtle genes in mammalian (human, mouse, dog, and opossum), archosaurian (chicken and alligator), and amphibian (western clawed frog) genomes. EST (expressed sequence tag) data from a turtle cDNA library enriched for genes that have specialized functions (developmental genes) revealed using the GC content of the third-codon-position to examine isochore structure requires careful consideration of the types of genes examined. The more highly expressed genes (e.g., housekeeping genes) are more likely to be GC-rich than are genes with specialized functions. However, the set of highly expressed turtle genes demonstrated that the turtle genome has a GC content that is intermediate between the GC-poor amphibians and the GC-rich mammals and archosaurs. There was a strong correlation between the GC content of all turtle genes and the GC content of other vertebrate genes, with the slope of the line describing this relationship also

  19. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity.

  20. amphibians and reptiles of luzon island, philippines, Ⅵ:the herpetofauna of the subic bay area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2012-01-01

    we present detailed species accounts for 55 species of amphibians and reptiles (14 species of frogs,24 snakes,16 lizards,one turtle) from 24 localities in the vicinity of subic bay,southern zambales province,luzon island,philippines.although we note numerous species that are conspicuously absent in subic bay (and which we expect will eventually be recorded in the region),our many new records plus a summary of the available historical museum specimen data depict a diverse subset of species diversity known from the southern zambales mountains of southwestern luzon.we compare our data to several other recent herpetofunal surveys from luzon,discuss biogeographic regionalism of this complex island,and report on numerous new natural history observations for many included species.with the absence of any protected areas in the entire province,the amphibians and reptiles of zambales should be a particularly important future conservation priority.

  1. Distortion product otoacoustic emissions in the amphibian ear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Dijk, Pim; Meenderink, Sebastiaan W. F.; Nuttal, AL

    2006-01-01

    By comparing the range of emission frequencies with that of neural characteristic frequencies of the amphibian and basilar papillae, the emission generation site may be inferred. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in the amphibian car seem to originate from the amphibian papilla. In contrast, distort

  2. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno M Colombo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last twenty years we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacterias, archeas and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: i the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and ii the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota.

  3. Biological Scaling Problems and Solutions in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Daniel L; Heald, Rebecca

    2015-08-10

    Size is a primary feature of biological systems that varies at many levels, from the organism to its constituent cells and subcellular structures. Amphibians populate some of the extremes in biological size and have provided insight into scaling mechanisms, upper and lower size limits, and their physiological significance. Body size variation is a widespread evolutionary tactic among amphibians, with miniaturization frequently correlating with direct development that occurs without a tadpole stage. The large genomes of salamanders lead to large cell sizes that necessitate developmental modification and morphological simplification. Amphibian extremes at the cellular level have provided insight into mechanisms that accommodate cell-size differences. Finally, how organelles scale to cell size between species and during development has been investigated at the molecular level, because subcellular scaling can be recapitulated using Xenopus in vitro systems.

  4. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Bruno M; Scalvenzi, Thibault; Benlamara, Sarah; Pollet, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last 20 years, we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacteria, archeas, and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet, the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: (i) the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and (ii) the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small-animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota.

  5. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

    to have experienced the wonders of early summer sunrises in the field - and the joy of thawing out frozen fingers after hours of field work around freezing point. Amphibian populations are declining. This worrying fact is what has initiated this work. Some fifty years ago, the life history of frogs...... is the result of my three year PhD study at the National Environmental Research Institute, Kalø, and University of Copenhagen. Funded by NERI, the Danish Research Academy, and the Danish Road Directorate, it has dealt mainly with the effects of traffic and roads on amphibian populations. The Spadefoot toad...... of Spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus Laur.) II The effect of road kills on amphibian populations III Simulating viability of a Spadefoot toad (P. fuscus) metapopulation in a landscape fragmented by a road The manuscripts are preceded by a synopsis which sums up the work and puts it into a broader perspective...

  6. Where to look when identifying roadkilled amphibians?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Franch

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Roads have multiple effects on wildlife; amphibians are one of the groups more intensely affected by roadkills. Monitoring roadkills is expensive and time consuming. Automated mapping systems for detecting roadkills, based on robotic computer vision techniques, are largely necessary. Amphibians can be recognised by a set of features as shape, size, colouration, habitat and location. This species identification by using multiple features at the same time is known as “jizz”. In a similar way to human vision, computer vision algorithms must incorporate a prioritisation process when analysing the objects in an image. Our main goal here was to give a numerical priority sequence of particular characteristics of roadkilled amphibians to improve the computing and learning process of algorithms. We asked hundred and five amateur and professional herpetologists to answer a simple test of five sets with ten images each of roadkilled amphibians, in order to determine which body parts or characteristics (body form, colour, and other patterns are used to identify correctly the species. Anura was the group most easily identified when it was roadkilled and Caudata was the most difficult. The lower the taxonomic level of amphibian, the higher the difficulty of identifying them, both in Anura and Caudata. Roadkilled amphibians in general and Anura group were mostly identified by the Form, by the combination of Form and Colour, and finally by Colour. Caudata was identified mainly on Form and Colour and on Colour. Computer vision algorithms must incorporate these combinations of features, avoiding to work exclusively in one specific feature.

  7. The origin and nature of macroecological patterns in amphibians: old questions, novel approaches

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    The role of physiological parameters as determinants of macroscale patterns is still widely disputed. Using amphibians as a model, I revisited three fundamental themes in macroecology from a physiological perspective: the global diversity gradient, ecogeographical rules and the evolution of the climatic niche at physiological and macroecological scales. To do this, I used a variety of data types, performed a number of spatial and phylogenetic analyses and proposed novel applications for some ...

  8. [Evolution of brain development in amphibians].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savel'ev, S V

    2009-01-01

    Principal events in the early embryonic development of the nervous system, from neurulation to primary differentiation, are considered in different amphibian species. Attention is paid to numerous interspecific differences in the structure of neuroepithelium and the patterns of neurulation and embryonic brain segmentation. The data presented indicate that similarity in brain developmental patterns is apparently explained by universality of morphogenetic mechanisms rather than by the common origin of particular species. A hypothesis is proposed that similarity in the shape of the developing amphibian brain is determined by mechanisms of coding positional information necessary for histogenetic differentiation.

  9. Amphibians as model to study endocrine disrupters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloas, Werner; Lutz, Ilka

    2006-10-13

    Environmental compounds can interfere with endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. These so-called endocrine disrupters (ED) are known to affect reproductive biology and thyroid system. The classical model species for these endocrine systems are amphibians and therefore they can serve as sentinels for detection of the modes of action (MOAs) of ED. Recently, amphibians are being reviewed as suitable models to assess (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic MOAs influencing reproductive biology as well as (anti)thyroidal MOAs interfering with the thyroid system. The development of targeted bioassays in combination with adequate chemical analyses is the prerequisite for a concise risk assessment of ED.

  10. Complex history of the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus revealed with genome resequencing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, Erica Bree; James, Timothy Y; Zamudio, Kelly R; Poorten, Thomas J; Ilut, Dan; Rodriguez, David; Eastman, Jonathan M; Richards-Hrdlicka, Katy; Joneson, Suzanne; Jenkinson, Thomas S; Longcore, Joyce E; Parra Olea, Gabriela; Toledo, Luís Felipe; Arellano, Maria Luz; Medina, Edgar M; Restrepo, Silvia; Flechas, Sandra Victoria; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J; Stajich, Jason E

    2013-06-01

    Understanding the evolutionary history of microbial pathogens is critical for mitigating the impacts of emerging infectious diseases on economically and ecologically important host species. We used a genome resequencing approach to resolve the evolutionary history of an important microbial pathogen, the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been implicated in amphibian declines worldwide. We sequenced the genomes of 29 isolates of Bd from around the world, with an emphasis on North, Central, and South America because of the devastating effect that Bd has had on amphibian populations in the New World. We found a substantial amount of evolutionary complexity in Bd with deep phylogenetic diversity that predates observed global amphibian declines. By investigating the entire genome, we found that even the most recently evolved Bd clade (termed the global panzootic lineage) contained more genetic variation than previously reported. We also found dramatic differences among isolates and among genomic regions in chromosomal copy number and patterns of heterozygosity, suggesting complex and heterogeneous genome dynamics. Finally, we report evidence for selection acting on the Bd genome, supporting the hypothesis that protease genes are important in evolutionary transitions in this group. Bd is considered an emerging pathogen because of its recent effects on amphibians, but our data indicate that it has a complex evolutionary history that predates recent disease outbreaks. Therefore, it is important to consider the contemporary effects of Bd in a broader evolutionary context and identify specific mechanisms that may have led to shifts in virulence in this system.

  11. The potential effects of climate change on amphibian distribution, range fragmentation and turnover in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ren-Yan Duan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Many studies predict that climate change will cause species movement and turnover, but few have considered the effect of climate change on range fragmentation for current species and/or populations. We used MaxEnt to predict suitable habitat, fragmentation and turnover for 134 amphibian species in China under 40 future climate change scenarios spanning four pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6 and RCP8.5 and two time periods (the 2050s and 2070s. Our results show that climate change may cause a major shift in spatial patterns of amphibian diversity. Amphibians in China would lose 20% of their original ranges on average; the distribution outside current ranges would increase by 15%. Suitable habitats for over 90% of species will be located in the north of their current range, for over 95% of species in higher altitudes (from currently 137–4,124 m to 286–4,396 m in the 2050s or 314–4,448 m in the 2070s, and for over 75% of species in the west of their current range. Also, our results predict two different general responses to the climate change: some species contract their ranges while moving westwards, southwards and to higher altitudes, while others expand their ranges. Finally, our analyses indicate that range dynamics and fragmentation are related, which means that the effects of climate change on Chinese amphibians might be two-folded.

  12. The potential effects of climate change on amphibian distribution, range fragmentation and turnover in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Ren-Yan; Kong, Xiao-Quan; Huang, Min-Yi; Varela, Sara; Ji, Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Many studies predict that climate change will cause species movement and turnover, but few have considered the effect of climate change on range fragmentation for current species and/or populations. We used MaxEnt to predict suitable habitat, fragmentation and turnover for 134 amphibian species in China under 40 future climate change scenarios spanning four pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6 and RCP8.5) and two time periods (the 2050s and 2070s). Our results show that climate change may cause a major shift in spatial patterns of amphibian diversity. Amphibians in China would lose 20% of their original ranges on average; the distribution outside current ranges would increase by 15%. Suitable habitats for over 90% of species will be located in the north of their current range, for over 95% of species in higher altitudes (from currently 137-4,124 m to 286-4,396 m in the 2050s or 314-4,448 m in the 2070s), and for over 75% of species in the west of their current range. Also, our results predict two different general responses to the climate change: some species contract their ranges while moving westwards, southwards and to higher altitudes, while others expand their ranges. Finally, our analyses indicate that range dynamics and fragmentation are related, which means that the effects of climate change on Chinese amphibians might be two-folded.

  13. New species of Monostylis Tulasne (Podostemaceae from the Amazonian region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldaléa Sprada Tavares

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Until now, Monostylis Tulasne (Podostemaceae was considered monospecific, containing only M. capillacea Tulasne. However, recent field expeditions and an analysis of samples from the Amazonian region revealed three new species, Monostylis aripuanensis, M. goeldiana and M. paraensis. The present paper provides detailed morphological descriptions, illustrations, habitat data, comparative taxonomic comments and a dichotomous key to the species.

  14. The Amazonian Formative: Crop Domestication and Anthropogenic Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Arroyo-Kalin

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The emergence of sedentism and agriculture in Amazonia continues to sit uncomfortably within accounts of South American pre-Columbian history. This is partially because deep-seated models were formulated when only ceramic evidence was known, partly because newer data continue to defy simple explanations, and partially because many discussions continue to ignore evidence of pre-Columbian anthropogenic landscape transformations. This paper presents the results of recent geoarchaeological research on Amazonian anthropogenic soils. It advances the argument that properties of two different types of soils, terras pretas and terras mulatas, support their interpretation as correlates of, respectively, past settlement areas and fields where spatially-intensive, organic amendment-reliant cultivation took place. This assessment identifies anthropogenic soil formation as a hallmark of the Amazonian Formative and prompts questions about when similar forms of enrichment first appear in the Amazon basin. The paper reviews evidence for embryonic anthrosol formation to highlight its significance for understanding the domestication of a key Amazonian crop: manioc (Manihot esculenta ssp. esculenta. A model for manioc domestication that incorporates anthropogenic soils outlines some scenarios which link the distribution of its two broader varieties—sweet and bitter manioc—with the widespread appearance of Amazonian anthropogenic dark earths during the first millennium AD.

  15. A Miocene perspective on the evolution of the Amazonian biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wesselingh, F.P.; Salo, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    Between c. 23 and 8 Ma, western Amazonia was occupied by the vast Pebas long-lived lake/wetland system. The Pebas system had a variety of influences over the evolution of Miocene and modern Amazonian biota; it formed a barrier for the exchange of terrestrial biota, a pathway for the transition of ma

  16. The state of amphibians in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, E.; Adams, M.J.; Grant, E.H.C.; Miller, D.; Corn, P.S.; Ball, L.C.

    2012-01-01

    More than 25 years ago, scientists began to identify unexplained declines in amphibian populations around the world. Much has been learned since then, but amphibian declines have not abated and the interactions among the various threats to amphibians are not clear. Amphibian decline is a problem of local, national, and international scope that can affect ecosystem function, biodiversity, and commerce. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the state of the amphibians and introduces examples to illustrate the range of issues in the United States.

  17. Prevalence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in stream and wetland amphibians in Maryland, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Ware, Joy L.; Duncan, Karen L.

    2008-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, responsible for the potentially fatal amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, is known to occur in a large and ever increasing number of amphibian populations around the world. However, sampling has been biased towards stream- and wetland-breeding anurans, with little attention paid to stream-associated salamanders. We sampled three frog and three salamander species in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Maryland, by swabbing animals for PCR analysis to detect DNA of B. dendrobatidis. Using PCR, we detected B. dendrobatidis DNA in both stream and wetland amphibians, and report here the first occurrence of the pathogen in two species of stream-associated salamanders. Future research should focus on mechanisms within habitats that may affect persistence and dissemination of B. dendrobatidis among stream-associated salamanders

  18. The structure of the Amazonian craton: Available geophysical evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, João Willy Corrêa; Rosa, José Wilson Corrêa; Fuck, Reinhardt A.

    2016-10-01

    The Amazonian craton, which covers a large area of South America, and is thought to have been stable since the end of the Mesoproterozoic, has recently benefited from a series of regional geophysical surveys. The Amazonian craton comprises the northern Guyana shield and the southern Central Brazil shield. It has become the main subject of seismological studies aiming to determine crustal thickness. Moho thickness maps that cover a large part of the South American continent summarize these studies. Receiver function studies, aided by surface wave dispersion tomography, were also useful tools applied in the region over the past decade. These have been improved by the addition of temporary and permanent regional seismological arrays and stations. An interesting NNW-SSE Moho depth anomaly, pointing to crustal thickening of up to 60 km in the central Guyana shield and a 50 km thick anomaly of the southern Central Brazil shield were recently identified. Areas with crustal thickening correspond to Paleoproterozoic magmatic arcs. The upper mantle seismic anisotropy in part of the region has been determined from SKS splitting studies. The currently available seismic anisotropy information shows that the orientation of the determined anisotropic axis is related to the frozen in anisotropy hypothesis for the Amazonian craton. The orientation of the anisotropic axis shows no relation to the current South American plate motion in the Amazonian craton. Most recently, detailed information for the two shields has benefited from a series of high-resolution, regional aerogeophysical surveys, made available by CPRM, the Brazilian Geological Survey. In addition to the mentioned contribution from seismology for imaging deeper crustal structures, regional gravity surveys have been expanded, adding to previous Bouguer anomaly maps, and deep drilling information from early exploration efforts have been compiled for the Amazon basin, which covers the Amazonian craton separating the Guyana

  19. Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native amphibians exported from Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd, a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.

  20. Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native amphibians exported from Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.

  1. Molecular identification of Amazonian stingless bees using polymerase chain reaction single-strand conformation polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, M T; Carvalho-Zilse, G A

    2014-07-25

    In countries containing a mega diversity of wildlife, such as Brazil, identifying and characterizing biological diversity is a continuous process for the scientific community, even in face of technological and scientific advances. This activity demands initiatives for the taxonomic identification of highly diverse groups, such as stingless bees, including molecular analysis strategies. This type of bee is distributed in all of the Brazilian states, with the highest species diversity being found in the State of Amazônia. However, the estimated number of species diverges among taxonomists. These bees are considered the main pollinators in the Amazon rainforest, in which they obtain food and shelter; however, their persistence is constantly threatened by deforestation pressure. Hence, it is important to classify the number and abundance of bee specie, to measure their decline and implement meaningful, priority conservation strategies. This study aims to maximize the implementation of more direct, economic and successful techniques for the taxonomic identification of stingless bees. Specifically, the genes 16S rRNA and COI from mitochondrial DNA were used as molecular markers to differentiate 9 species of Amazonian stingless bees based on DNA polymorphism, using the polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism technique. We registered different, exclusive SSCP haplotypes for both genes in all species analyzed. These results demonstrate that SSCP is a simple and cost-effective technique that is applicable to the molecular identification of stingless bee species.

  2. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in Amazonian homegardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Díaz-Reviriego

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane' Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material. We also use network centrality measures to evaluate people's location and performance in medicinal plant knowledge and plant material exchange networks. Our results suggest that social organization, specifically kinship and gender relations, influences medicinal plant exchange patterns significantly. Homegardens total and medicinal plant species richness are related to gardeners' centrality in the networks, whereby people with greater centrality maintain greater plant richness. Thus, together with agroecological conditions, social relations among gardeners and the culturally specific social structure seem to be important determinants of plant richness in homegardens. Understanding which factors pattern general species diversity in tropical homegardens, and medicinal plant diversity in particular, can help policy makers, health providers, and local communities to understand better how to promote and preserve medicinal plants in situ. Biocultural approaches that are also gender sensitive offer a culturally appropriate means to reduce the global and local loss of both biological and cultural diversity.

  3. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in Amazonian homegardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane' Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material. We also use network centrality measures to evaluate people's location and performance in medicinal plant knowledge and plant material exchange networks. Our results suggest that social organization, specifically kinship and gender relations, influences medicinal plant exchange patterns significantly. Homegardens total and medicinal plant species richness are related to gardeners' centrality in the networks, whereby people with greater centrality maintain greater plant richness. Thus, together with agroecological conditions, social relations among gardeners and the culturally specific social structure seem to be important determinants of plant richness in homegardens. Understanding which factors pattern general species diversity in tropical homegardens, and medicinal plant diversity in particular, can help policy makers, health providers, and local communities to understand better how to promote and preserve medicinal plants in situ. Biocultural approaches that are also gender sensitive offer a culturally appropriate means to reduce the global and local loss of both biological and cultural diversity.

  4. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bletz, Molly; Kueneman, Jordan; McKenzie, Valerie

    2016-03-01

    The contribution of emerging amphibian diseases to the sixth mass extinction is driving innovative wildlife management strategies, including the use of probiotics. Bioaugmentation of the skin mucosome, a dynamic environment including host and microbial components, may not provide a generalized solution. Multi-omics technologies and ecological context underlie effective implementation.

  5. Culture of Cells from Amphibian Embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanisstreet, Martin

    1983-01-01

    Describes a method for in vitro culturing of cells from amphibian early embryos. Such cells can be used to demonstrate such properties of eukaryote cells as cell motility, adhesion, differentiation, and cell sorting into tissues. The technique may be extended to investigate other factors. (Author/JN)

  6. First evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in China: discovery of chytridiomycosis in introduced American bullfrogs and native amphibians in the Yunnan Province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Changming; Garner, Trenton W J; Li, Yiming

    2010-08-01

    Although the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the etiological agent of amphibian chytridiomycosis, has been implicated in mass mortality and population declines on several continents around the world, there have been no reports on the presence of Bd infections in amphibians in China. We employed quantitative PCR and histological techniques to investigate the presence of Bd in introduced North American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) (referred to hereafter as bullfrog) and native amphibians in bullfrog-invaded areas of the Yunnan Province, China. A total of 259 samples at five wild sites were collected between June and September in 2007 and 2008, including bullfrogs and four native amphibian species (Rana pleuraden, Rana chaochiaoensis, Odorrana andersonii, and Bombina maxima). In addition, 37 samples of adult bullfrogs were obtained from a food market. Bd infections were discovered in bullfrogs and three native amphibian species from all of the surveyed sites. Of the 39 Bd-positive samples, 35 were from wild-caught bullfrog tadpoles, postmetamorphic bullfrogs, R. pleuraden, R. chaochiaoensis, and O. andersonii, and four were from adult bullfrogs from the market. Our results provide the first evidence of the presence of Bd in Chinese amphibians, suggesting that native amphibian diversity in China is at risk from Bd. There is an urgent need to monitor the distribution of Bd in amphibians in China and understand the susceptibility of native amphibian species to chytridiomycosis. Strict regulations on the transportation of bullfrogs and the breeding of bullfrogs in markets and farms should be drafted in order to stop the spread of Bd by bullfrogs.

  7. Patterns of Assemblage Structure Indicate a Broader Conservation Potential of Focal Amphibians for Pond Management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elin Soomets

    Full Text Available Small freshwater ponds host diverse and vulnerable biotic assemblages but relatively few conspicuous, specially protected taxa. In Europe, the amphibians Triturus cristatus and Pelobates fuscus are among a few species whose populations have been successfully restored using pond restoration and management activities at the landscape scale. In this study, we explored whether the ponds constructed for those two target species have wider conservation significance, particularly for other species of conservation concern. We recorded the occurrence of amphibians and selected aquatic macro-invertebrates (dragonflies; damselflies; diving beetles; water scavenger beetles in 66 ponds specially constructed for amphibians (up to 8 years post construction and, for comparison, in 100 man-made ponds (created by local people for cattle or garden watering, peat excavation, etc. and 65 natural ponds in Estonia. We analysed nestedness of the species assemblages and its dependence on the environment, and described the co-occurrence patterns between the target amphibians and other aquatic species. The assemblages in all ponds were significantly nested, but the environmental determinants of nestedness and co-occurrence of particular species differed among pond types. Constructed ponds were most species-rich irrespective of the presence of the target species; however, T. cristatus was frequent in those ponds and rare elsewhere, and it showed nested patterns in every type of pond. We thus conclude that pond construction for the protected amphibians can serve broader habitat conservation aims in the short term. However, the heterogeneity and inconsistent presence of species of conservation concern observed in other types of ponds implies that long-term perspectives on pond management require more explicit consideration of different habitat and biodiversity values. We also highlight nestedness analysis as a tool that can be used for the practical task of selecting focal

  8. Quaternary climate changes explain diversity among reptiles and amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Nogués-Bravo, David; Diniz-Filho, Alexandre F.

    2008-01-01

    It is widely believed that contemporary climate determines large-scale patterns of species richness. An alternative view proposes that species richness reflects biotic responses to historic climate changes. These competing "contemporary climate" vs "historic climate" hypotheses have been vigorous...

  9. Developmental morphological diversity in caecilian amphibians : systematic and evolutionary implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Müller, Hendrik

    2007-01-01

    Caecilians, or Gymnophiona, constitute one of the three extant orders of the Recent Amphibia and are the least known, major living tetrapod clade. Compared to frogs and salamanders, caecilians have an unusual skull morphology. Earlier reports of an unusually high number of individual skull ossificat

  10. Avian gene trees, landscape evolution, and geology: towards a modern synthesis of Amazonian historical biogeography?

    OpenAIRE

    Aleixo, Alexandre Luis Padovan; Rossetti, Dilce de Fátima

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies have improved our understanding of Amazonian geological history during the late Tertiary and Quaternary, two periods regarded as critical for the recent diversification of the Amazonian avifauna. The notion that geologically older and more stable areas of Amazonia (such as the Brazilian and Guianan shields) functioned as ‘‘species-pumps’’, whereas geologically more dynamic areas (such as the western Amazonian lowlands) mostly ‘‘captured’’ part of the div...

  11. Hair mercury levels in Amazonian populations: spatial distribution and trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbieri Flavia L

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mercury is present in the Amazonian aquatic environments from both natural and anthropogenic sources. As a consequence, many riverside populations are exposed to methylmercury, a highly toxic organic form of mercury, because of their intense fish consumption. Many studies have analysed this exposure from different approaches since the early nineties. This review aims to systematize the information in spatial distribution, comparing hair mercury levels by studied population and Amazonian river basin, looking for exposure trends. Methods The reviewed papers were selected from scientific databases and online libraries. We included studies with a direct measure of hair mercury concentrations in a sample size larger than 10 people, without considering the objectives, approach of the study or mercury speciation. The results are presented in tables and maps by river basin, displaying hair mercury levels and specifying the studied population and health impact, if any. Results The majority of the studies have been carried out in communities from the central Amazonian regions, particularly on the Tapajós River basin. The results seem quite variable; hair mercury means range from 1.1 to 34.2 μg/g. Most studies did not show any significant difference in hair mercury levels by gender or age. Overall, authors emphasized fish consumption frequency as the main risk factor of exposure. The most studied adverse health effect is by far the neurological performance, especially motricity. However, it is not possible to conclude on the relation between hair mercury levels and health impact in the Amazonian situation because of the relatively small number of studies. Conclusions Hair mercury levels in the Amazonian regions seem to be very heterogenic, depending on several factors. There is no obvious spatial trend and there are many areas that have never been studied. Taking into account the low mercury levels currently handled as acceptable, the

  12. Amphibian nitrate stress as an additional terrestrial threat from astrophysical ionizing radiation events?

    CERN Document Server

    Thomas, Brian C

    2008-01-01

    As diversity in amphibian species declines, the search for causes has intensified. Work in this area has shown that amphibians are especially susceptible to the combination of heightened UVB radiation and increased nitrate concentrations. Various astrophysical events have been suggested as sources of ionizing radiation that could pose a threat to life on Earth, through destruction of the ozone layer and subsequent increase in UVB, followed by deposition of nitrate. In this study, we investigate whether the nitrate deposition following an ionizing event is sufficiently large to cause an additional stress beyond that of the heightened UVB previously considered. We have converted predicted nitrate depositions to concentration values, utilizing data from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acid Rain Monitoring Network web site. Our results show that the increase in nitrate concentration in bodies of water following the most intense ionization event likely in the last billion years would no...

  13. Millennial-scale dynamics of southern Amazonian rain forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayle, F E; Burbridge, R; Killeen, T J

    2000-12-22

    Amazonian rain forest-savanna boundaries are highly sensitive to climatic change and may also play an important role in rain forest speciation. However, their dynamics over millennial time scales are poorly understood. Here, we present late Quaternary pollen records from the southern margin of Amazonia, which show that the humid evergreen rain forests of eastern Bolivia have been expanding southward over the past 3000 years and that their present-day limit represents the southernmost extent of Amazonian rain forest over at least the past 50,000 years. This rain forest expansion is attributed to increased seasonal latitudinal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which can in turn be explained by Milankovitch astronomic forcing.

  14. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Walls, Susan C.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Searle, Catherine L.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.

    2010-01-01

    As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions.

  15. Karyomegaly in Baryancistrus sp. (Loricaridae) from Amazonian Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paperna, I; Di Cave, D

    2001-06-20

    Vesicular karyomegaly of the liver hepatocytes is described from Baryancistrus sp. (Loricaridae), in 3 out of 7 fish, collected from Rio Xingu in central Amazonian (neutral water) Brazil and kept about 2 wk in a holding facility fed with acid water (pH 5.0 to 5.5). Altered cells also occurred in the gill epithelium. The vesicles in the liver were shown to contain a periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive substance or residue.

  16. Plant reproduction in the Central Amazonian floodplains : challenges and adaptations

    OpenAIRE

    Ferreira, Cristiane da Silva; Fernandez Piedade, Maria Teresa; Wittmann, Astrid de Oliveira; Franco, Augusto César

    2010-01-01

    Background The Central Amazonian floodplain forests are subjected to extended periods of flooding and to flooding amplitudes of 10 m or more. The predictability, the length of the flood pulse, the abrupt transition in the environmental conditions along topographic gradients on the banks of major rivers in Central Amazonia, and the powerful water and sediment dynamics impose a strong selective pressure on plant reproduction systems. Scope In this review, we examine how the hydrological cycle i...

  17. Book review: Amphibians and reptiles in Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The photograph of a young boy poised to capture a wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) on page 3 of Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota captures perfectly the sense of awe and wonderment that one encounters throughout John Moriarty and Carol Hall’s new book. This is a spirit that most children possess naturally and that is so readily apparent when one of them comes face-to-face with one of the 53 species of frogs, toads, salamanders, turtles, lizards, or snakes that make Minnesota their home. This is a spirit that the authors have maintained in their hearts throughout almost 30 years of chasing, capturing, and studying amphibians and reptiles (a.k.a., herptiles or herps) in Minnesota. It is also the spirit that you will find reawakening in yourself as you turn from one page to the next and encounter the abundant color photos and descriptive text within this book.

  18. Neurosteroid biosynthesis in the brain of amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert eVaudry

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians have been widely used to investigate the synthesis of biologically active steroids in the brain and the regulation of neurosteroid production by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution and biochemical activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain of anurans and urodeles. The data accumulated over the past two decades demonstrate that discrete populations of neurons and/or glial cells in the frog and newt brains express the major steroidogenic enzymes and are able to synthesize de novo a number of neurosteroids from cholesterol/pregnenolone. Since neurosteroidogenesis has been conserved during evolution from amphibians to mammals, it appears that neurosteroids must play important physiological functions in the central nervous system of vertebrates

  19. Pesticide Uptake Across the Amphibian Dermis Through Soil and Overspray Exposures

    Science.gov (United States)

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation ofpesticides through dermal contact is a primary route ofexposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributingto widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticidetransfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted labelapplication rates...

  20. Pesticide Detection in Rainwater, Stemflow, and Amphibians from Agricultural Spray Drift in Southern Georgia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians are important sentinel environmental species since they integrate stressors from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Pesticides are well established as a significant stressor for amphibians. In order to study spray-drift contributions to amphibian habitats, pestic...

  1. Neurosteroid Biosynthesis in the Brain of Amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians have been widely used to investigate the synthesis of biologically active steroids in the brain and the regulation of neurosteroid production by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution and biochemical activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain of anurans and urodeles. The data accumulated over the past two decades demonstrate that discrete populations of neurons and/or gl...

  2. Monitoring amphibians in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2003-01-01

    Amphibian species have inexplicably declined or disappeared in many regions of the world, and in some instances, serious malformations have been observed. In the United States, amphibian declines frequently have occurred even in protected areas. Causes for the declines and malformations probably are varied and may not even be related. The seemingly sudden declines in widely separated areas, however, suggests a need to monitor amphibian populations as well as identify the causes when declines or malformations are discovered.

  3. Amphibians of the Ausoni Mountains (Latium, Central Italy)

    OpenAIRE

    Luigi Corsetti; Antonio Romano

    2007-01-01

    In this study we searched for amphibians in 89 potential breeding sites within the Ausoni Mounts, which are among the less investigated areas of Latium. Sixtynine spawning sites, and eight amphibian species (57.1% of the 14 amphibian species living in Latium region) were found. Reproductive activity was recorded for Salamandrina perspicillata, Triturus carnifex, Lissotriton vulgaris, Lissotriton italicus, Bufo bufo, Hyla intermedia, Rana italica and Pelophylax synklepton hispanica.

  4. Amphibians of the Ausoni Mountains (Latium, Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Corsetti

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available In this study we searched for amphibians in 89 potential breeding sites within the Ausoni Mounts, which are among the less investigated areas of Latium. Sixtynine spawning sites, and eight amphibian species (57.1% of the 14 amphibian species living in Latium region were found. Reproductive activity was recorded for Salamandrina perspicillata, Triturus carnifex, Lissotriton vulgaris, Lissotriton italicus, Bufo bufo, Hyla intermedia, Rana italica and Pelophylax synklepton hispanica.

  5. Ranavirus outbreaks in amphibian populations of northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Danelle M.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Sprague, Laura; Waits, Lisette P.; Green, D. Earl; Schuler, Krysten L.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2011-01-01

    Ranavirus outbreaks, caused by pathogens in the genus Ranavirus (Family Iridoviridae), were the largest single cause of reported amphibian mass mortality events in the United States from 1996–2001 (Green et al. 2002). Mortality events associated with ranaviruses have been documented on five continents and throughout the latitudes and elevations where amphibians occur (Gray et al. 2009). However, the threat of ranaviruses to amphibian and reptile populations in specific regions is still largely unknown (Chinchar 2002; Gray et al. 2009).

  6. Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Young, Bruce E; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Fischman, Debra L; Waller, Robert W

    2004-12-01

    The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.

  7. Book review: The ecology and behavior of amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.

    2008-01-01

    This state‐of‐the‐art book has made its timely emergence amid a crisis of global magnitude: that of population declines, range reductions, and extinctions of numerous species of amphibians. A clear understanding of the fundamental concepts in amphibian biology is crucial to the success of any conservation effort. This volume compiles the information necessary to acquire that basic understanding. It is a comprehensive synthesis of both traditional and contemporary facets of amphibian biology, spanning a breadth of topics ranging from phylogeny, physiology, behavior, population and community ecology, and conservation. As such, it undoubtedly takes its place among contemporary volumes as the single, authoritative source for basic topics relevant to amphibian life.

  8. High levels of diversity uncovered in a widespread nominal taxon: continental phylogeography of the neotropical tree frog Dendropsophus minutus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Gehara

    Full Text Available Species distributed across vast continental areas and across major biomes provide unique model systems for studies of biotic diversification, yet also constitute daunting financial, logistic and political challenges for data collection across such regions. The tree frog Dendropsophus minutus (Anura: Hylidae is a nominal species, continentally distributed in South America, that may represent a complex of multiple species, each with a more limited distribution. To understand the spatial pattern of molecular diversity throughout the range of this species complex, we obtained DNA sequence data from two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome oxidase I (COI and the 16S rhibosomal gene (16S for 407 samples of D. minutus and closely related species distributed across eleven countries, effectively comprising the entire range of the group. We performed phylogenetic and spatially explicit phylogeographic analyses to assess the genetic structure of lineages and infer ancestral areas. We found 43 statistically supported, deep mitochondrial lineages, several of which may represent currently unrecognized distinct species. One major clade, containing 25 divergent lineages, includes samples from the type locality of D. minutus. We defined that clade as the D. minutus complex. The remaining lineages together with the D. minutus complex constitute the D. minutus species group. Historical analyses support an Amazonian origin for the D. minutus species group with a subsequent dispersal to eastern Brazil where the D. minutus complex originated. According to our dataset, a total of eight mtDNA lineages have ranges >100,000 km2. One of them occupies an area of almost one million km2 encompassing multiple biomes. Our results, at a spatial scale and resolution unprecedented for a Neotropical vertebrate, confirm that widespread amphibian species occur in lowland South America, yet at the same time a large proportion of cryptic diversity still remains to be discovered.

  9. High Levels of Diversity Uncovered in a Widespread Nominal Taxon: Continental Phylogeography of the Neotropical Tree Frog Dendropsophus minutus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehara, Marcelo; Crawford, Andrew J.; Orrico, Victor G. D.; Rodríguez, Ariel; Lötters, Stefan; Fouquet, Antoine; Barrientos, Lucas S.; Brusquetti, Francisco; De la Riva, Ignacio; Ernst, Raffael; Urrutia, Giuseppe Gagliardi; Glaw, Frank; Guayasamin, Juan M.; Hölting, Monique; Jansen, Martin; Kok, Philippe J. R.; Kwet, Axel; Lingnau, Rodrigo; Lyra, Mariana; Moravec, Jiří; Pombal, José P.; Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J. M.; Schulze, Arne; Señaris, J. Celsa; Solé, Mirco; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Twomey, Evan; Haddad, Celio F. B.; Vences, Miguel; Köhler, Jörn

    2014-01-01

    Species distributed across vast continental areas and across major biomes provide unique model systems for studies of biotic diversification, yet also constitute daunting financial, logistic and political challenges for data collection across such regions. The tree frog Dendropsophus minutus (Anura: Hylidae) is a nominal species, continentally distributed in South America, that may represent a complex of multiple species, each with a more limited distribution. To understand the spatial pattern of molecular diversity throughout the range of this species complex, we obtained DNA sequence data from two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and the 16S rhibosomal gene (16S) for 407 samples of D. minutus and closely related species distributed across eleven countries, effectively comprising the entire range of the group. We performed phylogenetic and spatially explicit phylogeographic analyses to assess the genetic structure of lineages and infer ancestral areas. We found 43 statistically supported, deep mitochondrial lineages, several of which may represent currently unrecognized distinct species. One major clade, containing 25 divergent lineages, includes samples from the type locality of D. minutus. We defined that clade as the D. minutus complex. The remaining lineages together with the D. minutus complex constitute the D. minutus species group. Historical analyses support an Amazonian origin for the D. minutus species group with a subsequent dispersal to eastern Brazil where the D. minutus complex originated. According to our dataset, a total of eight mtDNA lineages have ranges >100,000 km2. One of them occupies an area of almost one million km2 encompassing multiple biomes. Our results, at a spatial scale and resolution unprecedented for a Neotropical vertebrate, confirm that widespread amphibian species occur in lowland South America, yet at the same time a large proportion of cryptic diversity still remains to be discovered. PMID:25208078

  10. Collapse of amphibian communities due to an introduced Ranavirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Stephen J; Garner, Trenton W J; Nichols, Richard A; Balloux, François; Ayres, César; Mora-Cabello de Alba, Amparo; Bosch, Jaime

    2014-11-01

    The emergence of infectious diseases with a broad host range can have a dramatic impact on entire communities and has become one of the main threats to biodiversity. Here, we report the simultaneous exploitation of entire communities of potential hosts with associated severe declines following invasion by a novel viral pathogen. We found two phylogenetically related, highly virulent viruses (genus Ranavirus, family Iridoviridae) causing mass mortality in multiple, diverse amphibian hosts in northern Spain, as well as a third, relatively avirulent virus. We document host declines in multiple species at multiple sites in the region. Our work reveals a group of pathogens that seem to have preexisting capacity to infect and evade immunity in multiple diverse and novel hosts, and that are exerting massive impacts on host communities. This report provides an exceptional record of host population trends being tracked in real time following emergence of a wildlife disease and a striking example of a novel, generalist pathogen repeatedly crossing the species barrier with catastrophic consequences at the level of host communities.

  11. Body temperatures of selected amphibian and reptile species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raske, Matthew; Lewbart, Gregory A; Dombrowski, Daniel S; Hale, Peyton; Correa, Maria; Christian, Larry S

    2012-09-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates are a diverse group of animals that rely on external sources to maintain a preferred body temperature. Amphibians and reptiles have a preferred optimal temperature zone that allows for optimal biological function. Physiologic processes in ectotherms are influenced by temperature; these animals have capabilities in which they make use of behavioral and physiologic mechanisms to thermoregulate. Core body, ambient air, body surface, and surface/water temperatures were obtained from six ectothermic species including one anuran, two snakes, two turtles, and one alligator. Clinically significant differences between core body temperature and ambient temperature were noted in the black rat snake, corn snake, and eastern box turtle. No significant differences were found between core body and ambient temperature for the American alligator, bullfrog, mata mata turtle, dead spotted turtle, or dead mole king snake. This study indicates some ectotherms are able to regulate their body temperatures independent of their environment. Body temperature of ectotherms is an important component that clinicians should consider when selecting and providing therapeutic care. Investigation of basic physiologic parameters (heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature) from a diverse population of healthy ectothermic vertebrates may provide baseline data for a systematic health care approach.

  12. From Amazonia to the Atlantic forest: molecular phylogeny of Phyzelaphryninae frogs reveals unexpected diversity and a striking biogeographic pattern emphasizing conservation challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouquet, Antoine; Loebmann, Daniel; Castroviejo-Fisher, Santiago; Padial, José M; Orrico, Victor G D; Lyra, Mariana L; Roberto, Igor Joventino; Kok, Philippe J R; Haddad, Célio F B; Rodrigues, Miguel T

    2012-11-01

    Documenting the Neotropical amphibian diversity has become a major challenge facing the threat of global climate change and the pace of environmental alteration. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies have revealed that the actual number of species in South American tropical forests is largely underestimated, but also that many lineages are millions of years old. The genera Phyzelaphryne (1 sp.) and Adelophryne (6 spp.), which compose the subfamily Phyzelaphryninae, include poorly documented, secretive, and minute frogs with an unusual distribution pattern that encompasses the biotic disjunction between Amazonia and the Atlantic forest. We generated >5.8 kb sequence data from six markers for all seven nominal species of the subfamily as well as for newly discovered populations in order to (1) test the monophyly of Phyzelaphryninae, Adelophryne and Phyzelaphryne, (2) estimate species diversity within the subfamily, and (3) investigate their historical biogeography and diversification. Phylogenetic reconstruction confirmed the monophyly of each group and revealed deep subdivisions within Adelophryne and Phyzelaphryne, with three major clades in Adelophryne located in northern Amazonia, northern Atlantic forest and southern Atlantic forest. Our results suggest that the actual number of species in Phyzelaphryninae is, at least, twice the currently recognized species diversity, with almost every geographically isolated population representing an anciently divergent candidate species. Such results highlight the challenges for conservation, especially in the northern Atlantic forest where it is still degraded at a fast pace. Molecular dating revealed that Phyzelaphryninae originated in Amazonia and dispersed during early Miocene to the Atlantic forest. The two Atlantic forest clades of Adelophryne started to diversify some 7 Ma minimum, while the northern Amazonian Adelophryne diversified much earlier, some 13 Ma minimum. This striking biogeographic pattern coincides with

  13. Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Levis, C.; Costa, Flávia R.C.; Bongers, F.; Pena Claros, M.; Braga Junqueira, A.

    2017-01-01

    The extent to which pre-Columbian societies altered Amazonian landscapes is hotly debated. We performed a basin-wide analysis of pre-Columbian impacts on Amazonian forests by overlaying known archaeological sites in Amazonia with the distributions and abundances of 85 woody species domesticated by p

  14. Conceptual Design for the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, W. A.; Langtimm, C. A.; Adams, M. J.; Gallant, A. L.; James, D. L.

    2001-12-01

    In 2000, the President of the United States (US) and Congress directed Department of Interior (DOI) agencies to develop a program for monitoring trends in amphibian populations on DOI lands and to conduct research into causes of declines. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was given lead responsibility for planning and implementing the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. The program objectives are to (1) establish a network for monitoring the status and distribution of amphibian species on DOI lands; (2) identify and monitor environmental conditions known to affect amphibian populations; (3) conduct research on causes of amphibian population change and malformations; and (4) provide information to resource managers, policy makers, and the public in support of amphibian conservation. The ARMI program will integrate research efforts of USGS, other Federal, and non-federal herpetologists, hydrologists, and geographers across the Nation. ARMI will conduct a small number (~20) of intensive research efforts (for example, studies linking amphibian population changes to hydrologic conditions) and a larger number (~50) of more generalized inventory and monitoring studies encompassing broader areas such as NPS units. ARMI will coordinate with and try to augment other amphibian inventory studies such as the National Amphibian Atlas and the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. ARMI will develop and test protocols for the standardized collection of amphibian data and provide a centrally managed database designed to simplify data entry, retrieval, and analysis. ARMI pilot projects are underway at locations across the US.

  15. Global rates of habitat loss and implications for amphibian conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Casper, G.S.; Lannoo, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    A large number of factors are known to affect amphibian population viability, but most authors agree that the principal causes of amphibian declines are habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. We provide a global assessment of land use dynamics in the context of amphibian distributions. We accomplished this by compiling global maps of amphibian species richness and recent rates of change in land cover, land use, and human population growth. The amphibian map was developed using a combination of published literature and digital databases. We used an ecoregion framework to help interpret species distributions across environmental, rather than political, boundaries. We mapped rates of land cover and use change with statistics from the World Resources Institute, refined with a global digital dataset on land cover derived from satellite data. Temporal maps of human population were developed from the World Resources Institute database and other published sources. Our resultant map of amphibian species richness illustrates that amphibians are distributed in an uneven pattern around the globe, preferring terrestrial and freshwater habitats in ecoregions that are warm and moist. Spatiotemporal patterns of human population show that, prior to the 20th century, population growth and spread was slower, most extensive in the temperate ecoregions, and largely exclusive of major regions of high amphibian richness. Since the beginning of the 20th century, human population growth has been exponential and has occurred largely in the subtropical and tropical ecoregions favored by amphibians. Population growth has been accompanied by broad-scale changes in land cover and land use, typically in support of agriculture. We merged information on land cover, land use, and human population growth to generate a composite map showing the rates at which humans have been changing the world. When compared with the map of amphibian species richness, we found that many of the regions of the

  16. Presence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in rainwater suggests aerial dispersal is possible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Sara D. Ramirez,; Lee Berger,; Griffin, Dale W.; Merlijn Jocque,; Lee F. Skerratt,

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global spread of the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) may involve dispersal mechanisms not previously explored. Weather systems accompanied by strong wind and rainfall have been known to assist the dispersal of microbes pathogenic to plants and animals, and we considered a similar phenomenon might occur with Bd. We investigated this concept by sampling rainwater from 20 precipitation events for the presence of Bd in Cusuco National Park, Honduras: a site where high Bd prevalence was previously detected in stream-associated amphibians. Quantitative PCR analysis confirmed the presence of Bd in rainwater in one (5 %) of the weather events sampled, although viability cannot be ascertained from molecular presence alone. The source of the Bd and distance that the contaminated rainwater traveled could not be determined; however, this collection site was located approximately 600 m from the nearest observed perennial river by straight-line aerial distance. Although our results suggest atmospheric Bd dispersal is uncommon and unpredictable, even occasional short-distance aerial transport could considerably expand the taxonomic diversity of amphibians vulnerable to exposure and at risk of decline, including terrestrial and arboreal species that are not associated with permanent water bodies.

  17. Chytridiomycosis and amphibian population declines continue to spread eastward in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Kilburn, Vanessa L; Reinert, Laura K; Voyles, Jamie; Medina, Daniel; Ibáñez, Roberto; Hyatt, Alex D; Boyle, Donna G; Pask, James D; Green, David M; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2008-09-01

    Chytridiomycosis is a globally emerging disease of amphibians and the leading cause of population declines and extirpations at species-diverse montane sites in Central America. We continued long-term monitoring efforts for the presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and for amphibian populations at two sites in western Panama, and we began monitoring at three new sites to the east. Population declines associated with chytridiomycosis emergence were detected at Altos de Campana National Park. We also detected Bd in three species east of the Panama Canal at Soberanía National Park, and prevalence data suggests that Bd may be enzootic in the lowlands of the park. However, no infected frogs were found further east at Tortí (prevalence amphibian communities east of the canal are at risk. Precise predictions of future disease emergence events are not possible until factors underlying disease emergence, such as dispersal, are understood. However, if the fungal pathogen spreads in a pattern consistent with previous disease events in Panama, then detection of Bd at Tortí and other areas east of the Panama Canal is imminent. Therefore, development of new management strategies and increased precautions for tourism, recreation, and biology are urgently needed.

  18. AMPHIBIAN DECLINES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN THE EASTERN "MOJAVE DESERT"

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert, USA, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distribution of amphibians were investigated in a 20...

  19. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  20. All about Amphibians. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

    This videotape teaches children about their favorite amphibious creatures, as well as amphibians' nearest cousins--toads, newts, and salamanders. Young students discover how these amazing creatures can live both in and out of water, learn about the amphibious life cycle, and compare the differences between amphibians and reptiles. This videotape…

  1. Amazonian Triatomine Biodiversity and the Transmission of Chagas Disease in French Guiana: In Medio Stat Sanitas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Péneau, Julie; Nguyen, Anne; Flores-Ferrer, Alheli; Blanchet, Denis; Gourbière, Sébastien

    2016-02-01

    The effects of biodiversity on the transmission of infectious diseases now stand as a cornerstone of many public health policies. The upper Amazonia and Guyana shield are hot-spots of biodiversity that offer genuine opportunities to explore the relationship between the risk of transmission of Chagas disease and the diversity of its triatomine vectors. Over 730 triatomines were light-trapped in four geomorphological landscapes shaping French-Guiana, and we determined their taxonomic status and infection by Trypanosoma cruzi. We used a model selection approach to unravel the spatial and temporal variations in species abundance, diversity and infection. The vector community in French-Guiana is typically made of one key species (Panstrongylus geniculatus) that is more abundant than three secondary species combined (Rhodnius pictipes, Panstrongylus lignarius and Eratyrus mucronatus), and four other species that complete the assemblage. Although the overall abundance of adult triatomines does not vary across French-Guiana, their diversity increases along a coastal-inland gradient. These variations unravelled a non-monotonic relationship between vector biodiversity and the risk of transmission of Chagas disease, so that intermediate biodiversity levels are associated with the lowest risks. We also observed biannual variations in triatomine abundance, representing the first report of a biannual pattern in the risk of Chagas disease transmission. Those variations were highly and negatively correlated with the average monthly rainfall. We discuss the implications of these patterns for the transmission of T. cruzi by assemblages of triatomine species, and for the dual challenge of controlling Amazonian vector communities that are made of both highly diverse and mostly intrusive species.

  2. Estrogens can disrupt amphibian mating behavior.

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    Frauke Hoffmann

    Full Text Available The main component of classical contraceptives, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2, has high estrogenic activity even at environmentally relevant concentrations. Although estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds are assumed to contribute to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations by adverse effects on sexual differentiation, evidence for EE2 affecting amphibian mating behaviour is lacking. In this study, we demonstrate that EE2 exposure at five different concentrations (0.296 ng/L, 2.96 ng/L, 29.64 ng/L, 2.96 µg/L and 296.4 µg/L can disrupt the mating behavior of adult male Xenopus laevis. EE2 exposure at all concentrations lowered male sexual arousal, indicated by decreased proportions of advertisement calls and increased proportions of the call type rasping, which characterizes a sexually unaroused state of a male. Additionally, EE2 at all tested concentrations affected temporal and spectral parameters of the advertisement calls, respectively. The classical and highly sensitive biomarker vitellogenin, on the other hand, was only induced at concentrations equal or higher than 2.96 µg/L. If kept under control conditions after a 96 h EE2 exposure (2.96 µg/L, alterations of male advertisement calls vanish gradually within 6 weeks and result in a lower sexual attractiveness of EE2 exposed males toward females as demonstrated by female choice experiments. These findings indicate that exposure to environmentally relevant EE2 concentrations can directly disrupt male mate calling behavior of X. laevis and can indirectly affect the mating behavior of females. The results suggest the possibility that EE2 exposure could reduce the reproductive success of EE2 exposed animals and these effects might contribute to the global problem of amphibian decline.

  3. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  4. Richness and composition of macrophyte assemblages in four Amazonian lakes - doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v35i3.11602

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidinei Magela Thomaz

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Aquatic macrophytes are an important component in the structure of lakes in Neotropical floodplains, for example, because they support a high diversity of invertebrates and vertebrates. In this paper, we tested whether or not the variability of macrophyte assemblages is lower in spatially close quadrats than among quadrats of different lakes. The study was carried in four lakes in a large Amazonian floodplain (Purus river, where floating meadows were investigated. A total of 49 taxa of macrophytes were found. Five species dominated and three species were rare. Taxa richness, composition and beta diversity differed more between than within lakes. Because high beta diversity was found among the lakes, they should be considered individually important for maintaining the gamma diversity of macrophytes within the Purus River floodplain, and this should be considered in plans of lake management.  

  5. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

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    Ines Van Bocxlaer

    Full Text Available Overseas dispersals are often invoked when Southern Hemisphere terrestrial and freshwater organism phylogenies do not fit the sequence or timing of Gondwana fragmentation. We used dispersal-vicariance analyses and molecular timetrees to show that two species-rich frog groups, Microhylidae and Natatanura, display congruent patterns of spatial and temporal diversification among Gondwanan plates in the Late Cretaceous, long after the presumed major tectonic break-up events. Because amphibians are notoriously salt-intolerant, these analogies are best explained by simultaneous vicariance, rather than by oceanic dispersal. Hence our results imply Late Cretaceous connections between most adjacent Gondwanan landmasses, an essential concept for biogeographic and palaeomap reconstructions.

  6. Environmental change and the carbon balance of Amazonian forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aragão, Luiz E O C; Poulter, Benjamin; Barlow, Jos B; Anderson, Liana O; Malhi, Yadvinder; Saatchi, Sassan; Phillips, Oliver L; Gloor, Emanuel

    2014-11-01

    Extreme climatic events and land-use change are known to influence strongly the current carbon cycle of Amazonia, and have the potential to cause significant global climate impacts. This review intends to evaluate the effects of both climate and anthropogenic perturbations on the carbon balance of the Brazilian Amazon and to understand how they interact with each other. By analysing the outputs of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report 4 (AR4) model ensemble, we demonstrate that Amazonian temperatures and water stress are both likely to increase over the 21st Century. Curbing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon by 62% in 2010 relative to the 1990s mean decreased the Brazilian Amazon's deforestation contribution to global land use carbon emissions from 17% in the 1990s and early 2000s to 9% by 2010. Carbon sources in Amazonia are likely to be dominated by climatic impacts allied with forest fires (48.3% relative contribution) during extreme droughts. The current net carbon sink (net biome productivity, NBP) of +0.16 (ranging from +0.11 to +0.21) Pg C year(-1) in the Brazilian Amazon, equivalent to 13.3% of global carbon emissions from land-use change for 2008, can be negated or reversed during drought years [NBP = -0.06 (-0.31 to +0.01) Pg C year(-1) ]. Therefore, reducing forest fires, in addition to reducing deforestation, would be an important measure for minimizing future emissions. Conversely, doubling the current area of secondary forests and avoiding additional removal of primary forests would help the Amazonian gross forest sink to offset approximately 42% of global land-use change emissions. We conclude that a few strategic environmental policy measures are likely to strengthen the Amazonian net carbon sink with global implications. Moreover, these actions could increase the resilience of the net carbon sink to future increases in drought frequency.

  7. Fire-free land use in pre-1492 Amazonian savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriarte, José; Power, Mitchell J; Rostain, Stéphen; Mayle, Francis E; Jones, Huw; Watling, Jennifer; Whitney, Bronwen S; McKey, Doyle B

    2012-04-24

    The nature and scale of pre-Columbian land use and the consequences of the 1492 "Columbian Encounter" (CE) on Amazonia are among the more debated topics in New World archaeology and paleoecology. However, pre-Columbian human impact in Amazonian savannas remains poorly understood. Most paleoecological studies have been conducted in neotropical forest contexts. Of studies done in Amazonian savannas, none has the temporal resolution needed to detect changes induced by either climate or humans before and after A.D. 1492, and only a few closely integrate paleoecological and archaeological data. We report a high-resolution 2,150-y paleoecological record from a French Guianan coastal savanna that forces reconsideration of how pre-Columbian savanna peoples practiced raised-field agriculture and how the CE impacted these societies and environments. Our combined pollen, phytolith, and charcoal analyses reveal unexpectedly low levels of biomass burning associated with pre-A.D. 1492 savanna raised-field agriculture and a sharp increase in fires following the arrival of Europeans. We show that pre-Columbian raised-field farmers limited burning to improve agricultural production, contrasting with extensive use of fire in pre-Columbian tropical forest and Central American savanna environments, as well as in present-day savannas. The charcoal record indicates that extensive fires in the seasonally flooded savannas of French Guiana are a post-Columbian phenomenon, postdating the collapse of indigenous populations. The discovery that pre-Columbian farmers practiced fire-free savanna management calls into question the widely held assumption that pre-Columbian Amazonian farmers pervasively used fire to manage and alter ecosystems and offers fresh perspectives on an emerging alternative approach to savanna land use and conservation that can help reduce carbon emissions.

  8. Studies on the pharmacological activity of Amazonian Euphorbiaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macrae, W D; Hudson, J B; Towers, G H

    1988-01-01

    Plant material from 34 Amazonian species of the family Euphorbiaceae were collected and extracts prepared. Sixteen of these species have a documented use as a medicinal agent. The extracts were tested for their ability to inhibit the growth of the bacteria, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus; the yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans; the dermatophytic fungi, Microsporum canis, Microsporum fulvum, Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton gallinae; the viruses, Sindbis virus and murine cytomegalovirus; and tumours induced on potato discs by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. They were also examined for their toxicity to brine shrimp, Artemia salina. The results are discussed with respect to ethnobotanical information available for some of the species.

  9. Late Miocene Tidal Deposits in the Amazonian Foreland Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasanen, Matti E.; Linna, Ari M.; Santos, Jose C. R.; Negri, Francisco R.

    1995-07-01

    Late Miocene tidal sediments of Acre, Brazilian Amazonia, were deposited in an embayment or interior seaway located in the sub-Andean zone. This late Tertiary embayment system may once have connected the Caribbean with the South Atlantic. The tidal coasts of the embayment-seaway have provided an avenue for the earliest waif (over water) dispersal phases of the great American biotic interchange in the late Miocene. The subsequent change from semimarine to terrestrial environments is of value in assessing the importance of earlier hypotheses on the evolution of the western Amazonian landscape and gives insight into the formation of several observed biogeographic patterns, especially of aquatic biota.

  10. Composition of the Cutaneous Bacterial Community in Japanese Amphibians: Effects of Captivity, Host Species, and Body Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Bletz, Molly Catherine; Islam, Mohammed Mafizul; Shimizu, Norio; Bhuju, Sabin; Geffers, Robert; Jarek, Michael; Kurabayashi, Atsushi; Vences, Miguel

    2016-08-01

    The cutaneous microbiota plays a significant role in the biology of their vertebrate hosts, and its composition is known to be influenced both by host and environment, with captive conditions often altering alpha diversity. Here, we compare the cutaneous bacterial communities of 61 amphibians (both wild and captive) from Hiroshima, Japan, using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of a segment of the 16S rRNA gene. The majority of these samples came from a captive breeding facility at Hiroshima University where specimens from six species are maintained under highly standardized conditions for several generations. This allowed to identify host effects on the bacterial communities under near identical environmental conditions in captivity. We found the structure of the cutaneous bacterial community significantly differing between wild and captive individuals of newts, Cynops pyrrhogaster, with a higher alpha diversity found in the wild individuals. Community structure also showed distinct patterns when comparing different species of amphibians kept under highly similar conditions, revealing an intrinsic host effect. Bacterial communities of dorsal vs. ventral skin surfaces did not significantly differ in most species, but a trend of higher alpha diversity on the ventral surface was found in Oriental fire-bellied toads, Bombina orientalis. This study confirms the cutaneous microbiota of amphibians as a highly dynamic system influenced by a complex interplay of numerous factors.

  11. Fetal adaptations for viviparity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, Marvalee H

    2015-08-01

    Live-bearing has evolved in all three orders of amphibians--frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Developing young may be either yolk dependent, or maternal nutrients may be supplied after yolk is resorbed, depending on the species. Among frogs, embryos in two distantly related lineages develop in the skin of the maternal parents' backs; they are born either as advanced larvae or fully metamorphosed froglets, depending on the species. In other frogs, and in salamanders and caecilians, viviparity is intraoviductal; one lineage of salamanders includes species that are yolk dependent and born either as larvae or metamorphs, or that practice cannibalism and are born as metamorphs. Live-bearing caecilians all, so far as is known, exhaust yolk before hatching and mothers provide nutrients during the rest of the relatively long gestation period. The developing young that have maternal nutrition have a number of heterochronic changes, such as precocious development of the feeding apparatus and the gut. Furthermore, several of the fetal adaptations, such as a specialized dentition and a prolonged metamorphosis, are homoplasious and present in members of two or all three of the amphibian orders. At the same time, we know little about the developmental and functional bases for fetal adaptations, and less about the factors that drive their evolution and facilitate their maintenance.

  12. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

  13. Identification of Amazonian trees with DNA barcodes.

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    Mailyn Adriana Gonzalez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Large-scale plant diversity inventories are critical to develop informed conservation strategies. However, the workload required for classic taxonomic surveys remains high and is particularly problematic for megadiverse tropical forests. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Based on a comprehensive census of all trees in two hectares of a tropical forest in French Guiana, we examined whether plant DNA barcoding could contribute to increasing the quality and the pace of tropical plant biodiversity surveys. Of the eight plant DNA markers we tested (rbcLa, rpoC1, rpoB, matK, ycf5, trnL, psbA-trnH, ITS, matK and ITS had a low rate of sequencing success. More critically, none of the plastid markers achieved a rate of correct plant identification greater than 70%, either alone or combined. The performance of all barcoding markers was noticeably low in few species-rich clades, such as the Laureae, and the Sapotaceae. A field test of the approach enabled us to detect 130 molecular operational taxonomic units in a sample of 252 juvenile trees. Including molecular markers increased the identification rate of juveniles from 72% (morphology alone to 96% (morphology and molecular of the individuals assigned to a known tree taxon. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that while DNA barcoding is an invaluable tool for detecting errors in identifications and for identifying plants at juvenile stages, its limited ability to identify collections will constrain the practical implementation of DNA-based tropical plant biodiversity programs.

  14. A free-access online key to identify Amazonian ferns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Zuquim

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available There is urgent need for more data on species distributions in order to improve conservation planning. A crucial but challenging aspect of producing high-quality data is the correct identification of organisms. Traditional printed floras and dichotomous keys are difficult to use for someone not familiar with the technical jargon. In poorly known areas, such as Amazonia, they also become quickly outdated as new species are described or ranges extended. Recently, online tools have allowed developing dynamic, interactive, and accessible keys that make species identification possible for a broader public. In order to facilitate identifying plants collected in field inventories, we developed an internet-based free-access tool to identify Amazonian fern species. We focused on ferns, because they are easy to collect and their edaphic affinities are relatively well known, so they can be used as an indicator group for habitat mapping. Our key includes 302 terrestrial and aquatic entities mainly from lowland Amazonian forests. It is a free-access key, so the user can freely choose which morphological features to use and in which order to assess them. All taxa are richly illustrated, so specimens can be identified by a combination of character choices, visual comparison, and written descriptions. The identification tool was developed in Lucid 3.5 software and it is available at http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org:8080/sandbox/keys.jsp.

  15. HLA genes in Lamas Peruvian-Amazonian Amerindians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moscoso, Juan; Seclen, Segundo; Serrano-Vela, Juan I; Villena, A; Martinez-Laso, Jorge; Zamora, Jorge; Moreno, Almudena; Ira-Cachafeiro, Juan; Arnaiz-Villena, Antonio

    2006-04-01

    The Lamas Amerindians are the Chancas descents who established before 1532 a.d. (Spanish conquest) at Lamas City, Wayku quarter in a Peruvian-Amazonian province (San Martin). The Lamas HLA profile shows significant differences with other Amerindians HLA profile, i.e.: (a) a higher number of newly found haplotypes compared to other studied Amerindian populations, particularly HLA-A*02-B*48-DRB1*0403-DQB1*0302, A*02-B*48-DRB1*0804-DQB1*0402 and A*02-B*40-DRB1*0407-DQB1*0302; (b) a relative high frequency of HLA-DRB1*0901 (a high frequency southern Asian allele) and HLA-B*48 (a Na-Dene, Siberian and Eskimo allele); both alleles are also found frequently in Quechuas and Aymaras, but not in many other (particularly Meso American) Amerindians and (c) correspondence and neighbor-joining dendrogram analyses show that Lamas (Chancas) may have an origin close to Amazonian Indians that later reached the Andean altiplano.

  16. Spatial trends in leaf size of Amazonian rainforest trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Malhado

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Leaf size influences many aspects of tree function such as rates of transpiration and photosynthesis and, consequently, often varies in a predictable way in response to environmental gradients. The recent development of pan-Amazonian databases based on permanent botanical plots (e.g. RAINFOR, ATDN has now made it possible to assess trends in leaf size across environmental gradients in Amazonia. Previous plot-based studies have shown that the community structure of Amazonian trees breaks down into at least two major ecological gradients corresponding with variations in soil fertility (decreasing south to northeast and length of the dry season (increasing from northwest to south and east. Here we describe the results of the geographic distribution of leaf size categories based on 121 plots distributed across eight South American countries. We find that, as predicted, the Amazon forest is predominantly populated by tree species and individuals in the mesophyll size class (20.25–182.25 cm2. The geographic distribution of species and individuals with large leaves (>20.25 cm2 is complex but is generally characterized by a higher proportion of such trees in the north-west of the region. Spatially corrected regressions reveal weak correlations between the proportion of large-leaved species and metrics of water availability. We also find a significant negative relationship between leaf size and wood density.

  17. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  18. Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-10

    ER D C/ CE R L TR -1 3 -5 Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA C on st ru ct io n E n gi n ee ri n g R es ea rc...online library at http://acwc.sdp.sirsi.net/client/default. ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 May 2013 Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA...Washington, DC 20314-1000 ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 ii Abstract Many reptile and amphibian (collectively termed “herpetofauna”) populations are declining at a

  19. Zoonotic diseases associated with reptiles and amphibians: an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are popular as pets. There are increased concerns among public health officials because of the zoonotic potential associated with these animals. Encounters with reptiles and amphibians are also on the rise in the laboratory setting and with wild animals; in both of these practices, there is also an increased likelihood for exposure to zoonotic pathogens. It is important that veterinarians remain current with the literature as it relates to emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases attributed to reptiles and amphibians so that they can protect themselves, their staff, and their clients from potential problems.

  20. Ground-Vegetation Clutter Affects Phyllostomid Bat Assemblage Structure in Lowland Amazonian Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciente, Rodrigo; Bobrowiec, Paulo Estefano D; Magnusson, William E

    2015-01-01

    Vegetation clutter is a limiting factor for bats that forage near ground level, and may determine the distribution of species and guilds. However, many studies that evaluated the effects of vegetation clutter on bats have used qualitative descriptions rather than direct measurements of vegetation density. Moreover, few studies have evaluated the effect of vegetation clutter on a regional scale. Here, we evaluate the influence of the physical obstruction of vegetation on phyllostomid-bat assemblages along a 520 km transect in continuous Amazonian forest. We sampled bats using mist nets in eight localities during 80 nights (3840 net-hours) and estimated the ground-vegetation density with digital photographs. The total number of species, number of animalivorous species, total number of frugivorous species, number of understory frugivorous species, and abundance of canopy frugivorous bats were negatively associated with vegetation clutter. The bat assemblages showed a nested structure in relation to degree of clutter, with animalivorous and understory frugivorous bats distributed throughout the vegetation-clutter gradient, while canopy frugivores were restricted to sites with more open vegetation. The species distribution along the gradient of vegetation clutter was not closely associated with wing morphology, but aspect ratio and wing load differed between frugivores and animalivores. Vegetation structure plays an important role in structuring assemblages of the bats at the regional scale by increasing beta diversity between sites. Differences in foraging strategy and diet of the guilds seem to have contributed more to the spatial distribution of bats than the wing characteristics of the species alone.

  1. Seasonal and ontogenetic variation of skin microbial communities and relationships to natural disease dynamics in declining amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Ana V.; Savage, Anna E.; Hewson, Ian; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2015-01-01

    Recently, microbiologists have focused on characterizing the probiotic role of skin bacteria for amphibians threatened by the fungal disease chytridiomycosis. However, the specific characteristics of microbial diversity required to maintain health or trigger disease are still not well understood in natural populations. We hypothesized that seasonal and developmental transitions affecting susceptibility to chytridiomycosis could also alter the stability of microbial assemblages. To test our hypothesis, we examined patterns of skin bacterial diversity in two species of declining amphibians (Lithobates yavapaiensis and Eleutherodactylus coqui) affected by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We focused on two important transitions that affect Bd susceptibility: ontogenetic (from juvenile to adult) shifts in E. coqui and seasonal (from summer to winter) shifts in L. yavapaiensis. We used a combination of community-fingerprinting analyses and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to quantify changes in bacterial diversity and assemblage composition between seasons and developmental stages, and to investigate the relationship between bacterial diversity and pathogen load. We found that winter-sampled frogs and juveniles, two states associated with increased Bd susceptibility, exhibited higher diversity compared with summer-sampled frogs and adult individuals. Our findings also revealed that hosts harbouring higher bacterial diversity carried lower Bd infections, providing support for the protective role of bacterial communities. Ongoing work to understand skin microbiome resilience after pathogen disturbance has the potential to identify key taxa involved in disease resistance. PMID:26587253

  2. [Amphibians and reptiles in the swamps dominated by the palm Raphia taedigera (Arecaceae) in northeastern Costa Rica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonilla-Murillo, Fabian; Beneyto, Davinia; Sasa, Mahmood

    2013-09-01

    The herpetofauna that inhabits Caribbean Costa Rica has received considerable attention in the last two decades. This assemblage includes a total of 141 species of reptiles and 95 amphibians mostly distributed in tropical wet and moist lowland forests. While most information available came from primary and secondary forest sites, little is known about the amphibians and reptiles that inhabit more open habitats, such as wetlands and swamps. For instances, swaps dominated by the yolillo palm Raphia taedigera extend through much of the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and eastern Nicaragua, but information about the herpetological community that uses such environments remains practically unknown. This situation reflects the little research conducted in such inhospitable environments. Here, we report the results of an intensive survey conducted to assess the herpetological community that inhabit R. taedigera palm-swamps. A total of 14 species of amphibians and 17 of reptiles have been recorded from these swamps. Amphibians and reptiles that inhabit yolillo swamps have wide distributions along much of Middle America and are considered common species throughout their range. In general, yolillo swamps are poor environments for herpetofauna: richness of reptiles and amphibians is almost two times higher in the adjacent forest than in the palm dominated swamps. Furthermore, most species observed in this swamps can be considered habitat generalists that are well adapted to the extreme conditions imposed by the changes in hydroperiods, reduce understory cover, low tree diversity and simple forest architecture of these environments. Despite similarities in the herpetofauna, it is clear that not all forest species use yolillo habitat, a characteristic that is discussed in terms of physical stress driven by the prolonged hydroperiod and reduced leaflitter in the ground, as these features drive habitat structure and herpetofaunal complexity. Our list of species using

  3. ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION TO AMPHIBIANS. II: IN SITU CHARACTERIZATION OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION IN AMPHIBIAN HABITATS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has been hypothesized as a potential cause of amphibian population declines and increased incidences of malformations. Realistic studies documenting UV irradiance or dose have rarely been conducted in wetlands used by amphibians. We demonstrate that ...

  4. Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep in the Amazonian dolphin, Inia geoffrensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhametov, L M

    1987-08-18

    An electroencephalographic study of sleep in Amazonian dolphins, Inia geoffrensis, revealed that unihemispheric slow-wave sleep is the dominant sleep type in this species, as in the other two dolphin species that were studied earlier.

  5. Draft Genome Sequence of Microcystis aeruginosa CACIAM 03, a Cyanobacterium Isolated from an Amazonian Freshwater Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Wendel Oliveira; Lima, Alex Ranieri Jerônimo; Moraes, Pablo Henrique Gonçalves; Siqueira, Andrei Santos; Aguiar, Délia Cristina Figueira; Baraúna, Anna Rafaella Ferreira; Martins, Luisa Carício; Fuzii, Hellen Thais; de Lima, Clayton Pereira Silva; Vianez-Júnior, João Lídio Silva Gonçalves; Nunes, Márcio Roberto Teixeira; Dall'Agnol, Leonardo Teixeira

    2016-01-01

    Given its toxigenic potential, Microcystis aeruginosa is an important bloom-forming cyanobacterium. Here, we present a draft genome and annotation of the strain CACIAM 03, which was isolated from an Amazonian freshwater environment. PMID:27856592

  6. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

    Volumes of data illustrate the severity of the crisis affecting amphibians, where > 32% of amphibians worldwide are threatened with declining populations. Although there have been isolated victories, the current approach to the issue is unsuccessful. We suggest that a radically different approach, something akin to human emergency response management (i.e. the Incident Command System), is one alternative to addressing the inertia and lack of cohesion in responding to amphibian issues. We acknowledge existing efforts and the useful research that has been conducted, but we suggest that a change is warranted and that the identification of a new amphibian chytrid provides the impetus for such a change. Our goal is to recognize that without a centralized effort we (collectively) are likely to fail in responding to this challenge.

  7. Scientists urge enforcement of an amphibian conservation plan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ A group of CAS biologists recently lodged an appeal, calling for initiating a national action plan as soon as possible to protect the amphibian species now struggling for their survival throughout the country.

  8. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Adams

    Full Text Available Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  9. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study identified the factors responsible for the decline of native amphibians in the U.S. The type of land use, the introduction of exotic animal species, and chemical contamination were identified as the most likely causes of decline.

  10. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J; Miller, David A W; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L; Fellers, Gary M; Fisher, Robert N; Sadinski, Walter J; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  11. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Miller, David A.W.; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  12. Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Cusuco National Park, Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Padgett-Flohr, Gretchen E; Field, Richard

    2010-11-01

    Amphibian population declines in Honduras have long been attributed to habitat degradation and pollution, but an increasing number of declines are now being observed from within the boundaries of national parks in pristine montane environments. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in these declines and was recently documented in Honduras from samples collected in Pico Bonito National Park in 2003. This report now confirms Cusuco National Park, a protected cloud forest reserve with reported amphibian declines, to be the second known site of infection for Honduras. B. dendrobatidis infection was detected in 5 amphibian species: Craugastor rostralis, Duellmanohyla soralia, Lithobates maculata, Plectrohyla dasypus, and Ptychohyla hypomykter. D. soralia, P. dasypus, and P. hypomykter are listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and have severely fragmented or restricted distributions. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether observed infection levels indicate an active B. dendrobatidis epizootic with the potential to cause further population declines and extinction.

  13. Fish Springs NWR mammal, fish, amphibian, and reptile list

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The following is a species list for mammals, fishes, amphibians, and reptiles found on or adjacent to Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, as of October, 1996.

  14. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles, estuarine turtles, and amphibians for Long Island, New York. Vector polygons in this data...

  15. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  16. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3 : Interim Report 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWS's Environmental Contaminants Program (currently Environmental Quality Program) received funding as part of the Department of Interior's Amphibian...

  17. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3 : Interim Report 2003

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWS's Environmental Contaminants Program (currently Environmental Quality Program) received funding as part of the Department of Interior's Amphibian...

  18. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3: 2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWS's Environmental Contaminants Program (currently Environmental Quality Program) received funding as part of the Department of Interior's Amphibian...

  19. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  20. Declining amphibian populations: a global phenomenon in conservation biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gardner, T.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The majority of the recent reductions in the Earth's biodiversity can be attributed to direct human impacts on the environment. An increasing number of studies over the last decade have reported declines in amphibian populations in areas of pristine habitat. Such reports suggest the role of indirect factors and a global effect of human activities on natural systems. Declines in amphibian populations bear significant implications for the functioning of many terrestrial ecosystems, and may signify important implications for human welfare. A wide range of candidates have been proposed to explain amphibian population declines. However, it seems likely that the relevance of each factor is dependent upon the habitat type and species in question, and that complex synergistic effects between a number of environmental factors is of critical importance. Monitoring of amphibian populations to assess the extent and cause of declines is confounded by a number of ecological and methodological limitations.

  1. Checklist of Helminth parasites of Amphibians from South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campião, Karla Magalhães; Morais, Drausio Honorio; Dias, Olívia Tavares; Aguiar, Aline; Toledo, Gislayne De Melo; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo Roland; Da Silva, Reinaldo José

    2014-07-30

    Parasitological studies on helminths of amphibians in South America have increased in the past few years. Here, we present a list with summarized data published on helminths of South American amphibians from 1925 to 2012, including a list of helminth parasites, host species, and geographic records. We found 194 reports of helminths parasitizing 185 amphibian species from eleven countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Equador, French Guyana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Helminth biodiversity includes 278 parasite species of the groups Acanthocephala, Nematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Trematoda. A list of helminth parasite species per host, and references are also presented. This contribution aims to document the biodiversity of helminth parasites in South American amphibians, as well as identify gaps in our knowledge, which in turn may guide subsequent studies. 

  2. Metabolism of pesticides after dermal exposure to amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding how pesticide exposure to non-target species influences toxicity is necessary to accurately assess the ecological risks these compounds pose. Aquatic, terrestrial, and arboreal amphibians are often exposed to pesticides during their agricultural application resultin...

  3. Update of reptile and amphibian lists Kern NWR complex

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document includes a list of reptiles and amphibians found at Kern NWR, and lists brief species accounts for rare sightings/species. Attached are updated lists...

  4. Abnormal amphibians on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This project contains a journal article, a news release, FAQs, a fact sheet, photos, and a dataset related to a 10-year study of amphibian abnormalities on U.S....

  5. Amphibian and Reptile Research on Coldwater National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The management actions in the wildlife ponds on Coldwater National Wildlife Refuge create a highly variable and dynamic environment for amphibians and reptiles. Some...

  6. C dynamics in Amazonian podzols under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunan, Naoise; Soro, Andre; Potard, Kevin; Pouteau, Valerie; Montes, Celia; Melphi, Adolpho; Lucas, Yves; Chenu, Claire

    2016-04-01

    It has recently been shown that the C stocks in Amazonian podzols are very large. They are much larger than was previously thought, particularly in the Bh horizon, which has been estimated to contain in excess of 13Pg C for Amazonia alone. It is predicted that the changes in regional climate will result in a drier soil water regime which may affect the C dynamics in these soils that are usually saturated. In order to determine the vulnerability to change of the organic C contained in the Amazonian podzols, a series of incubation experiments were established in which the effects of a number of different factors on microbial decomposition were measured. The direct effect of drier soil water regimes was tested by incubating undisturbed cores from the Bh horizon at a range of matric potentials (saturation to wilting point). Contrary to what is usually found in soils, no significant difference in mineralisation was found among matric potentials, suggesting that other factors control microbial mineralisation of this organic C. The effect of nitrogen additions, of anaerobic conditions and of the addition labile C substrate were also tested on undisturbed cores of the Bh horizon of the podzols. Samples incubated under aerobic conditions produced 3 times more CO2 than samples incubated under anaerobic conditions, whilst samples incubated under aerobic conditions with the addition of N mineralised 6.7 times more CO2 than the anaerobic samples. The addition of labile C did not have a significant effect on C mineralisation, i.e. there was no priming effect. The combined addition of labile C and mineral N did not stimulate C mineralisation more than N additions alone. By extrapolating the differences obtained here to the whole of the Amazonian podzols, it is estimated that changes in conditions which result in an increase in O2 and in N (i.e. changes in vegetation due to increases in dry periods with the establishment of a savanna for example) in the soil will cause the release

  7. Mapping phytophysiognomies to undisclosed past landscape in an Amazonian wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremon, E.; Rossetti, D.; Zani, H.

    2012-12-01

    Wetlands cover 800,000 km2 in the Amazon basin, and these not distributed randomly in the landscape. These areas record a complex geomorphological history during the late Quaternary, mainly due to interplay of tectonics and climatic changes, which resulted in high volumes of sediment deposited in renewed accommodation spaces. It is interesting that these wetlands are highlighted by open vegetation of non-random distribution in contrast with the surrounding rainforest. In general, natural patches of open vegetation within the Amazonian forest have been most often assigned to past arid climatic episodes, or contrasting soil properties. In this work, we analyzed the relationship between geomorphology and the distribution of vegetation patterns over an Amazonian wetland located in the interfluve of the Negro and Branco Rivers. This area is interesting because it contains one of the largest (i.e., more than 100 km in length and 50 km in width) patches of open vegetation (mostly grassland campinarana) in sharp contrast with the rainforest. The main goal was to perform a phytophysiognomic map based on decision tree classifier and data mining of reflectance factor and backscattering using TM/Landsat (dry season) and PALSAR (wet season) images. Five phytophysiognomies were categorized: rainforest; flooded forest; wooded open vegetation; grassy-shrubby open vegetation; and water body. The output map showed an overall accuracy of 94% and Kappa index of 0.93 (p grassy, shrubby and woody) from forested areas (rainforest and flooded forest). Together with the visual interpretation of remote sensing products, the achieved phytophysiognomic map served as the basis for a geomorphological interpretation of the study area. Hence, grassy and shrubby open vegetation class defines a triangular, cone-shaped morphology sharply bounded by flooded and dense forests. Within the open forest, there are also numerous, narrow and elongated belts of wooded open vegetation and forest, which

  8. Estimating the global conservation status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    ter Steege, Hans; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Killeen, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree...... degradation, highlighting the key roles that protected areas, indigenous peoples, and improved governance can play in preventing large-scale extinctions in the tropics in this century....

  9. Diversidade de Calliphoridae (Insecta: Diptera na base de extração petrolífera da Bacia do Rio Urucu, na Amazônia brasileira Diversity of Calliphoridae flies (Insecta: Diptera in the oil extraction field of Rio Urucu basin, in brasilian Amazonian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Esposito

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available A diversidade e abundância de dípteros califorídeos de três ambientes (clareira artificial, clareira natural e mata de Porto Urucu/AM foram avaliadas em coletas anuais realizadas em 2004, 2005 e 2006. Ao longo destes três anos foram coletados 2.121 exemplares pertencentes a 14 espécies. As espécies mais abundantes foram Chloroprocta idioidea (Robineau- Desvoidy, Eumesembrinella randa (Walker e Hemilucilia semidiaphana (Rondani. Os habitats de matas e clareiras naturais apresentaram maior abundância de califorídeos quando comparados às clareiras artificiais, com índices de diversidade e equitabilidade também maiores do que em clareiras artificiais, onde a dominância foi mais elevada.The diversity and abundance of blow flies in three environments (anthropic gaps, tree-fall gaps, and primary "terra firme" forest of Porto Urucu/AM were evaluated in annual collects realized in 2004, 2005, and 2006. During these three years were collected 2,121 specimens belonging to 14 species. The most abundant species were Chloroprocta idioidea (Robineau- Desvoidy, Eumesembrinella randa (Walker, and Hemilucilia semidiaphana (Rondani. Primary forests and tree-fall gaps enviroments, showed higher blow flies abundance than anthropic gaps, with diversity and equitability index higher than anthropic gaps, when the dominance value was high.

  10. Initial diversification of living amphibians predated the breakup of Pangaea

    OpenAIRE

    2005-01-01

    The origin and divergence of the three living orders of amphibians (Anura, Caudata, Gymnophiona) and their main lineages are one of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution. Here, we present a robust molecular phylogeny based on the nuclear RAG1 gene as well as results from a variety of alternative independent molecular clock calibrations. Our analyses suggest that the origin and early divergence of the three living amphibian orders dates back to the Palaeozoic or early Mesozoic,...

  11. Resistance to cancer in amphibians: a role for apoptosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruben, Laurens N; Johnson, Rachel O; Clothier, Richard H; Balls, Michael

    2013-07-01

    The rarity of spontaneous cancer in amphibians, and the difficulty of inducing cancer in these lower vertebrates, suggest that they possess an effective system for resistance to the development of cancer. The first part of this narrative presents evidence for cancer resistance in amphibians, and then a variety of studies designed to help understand the physiological basis for this resistance are reviewed. Here, our emphasis is on evidence with regard to the role that apoptosis might play.

  12. Low plant density enhances gene dispersal in the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Côrtes, Marina C; Uriarte, María; Lemes, Maristerra R; Gribel, Rogério; Kress, W John; Smouse, Peter E; Bruna, Emilio M

    2013-11-01

    In theory, conservation genetics predicts that forest fragmentation will reduce gene dispersal, but in practice, genetic and ecological processes are also dependent on other population characteristics. We used Bayesian genetic analyses to characterize parentage and propagule dispersal in Heliconia acuminata L. C. Richard (Heliconiaceae), a common Amazonian understory plant that is pollinated and dispersed by birds. We studied these processes in two continuous forest sites and three 1-ha fragments in Brazil's Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. These sites showed variation in the density of H. acuminata. Ten microsatellite markers were used to genotype flowering adults and seedling recruits and to quantify realized pollen and seed dispersal distances, immigration of propagules from outside populations, and reproductive dominance among parents. We tested whether gene dispersal is more dependent on fragmentation or density of reproductive plants. Low plant densities were associated with elevated immigration rates and greater propagule dispersal distances. Reproductive dominance among inside-plot parents was higher for low-density than for high-density populations. Elevated local flower and fruit availability is probably leading to spatially more proximal bird foraging and propagule dispersal in areas with high density of reproductive plants. Nevertheless, genetic diversity, inbreeding coefficients and fine-scale spatial genetic structure were similar across populations, despite differences in gene dispersal. This result may indicate that the opposing processes of longer dispersal events in low-density populations vs. higher diversity of contributing parents in high-density populations balance the resulting genetic outcomes and prevent genetic erosion in small populations and fragments.

  13. Why amphibians are more sensitive than mammals to xenobiotics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo Quaranta

    Full Text Available Dramatic declines in amphibian populations have been described all over the world since the 1980s. The evidence that the sensitivity to environmental threats is greater in amphibians than in mammals has been generally linked to the observation that amphibians are characterized by a rather permeable skin. Nevertheless, a numerical comparison of data of percutaneous (through the skin passage between amphibians and mammals is lacking. Therefore, in this investigation we have measured the percutaneous passage of two test molecules (mannitol and antipyrine and three heavily used herbicides (atrazine, paraquat and glyphosate in the skin of the frog Rana esculenta (amphibians and of the pig ear (mammals, by using the same experimental protocol and a simple apparatus which minimizes the edge effect, occurring when the tissue is clamped in the usually used experimental device.The percutaneous passage (P of each substance is much greater in frog than in pig. LogP is linearly related to logKow (logarithm of the octanol-water partition coefficient. The measured P value of atrazine was about 134 times larger than that of glyphosate in frog skin, but only 12 times in pig ear skin. The FoD value (Pfrog/Ppig was 302 for atrazine, 120 for antipyrine, 66 for mannitol, 29 for paraquat, and 26 for glyphosate.The differences in structure and composition of the skin between amphibians and mammals are discussed.

  14. Global amphibian declines: perspectives from the United States and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Densmore, Christine L.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.

    2011-01-01

    Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.

  15. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, C Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-06-14

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines.

  16. Evolution of the amygdala: new insights from studies in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laberge, Frédéric; Mühlenbrock-Lenter, Sabine; Grunwald, Wolfgang; Roth, Gerhard

    2006-01-01

    The histology of amphibian brains gives an impression of relative simplicity when compared with that of reptiles or mammals. The amphibian telencephalon is small and contains comparatively few and large neurons, which in most parts constitute a dense periventricular cellular layer. However, the view emerging from the last decade is that the brains of all tetrapods, including amphibians, share a general bauplan resulting from common ancestry and the need to perform similar vital functions. To what extent this common organization also applies to higher brain functions is unknown due to a limited knowledge of the neurobiology of early vertebrates. The amygdala is widely recognized as a brain center critical for basic forms of emotional learning (e.g., fear conditioning) and its structure in amphibians could suggest how this capacity evolved. A functional systems approach is used here to synthesize the results of our anatomical investigations of the amphibian amygdala. It is proposed that the connectivity of the amphibian telencephalon portends a capacity for multi-modal association in a limbic system largely similar to that of amniote vertebrates. One remarkable exception is the presence of new sensory-associative regions of the amygdala in amniotes: the posterior dorsal ventricular ridge plus lateral nuclei in reptiles and the basolateral complex in mammals. These presumably homologous regions apparently are capable of modulating the phylogenetically older central amygdala and allow more complex forms of emotional learning.

  17. Why amphibians are more sensitive than mammals to xenobiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quaranta, Angelo; Bellantuono, Vito; Cassano, Giuseppe; Lippe, Claudio

    2009-11-04

    Dramatic declines in amphibian populations have been described all over the world since the 1980s. The evidence that the sensitivity to environmental threats is greater in amphibians than in mammals has been generally linked to the observation that amphibians are characterized by a rather permeable skin. Nevertheless, a numerical comparison of data of percutaneous (through the skin) passage between amphibians and mammals is lacking. Therefore, in this investigation we have measured the percutaneous passage of two test molecules (mannitol and antipyrine) and three heavily used herbicides (atrazine, paraquat and glyphosate) in the skin of the frog Rana esculenta (amphibians) and of the pig ear (mammals), by using the same experimental protocol and a simple apparatus which minimizes the edge effect, occurring when the tissue is clamped in the usually used experimental device.The percutaneous passage (P) of each substance is much greater in frog than in pig. LogP is linearly related to logKow (logarithm of the octanol-water partition coefficient). The measured P value of atrazine was about 134 times larger than that of glyphosate in frog skin, but only 12 times in pig ear skin. The FoD value (Pfrog/Ppig) was 302 for atrazine, 120 for antipyrine, 66 for mannitol, 29 for paraquat, and 26 for glyphosate.The differences in structure and composition of the skin between amphibians and mammals are discussed.

  18. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae by Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J. Sloggett

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura, with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups.

  19. Impact of pre-Columbian "geoglyph" builders on Amazonian forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watling, Jennifer; Iriarte, José; Mayle, Francis E; Schaan, Denise; Pessenda, Luiz C R; Loader, Neil J; Street-Perrott, F Alayne; Dickau, Ruth E; Damasceno, Antonia; Ranzi, Alceu

    2017-02-21

    Over 450 pre-Columbian (pre-AD 1492) geometric ditched enclosures ("geoglyphs") occupy ∼13,000 km(2) of Acre state, Brazil, representing a key discovery of Amazonian archaeology. These huge earthworks were concealed for centuries under terra firme (upland interfluvial) rainforest, directly challenging the "pristine" status of this ecosystem and its perceived vulnerability to human impacts. We reconstruct the environmental context of geoglyph construction and the nature, extent, and legacy of associated human impacts. We show that bamboo forest dominated the region for ≥6,000 y and that only small, temporary clearings were made to build the geoglyphs; however, construction occurred within anthropogenic forest that had been actively managed for millennia. In the absence of widespread deforestation, exploitation of forest products shaped a largely forested landscape that survived intact until the late 20th century.

  20. Baseline Population Inventory of Amphibians on the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge and Screening for the Amphibian Disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — From July of 2012 to June of 2013, we conducted baseline inventories for amphibians and sampled for the disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on the Mountain...

  1. Influence of hydrological pulse on bacterial growth and DOC uptake in a clear-water Amazonian lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farjalla, Vinicius F; Azevedo, Debora A; Esteves, Francisco A; Bozelli, Reinaldo L; Roland, Fabio; Enrich-Prast, Alex

    2006-08-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate: (1) the bacterial growth and the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) uptake in an Amazonian lake (Lake Batata) at high-water and low-water periods of the flood pulse; (2) the influence of nitrogen and phosphorus (NP) additions on bacterial growth and DOC uptake in Lake Batata at two flood pulse periods; and (3) the bioavailability of the main DOC sources in Lake Batata. Lake Batata is a typical clear-water Amazonian lake, located in the watershed of Trombetas River, Central Amazon, Brazil. Bacterial batch cultures were set up with 90% 0.2-microm filtered water and 10% inoculum from Lake Batata. N-NH(4)NO(3) and P-KH(2)PO(4), with final concentrations of 50 and 5 microM, respectively, were added to the cultures, except for controls. Extra sources of DOC (e.g., algal lysate, plant leachates) were added to constitute six distinct treatments. Bacterial response was measured by maximum bacterial abundance and rates of bacterial production, respiration, DOC uptake, and bacterial growth efficiency (BGE). Bacterial growth and DOC uptake were higher in NP treatments than in controls, indicating a consistent nutrient limitation in Lake Batata. The composition of DOC also seems to be an important regulating factor of bacterial growth in Lake Batata. Seasonally, bacterial growth and DOC bioavailability were higher at low-water period, when the phytoplankton is a significant extra source of DOC, than at high-water period, when the forest is the main source of DOC. DOC bioavailability was better estimated based on the diversity and the diagenetic stage of carbon compounds than on single classes of labile compounds. Changes in BGE were better related to CNP stoichiometry in the water, and the "excess" of organic substrates was oxidized in catabolism, despite the quality of these compounds for bacterial growth. Finally, we conclude that bacterial growth and DOC uptake vary throughout the flood pulse in clear-water Amazonian ecosystems as a result

  2. Effects of urbanization on the distribution and abundance of amphibians and invasive species in southern California streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, S.P.D.; Busteed, G.T.; Kats, L.B.; Vandergon, T.L.; Lee, L.F.S.; Dagit, R.G.; Kerby, J.L.; Fisher, R.N.; Sauvajot, R.M.

    2005-01-01

    Urbanization negatively affects natural ecosystems in many ways, and aquatic systems in particular. Urbanization is also cited as one of the potential contributors to recent dramatic declines in amphibian populations. From 2000 to 2002 we determined the distribution and abundance of native amphibians and exotic predators and characterized stream habitat and invertebratecommunities in 35 streams in an urbanized landscape north of Los Angeles (U.S.A.). We measured watershed development as the percentage of area within each watershed occupied by urban land uses. Streams in more developed watersheds often had exotic crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and fish, and had fewer native species such as California newts (Taricha torosa) and California treefrogs (Hyla cadaverina). These effects seemed particularly evident above 8% development, a result coincident with other urban stream studies that show negative impacts beginning at 10-15% urbanization. For Pacific treefrogs (H. regilla), the most widespread native amphibian, abundance was lower in the presence of exotic crayfish, although direct urbanization effects were not found. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities were also less diverse in urban streams, especially for sensitive species. Faunal community changes in urban streams may be related to changes in physical stream habitat, such as fewer pool and more run habitats and increased water depth and flow, leading to more permanent streams. Variation in stream permanence was particularly evident in 2002, a dry year when many natural streams were dry but urban streams were relatively unchanged. Urbanization has significantly altered stream habitat in this region and may enhance invasion by exotic species and negatively affect diversity and abundance of native amphibians. ??2005 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Drought sensitivity of Amazonian carbon balance revealed by atmospheric measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, L V; Gloor, M; Miller, J B; Doughty, C E; Malhi, Y; Domingues, L G; Basso, L S; Martinewski, A; Correia, C S C; Borges, V F; Freitas, S; Braz, R; Anderson, L O; Rocha, H; Grace, J; Phillips, O L; Lloyd, J

    2014-02-06

    Feedbacks between land carbon pools and climate provide one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our predictions of global climate. Estimates of the sensitivity of the terrestrial carbon budget to climate anomalies in the tropics and the identification of the mechanisms responsible for feedback effects remain uncertain. The Amazon basin stores a vast amount of carbon, and has experienced increasingly higher temperatures and more frequent floods and droughts over the past two decades. Here we report seasonal and annual carbon balances across the Amazon basin, based on carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide measurements for the anomalously dry and wet years 2010 and 2011, respectively. We find that the Amazon basin lost 0.48 ± 0.18 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C yr(-1)) during the dry year but was carbon neutral (0.06 ± 0.1 Pg C yr(-1)) during the wet year. Taking into account carbon losses from fire by using carbon monoxide measurements, we derived the basin net biome exchange (that is, the carbon flux between the non-burned forest and the atmosphere) revealing that during the dry year, vegetation was carbon neutral. During the wet year, vegetation was a net carbon sink of 0.25 ± 0.14 Pg C yr(-1), which is roughly consistent with the mean long-term intact-forest biomass sink of 0.39 ± 0.10 Pg C yr(-1) previously estimated from forest censuses. Observations from Amazonian forest plots suggest the suppression of photosynthesis during drought as the primary cause for the 2010 sink neutralization. Overall, our results suggest that moisture has an important role in determining the Amazonian carbon balance. If the recent trend of increasing precipitation extremes persists, the Amazon may become an increasing carbon source as a result of both emissions from fires and the suppression of net biome exchange by drought.

  4. Large-scale degradation of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castello, Leandro; Macedo, Marcia N

    2016-03-01

    Hydrological connectivity regulates the structure and function of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems and the provisioning of services that sustain local populations. This connectivity is increasingly being disrupted by the construction of dams, mining, land-cover changes, and global climate change. This review analyzes these drivers of degradation, evaluates their impacts on hydrological connectivity, and identifies policy deficiencies that hinder freshwater ecosystem protection. There are 154 large hydroelectric dams in operation today, and 21 dams under construction. The current trajectory of dam construction will leave only three free-flowing tributaries in the next few decades if all 277 planned dams are completed. Land-cover changes driven by mining, dam and road construction, agriculture and cattle ranching have already affected ~20% of the Basin and up to ~50% of riparian forests in some regions. Global climate change will likely exacerbate these impacts by creating warmer and dryer conditions, with less predictable rainfall and more extreme events (e.g., droughts and floods). The resulting hydrological alterations are rapidly degrading freshwater ecosystems, both independently and via complex feedbacks and synergistic interactions. The ecosystem impacts include biodiversity loss, warmer stream temperatures, stronger and more frequent floodplain fires, and changes to biogeochemical cycles, transport of organic and inorganic materials, and freshwater community structure and function. The impacts also include reductions in water quality, fish yields, and availability of water for navigation, power generation, and human use. This degradation of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems cannot be curbed presently because existing policies are inconsistent across the Basin, ignore cumulative effects, and overlook the hydrological connectivity of freshwater ecosystems. Maintaining the integrity of these freshwater ecosystems requires a basinwide research and policy framework

  5. A checklist of the reptiles and amphibians found in protected areas along the South African Wild Coast, with notes on conservation implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan A. Venter

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We surveyed six protected areas along the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, to determine general herpetofaunal diversity as well as the representation of species of special conservation concern. Visual encounter survey methods and standard Y-shape trap arrays were used to conduct surveys from 2011 to 2013. A total of 59 species (22 amphibians and 37 reptiles were recorded. A number of previously unknown populations of threatened species and one potential novel species were discovered in these protected areas, and the known ranges of several other species were extended. A total of 243 quarter-degree grid-cell unit records were documented, of which 90 (23% amphibians and 50% reptiles represented the first records for the area. Amphibian and reptile diversity increased along the coast and a number of species of conservation concern were well represented in current protected areas. Our study provides a comprehensive amphibian and reptile checklist for an under-sampled region and highlights the importance of baseline data for improving conservation management.Conservation implications: Small protected areas play an important role in conserving a number of threatened herpetofaunal species along the Wild Coast. The region is currently under significant and increasing pressure from anthropogenic-induced environmental degradation, which affects biodiversity and subsequently the local inhabitants. The information presented here represents an important baseline for future conservation management.

  6. A mid-Pleistocene rainforest corridor enabled synchronous invasions of the Atlantic Forest by Amazonian anole lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prates, Ivan; Rivera, Danielle; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Carnaval, Ana C

    2016-10-01

    Shifts in the geographic distribution of habitats over time can promote dispersal and vicariance, thereby influencing large-scale biogeographic patterns and ecological processes. An example is that of transient corridors of suitable habitat across disjunct but ecologically similar regions, which have been associated with climate change over time. Such connections likely played a role in the assembly of tropical communities, especially within the highly diverse Amazonian and Atlantic rainforests of South America. Although these forests are presently separated by open and dry ecosystems, paleoclimatic and phylogenetic evidence suggest that they have been transiently connected in the past. However, little is known about the timing, magnitude and the distribution of former forest connections. We employ sequence data at multiple loci from three codistributed arboreal lizards (Anolis punctatus, Anolis ortonii and Polychrus marmoratus) to infer the phylogenetic relationships among Amazonian and Atlantic Forest populations and to test alternative historical demographic scenarios of colonization and vicariance using coalescent simulations and approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). Data from the better-sampled Anolis species support colonization of the Atlantic Forest from eastern Amazonia. Hierarchical ABC indicates that the three species colonized the Atlantic Forest synchronously during the mid-Pleistocene. We find support of population bottlenecks associated with founder events in the two Anolis, but not in P. marmoratus, consistently with their distinct ecological tolerances. Our findings support that climatic fluctuations provided key opportunities for dispersal and forest colonization in eastern South America through the cessation of environmental barriers. Evidence of species-specific histories strengthens assertions that biological attributes play a role in responses to shared environmental change.

  7. Palm diversity and abundance in the Colombian Amazon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Henrik; Copete, Juan Carlos; Pedersen, Dennis

    2017-01-01

    We studied diversity and abundance of palms in the eastern Colombian Amazon in 71 transects, 61 measuring 5×500 m and 10 transects measuring 4×500 m, innventoring a total of 17.25 hectares. We found a total of 74 species in 21 genera. In terra firme we found 68 species in 20 genera and an average...... found in this study (Euterpe precatoria, Oenocarpus bataua, Attalea butyracea, Iriartella setigera) coincide with dominant species in other Amazonian palm communities....

  8. Determinants of beta diversity: the relative importance of environmental and spatial processes in structuring phytoplankton communities in an Amazonian floodplain Determinantes da diversidade beta: a importância relativa de processos ambientais e espaciais na estrutura de comunidades fitoplanctônicas de uma planície de inundação amazônica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ina de Souza Nogueira

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available AIM: Beta diversity is defined as the change in species composition along environmental gradients, and in the present study, we investigated the influence of local (i.e., environmental and regional (i.e., dispersal factors in community structure. The aims of this study were to evaluate the beta diversity of phytoplankton communities in the Curuaí floodplain and to determine the relative importance of environmental and spatial processes in shaping phytoplankton community structure; METHOD: The phytoplankton communities were sampled in 16 lakes of the Curuaí floodplain (Amazon Basin during high-water periods in 2002 and 2003. We used partial redundancy analysis (pRDA to evaluate the pure effect of environmental (six variables and spatial (spatial filter variability on phytoplankton community composition; RESULTS: There were 156 taxa recorded in the two study years, including 122 algae species in 2002 and 66 algae species in 2003. The beta diversity that we measured (βSIM index was 0.889 in 2002 and 0.789 in 2003. The partitioning variation demonstrated that the majority of variation in phytoplankton community structure was not significantly explained by pure environmental and pure spatial components. However, environmental variables presented a larger coefficient of determination than the spatial variable; CONCLUSION: Other factors than those we measured in this study, such as local variables (i.e., biotic interactions, hydrology, etc. and stochastic events, affected the absence of significant results in our data. Therefore, we suggest that additional variables, such as biological interactions and other local factors, should be considered in this type of analysis to increase its explanatory power for understanding the variation of diversity in these communities.OBJETIVO: A diversidade beta é definida como as mudanças na composição de espécies ao longo de um gradiente ambiental, e atualmente, ecólogos têm investigado a influência de

  9. Neogene amphibians and reptiles (Caudata, Anura, Gekkota, Lacertilia, and Testudines) from the south of Western Siberia, Russia, and Northeastern Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zazhigin, Vladimir S.

    2017-01-01

    Background The present-day amphibian and reptile fauna of Western Siberia are the least diverse of the Palaearctic Realm, as a consequence of the unfavourable climatic conditions that predominate in this region. The origin and emergence of these herpetofaunal groups are poorly understood. Aside from the better-explored European Neogene localities yielding amphibian and reptile fossil remains, the Neogene herpetofauna of Western Asia is understudied. The few available data need critical reviews and new interpretations, taking into account the more recent records of the European herpetofauna. The comparison of this previous data with that of European fossil records would provide data on palaeobiogeographic affiliations of the region as well as on the origin and emergence of the present-day fauna of Western Siberia. An overview of the earliest occurrences of certain amphibian lineages is still needed. In addition, studies that address such knowledge gaps can be useful for molecular biologists in their calibration of molecular clocks. Methods and Results In this study, we considered critically reviewed available data from amphibian and reptile fauna from over 40 Western Siberian, Russian and Northeastern Kazakhstan localities, ranging from the Middle Miocene to Early Pleistocene. Herein, we provided new interpretations that arose from our assessment of the previously published and new data. More than 50 amphibians and reptile taxa were identified belonging to families Hynobiidae, Cryptobranchidae, Salamandridae, Palaeobatrachidae, Bombinatoridae, Pelobatidae, Hylidae, Bufonidae, Ranidae, Gekkonidae, Lacertidae, and Emydidae. Palaeobiogeographic analyses were performed for these groups and palaeoprecipitation values were estimated for 12 localities, using the bioclimatic analysis of herpetofaunal assemblages. Conclusion The Neogene assemblage of Western Siberia was found to be dominated by groups of European affinities, such as Palaeobatrachidae, Bombina, Hyla, Bufo

  10. Developments in amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Gemma; Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2016-04-01

    Captive breeding and reintroduction remain high profile but controversial conservation interventions. It is important to understand how such programs develop and respond to strategic conservation initiatives. We analyzed the contribution to conservation made by amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction since the launch of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) in 2007. We assembled data on amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction from a variety of sources including the Amphibian Ark database and the IUCN Red List. We also carried out systematic searches of Web of Science, JSTOR, and Google Scholar for relevant literature. Relative to data collected from 1966 to 2006, the number of species involved in captive breeding and reintroduction projects increased by 57% in the 7 years since release of the ACAP. However, there have been relatively few new reintroductions over this period; most programs have focused on securing captive-assurance populations (i.e., species taken into captivity as a precaution against extinctions in the wild) and conservation-related research. There has been a shift to a broader representation of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians within programs and an increasing emphasis on threatened species. There has been a relative increase of species in programs from Central and South America and the Caribbean, where amphibian biodiversity is high. About half of the programs involve zoos and aquaria with a similar proportion represented in specialist facilities run by governmental or nongovernmental agencies. Despite successful reintroduction often being regarded as the ultimate milestone for such programs, the irreversibility of many current threats to amphibians may make this an impractical goal. Instead, research on captive assurance populations may be needed to develop imaginative solutions to enable amphibians to survive alongside current, emerging, and future threats.

  11. Translocations of amphibians: Proven management method or experimental technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seigel, Richard A.; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    In an otherwise excellent review of metapopulation dynamics in amphibians, Marsh and Trenham (2001) make the following provocative statements (emphasis added): If isolation effects occur primarily in highly disturbed habitats, species translocations may be necessary to promote local and regional population persistence. Because most amphibians lack parental care, they areprime candidates for egg and larval translocations. Indeed, translocations have already proven successful for several species of amphibians. Where populations are severely isolated, translocations into extinct subpopulations may be the best strategy to promote regional population persistence. We take issue with these statements for a number of reasons. First, the authors fail to cite much of the relevant literature on species translocations in general and for amphibians in particular. Second, to those unfamiliar with current research in amphibian conservation biology, these comments might suggest that translocations are a proven management method. This is not the case, at least in most instances where translocations have been evaluated for an appropriate period of time. Finally, the authors fail to point out some of the negative aspects of species translocation as a management method. We realize that Marsh and Trenham's paper was not concerned primarily with translocations. However, because Marsh and Trenham (2001) made specific recommendations for conservation planners and managers (many of whom are not herpetologists or may not be familiar with the pertinent literature on amphibians), we believe that it is essential to point out that not all amphibian biologists are as comfortable with translocations as these authors appear to be. We especially urge caution about advocating potentially unproven techniques without a thorough review of available options.

  12. Ion transport by the amphibian primary ureter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møbjerg, Nadja

    2008-01-01

    and it is furthermore a key player in the induction of these kidney generations. Whether the ureter participates in urine modification, remains to be elucidated. In amphibians the pronephros is a large organ, which is functional for a considerable time before it degenerates. The aim of this study was to investigate...... (Vm) was - 79 ± 11 mV (mean ± sd). Vm depolarized by 35 ± 8 mV (n = 21) upon a bath [K+] step from 3 to 20 mmol/l, demonstrating the presence of a large K+ conductance in the basolateral cell membrane. Luminal fluid exchange experiments in 4 cells revealed a depolarization of Vm in response to [K......+] steps from 3 to 20 mmol/l and a hyperpolarization of Vm upon lowering [Na+] from 102 to 2 mmol/l, indicating the presence of luminal K+ and Na+ conductances. This study provides the first functional data on the vertebrate primary ureter. The data show that the primary ureter of axolotl larvae...

  13. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.

    2005-05-01

    Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.

  14. Incentive or habit learning in amphibians?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén N Muzio

    Full Text Available Toads (Rhinella arenarum received training with a novel incentive procedure involving access to solutions of different NaCl concentrations. In Experiment 1, instrumental behavior and weight variation data confirmed that such solutions yield incentive values ranging from appetitive (deionized water, DW, leading to weight gain, to neutral (300 mM slightly hypertonic solution, leading to no net weight gain or loss, and aversive (800 mM highly hypertonic solution leading to weight loss. In Experiment 2, a downshift from DW to a 300 mM solution or an upshift from a 300 mM solution to DW led to a gradual adjustment in instrumental behavior. In Experiment 3, extinction was similar after acquisition with access to only DW or with a random mixture of DW and 300 mM. In Experiment 4, a downshift from DW to 225, 212, or 200 mM solutions led again to gradual adjustments. These findings add to a growing body of comparative evidence suggesting that amphibians adjust to incentive shifts on the basis of habit formation and reorganization.

  15. Amphibian populations in the terrestrial environment: Is there evidence of declines of terrestrial forest amphibians in northwestern California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, H.H.; Fellers, G.M.; Lind, A.J.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984-86 and from 1993-95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines among terrestrial amphibians in northwestern California forests. The majority of amphibians, both species and relative numbers, in these forests are direct-developing salamanders of the family Plethodontidae. We examined amphibian richness and evenness, and the relative abundances of the four most common species of plethodontid salamanders. We examined evidence of differences between years in two ecological provinces (coastal and interior) and across young, mature, and late seral forests and with reference to a moisture gradient from xeric to hydric within late seral forests. We found evidence of declines in species richness across years on late seral mesic stands and in the coastal ecological province, but these differences appeared to be caused by differences in the detection of rarer species, rather than evidence of an overall pattern. We also found differences among specific years in numbers of individuals of the most abundant species, Ensatina eschscholtzii, but these differences also failed to reflect a consistent pattern of declines between the two decadal sample periods. Results showing differences in richness, evenness, and relative abundances along both the seral and moisture continua were consistent with previous research. Overall, we found no compelling evidence of a downward trend in terrestrial plethodontid salamanders. We believe that continued monitoring of terrestrial salamander populations is important to understanding mechanisms of population declines in amphibian species. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  16. Investigating the Influence of Environmental Factors on Pesticide Exposure in Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental factors such as temporal weather patterns and soil characterization coupled with pesticide application rates are known to influence exposure and subsequent absorption of these compounds in amphibians. Amphibians are a unique class of vertebrates due to their varied ...

  17. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M

    2010-03-15

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis.

  18. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  19. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    Full Text Available Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  20. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; McKenzie, D J; Wang, T

    2010-05-01

    Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG) located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  1. The importance of cartilage to amphibian development and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Christopher S

    2014-01-01

    The duality of amphibians is epitomized by their pharyngeal arch skeletons, the larval and adult morphologies of which enable very different feeding and breathing behaviors in aquatic and terrestrial life. To accomplish this duality, amphibian pharyngeal arch skeletons undergo two periods of patterning: embryogenesis and metamorphosis, and two periods of growth: larval and postmetamorphic. Their extreme ontogenetic variation, however, is coupled with relatively limited phylogenetic variation. I propose that amphibians face an evolutionary tradeoff between their ontogenetic and phylogenetic diversification that stems from the need to grow and transform the pharyngeal arch skeleton in cartilage rather than bone. Cartilage differs fundamentally from bone in its histology, function, development and growth. Cartilage is also the first skeletal tissue to form embryonically and provides more cellular pathways for shape change than bone. This article combines morphological, histological and experimental perspectives to explore how pharyngeal arch cartilage shape is controlled in amphibian embryogenesis, growth and metamorphosis, and how amphibian skeletal ontogenies are impacted by using cartilage to evolve a complex life cycle and in evolving away from a complex life cycle.

  2. A multilocus timescale for the origin of extant amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Mauro, Diego

    2010-08-01

    One of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution is the origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia). The recent contribution of molecular data is shedding new light on this debate, but many important questions still remain unresolved. I have assembled a large and comprehensive multilocus dataset (the largest to date in terms of number and heterogeneity of sequence characters) combining mitogenomic and nuclear information from 23 genes for a sufficiently dense taxon sampling with the key major lineages of extant amphibians. This dataset has been used to infer a robust phylogenetic framework and molecular timescale for the origin of extant amphibians employing the most recent phylogenetic and dating methods, as well as several alternative calibration schemes. The monophyly of each extant amphibian order and the sister group relationship between frogs and salamanders (Batrachia hypothesis) are all strongly supported. Dating analyses (all methods and calibration schemes used) suggest that the origin of extant amphibians (divergence between caecilian and batrachians) occurred in the Late Carboniferous, around 315 Mya, and the divergence between frogs and salamanders occurred in the Early Permian, around 290 Mya. These age estimates are more consistent with the fossil record than previous older estimates, and more in line with the Temnospondyli or the Lepospondyli hypotheses of lissamphibian ancestry (although the polyphyly hypothesis cannot be completely ruled out).

  3. Annual Report: 2014: Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  4. Amphibian metamorphosis as a model for studying the developmental actions of thyroid hormone

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TATAJAMSHENR

    1998-01-01

    The thyroid hormones L-thyroxine and triiodo-Lthyronine have profound effects on postenbryonic development of most vertebrates.Analysis of their action in mammals is vitiated by the exposure of the developing foetus to a number of maternal factors which do not allow one to specifically define the role of thyroid hormone (TH) or that of other hormones and factors that modulate its action.Amphibian metamorphosis is obligatorily dependent on TH which can initiate all the diverse physiological manifestations of this postembryonic developmental process(morphogenesis,cell death,re-structuring,etc.) in free-living embryos and larvas of most anurans.This article will first describe the salient features of metamorphosis and its control by TH and other hormones.Emphasis will be laid on the key role played by TH receptor (TR),in particular the phenomenon of TR gene autoinduction,in initiating the developmental action of TH.Finally,it will be argued that the findings on the control of amphibian metamorphosis enhance our understanding of the regulation of postembryonic development by TH in other vertebrate species.

  5. [On a contribution of Boris Balinsky to the comparative and ecological embryology of amphibians].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desnitskiĭ, A G

    2014-01-01

    The outstanding embryologist Boris Ivanovich Balinsky (1905-1997) worked in the Soviet Union up to 1941 and in South Africa since 1949. His experimental studies fulfilled during the Soviet period of his scientific career mainly on the embryos of the caudate amphibians are widely known. After moving to Africa (Johannesburg), he continued the research of amphibian development, with using those possibilities, which were offered by the diverse fauna of local Anura. Other embryologists started complex studies of tropical frog ontogenies (mainly from South and Central America) 30-40 years later than Balinsky. Unfortunately, his pioneering works on numerous African species are poorly known (with the exceptions of the description of the development of endodermal derivatives in Xenopus laevis and the analysis of limb induction in the toad genus Amietophrynus). In this paper, the works of Balinsky are analyzed (with the emphasis on comparative and ecological aspects) and his priority in using of "nonmodel" tropical and subtropical anurans in embryological studies has been shown.

  6. Immune defenses against Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a fungus linked to global amphibian declines, in the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Jeremy P; Reinert, Laura K; Harper, Laura K; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2010-09-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a chytrid fungus that causes the lethal skin disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians. It is regarded as an emerging infectious disease affecting diverse amphibian populations in many parts of the world. Because there are few model amphibian species for immunological studies, little is known about immune defenses against B. dendrobatidis. We show here that the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is a suitable model for investigating immunity to this pathogen. After an experimental exposure, a mild infection developed over 20 to 30 days and declined by 45 days postexposure. Either purified antimicrobial peptides or mixtures of peptides in the skin mucus inhibited B. dendrobatidis growth in vitro. Skin peptide secretion was maximally induced by injection of norepinephrine, and this treatment resulted in sustained skin peptide depletion and increased susceptibility to infection. Sublethal X-irradiation of frogs decreased leukocyte numbers in the spleen and resulted in greater susceptibility to infection. Immunization against B. dendrobatidis induced elevated pathogen-specific IgM and IgY serum antibodies. Mucus secretions from X. laevis previously exposed to B. dendrobatidis contained significant amounts of IgM, IgY, and IgX antibodies that bind to B. dendrobatidis. These data strongly suggest that both innate and adaptive immune defenses are involved in the resistance of X. laevis to lethal B. dendrobatidis infections.

  7. Asymmetric dispersal and colonization success of Amazonian plant-ants queens.

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    Emilio M Bruna

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The dispersal ability of queens is central to understanding ant life-history evolution, and plays a fundamental role in ant population and community dynamics, the maintenance of genetic diversity, and the spread of invasive ants. In tropical ecosystems, species from over 40 genera of ants establish colonies in the stems, hollow thorns, or leaf pouches of specialized plants. However, little is known about the relative dispersal ability of queens competing for access to the same host plants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used empirical data and inverse modeling--a technique developed by plant ecologists to model seed dispersal--to quantify and compare the dispersal kernels of queens from three Amazonian ant species that compete for access to host-plants. We found that the modal colonization distance of queens varied 8-fold, with the generalist ant species (Crematogaster laevis having a greater modal distance than two specialists (Pheidole minutula, Azteca sp. that use the same host-plants. However, our results also suggest that queens of Azteca sp. have maximal distances that are four-sixteen times greater than those of its competitors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We found large differences between ant species in both the modal and maximal distance ant queens disperse to find vacant seedlings used to found new colonies. These differences could result from interspecific differences in queen body size, and hence wing musculature, or because queens differ in their ability to identify potential host plants while in flight. Our results provide support for one of the necessary conditions underlying several of the hypothesized mechanisms promoting coexistence in tropical plant-ants. They also suggest that for some ant species limited dispersal capability could pose a significant barrier to the rescue of populations in isolated forest fragments. Finally, we demonstrate that inverse models parameterized with field data are an excellent means

  8. Frugivory in Canopy Plants in a Western Amazonian Forest: Dispersal Systems, Phylogenetic Ensembles and Keystone Plants.

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    Pablo R Stevenson

    Full Text Available Frugivory is a widespread mutualistic interaction in which frugivores obtain nutritional resources while favoring plant recruitment through their seed dispersal services. Nonetheless, how these complex interactions are organized in diverse communities, such as tropical forests, is not fully understood. In this study we evaluated the existence of plant-frugivore sub-assemblages and their phylogenetic organization in an undisturbed western Amazonian forest in Colombia. We also explored for potential keystone plants, based on network analyses and an estimate of the amount of fruit going from plants to frugivores. We carried out diurnal observations on 73 canopy plant species during a period of two years. During focal tree sampling, we recorded frugivore identity, the duration of each individual visit, and feeding rates. We did not find support for the existence of sub assemblages, such as specialized vs. generalized dispersal systems. Visitation rates on the vast majority of canopy species were associated with the relative abundance of frugivores, in which ateline monkeys (i.e. Lagothrix and Ateles played the most important roles. All fruiting plants were visited by a variety of frugivores and the phylogenetic assemblage was random in more than 67% of the cases. In cases of aggregation, the plant species were consumed by only primates or only birds, and filters were associated with fruit protection and likely chemical content. Plants suggested as keystone species based on the amount of pulp going from plants to frugivores differ from those suggested based on network approaches. Our results suggest that in tropical forests most tree-frugivore interactions are generalized, and abundance should be taken into account when assessing the most important plants for frugivores.

  9. Ground-Vegetation Clutter Affects Phyllostomid Bat Assemblage Structure in Lowland Amazonian Forest.

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    Rodrigo Marciente

    Full Text Available Vegetation clutter is a limiting factor for bats that forage near ground level, and may determine the distribution of species and guilds. However, many studies that evaluated the effects of vegetation clutter on bats have used qualitative descriptions rather than direct measurements of vegetation density. Moreover, few studies have evaluated the effect of vegetation clutter on a regional scale. Here, we evaluate the influence of the physical obstruction of vegetation on phyllostomid-bat assemblages along a 520 km transect in continuous Amazonian forest. We sampled bats using mist nets in eight localities during 80 nights (3840 net-hours and estimated the ground-vegetation density with digital photographs. The total number of species, number of animalivorous species, total number of frugivorous species, number of understory frugivorous species, and abundance of canopy frugivorous bats were negatively associated with vegetation clutter. The bat assemblages showed a nested structure in relation to degree of clutter, with animalivorous and understory frugivorous bats distributed throughout the vegetation-clutter gradient, while canopy frugivores were restricted to sites with more open vegetation. The species distribution along the gradient of vegetation clutter was not closely associated with wing morphology, but aspect ratio and wing load differed between frugivores and animalivores. Vegetation structure plays an important role in structuring assemblages of the bats at the regional scale by increasing beta diversity between sites. Differences in foraging strategy and diet of the guilds seem to have contributed more to the spatial distribution of bats than the wing characteristics of the species alone.

  10. Frugivory in Canopy Plants in a Western Amazonian Forest: Dispersal Systems, Phylogenetic Ensembles and Keystone Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Pablo R; Link, Andrés; González-Caro, Sebastian; Torres-Jiménez, María Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Frugivory is a widespread mutualistic interaction in which frugivores obtain nutritional resources while favoring plant recruitment through their seed dispersal services. Nonetheless, how these complex interactions are organized in diverse communities, such as tropical forests, is not fully understood. In this study we evaluated the existence of plant-frugivore sub-assemblages and their phylogenetic organization in an undisturbed western Amazonian forest in Colombia. We also explored for potential keystone plants, based on network analyses and an estimate of the amount of fruit going from plants to frugivores. We carried out diurnal observations on 73 canopy plant species during a period of two years. During focal tree sampling, we recorded frugivore identity, the duration of each individual visit, and feeding rates. We did not find support for the existence of sub assemblages, such as specialized vs. generalized dispersal systems. Visitation rates on the vast majority of canopy species were associated with the relative abundance of frugivores, in which ateline monkeys (i.e. Lagothrix and Ateles) played the most important roles. All fruiting plants were visited by a variety of frugivores and the phylogenetic assemblage was random in more than 67% of the cases. In cases of aggregation, the plant species were consumed by only primates or only birds, and filters were associated with fruit protection and likely chemical content. Plants suggested as keystone species based on the amount of pulp going from plants to frugivores differ from those suggested based on network approaches. Our results suggest that in tropical forests most tree-frugivore interactions are generalized, and abundance should be taken into account when assessing the most important plants for frugivores.

  11. Qualitative risk analysis of introducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis to the UK through the importation of live amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Alison J; Hartley, Matt; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-03-20

    The international amphibian trade is implicated in the emergence and spread of the amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which has resulted in amphibian declines and extinctions globally. The establishment of the causal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), in the UK could negatively affect the survival of native amphibian populations. In recognition of the ongoing threat that it poses to amphibians, Bd was recently included in the World Organisation for Animal Health Aquatic Animal Health Code, and therefore is in the list of international notifiable diseases. Using standardised risk analysis guidelines, we investigated the likelihood that Bd would be introduced to and become established in wild amphibians in the UK through the importation of live amphibians. We obtained data on the volume and origin of the amphibian trade entering the UK and detected Bd infection in amphibians being imported for the pet and private collection trade and also in amphibians already held in captive pet, laboratory and zoological collections. We found that current systems for recording amphibian trade into the UK underestimate the volume of non-European Union trade by almost 10-fold. We identified high likelihoods of entry, establishment and spread of Bd in the UK and the resulting major overall impact. Despite uncertainties, we determined that the overall risk estimation for the introduction of Bd to the UK through the importation of live amphibians is high and that risk management measures are required, whilst ensuring that negative effects on legal trade are minimised.

  12. Complete mitochondrial genome of Nanorana pleskei (Amphibia: Anura: Dicroglossidae and evolutionary characteristics of the amphibian mitochondrial genomes

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    Guiying CHEN, Bin WANG, Jiongyu LIU, Feng XIE, Jianping JIANG

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The complete mitochondrial genome of Nanorana pleskei from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was sequenced. It includes 17,660 base pairs, containing 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNAs and 23 tRNAs. A tandem duplication of tRNAMet gene was found in this mitochondrial genome, and the similarity between the two tRNAMet genes is 85.8%, being the highest in amphibian mitochondrial genomes sequenced thus far. Based on gene organization, 24 types were found from 145 amphibian mitochondrial genomes. Type 1 was present in 108 species, type 11 in 11 species, types 5, 16, 17, and 20 each in two species, and the others each present in one species. Fifteen types were found in Anura, being the most diversity in three orders of the Lissamphibia. Our phylogenetic results using 11 protein-coding gene sequences of 145 amphibian mitochondrial genomes strongly support the monophyly of the Lissamphibia, as well as its three orders, the Gymnophiona, Caudata, and Anura, among which the relationships were ((Gymnophiona (Caudata, Anura. Based on the phylogenetic trees, type 1 was recognized as the ancestral type for amphibians, and type 11 was the synapomorphic type for the Neobatrachia. Gene rearrangements among lineages provide meaningful phylogenetic information. The rearrangement of the LTPF tRNA gene cluster and the translocation of the ND5 gene only found in the Neobatrachia support the monophyly of this group; similarly, the tandem duplication of the tRNAMet genes only found in the Dicroglossidae support the monophyly of this family [Current Zoology 57 (6: 785–805, 2011].

  13. progress and prospects for studies on chinese amphibians

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    this work summarizes the history and progress of the studies on chinese amphibians since they first appeared in the chinese literature.a wide range of research has been carried out,including the history of the definition of amphibians,faunal surveys,systematic research,ecological research,biochemical research (isozyme and other proteins or peptides,chromosomes,dna),anatomical research,embryological research,phylogenetic and zoogeographical research,and many others such as ultrastructure of organs,crossbreeding test,regeneration of organs,abnormality survey,acoustics,fossils,sperm ultrastructure and parasites.in addition,the prospects for studies on chinese amphibians in future are proposed in this paper.

  14. Amphibians of the Simbruini Mountains (Latium, Central Italy

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    Pierangelo Crucitti

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Little attention has been paid to the herpetological fauna of the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park, Latium (Central Italy. In this study, we surveyed 50 sites in the course of about ten years of field research, especially during the period 2005-2008. Nine amphibian species, four Caudata and five Anura, 60.0% out of the 15 amphibian species so far observed in Latium, were discovered in the protected area: Salamandra salamandra, Salamandrina perspicillata, Lissotriton vulgaris, Triturus carnifex, Bombina pachypus, Bufo balearicus, Bufo bufo, Rana dalmatina, Rana italica. Physiography of sites has been detailed together with potential threatening patterns. For each species the following topics have been discussed; ecology of sites, altitudinal distribution, phenology, sintopy. Salamandra salamandra and Bombina pachypus are at higher risk. The importance of the maintenance of artificial/natural water bodies for the conservation management of amphibian population of this territory is discussed.

  15. The invasive chytrid fungus of amphibians paralyzes lymphocyte responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fites, J Scott; Ramsey, Jeremy P; Holden, Whitney M; Collier, Sarah P; Sutherland, Danica M; Reinert, Laura K; Gayek, A Sophia; Dermody, Terence S; Aune, Thomas M; Oswald-Richter, Kyra; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2013-10-18

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernatants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide.

  16. Discovering Hidden Diversity of Characins (Teleostei: Characiformes) in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar-Camacho, Daniel; Barriga, Ramiro; Ron, Santiago R.

    2015-01-01

    Background Management and conservation of biodiversity requires adequate species inventories. The Yasuní National Park is one of the most diverse regions on Earth and recent studies of terrestrial vertebrates, based on genetic evidence, have shown high levels of cryptic and undescribed diversity. Few genetic studies have been carried out in freshwater fishes from western Amazonia. Thus, in contrast with terrestrial vertebrates, their content of cryptic diversity remains unknown. In this study, we carried out genetic and morphological analyses on characin fishes at Yasuní National Park, in eastern Ecuador. Our goal was to identify cryptic diversity among one of the most speciose fish families in the Amazon region. This is the first time that genetic evidence has been used to assess the species content of the Napo Basin, one of the richest regions in vertebrate diversity. Results Phylogenetic analyses of partial mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene (∼600 pb) DNA sequences from 232 specimens of the family Characidae and its closest groups revealed eight candidate new species among 33 species sampled, representing a 24% increase in species number. Analyses of external morphology allowed us to confirm the species status of six of the candidate species. Conclusions Our results show high levels of cryptic diversity in Amazonian characins. If this group is representative of other Amazonian fish, our results would imply that the species richness of the Amazonian ichthyofauna is highly underestimated. Molecular methods are a necessary tool to obtain more realistic inventories of Neotropical freshwater fishes. PMID:26275041

  17. Amphibians and reptiles associated with the prairie dog grasslands ecosystem and surrounding areas at the janos casas grandes complex, northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Georgina Santos Barrera; Jesús Pacheco; Gerardo Ceballos

    2008-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are considered a keystone species that forms extensive colonies in the grasslands of western and central North America. These colonies are characterized by high diversity of associated vertebrates. The largest colonies in North America are located in the Janos region, northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico. In this study we present an inventory of the amphibians and reptiles inhabiting at prairie dog grasslands and surrounding mesquite scrublands in the Janos regio...

  18. Systematics of the Dendropsophus leucophyllatus species complex (Anura: Hylidae): Cryptic diversity and the description of two new species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caminer, Marcel A.; Milá, Borja; Jansen, Martin; Fouquet, Antoine; Venegas, Pablo J.; Chávez, Germán; Lougheed, Stephen C.

    2017-01-01

    Genetic data in studies of systematics of Amazonian amphibians frequently reveal that purportedly widespread single species in reality comprise species complexes. This means that real species richness may be significantly higher than current estimates. Here we combine genetic, morphological, and bioacoustic data to assess the phylogenetic relationships and species boundaries of two Amazonian species of the Dendropsophus leucophyllatus species group: D. leucophyllatus and D. triangulum. Our results uncovered the existence of five confirmed and four unconfirmed candidate species. Among the confirmed candidate species, three have available names: Dendropsophus leucophyllatus, Dendropsophus triangulum, and Dendropsophus reticulatus, this last being removed from the synonymy of D. triangulum. A neotype of D. leucophyllatus is designated. We describe the remaining two confirmed candidate species, one from Bolivia and another from Peru. All confirmed candidate species are morphologically distinct and have much smaller geographic ranges than those previously reported for D. leucophyllatus and D. triangulum sensu lato. Dendropsophus leucophyllatus sensu stricto occurs in the Guianan region. Dendropsophus reticulatus comb. nov. corresponds to populations in the Amazon basin of Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru previously referred to as D. triangulum. Dendropsophus triangulum sensu stricto is the most widely distributed species; it occurs in Amazonian Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, reaching the state of Pará. We provide accounts for all described species including an assessment of their conservation status. PMID:28248998

  19. Deep plant-derived carbon storage in Amazonian podzols

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    C. R. Montes

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Equatorial podzols are soils characterized by thick sandy horizons overlying more clayey horizons. Organic matter produced in the topsoil is transferred in depth through the sandy horizons and accumulate at the transition, at a depth varying from 1 to more than 3 m, forming deep horizons rich in organic matter (Bh horizons. Although they cover great surfaces in the equatorial zone, these soils are still poorly known. Studying podzols from Amazonia, we found out that the deep Bh horizons in poorly drained podzol areas have a thickness higher than 1 m and store unexpected amounts of carbon. The average for the studied area was 66.7 ± 5.8 kg C m−2 for the deep Bh and 86.8 ± 7.1 kg C m−2 for the whole profile. Extrapolating to the podzol areas of the whole Amazonian Basin has been possible thanks to digital maps, giving an order of magnitude around 13.6 ± 1.1 Pg C, at least 12.3 Pg C higher than previous estimates. This assessment should be refined by additional investigations, not only in Amazonia but in all equatorial areas where podzols have been identified. Because of the lack of knowledge on the quality and behaviour of the podzol organic matter, the question of the feedback between the climate and the equatorial podzol carbon cycle is open.

  20. Oxidative mitigation of aquatic methane emissions in large Amazonian rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawakuchi, Henrique O; Bastviken, David; Sawakuchi, André O; Ward, Nicholas D; Borges, Clovis D; Tsai, Siu M; Richey, Jeffrey E; Ballester, Maria Victoria R; Krusche, Alex V

    2016-03-01

    The flux of methane (CH4 ) from inland waters to the atmosphere has a profound impact on global atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) levels, and yet, strikingly little is known about the dynamics controlling sources and sinks of CH4 in the aquatic setting. Here, we examine the cycling and flux of CH4 in six large rivers in the Amazon basin, including the Amazon River. Based on stable isotopic mass balances of CH4 , inputs and outputs to the water column were estimated. We determined that ecosystem methane oxidation (MOX) reduced the diffusive flux of CH4 by approximately 28-96% and varied depending on hydrologic regime and general geochemical characteristics of tributaries of the Amazon River. For example, the relative amount of MOX was maximal during high water in black and white water rivers and minimal in clear water rivers during low water. The abundance of genetic markers for methane-oxidizing bacteria (pmoA) was positively correlated with enhanced signals of oxidation, providing independent support for the detected MOX patterns. The results indicate that MOX in large Amazonian rivers can consume from 0.45 to 2.07 Tg CH4 yr(-1) , representing up to 7% of the estimated global soil sink. Nevertheless, climate change and changes in hydrology, for example, due to construction of dams, can alter this balance, influencing CH4 emissions to atmosphere.

  1. Evidence for Middle Amazonian catastrophic flooding and glaciation on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, J. Alexis P.; Gulick, Virginia C.; Baker, Victor R.; Platz, Thomas; Fairén, Alberto G.; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Kargel, Jeffrey S.; Rice, James W.; Glines, Natalie

    2014-11-01

    Early geologic investigations of Mars revealed some of the largest channels in the Solar System (outflow channels), which appear to have mostly developed ∼3 byr ago. These channels have been the subject of much scientific inquiry since the 1970s and proposed formative processes included surface erosion by catastrophic floods, glaciers, debris flows and lava flows. Based on the analysis of newly acquired Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context (CTX, 5.15-5.91 m/pixel) and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE, 25-50 cm/pixel) image data, we have identified a few locations contained within relatively narrow canyons of the southern circum-Chryse outflow channels that retain well-preserved decameter/hectometer-scale landform assemblages. These terrains include landforms consistent in shape, dimension and overall assemblage to those produced by catastrophic floods, and at one location, to glacial morphologies. Impact crater statistics for four of these surfaces, located within upstream, midstream and downstream outflow channel surfaces, yield an age estimate of ∼600 myr. This suggests that the southern circum-Chryse outflow channels were locally resurfaced by some of the most recent catastrophic floods on the planet, and that these floods coexisted within regional glacier environments as recently as during the Middle Amazonian.

  2. Branchfall dominates annual carbon flux across lowland Amazonian forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvin, David C.; Asner, Gregory P.

    2016-09-01

    Tropical forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle, but knowledge of interannual variation in the total tropical carbon flux and constituent carbon pools is highly uncertain. One such pool, branchfall, is an ecologically important dynamic with links to nutrient cycling, forest productivity, and drought. Identifying and quantifying branchfall over large areas would reveal the role of branchfall in carbon and nutrient cycling. Using data from repeat airborne light detection and ranging campaigns across a wide array of lowland Amazonian forest landscapes totaling nearly 100 000 ha, we find that upper canopy gaps—driven by branchfall—are pervasive features of every landscape studied, and are seven times more frequent than full tree mortality. Moreover, branchfall comprises a major carbon source on a landscape basis, exceeding that of tree mortality by 21%. On a per hectare basis, branchfall and tree mortality result in 0.65 and 0.72 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 gross source of carbon to the atmosphere, respectively. Reducing uncertainties in annual gross rates of tropical forest carbon flux, for example by incorporating large-scale branchfall dynamics, is crucial for effective policies that foster conservation and restoration of tropical forests. Additionally, large-scale branchfall mapping offers ecologists a new dimension of disturbance monitoring and potential new insights into ecosystem structure and function.

  3. Poor prospects for avian biodiversity in Amazonian oil palm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lees, Alexander C; Moura, Nárgila G; de Almeida, Arlete Silva; Vieira, Ima C G

    2015-01-01

    Expansion of oil palm plantations across the humid tropics has precipitated massive loss of tropical forest habitats and their associated speciose biotas. Oil palm plantation monocultures have been identified as an emerging threat to Amazonian biodiversity, but there are no quantitative studies exploring the impact of these plantations on the biome's biota. Understanding these impacts is extremely important given the rapid projected expansion of oil palm cultivation in the basin. Here we investigate the biodiversity value of oil palm plantations in comparison with other dominant regional land-uses in Eastern Amazonia. We carried out bird surveys in oil palm plantations of varying ages, primary and secondary forests, and cattle pastures. We found that oil palm plantations retained impoverished avian communities with a similar species composition to pastures and agrarian land-uses and did not offer habitat for most forest-associated species, including restricted range species and species of conservation concern. On the other hand, the forests that the oil palm companies are legally obliged to protect hosted a relatively species-rich community including several globally-threatened bird species. We consider oil palm to be no less detrimental to regional biodiversity than other agricultural land-uses and that political pressure exerted by large landowners to allow oil palm to count as a substitute for native forest vegetation in private landholdings with forest restoration deficits would have dire consequences for regional biodiversity.

  4. Biotransformations of terpenes by fungi from Amazonian citrus plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno Rueda, Maria Gabriela; Guerrini, Alessandra; Giovannini, Pier Paolo; Medici, Alessandro; Grandini, Alessandro; Sacchetti, Gianni; Pedrini, Paola

    2013-10-01

    The biotransformations of (RS)-linalool (1), (S)-citronellal (2), and sabinene (3) with fungi isolated from the epicarp of fruits of Citrus genus of the Amazonian forest (i.e., C. limon, C. aurantifolia, C. aurantium, and C. paradisiaca) are reported. The more active strains have been characterized, and they belong to the genus Penicillium and Fusarium. Different biotransformation products have been obtained depending on fungi and substrates. (RS)-Linalool (1) afforded the (E)- and (Z)-furanlinalool oxides (7 and 8, resp.; 39 and 37% yield, resp.) with Fusarium sp. (1D2), 6-methylhept-5-en-2-one (4; 49%) with F. fujikuroi, and 1-methyl-1-(4-methypentyl)oxiranemethanol (6; 42%) with F. concentricum. (S)-Citronellal (2) gave (S)-citronellol (12; 36-76%) and (S)-citronellic acid (11; 5-43%) with Fusarium species, while diastereoisomeric p-menthane-3,8-diols 13 and 14 (20 and 50% yield, resp.) were obtained as main products with Penicillium paxilli. Finally, both Fusarium species and P. paxilli biotransformed sabinene (3) to give mainly 4-terpineol (19; 23-56%), and (Z)- and (E)-sabinene hydrates (17 (3-21%) and 18 (11-17%), resp.).

  5. Muscle regeneration in amphibians and mammals: passing the torch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bruce M

    2003-02-01

    Skeletal muscle in both amphibians and mammals possesses a high regenerative capacity. In amphibians, a muscle can regenerate in two distinct ways: as a tissue component of an entire regenerating limb (epimorphic regeneration) or as an isolated entity (tissue regeneration). In the absence of epimorphic regenerative ability, mammals can regenerate muscles only by the tissue mode. This review focuses principally on the regeneration of entire muscles and covers what is known and what remains to be elucidated about fundamental mechanisms underlying muscle regeneration at this level.

  6. Amphibian decline: An integrated analysis of multiple stressor effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, G.; Krest, S.K.; Sparling, D. W.; Linder, G.; Krest, S.K.; Sparling, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    Capturing the attention and imagination of the public and the scientific community alike, the mysterious decline in amphibian populations drew scientists and resource managers from ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource policy to a SETAC–Johnson Foundation workshop. Facilitating environmental stewardship, increasing capacity of the sciences to explain complex stressors, and educating the public on relationships among communities of all types motivated these experts to address amphibian decline and the role of various stressors in these losses.

  7. The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians have been disappearing from many locations around the world with reports of declines increasing in recent decades. Some of the most dramatic declines have occurred in areas that were thought to be protected from human disturbance. For example, the once-common boreal toad has virtually disappeared from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Although there has been debate on whether these declines represent a short-term fluctuation in populations or major sustained losses, there is now general scientific consensus that something really is amiss with amphibian populations.

  8. Ocurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis, Natterer, 1883

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Aparecida da Glória Faustino

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The apicomplexa protozoa Cryptosporidium infects several mammals, including terrestrial and aquatic species. In the epidemiology of this infection, the ingestion of water and/or food contamined with oocysts comprises the main mechanism of transmission to susceptible animals. Among the Sirenians, the occurrence of this coccidium has been reported in dugongs (Dugong dugon and Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus. The present study was conducted with the aim of verifying the occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in Amazonian manatee. For this purpose, fecal samples were collected from ten free-ranging Amazonian manatees, two specimens in captivity, and 103 supernatants fecal samples. The samples were processed by the sedimentation method in formol-ether and Kinyoun stain technique for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp.. The positive samples were then submitted to Direct Immunoflorescence Test. The results showed 4.34% (05/115 of positive samples. This is the first report of Cryptosporidium spp. in the Amazonian manatee.

  9. Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levis, C; Costa, F R C; Bongers, F; Peña-Claros, M; Clement, C R; Junqueira, A B; Neves, E G; Tamanaha, E K; Figueiredo, F O G; Salomão, R P; Castilho, C V; Magnusson, W E; Phillips, O L; Guevara, J E; Sabatier, D; Molino, J-F; López, D Cárdenas; Mendoza, A M; Pitman, N C A; Duque, A; Vargas, P Núñez; Zartman, C E; Vasquez, R; Andrade, A; Camargo, J L; Feldpausch, T R; Laurance, S G W; Laurance, W F; Killeen, T J; Nascimento, H E Mendonça; Montero, J C; Mostacedo, B; Amaral, I L; Guimarães Vieira, I C; Brienen, R; Castellanos, H; Terborgh, J; Carim, M de Jesus Veiga; Guimarães, J R da Silva; Coelho, L de Souza; Matos, F D de Almeida; Wittmann, F; Mogollón, H F; Damasco, G; Dávila, N; García-Villacorta, R; Coronado, E N H; Emilio, T; Filho, D de Andrade Lima; Schietti, J; Souza, P; Targhetta, N; Comiskey, J A; Marimon, B S; Marimon, B-H; Neill, D; Alonso, A; Arroyo, L; Carvalho, F A; de Souza, F C; Dallmeier, F; Pansonato, M P; Duivenvoorden, J F; Fine, P V A; Stevenson, P R; Araujo-Murakami, A; Aymard C, G A; Baraloto, C; do Amaral, D D; Engel, J; Henkel, T W; Maas, P; Petronelli, P; Revilla, J D Cardenas; Stropp, J; Daly, D; Gribel, R; Paredes, M Ríos; Silveira, M; Thomas-Caesar, R; Baker, T R; da Silva, N F; Ferreira, L V; Peres, C A; Silman, M R; Cerón, C; Valverde, F C; Di Fiore, A; Jimenez, E M; Mora, M C Peñuela; Toledo, M; Barbosa, E M; Bonates, L C de Matos; Arboleda, N C; Farias, E de Sousa; Fuentes, A; Guillaumet, J-L; Jørgensen, P Møller; Malhi, Y; de Andrade Miranda, I P; Phillips, J F; Prieto, A; Rudas, A; Ruschel, A R; Silva, N; von Hildebrand, P; Vos, V A; Zent, E L; Zent, S; Cintra, B B L; Nascimento, M T; Oliveira, A A; Ramirez-Angulo, H; Ramos, J F; Rivas, G; Schöngart, J; Sierra, R; Tirado, M; van der Heijden, G; Torre, E V; Wang, O; Young, K R; Baider, C; Cano, A; Farfan-Rios, W; Ferreira, C; Hoffman, B; Mendoza, C; Mesones, I; Torres-Lezama, A; Medina, M N U; van Andel, T R; Villarroel, D; Zagt, R; Alexiades, M N; Balslev, H; Garcia-Cabrera, K; Gonzales, T; Hernandez, L; Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, I; Manzatto, A G; Milliken, W; Cuenca, W P; Pansini, S; Pauletto, D; Arevalo, F R; Reis, N F Costa; Sampaio, A F; Giraldo, L E Urrego; Sandoval, E H Valderrama; Gamarra, L Valenzuela; Vela, C I A; Ter Steege, H

    2017-03-03

    The extent to which pre-Columbian societies altered Amazonian landscapes is hotly debated. We performed a basin-wide analysis of pre-Columbian impacts on Amazonian forests by overlaying known archaeological sites in Amazonia with the distributions and abundances of 85 woody species domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples. Domesticated species are five times more likely than nondomesticated species to be hyperdominant. Across the basin, the relative abundance and richness of domesticated species increase in forests on and around archaeological sites. In southwestern and eastern Amazonia, distance to archaeological sites strongly influences the relative abundance and richness of domesticated species. Our analyses indicate that modern tree communities in Amazonia are structured to an important extent by a long history of plant domestication by Amazonian peoples.

  10. Paleogenomic data suggest mammal-like genome size in the ancestral amniote and derived large genome size in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organ, C L; Canoville, A; Reisz, R R; Laurin, M

    2011-02-01

    An unsolved question in evolutionary genomics is whether amniote genomes have been expanding or contracting since the common ancestor of this diverse group. Here, we report on the polarity of amniote genome size evolution using genome size estimates for 14 extinct tetrapod genera from the Paleozoic and early Mesozoic Eras using osteocyte lacunae size as a correlate. We find substantial support for a phylogenetically controlled regression model relating genome size to osteocyte lacunae size (P of slopes amphibians, contractions along the diapsid lineage, and no directional change within the synapsid lineage leading to mammals.

  11. The amphibians and reptiles of Mindanao Island, southern Philippines, II: the herpetofauna of northeast Mindanao and adjacent islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marites B. Sanguila

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available We summarize all available amphibian and reptile species distribution data from the northeast Mindanao faunal region, including small islands associated with this subcenter of endemic vertebrate biodiversity. Together with all publicly available historical information from biodiversity repositories, we present new data from several major herpetological surveys, including recently conducted inventories on four major mountains of northeast Mindanao, and adjacent islands of Camiguin Sur, Dinagat, and Siargao. We present species accounts for all taxa, comment on unresolved taxonomic problems, and provide revisions to outdated IUCN conservation status assessments in cases where our new data significantly alter earlier classification status summaries. Together, our comprehensive analysis of this fauna suggests that the greater Mindanao faunal region possesses distinct subcenters of amphibian and reptile species diversity, and that until this area is revisited and its fauna and actually studied, with on-the-ground field work including targeted surveys of species distributions coupled to the study their natural history, our understanding of the diversity and conservation status of southern Philippine herpetological fauna will remain incomplete. Nevertheless, the northeast Mindanao geographical area (Caraga Region appears to have the highest herpetological species diversity (at least 126 species of any comparably-sized Philippine faunal subregion.

  12. The amphibians and reptiles of Mindanao Island, southern Philippines, II: the herpetofauna of northeast Mindanao and adjacent islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanguila, Marites B.; Cobb, Kerry A.; Siler, Cameron D.; Diesmos, Arvin C.; Alcala, Angel C.; Brown, Rafe M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We summarize all available amphibian and reptile species distribution data from the northeast Mindanao faunal region, including small islands associated with this subcenter of endemic vertebrate biodiversity. Together with all publicly available historical information from biodiversity repositories, we present new data from several major herpetological surveys, including recently conducted inventories on four major mountains of northeast Mindanao, and adjacent islands of Camiguin Sur, Dinagat, and Siargao. We present species accounts for all taxa, comment on unresolved taxonomic problems, and provide revisions to outdated IUCN conservation status assessments in cases where our new data significantly alter earlier classification status summaries. Together, our comprehensive analysis of this fauna suggests that the greater Mindanao faunal region possesses distinct subcenters of amphibian and reptile species diversity, and that until this area is revisited and its fauna and actually studied, with on-the-ground field work including targeted surveys of species distributions coupled to the study their natural history, our understanding of the diversity and conservation status of southern Philippine herpetological fauna will remain incomplete. Nevertheless, the northeast Mindanao geographical area (Caraga Region) appears to have the highest herpetological species diversity (at least 126 species) of any comparably-sized Philippine faunal subregion. PMID:27833422

  13. Evidence for ecological divergence across a mosaic of soil types in an Amazonian tropical tree: Protium subserratum (Burseraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misiewicz, Tracy M; Fine, Paul V A

    2014-05-01

    Soil heterogeneity is an important driver of divergent natural selection in plants. Neotropical forests have the highest tree diversity on earth, and frequently, soil specialist congeners are distributed parapatrically. While the role of edaphic heterogeneity in the origin and maintenance of tropical tree diversity is unknown, it has been posited that natural selection across the patchwork of soils in the Amazon rainforest is important in driving and maintaining tree diversity. We examined genetic and morphological differentiation among populations of the tropical tree Protium subserratum growing parapatrically on the mosaic of white-sand, brown-sand and clay soils found throughout western Amazonia. Nuclear microsatellites and leaf morphology were used to (i) quantify the extent of phenotypic and genetic divergence across habitat types, (ii) assess the importance of natural selection vs. drift in population divergence, (iii) determine the extent of hybridization and introgression across habitat types, (iv) estimate migration rates among populations. We found significant morphological variation correlated with soil type. Higher levels of genetic differentiation and lower migration rates were observed between adjacent populations found on different soil types than between geographically distant populations on the same soil type. PST -FST comparisons indicate a role for natural selection in population divergence among soil types. A small number of hybrids were detected suggesting that gene flow among soil specialist populations may occur at low frequencies. Our results suggest that edaphic specialization has occurred multiple times in P. subserratum and that divergent natural selection across edaphic boundaries may be a general mechanism promoting and maintaining Amazonian tree diversity.

  14. Game depletion hypothesis of amazonian adaptation: data from a native community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, W T

    1988-03-25

    The low population densities and impermanent settlements of Amazonian Indians are often interpreted as adaptations to a fauna that offers limited protein resources and is rapidly depleted by hunting. Data spanning the 10-year life cycle of one northwestern Amazonian settlement show that variations in hunt yields result from temporal variations in peccary (Tayassu pecari and T. tajacu) kills that appear extrinsic to native population size. After 10 years, hunting success remained high and the kill rates for most prey did not suggest depletion. An array of environmental factors accounts for the incipient settlement relocation observed.

  15. Reptile and amphibian responses to large-scale wildfires in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochester, C.J.; Brehme, C.S.; Clark, D.R.; Stokes, D.C.; Hathaway, S.A.; Fisher, R.N.

    2010-01-01

    In 2003, southern California experienced several large fires that burned thousands of hectares of wildlife habitats and conserved lands. To investigate the effects of these fires on the reptile and amphibian communities, we compared the results from prefire herpetofauna and vegetation sampling to two years of postfire sampling across 38 burned and 17 unburned plots. The sampling plots were spread over four vegetation types and four open space areas within San Diego County. Our capture results indicated that burned chaparral and coastal sage scrub plots lost herpetofaunal species diversity after the fires and displayed a significant shift in overall community structure. Shrub and tree cover at the burned plots, averaged across the second and third postfire years, had decreased by 53 in chaparral and 75 in coastal sage scrub. Additionally, postfire herpetofauna community structure at burned plots was more similar to that found in unburned grasslands. In grassland and woodland/riparian vegetation plots, where shrub and tree cover was not significantly affected by fires, we found no differences in the herpetofaunal species diversity or community composition. At the individual species level, Sceloporus occidentalis was the most abundant reptile in these areas both before and after the fires. We saw increases in the net capture rates for several lizard species, including Aspidoscelis tigris, Phrynosoma coronatum, and Uta stansburiana in burned chaparral plots and Aspidoscelis hyperythra and U. stansburiana in burned coastal sage scrub plots. The toad, Bufo boreas, was detected at significantly fewer burned plots in chaparral after the fires. Additionally, we documented decreases in the number of plots occupied by lizards (Elgaria multicarinata), salamanders (Batrachoseps major), and snakes (Coluber constrictor, Lampropeltis getula, Pituophis catenifer, and Masticophis lateralis) in coastal sage scrub and chaparral after the fires. We discuss the individual species

  16. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Charles J.; Townsend, Carol R.; Reynolds, Robert P.; MacCulloch, Ross D.; Lathrop, Amy

    2013-01-01

    Guyana has a very distinctive herpetofauna. In this first ever detailed modern accounting, based on voucher specimens, we document the presence of 324 species of amphibians and reptiles in the country; 148 amphibians, 176 reptiles. Of these, we present species accounts for 317 species and color photographs of about 62% (Plates 1–40). At the rate that new species are being described and distributional records are being found for the first time, we suspect that at least 350 species will be documented in a few decades. The diverse herpetofauna includes 137 species of frogs and toads, 11 caecilians, 4 crocodylians, 4 amphisbaenians, 56 lizards, 97 snakes, and 15 turtles. Endemic species, which occur nowhere else in the world, comprise 15% of the herpetofauna. Most of the endemics are amphibians, comprising 27% of the amphibian fauna. Type localities (where the type specimens or scientific name-bearers of species were found) are located within Guyana for 24% of the herpetofauna, or 36% of the amphibians. This diverse fauna results from the geographic position of Guyana on the Guiana Shield and the isolated highlands or tepuis of the eastern part of the Pantepui Region, which are surrounded by lowland rainforest and savannas. Consequently, there is a mixture of local endemic species and widespread species characteristic of Amazonia and the Guianan Region. Although the size of this volume may mislead some people into thinking that a lot is known about the fauna of Guyana, the work has just begun. Many of the species are known from fewer than five individuals in scientific collections; for many the life history, distribution, ecology, and behavior remain poorly known; few resources in the country are devoted to developing such knowledge; and as far as we are aware, no other group of animals in the fauna of Guyana has been summarized in a volume such as this to document the biological resources. We briefly discuss aspects of biogeography, as reflected in samples collected

  17. Factors contributing to amphibian road mortality in a wetland

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Haijun GU; Qiang DAI; Qian WANG; Yuezhao WANG

    2011-01-01

    To understand road characteristics and landscape features associated with high road mortality of amphibians in Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve,we surveyed road mortality along four major roads after rainfall in May and September 2007.Road mortality of three species,Rana kukunoris,Nanorana pleskei and Bufo minshanicus,was surveyed across 225 transects (115 in May and 110 in September).Transects were 100 m long and repeated every two kilometers along the four major roads.We used model averaging to assess factors that might determine amphibian road mortality.We recorded an average of 24.6 amphibian road mortalities per kilometer in May and 19.2 in September.Among road characteristics,road width was positively associated with road morality for R.kukunori and B.minshanicus.Traffic volume also increased the road mortality of B.minshanicus in September.Of the landscape features measured,area proportions of three types of grassland (wet,mesic and dry) within 1 km of the roads,particularly that of wet grassland,significantly increased road mortality for R.kukunori and total mortality across all three species.To most effectively reduce road mortality of amphibians in the Zoige wetlands,we suggest better road design such as avoiding wet grasslands,minimizing road width,underground passes and traffic control measures.The implementation of public transit in the area would reduce traffic volume,and hence mortality [Current Zoology 57 (6):768-774,2011].

  18. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...

  19. Examining the evidence for chytridiomycosis in threatened amphibian species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Heard

    Full Text Available Extinction risks are increasing for amphibians due to rising threats and minimal conservation efforts. Nearly one quarter of all threatened/extinct amphibians in the IUCN Red List is purportedly at risk from the disease chytridiomycosis. However, a closer look at the data reveals that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the causal agent has been identified and confirmed to cause clinical disease in only 14% of these species. Primary literature surveys confirm these findings; ruling out major discrepancies between Red List assessments and real-time science. Despite widespread interest in chytridiomycosis, little progress has been made between assessment years to acquire evidence for the role of chytridiomycosis in species-specific amphibian declines. Instead, assessment teams invoke the precautionary principle when listing chytridiomycosis as a threat. Precaution is valuable when dealing with the world's most threatened taxa, however scientific research is needed to distinguish between real and predicted threats in order to better prioritize conservation efforts. Fast paced, cost effective, in situ research to confirm or rule out chytridiomycosis in species currently hypothesized to be threatened by the disease would be a step in the right direction. Ultimately, determining the manner in which amphibian conservation resources are utilized is a conversation for the greater conservation community that we hope to stimulate here.

  20. Effects of terrestrial buffer zones on amphibians on golf courses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly J Puglis

    Full Text Available A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi and green frogs (Rana clamitans in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians.

  1. ESTIMATION OF UV-B EXPOSURE IN AMPHIBIAN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estimation of ultraviolet radiation B (UV-B; 280 to 320 nm wavelenghts) dose is essential for determining whether UV-B contributes to amphibian population declines and malformations. UV-B dose in wetlands is effected by location, time of day and year, atmospheric levels of ozone,...

  2. Measuring the meltdown: drivers of global amphibian extinction and decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navjot S Sodhi

    Full Text Available Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545 or had increased (n = 28. These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.

  3. Effects of terrestrial buffer zones on amphibians on golf courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puglis, Holly J; Boone, Michelle D

    2012-01-01

    A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians.

  4. Expanding Distribution of Lethal Amphibian Fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Martel, An; Asselberghs, Johan; Bales, Emma K; Beukema, Wouter; Bletz, Molly C; Dalbeck, Lutz; Goverse, Edo; Kerres, Alexander; Kinet, Thierry; Kirst, Kai; Laudelout, Arnaud; Marin da Fonte, Luis F; Nöllert, Andreas; Ohlhoff, Dagmar; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Speybroeck, Jeroen; Spikmans, Frank; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Vences, Miguel; Wagner, Norman; Pasmans, Frank; Lötters, Stefan

    2016-07-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010-2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity.

  5. Glyphosate applications on arable fields considerably coincide with migrating amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Gert; Graef, Frieder; Pfeffer, Holger

    2013-01-01

    Glyphosate usage is increasing worldwide and the application schemes of this herbicide are currently changing. Amphibians migrating through arable fields may be harmed by Glyphosate applied to field crops. We investigated the population-based temporal coincidence of four amphibian species with Glyphosate from 2006 to 2008. Depending on a) age- and species-specific main migration periods, b) crop species, c) Glyphosate application mode for crops, and d) the presumed DT50 value (12 days or 47 days) of Glyphosate, we calculated up to 100% coincidence with Glyphosate. The amphibians regularly co-occur with pre-sowing/pre-emerging Glyphosate applications to maize in spring and with stubble management prior to crop sowing in late summer and autumn. Siccation treatment in summer coincides only with early pond-leaving juveniles. We suggest in-depth investigations of both acute and long-term effects of Glyphosate applications on amphibian populations not only focussed on exposure during aquatic periods but also terrestrial life stages.

  6. Preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Baramita, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.

  7. Emerging contaminants and their potential effects on amphibians and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serious threats to the health and sustainability of global amphibian populations have been well documented over the last few decades. Encroachment upon and destruction of primary habitat is the most critical threat, but some species have disappeared while their habitat remains. Additional stressor...

  8. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, An; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Blooi, Mark; Bert, Wim; Ducatelle, Richard; Fisher, Matthew C; Woeltjes, Antonius; Bosman, Wilbert; Chiers, Koen; Bossuyt, Franky; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-17

    The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi.

  9. On the worrying fate of Data Deficient amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nori, Javier; Loyola, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    The 'Data Deficient' (DD) category of the IUCN Red List assembles species that cannot be placed in another category due to insufficient information. This process generates uncertainty about whether these species are safe or actually in danger. Here, we give a global overview on the current situation of DD amphibian species (almost a quarter of living amphibians) considering land-use change through habitat modification, the degree of protection of each species and the socio-political context of each country harboring DD species. We found that DD amphibians have, on average, 81% of their ranges totally outside protected areas. Worryingly, more than half of DD species have less than 1% of their distribution represented in protected areas. Furthermore, the percentage of overlap between species' range and human-modified landscapes is high, at approximately 58%. Many countries harboring a large number of DD species show a worrying socio-political trend illustrated by substantial, recent incremental increases in the Human Development Index and lower incremental increases in the establishment of protected areas. Most of these are African countries, which are located mainly in the central and southern regions of the continent. Other countries with similar socio-political trends are in southeastern Asia, Central America, and in the northern region of South America. This situation is concerning, but it also creates a huge opportunity for considering DD amphibians in future conservation assessments, planning, and policy at different levels of government administration.

  10. Preliminary amphibian surveys : Baca National Wildlife Refuge : July & August, 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes an initial amphibian survey effort on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, conducted on 7/17/15, 7/24/15, and 8/28/15. The main emphasis of this...

  11. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Sara J. [Department of Biology, Saint Mary' s University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3 (Canada); Russell, Ronald W. [Department of Biology, Saint Mary' s University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, NS, B3H 3C3 (Canada)], E-mail: ron.russell@smu.ca

    2009-01-15

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC{sub 50}) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. - Salt toxicity is presented as a mechanism affecting the distribution of amphibians and structure of amphibian communities in roadside wetlands.

  12. Can myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-08-22

    Research into fish and amphibian reproduction has increased exponentially in recent years owing to the expansion of the aquaculture industry, the need to recover fishery populations, the impact of endocrine disruptors on the aquatic environment and the global decline of amphibian populations. This review focuses on a group of parasites, the Myxozoa, that affect fish and amphibian reproduction. Lists of the myxosporeans that specifically infect gonads are provided. Most of these are parasitic of freshwater hosts, and most amphibian cases are reported from testes. Sex specificity and sex reversal are discussed in relation to gonadal parasitism. The immune response of the fish to the infection is described, and the contribution of the immunoprivilege of gonads to host invasion is emphasized. The pathological effect of these parasites can be significant, especially in aquacultured broodstocks, on some occasions, leading to parasitic castration. Although myxosporean parasites are currently not very frequent in gonads, their impact could increase in the future owing to the transactions in the global market. Their easy release into the aquatic environment with spawning could make their spreading even more feasible. In the absence of commercial drugs or vaccines to treat and prevent these infections, there is an urgent need to develop specific, rapid and reliable diagnostic tools to control and manage animal movements. In addition, much effort is still to be made on deciphering the life cycle of these organisms, their invasion strategies and their immune evasion mechanisms.

  13. Rayleigh instability of the inverted one-cell amphibian embryo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nouri, Comron; Luppes, Roel; Veldman, Arthur E.P.; Tuszynski, Jack A.; Gordon, Richard

    2008-01-01

    The one-cell amphibian embryo is modeled as a rigid spherical shell containing equal volumes of two immiscible fluids with different densities and viscosities and a surface tension between them. The fluids represent denser yolk in the bottom hemisphere and clearer cytoplasm and the germinal vesicle

  14. Salmonella Infections Caused by Reptiles and Amphibians in Childcare Centers

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2013-02-07

    Dr. Neil Vora, an EIS Officer at CDC, discusses his article about Salmonella infections in childcare centers caused by reptiles and amphibians.  Created: 2/7/2013 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 2/7/2013.

  15. Amazonian Buriti oil: chemical characterization and antioxidant potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Speranza, P.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Buriti oil is an example of an Amazonian palm oil of economic importance. The local population uses this oil for the prevention and treatment of different diseases; however, there are few studies in the literature that evaluate its properties. In this study, detailed chemical and antioxidant properties of Buriti oil were determined. The predominant fatty acid was oleic acid (65.6% and the main triacylglycerol classes were tri-unsaturated (50.0% and di-unsaturated-mono-saturated (39.3% triacylglycerols. The positional distribution of the classes of fatty acids on the triacylglycerol backbone indicated a saturated and unsaturated fatty acid relationship similar in the three-triacylglycerol positions. All tocopherol isomers were present, with a total content of 2364.1 mg·kg−1. α-tocopherol constitutes 48% of the total tocopherol content, followed by γ- tocopherol (45%. Total phenolic (107.0 mg gallic acid equivalent·g−1 oil and β-carotene (781.6 mg·kg−1 were particularly high in this oil. The highest antioxidant activity against the free radical 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH was obtained at an oil concentration of 50 mg·mL−1 (73.15%. The antioxidant activity evaluated by the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC was 95.3 μmol Trolox equivalent·g−1 oil. These results serve to present Buriti oil as an Amazonian resource for cosmetic, food and pharmaceuticals purposes.El aceite de Buriti es un ejemplo de aceite de palma amazónica de gran importancia económica. La población local utiliza este aceite para la prevención y el tratamiento de diferentes enfermedades; sin embargo, hay pocos estudios científicos que evalúen sus propiedades. En este estudio, se determinaron las propiedades antioxidantes del aceite de Buriti. El ácido graso predominante fue el oleico (65,6 % y las principales clases de triglicéridos fueron tri-insaturadas (50,0 % y Di-insaturados-mono-saturada (39,3 %. La distribución posicional de las

  16. Alluvial deposits and plant distribution in an Amazonian lowland megafan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zani, H.; Rossetti, D.; Cremon; Cohen, M.; Pessenda, L. C.

    2012-12-01

    A large volume of sandy alluvial deposits (> 1000 km2) characterizes a flat wetland in northern Amazonia. These have been recently described as the sedimentary record of a megafan system, which have a distinct triangular shape produced by highly migratory distributary rivers. The vegetation map suggests that this megafan is dominated by open vegetation in sharp contact with the surround rainforest. Understanding the relationship between geomorphological processes and vegetation distribution is crucial to decipher and conserve the biodiversity in this Amazonian ecosystem. In this study we interpret plant dynamics over time, and investigate its potential control by sedimentary processes during landscape evolution. The study area is located in the Viruá National Park. Two field campaigns were undertaken in the dry seasons of 2010 and 2011 and the sampling sites were selected by combining accessibility and representativeness. Vegetation contrasts were recorded along a transect in the medial section of the Viruá megafan. Due to the absence of outcrops, samples were extracted using a core device, which allowed sampling up to a depth of 7.5 m. All cores were opened and described in the field, with 5 cm3 samples collected at 20 cm intervals. The δ13C of organic matter was used as a proxy to distinguish between C3 and C4 plant communities. The chronology was established based on radiocarbon dating. The results suggest that the cores from forested areas show the most depleted values of δ13C, ranging from -32.16 to -27.28‰. The δ13C curve in these areas displays typical C3 land plant values for the entire record, which covers most of the Holocene. This finding indicates that either the vegetation remained stable over time or the sites were dominated by aquatic environments with freshwater plants before forest establishment. The cores from the open vegetation areas show a progressive upward enrichment in δ13C values, which range from -28.50 to -19.59‰. This trend is

  17. Thresholds of species loss in Amazonian deforestation frontier landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa-Quintero, Jose Manuel; Gardner, Toby A; Rosa, Isabel; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Sutherland, William J

    2015-04-01

    In the Brazilian Amazon, private land accounts for the majority of remaining native vegetation. Understanding how land-use change affects the composition and distribution of biodiversity in farmlands is critical for improving conservation strategies in the face of rapid agricultural expansion. Working across an area exceeding 3 million ha in the southwestern state of Rondônia, we assessed how the extent and configuration of remnant forest in replicate 10,000-ha landscapes has affected the occurrence of a suite of Amazonian mammals and birds. In each of 31 landscapes, we used field sampling and semistructured interviews with landowners to determine the presence of 28 large and medium sized mammals and birds, as well as a further 7 understory birds. We then combined results of field surveys and interviews with a probabilistic model of deforestation. We found strong evidence for a threshold response of sampled biodiversity to landscape level forest cover; landscapes with deforested landscapes many species are susceptible to extirpation following relatively small additional reductions in forest area. In the model of deforestation by 2030 the number of 10,000-ha landscapes under a conservative threshold of 43% forest cover almost doubled, such that only 22% of landscapes would likely to be able to sustain at least 75% of the 35 focal species we sampled. Brazilian law requires rural property owners in the Amazon to retain 80% forest cover, although this is rarely achieved. Prioritizing efforts to ensure that entire landscapes, rather than individual farms, retain at least 50% forest cover may help safeguard native biodiversity in private forest reserves in the Amazon.

  18. Bioaccumulation and maternal transfer of mercury and selenium in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Christine M; Bodinof, Catherine M; Unrine, Jason M; Hopkins, William A

    2010-04-01

    Amphibian population declines have been documented worldwide and environmental contaminants are believed to contribute to some declines. Maternal transfer of bioaccumulated contaminants to offspring may be an important and overlooked mechanism of impaired reproductive success that affects amphibian populations. Mercury (Hg) is of particular concern due to its ubiquity in the environment, known toxicity to other wildlife, and complex relationships with other elements, such as selenium (Se). The objectives of the present study were to describe the relationships between total Hg (THg), methlymercury (MMHg), and Se in three amphibian species (Plethodon cinereus, Eurycea bislineata cirrigera, and Bufo americanus) along a Hg-polluted river and floodplain, and to determine if B. americanus maternally transfers Hg and Se to its eggs in a tissue residue-dependent manner. Total Hg and MMHg concentrations in all species spanned two orders of magnitude between the reference and contaminated areas, while Se concentrations were generally low in all species at both sites. Strong positive relationships between THg and MMHg in tissues of all species were observed throughout. Both Hg and Se were maternally transferred from females to eggs in B. americanus, but the percentage of the females' Hg body burden transferred to eggs was low compared with Se. In addition, Hg concentrations appeared to positively influence the amount of Se transferred from female to eggs. The present study is the first to confirm a correlation between Hg concentrations in female carcass and eggs in amphibians and among the first to describe co-transference of Se and Hg in an anamniotic vertebrate. The results suggest future work is needed to determine whether maternal transfer of Hg has transgenerational implications for amphibian progeny.

  19. Projected climate impacts for the amphibians of the western hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawler, Joshua J.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2010-01-01

    Given their physiological requirements, limited dispersal abilities, and hydrologically sensitive habitats, amphibians are likely to be highly sensitive to future climatic changes. We used three approaches to map areas in the western hemisphere where amphibians are particularly likely to be affected by climate change. First, we used bioclimatic models to project potential climate-driven shifts in the distribution of 413 amphibian species based on 20 climate simulations for 2071–2100. We summarized these projections to produce estimates of species turnover. Second, we mapped the distribution of 1099 species with restricted geographic ranges. Finally, using the 20 future climate-change simulations, we mapped areas that were consistently projected to receive less seasonal precipitation in the coming century and thus were likely to have altered microclimates and local hydrologies. Species turnover was projected to be highest in the Andes Mountains and parts of Central America and Mexico, where, on average, turnover rates exceeded 60% under the lower of two emissions scenarios. Many of the restricted-range species not included in our range-shift analyses were concentrated in parts of the Andes and Central America and in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Much of Central America, southwestern North America, and parts of South America were consistently projected to experience decreased precipitation by the end of the century. Combining the results of the three analyses highlighted several areas in which amphibians are likely to be significantly affected by climate change for multiple reasons. Portions of southern Central America were simultaneously projected to experience high species turnover, have many additional restricted-range species, and were consistently projected to receive less precipitation. Together, our three analyses form one potential assessment of the geographic vulnerability of amphibians to climate change and as such provide broad-scale guidance for directing

  20. Widespread loess-like deposit in the Martian northern lowlands identifies Middle Amazonian climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, James A.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Thomas Platz,

    2014-01-01

    Consistently mappable units critical to distinguishing the style and interplay of geologic processes through time are sparse in the Martian lowlands. This study identifies a previously unmapped Middle Amazonian (ca. 1 Ga) unit (Middle Amazonian lowland unit, mAl) that postdates the Late Hesperian and Early Amazonian lowland plains by >2 b.y. The unit is regionally defined by subtle marginal scarps and slopes, has a mean thickness of 32 m, and extends >3.1 × 106 km2 between lat 35°N and 80°N. Pedestal-type craterforms and nested, arcuate ridges (thumbprint terrain) tend to occur adjacent to unit mAl outcrops, suggesting that current outcrops are vestiges of a more extensive deposit that previously covered ∼16 × 106 km2. Exposed layers, surface pits, and the draping of subjacent landforms allude to a sedimentary origin, perhaps as a loess-like deposit emplaced rhythmically through atmospheric fallout. We propose that unit mAl accumulated coevally with, and at the expense of, the erosion of the north polar basal units, identifying a major episode of Middle Amazonian climate-driven sedimentation in the lowlands. This work links ancient sedimentary processes to climate change that occurred well before those implied by current orbital and spin axis models.

  1. Legacies of Amazonian dark earths on forest composition, structure and dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quintero Vallejo, E.M.

    2015-01-01

    Summary

    Amazonian forest is seen as the archetype of pristine forests, untouched by humans, but this romantic view is far from reality. In recent years, there is increasing evidence of long and extensive landscape modification by humans. Processes of permanent inhabitation,

  2. Recent (Late Amazonian) enhanced backweathering rates on Mars : Paracratering evidence from gully alcoves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Haas, Tjalling; Conway, Susan J.; Krautblatter, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Mars is believed to have been exposed to low planet-wide weathering and denudation since the Noachian. However, the widespread occurrence of alcoves at the rim of pristine impact craters suggests locally enhanced recent backweathering rates. Here we derive Late Amazonian backweathering rates from th

  3. Commonness of Amazonian palm (Arecaceae) species: Cross-scale links and potential determinants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Thea; Svenning, J.-C.; Grández, César

    2009-01-01

    The mechanisms that cause variation in commonness (abundances and range sizes) of species remain debated in ecology, and a repeatedly observed pattern is the positive relation between local abundances and larger scale range sizes. We used the Amazonian palm species (Arecaceae) to investigate...

  4. Effects of Amazonian Dark Earths on growth and leaf nutrient balance of tropical tree seedlings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quintero Vallejo, Estela; Pena Claros, M.; Bongers, F.; Toledo, M.; Poorter, L.

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims: Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE) are ancient anthropogenic soils distributed in the Amazon basin. They are characterized by high nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium and nitrogen. We studied the effect of ADE on growth, morphology and physiology of 17 tree species from a

  5. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chave, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin. PMID:27651991

  6. Amazonian-aged fluvial system and associated ice-related features in Terra Cimmeria, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adeli, Solmaz; Hauber, Ernst; Kleinhans, Maarten; Le Deit, Laetitia; Platz, Thomas; Fawdon, Peter; Jaumann, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    The Martian climate throughout the Amazonian is widely believed to have been cold and hyper-arid, very similar to the current conditions. However, ubiquitous evidence of aqueous and glacial activity has been recently reported, including channels that can be tens to hundreds of kilometres long, alluv

  7. The Perceptions of Knowledge and Learning of Amazonian Indigenous Teacher Education Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veintie, Tuija; Holm, Gunilla

    2010-01-01

    This study focuses on the perceptions of knowledge and learning by indigenous students in an intercultural bilingual teacher education programme in Amazonian Ecuador. The study framed within postcolonial and critical theory attempts to create a space for the indigenous students to speak about their own views through the use of photography and…

  8. [Myths concerning malarial transmission among Amazonian Indians and their relation with 2 types of transmission encountered in the Amazonian forest].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molez, J F

    1999-01-01

    Among the Indians Desana's (Tukano amerindians) in the Upper Rio Negro, the interseasonal variation of the malarial fevers were associated with two myths (localised in two distinguishable places). One myth associates the malarial with the rivers which contain "malaria pots". Conception based on an observation of localised water collection in the banks and the rocky rapids ("banks and rocky's fever"). The transmission and the anophelian density present variation between the seasons in relation to the river's level. Another myth associates malarial fevers in the forest, with the song of a frog ("fever's frog") and the flowering and fructification of a tree (Poaqueira sericea Thul.). There is in South America a particular type of forest malaria, known as "Bromelia malaria" and denounced in human and/or simian transmission. This forest malaria is transmitted by the a sub-genus anopheles (Kerteszia) which larval breeding are areal in the canopy. The breeding places are found in the forest in the epiphyte bromeliads. To understand this type of transmission, we must take reference to the previous endomological data at the Upper Oyapock Wayâpi (Tupi amerindians). This Bromelia malaria could fluctuated according larval density variation, related to washing of epiphytes (end of the rainy season) or to their flowering (end of the dry season). The "fever's frog" myth collected at the Desana's in the Upper Rio Negro can be related to the existence of Bromelia malaria in this amazonian habitat. These myths showed the perfect adaptation of the amerindians to their environment and their complete knowledge of the neotropical forest.

  9. Survival of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on bare hands and gloves: hygiene implications for amphibian handling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Diana; Webb, Rebecca; Berger, Lee; Speare, Rick

    2008-11-20

    Hygiene protocols for handling amphibians in the field and in laboratories have been proposed to decrease the transmission of chytridiomycosis caused by infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is responsible for global amphibian declines. However, these protocols are mainly based on theoretical principles. The aim of this study was to develop an evidence-based approach to amphibian handling hygiene protocols by testing the survival of B. dendrobatidis on human hands and various gloves. Bare or gloved human fingers were exposed to cultured zoospores and zoosporangia of B. dendrobatidis. Survival of B. dendrobatidis on hands and gloves was tested for up to 10 min post-exposure by inoculation onto tryptone/gelatin hydrolysate/lactose (TGhL) agar plates. The effects of repeated hand washings with water and with 70% ethanol and of washing gloves with water were also tested. Bare human skin demonstrated a fungicidal effect on B. dendrobatidis by 2 min and killed 100% of cells by 6 min, but this killing effect was reduced by repeated washing with water and ethanol. Nitrile gloves killed all B. dendrobatidis on contact, but washing in water decreased this effect. Latex and polyethylene gloves had no killing effect, and B. dendrobatidis survived for over 6 min. The killing effect of vinyl gloves varied with brands and batches. These results support the use of an unused pair of gloves for each new amphibian handled in either the field or the laboratory, and if this is not possible, bare hands are a preferable, although imperfect, alternative to continual use of the same pair of gloves.

  10. Review and synthesis of the effects of climate change on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiming; Cohen, Jeremy M; Rohr, Jason R

    2013-06-01

    Considerable progress has been made in understanding the responses of amphibians to climate change, with successful research carried out on climate change-associated shifts in amphibian phenology, elevational distributions and amphibian-parasite interactions. We review and synthesize the literature on this topic, emphasizing acutely lethal, sublethal, indirect and positive effects of climate change on amphibians, and major research gaps. For instance, evidence is lacking on poleward shifts in amphibian distributions and on changes in body sizes and morphologies of amphibians in response to climate change. We have limited information on amphibian thermal tolerances, thermal preferences, dehydration breaths, opportunity costs of water conserving behaviors and actual temperature and moisture ranges amphibians experience. Even when much of this information is available, there remains little evidence that climate change is acutely lethal to amphibians. This suggests that if climate change is contributing to declines, it might be through effects that are not acutely lethal, indirect, or both, but evidence in support of this suggestion is necessary. In fact, evidence that climate change is directly contributing to amphibian declines is weak, partly because researchers have not often ruled out alternative hypotheses, such as chytrid fungus or climate-fungus interactions. Consequently, we recommend that amphibian-climate research shift from primarily inductive, correlational approach as to studies that evaluate alternative hypotheses for declines. This additional rigor will require interdisciplinary collaborations, estimates of costs and benefits of climate change to amphibian fitness and populations, and the integration of correlative field studies, experiments on 'model' amphibian species, and mathematical and functional, physiological models.

  11. Co-occurrence and community assembly in Amazonian palms (Arecaceae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Balslev, Henrik; Kristiansen, Thea

    Palms (Arecaceae) are a distinctive, diverse and ecologically important element of tropical rainforest. Often numerous palm species co-occur locally in "palm communities" that span all strata of the forest. In South America, the palm family has a centre of diversity in the western Amazon basin...

  12. The role of Thailand in the international trade in CITES-listed live reptiles and amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Nijman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: International wildlife trade is one of the leading threats to biodiversity conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES is the most important initiative to monitor and regulate the international trade of wildlife but its credibility is dependent on the quality of the trade data. We report on the performance of CITES reporting by focussing on the commercial trade in non-native reptiles and amphibians into Thailand as to illustrate trends, species composition and numbers of wild-caught vs. captive-bred specimens. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Based on data in the WCMC-CITES trade database, we establish that a total of 75,594 individuals of 169 species of reptiles and amphibians (including 27 globally threatened species were imported into Thailand in 1990-2007. The majority of individuals (59,895, 79% were listed as captive-bred and a smaller number (15,699, 21% as wild-caught. In the 1990s small numbers of individuals of a few species were imported into Thailand, but in 2003 both volumes and species diversity increased rapidly. The proportion of captive-bred animals differed greatly between years (from 0 to >80%. Wild-caught individuals were mainly sourced from African countries, and captive-bred individuals from Asian countries (including from non-CITES Parties. There were significant discrepancies between exports and imports. Thailand reports the import of >10,000 individuals (51 species originating from Kazakhstan, but Kazakhstan reports no exports of these species. Similar discrepancies, involving smaller numbers (>100 individuals of 9 species, can be seen in the import of reptiles into Thailand via Macao. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: While there has been an increase in imports of amphibian and reptiles into Thailand, erratic patterns in proportions of captive-bred specimens and volumes suggests either capricious markets or errors in reporting. Large discrepancies with

  13. Risks to Colombian amphibian fauna from cultivation of coca (Erythroxylum coca): a geographical analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, J D; Arroyo, S B

    2009-01-01

    The Colombian amphibian fauna is among the richest known in the world, with about 20 species of salamanders (order Caudata), 35 of the limbless caecilians (order Gymnophiona), and more than 700 species of frogs and toads (order Anura) recorded from localities within the country. The potential effects of exposure to glyphosate on amphibians arising from production of illegal crops (coca) were examined. The analysis was based on (1) behavior and ecology of species and (2) proximities of actual museum records to localities in which illegal crops are being grown and the subset of those that have been sprayed with glyphosate. Based on data on the location of amphibians collected in Colombia, records were obtained for 193 species (28% of the national diversity) of frogs and toads found in localities within 10 km of areas where coca is grown. Further analyses with ARC MAP software allowed for measurement of the direct distance separating collection locations for frogs, known coca fields, and areas where aerial spraying was being conducted. Records in or near coca fields included data for 11 of 13 families of frogs and toads known to be present in Colombia. Only Ceratophryidae and Pipidae were not reported from these locations and appear not to be at risk. For eight species (Dendrobates truncatus, Craugastor raniformis, Pristimantis gaigeae, Smilisca phaeota, Elachistocleis ovale, Hypsiboas crepitans, Trachycephalus venulosus, and Pseudis paradoxa) selected to represent several habitat preferences and life-cycle strategies, large areas of their distributions lie outside coca production regions and their populations as a whole are at low risk. For a limited number of species that barely enter Colombian territory, the consequences of coca production may be more serious and may have placed several species of frogs at risk. These include Ameerega bilingua, Dendropsophus bifurcus, Pristimantis colomai, P. degener, P. diadematus, P. quaquaversus, P. variabilis, and

  14. Amazonian and neotropical plant communities on glacial time-scales: The failure of the aridity and refuge hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colinvaux, P. A.; De Oliveira, P. E.; Bush, M. B.

    2000-01-01

    aridity. Accordingly we examine the geomorphological evidence for glacial aridity and find it wanting. Of the three paleodune systems reported for tropical South America, that of NE Brazil was active in the Holocene as well as the Pleistocene. Parts of NE Brazil were actually moister than now in late-glacial times. Paleodunes in the Pantanal have never been seen on the ground, and those in the Orinoco Llanos are undated and may be of any age since the Tertiary. Arkosic sands in the Amazon fan deposits came from the Andean foothills or from down cutting by rivers and cannot be evidence of a former arid land surface. White sands of Amazonia formed as podzols, not by aeolian activity. Such Amazonian stone lines as have received critical scrutiny are concretionary pisolites in stratigraphic formations that are more than ten million years old. Although the Amazon was never arid, modeling cooler glacial tropics gives plausibility to a somewhat drier Amazon in glacial times, a concept given substance by pollen data for the movement of ecotones in Rondonia, by stream histories in the Bolivian Andes, and by evidence for lowered lake levels at Carajas and Lake Pata. But this reduced precipitation was never enough to fragment the forest in the Amazon lowlands themselves. Pleistocene mammals of the Napo river valley in Ecuador were able to live along the river system in a forested landscape. Our data suggest that the Amazon forests have been stable since the start of the Pleistocene, a fact that has contributed to the storage of vast diversity. The coming anthropogenic global warming and CO 2 enrichment will add to the global warming already endured by Amazon biota in the Holocene. We think it possible that the expulsion from the lowland forests of heat intolerant species is already complete and that the forest property of maintaining its own microhabitat will allow the high species richness to survive more global warming, provided large enough tracts of forest are preserved.

  15. Analysing Amazonian forest productivity using a new individual and trait-based model (TFS v.1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fyllas, N. M.; Gloor, E.; Mercado, L. M.; Sitch, S.; Quesada, C. A.; Domingues, T. F.; Galbraith, D. R.; Torre-Lezama, A.; Vilanova, E.; Ramírez-Angulo, H.; Higuchi, N.; Neill, D. A.; Silveira, M.; Ferreira, L.; Aymard C., G. A.; Malhi, Y.; Phillips, O. L.; Lloyd, J.

    2014-07-01

    Repeated long-term censuses have revealed large-scale spatial patterns in Amazon basin forest structure and dynamism, with some forests in the west of the basin having up to a twice as high rate of aboveground biomass production and tree recruitment as forests in the east. Possible causes for this variation could be the climatic and edaphic gradients across the basin and/or the spatial distribution of tree species composition. To help understand causes of this variation a new individual-based model of tropical forest growth, designed to take full advantage of the forest census data available from the Amazonian Forest Inventory Network (RAINFOR), has been developed. The model allows for within-stand variations in tree size distribution and key functional traits and between-stand differences in climate and soil physical and chemical properties. It runs at the stand level with four functional traits - leaf dry mass per area (Ma), leaf nitrogen (NL) and phosphorus (PL) content and wood density (DW) varying from tree to tree - in a way that replicates the observed continua found within each stand. We first applied the model to validate canopy-level water fluxes at three eddy covariance flux measurement sites. For all three sites the canopy-level water fluxes were adequately simulated. We then applied the model at seven plots, where intensive measurements of carbon allocation are available. Tree-by-tree multi-annual growth rates generally agreed well with observations for small trees, but with deviations identified for larger trees. At the stand level, simulations at 40 plots were used to explore the influence of climate and soil nutrient availability on the gross (ΠG) and net (ΠN) primary production rates as well as the carbon use efficiency (CU). Simulated ΠG, ΠN and CU were not associated with temperature. On the other hand, all three measures of stand level productivity were positively related to both mean annual precipitation and soil nutrient status

  16. Trophic Strategies of a Non-Native and a Native Amphibian Species in Shared Ponds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olatz San Sebastián

    Full Text Available One of the critical factors for understanding the establishment, success and potential impact on native species of an introduced species is a thorough knowledge of how these species manage trophic resources. Two main trophic strategies for resource acquisition have been described: competition and opportunism. In the present study our objective was to identify the main trophic strategies of the non-native amphibian Discoglossus pictus and its potential trophic impact on the native amphibian Bufo calamita. We determine whether D. pictus exploits similar trophic resources to those exploited by the native B. calamita (competition hypothesis or alternative resources (opportunistic hypothesis. To this end, we analyzed the stable isotope values of nitrogen and carbon in larvae of both species, in natural ponds and in controlled laboratory conditions. The similarity of the δ15N and δ13C values in the two species coupled with isotopic signal variation according to pond conditions and niche partitioning when they co-occurred indicated dietary competition. Additionally, the non-native species was located at higher levels of trophic niches than the native species and B. calamita suffered an increase in its standard ellipse area when it shared ponds with D. pictus. These results suggest niche displacement of B. calamita to non-preferred resources and greater competitive capacity of D. pictus in field conditions. Moreover, D. pictus showed a broader niche than the native species in all conditions, indicating increased capacity to exploit the diversity of resources; this may indirectly favor its invasiveness. Despite the limitations of this study (derived from potential variability in pond isotopic signals, the results support previous experimental studies. All the studies indicate that D. pictus competes with B. calamita for trophic resources with potential negative effects on the fitness of the latter.

  17. Disease risk in temperate amphibian populations is higher at closed-canopy sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Guilherme Becker

    Full Text Available Habitat loss and chytridiomycosis (a disease caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis - Bd are major drivers of amphibian declines worldwide. Habitat loss regulates host-pathogen interactions by altering biotic and abiotic factors directly linked to both host and pathogen fitness. Therefore, studies investigating the links between natural vegetation and chytridiomycosis require integrative approaches to control for the multitude of possible interactions of biological and environmental variables in spatial epidemiology. In this study, we quantified Bd infection dynamics across a gradient of natural vegetation and microclimates, looking for causal associations between vegetation cover, multiple microclimatic variables, and pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. To minimize the effects of host diversity in our analyses, we sampled amphibian populations in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, a region with relatively high single-host dominance. We sampled permanent ponds for anurans, focusing on populations of the habitat generalist frog Lithobates clamitans, and recorded various biotic and abiotic factors that potentially affect host-pathogen interactions: natural vegetation, canopy density, water temperature, and host population and community attributes. We screened for important explanatory variables of Bd infections and used path analyses to statistically test for the strength of cascading effects linking vegetation cover, microclimate, and Bd parameters. We found that canopy density, natural vegetation, and daily average water temperature were the best predictors of Bd. High canopy density resulted in lower water temperature, which in turn predicted higher Bd prevalence and infection intensity. Our results confirm that microclimatic shifts arising from changes in natural vegetation play an important role in Bd spatial epidemiology, with areas of closed canopy favoring Bd. Given increasing rates of anthropogenic

  18. Corticotropin-releasing factor enhances locomotion and medullary neuronal firing in an amphibian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowry, C A; Rose, J D; Moore, F L

    1996-03-01

    Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) administration has been shown to act centrally to enhance locomotion in rats and amphibians. In the present study we used an amphibian, the roughskin newt (Taricha granulosa), to characterize changes in medullary neuronal activity associated with CRF-induced walking and swimming in animals chronically implanted with fine-wire microelectrodes. Neuronal activity was recorded from the raphe and adjacent reticular region of the rostral medulla. Under baseline conditions most of the recorded neurons showed low to moderate amounts of neuronal activity during periods of immobility and pronounced increases in firing that were time-locked with episodes of walking. These neurons sometimes showed further increases in discharge during swimming. Injections of CRF but not saline into the lateral ventricle produced a rapidly appearing increase in walking and pronounced changes (mostly increases) in firing rates of the medullary neurons. CRF produced diverse changes in patterns of firing in different neurons, but for these neurons as a group, the effects of CRF showed a close temporal association with the onset and expression of the peptide's effect on locomotion. In neurons that were active exclusively during movement prior to CRF treatment, the post-CRF increase in firing was evident during episodes of walking; in other neurons that also were spontaneously active during immobility prior to CRF infusion, post-CRF activity changes were evident during immobility as well as during episodes of locomotion. Thus, a principal effect of CRF was to potentiate the level of neuronal firing in a population of medullary neurons with locomotor-related properties. Due to the route of administration CRF may have acted on multiple central nervous system sites to enhance locomotion, but the results are consistent with neurophysiological effects involving medullary locomotion-regulating neurons.

  19. The Current and Historical Distribution of Special Status Amphibians at the Livermore Site and Site 300

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattem, M V; Paterson, L; Woollett, J

    2008-08-20

    65 surveys were completed in 2002 to assess the current distribution of special status amphibians at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Livermore Site and Site 300. Combined with historical information from previous years, the information presented herein illustrates the dynamic and probable risk that amphibian populations face at both sites. The Livermore Site is developed and in stark contrast to the mostly undeveloped Site 300. Yet both sites have significant issues threatening the long-term sustainability of their respective amphibian populations. Livermore Site amphibians are presented with a suite of challenges inherent of urban interfaces, most predictably the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), while Site 300's erosion issues and periodic feral pig (Sus scrofa) infestations reduce and threaten populations. The long-term sustainability of LLNL's special status amphibians will require active management and resource commitment to maintain and restore amphibian habitat at both sites.

  20. Kitobo Forest of Kenya, a unique hotspot of herpetofaunal diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick K. Malonza

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Herpetologically, the remoteness of Kitobo forest in south-eastern Kenya has partly contributed to it remaining virtually un-explored until 2007. Three surveys were conducted in December 2007, December 2009 and April 2010 aimed at generating a comprehensive list of the forest amphibians and reptiles. Using largely timed-species count method, 13 species of amphibians representing eight families and 32 reptiles belonging to 11 families were recorded. Overall species diversity was highest during the 2007 sampling. The richness and abundance of amphibians was highest during the April 2010 sampling period when the amount of rainfall was also highest. The results of species accumulation curves of the three sampling periods did not plateau demonstrating that more species occur in this forest. Pressure on this forest fragment from the adjacent local people is high which in addition to the annual floods threatens its long-term survival. For example the distribution and abundance of some forest associated species such as the tree frogs Leptopelis flavomaculatus and Hyperolius puncticulatus appear to fluctuate with flood events and may decline in future. Considering the forest associated herpetofanua recorded, Kitobo forest is zoogeographically assignable to the East African coastal forest biodiversity hotspot. The documentation of high species richness and diversity in this small forest fragment strongly highlight its biodiversity importance and place it among the most important sites for the conservation of reptiles and amphibians in Kenya.

  1. Contingent Diversity on Anthropic Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Balée

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Behaviorally modern human beings have lived in Amazonia for thousands of years. Significant dynamics in species turnovers due to human-mediated disturbance were associated with the ultimate emergence and expansion of agrarian technologies in prehistory. Such disturbances initiated primary and secondary landscape transformations in various locales of the Amazon region. Diversity in these locales can be understood by accepting the initial premise of contingency, expressed as unprecedented human agency and human history. These effects can be accessed through the archaeological record and in the study of living languages. In addition, landscape transformation can be demonstrated in the study of traditional knowledge (TK. One way of elucidating TK distinctions between anthropic and nonanthropic landscapes concerns elicitation of differential labeling of these landscapes and more significantly, elicitation of the specific contents, such as trees, occurring in these landscapes. Freelisting is a method which can be used to distinguish the differential species compositions of landscapes resulting from human-mediated disturbance vs. those which do not evince records of human agency and history. The TK of the Ka’apor Indians of Amazonian Brazil as revealed in freelisting exercises shows differentiation of anthropogenic from high forests as well as a recognition of diversity in the anthropogenic forests. This suggests that the agents of human-mediated disturbance and landscape transformation in traditional Amazonia encode diversity and contingency into their TK, which encoding reflects past cultural influence on landscape and society over time.

  2. Pharmacology of the GABAB receptor in amphibian retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, N; Slaughter, M M

    1994-10-17

    Amacrine and ganglion cells in the amphibian retina contain GABAB, as well as GABAA, receptors. Baclofen, a GABAB agonist, hyperpolarizes the dark membrane potential of these third order neurons and makes their light responses more transient. GABAB receptors in the retina have a similar agonist profile to GABAB receptors described at other sites in the brain. Namely, preferential activation by the R-enantiomer of baclofen, and agonist sensitivity in the order 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid > baclofen > 3-aminopropylphosphonic acid. The GABAB receptor was not activated by 4-aminobutylphosphonic acid. Several antagonists, such as phaclofen, saclofen, and 2-hydroxysaclofen, were ineffective in the amphibian retina. However, CGP35348 blocked the action of applied baclofen and produced effects on the light response that were opposite to those of baclofen. Applied agonists and antagonists support the hypothesis that GABAB receptors serve to regulate the balance of sustained and transient signals to the inner retina.

  3. Congenital malformations of the vertebral column in ancient amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witzmann, F; Rothschild, B M; Hampe, O; Sobral, G; Gubin, Y M; Asbach, P

    2014-04-01

    Temnospondyls, the largest group of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic amphibians, primitively possess rhachitomous vertebrae with multipartite centra (consisting of one horse-shoe-shaped inter- and paired pleurocentra). In a group of temnospondyls, the stereospondyls, the intercentra became pronounced and disc-like, whereas the pleurocentra were reduced. We report the presence of congenital vertebral malformations (hemi, wedge and block vertebrae) in Permian and Triassic temnospondyls, showing that defects of formation and segmentation in the tetrapod vertebral column represent a fundamental failure of somitogenesis that can be followed throughout tetrapod evolution. This is irrespective of the type of affected vertebra, that is, rhachitomous or stereospondylous, and all components of the vertebra can be involved (intercentrum, pleurocentrum and neural arch), either together or independently on their own. This is the oldest known occurrence of wedge vertebra and congenital block vertebra described in fossil tetrapods. The frequency of vertebral congenital malformations in amphibians appears unchanged from the Holocene.

  4. Transitions between sex-determining systems in reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarre, Stephen D; Ezaz, Tariq; Georges, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    Important technological advances in genomics are driving a new understanding of the evolution of sex determination in vertebrates. In particular, comparative chromosome mapping in reptiles has shown an intriguing distribution of homology in sex chromosomes across reptile groups. When this new understanding is combined with the widespread distribution of genetic and temperature-dependent sex-determination mechanisms among reptiles, it is apparent that transitions between modes have occurred many times, as they have for amphibians (particularly between male and female heterogamety). It is also likely that thermosensitivity in sex determination is a key factor in those transitions in reptiles, and possibly in amphibians too. New models of sex determination involving temperature thresholds are providing the framework for the investigation of transitions and making possible key predictions about the homologies and sex-determination patterns expected among taxa in these groups. Molecular cytogenetics and other genomic approaches are essential to providing the fundamental material necessary to make advances in this field.

  5. Special Issue: Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Gregory Chinchar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the impact that many viruses have on ecologically and commercially important animals. Frogs and other amphibians are sentinels of environmental health and their disappearance following viral or fungal (chytrid infection is a cause for alarm. Likewise, because aquaculture and mariculture are providing an increasingly large percentage of the “seafood” consumed by humans, viral agents that adversely impact the harvest of cultured fish and amphibians are of equal concern. [...

  6. Early 1900 s detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Jonathan J; Cheng, Tina L; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis - a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs - but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains.

  7. Amphibian commerce as a likely source of pathogen pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picco, Angela M; Collins, James P

    2008-12-01

    The commercial trade of wildlife occurs on a global scale. In addition to removing animals from their native populations, this trade may lead to the release and subsequent introduction of nonindigenous species and the pathogens they carry. Emerging infectious diseases, such as chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and ranaviral disease have spread with global trade in amphibians and are linked to amphibian declines and die-offs worldwide, which suggests that the commercial trade in amphibians may be a source of pathogen pollution. We screened tiger salamanders involved in the bait trade in the western United States for both ranaviruses and Bd with polymerase chain reaction and used oral reports from bait shops and ranavirus DNA sequences from infected bait salamanders to determine how these animals and their pathogens are moved geographically by commerce. In addition, we conducted 2 surveys of anglers to determine how often tiger salamanders are used as bait and how often they are released into fishing waters by anglers, and organized bait-shop surveys to determine whether tiger salamanders are released back into the wild after being housed in bait shops. Ranaviruses were detected in the tiger salamander bait trade in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, and Bd was detected in Arizona bait shops. Ranaviruses were spread geographically through the bait trade. All tiger salamanders in the bait trade were collected from the wild, and in general they moved east to west and north to south, bringing with them their multiple ranavirus strains. Finally, 26-73% of anglers used tiger salamanders as fishing bait, 26-67% of anglers released tiger salamanders bought as bait into fishing waters, and 4% of bait shops released tiger salamanders back into the wild after they were housed in shops with infected animals. The tiger salamander bait trade in the western United States is a useful model for understanding the consequences of the

  8. Reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gibbons, J.W.; Patterson, K.K.

    1978-11-01

    Taxonomic, distributional, and ecological information on the reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) is provided. The purpose of such a presentation is to give a professional biologist an initial familiarity with herpetology on the SRP, and to provide sufficient comprehensive information to an ecologist, regardless of his experience in herpetology, to permit him to undertake studies that in some manner incorporate the herpetofauna of the SRP. (ERB)

  9. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  10. Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus

    OpenAIRE

    Fisher, Matthew C.; Michael Veith; Susan Walker; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Jaime Bosch; Sebastian Schmidtlein; Jon Bielby; Jos Kielgast; Dennis Rödder; Stefan Lötters

    2009-01-01

    Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history varia...

  11. Landscape-stream interactions and habitat conservation for amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Marziali, Laura; Rossaro, Bruno; De Bernardi, Fiorenza; Padoa-Schioppa, Emilio

    2011-06-01

    Semiaquatic organisms depend on the features of both water bodies and landscapes; the interplay between terrestrial and aquatic systems might influence the semiaquatic communities, determining the scale at which management would be more effective. However, the consequences of such interplay are not frequently quantified, particularly at the community level. We analyzed the distribution of amphibians to evaluate whether the influence of landscape features on freshwater ecosystems can have indirect consequences at both the species and community level. We surveyed 74 streams in northern Italy to obtain data on breeding amphibians, water, and microhabitat features; we also measured features of surrounding landscapes. We used an information-theoretic approach and structural equation models to compare hypotheses on causal relationships between species distribution and variables measured at multiple levels. We also used a constrained redundancy analyses to evaluate causal relationships between multivariate descriptors of habitat features and community composition. Distribution of Salamandra salamandra was related to landscape, hydrological, and water characteristics: salamanders were more frequent in permanent streams with low phosphate concentration within natural landscapes. Water characteristics were dependent on landscape: streams in natural landscapes had less phosphates. Landscape influenced the salamander both directly and indirectly through its influence on phosphates. Community structure was determined by both landscape and water characteristics. Several species were associated with natural landscapes, and with particular water characteristics. Landscape explained a significant proportion of variability of water characteristics; therefore it probably had indirect effects on community. Upland environments play key roles for amphibians, for example, as the habitat of adults, but upland environments also have indirect effects on the aquatic life stages, mediated

  12. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P fish sperm (~150 seconds), with the longevities of both marine and freshwater fish being significantly (P fish (140 μm/s) or freshwater fish (135 μm/s) sperm. The longevity of the sperm of giant salamanders (Cryptobranchoidea) of approximately 600 seconds was greater than that of freshwater fish sperm but much lower than anuran sperm. Our research and information from the literature showed that higher osmolarities promote greater longevity in anuran sperm, and some freshwater fish sperm, and that anuran and cryptobranchid sperm maintained membrane integrity long after the cessation of motility, demonstrating a preferential sharing of energy reserves toward the maintenance of membrane integrity. The maintenance of the membrane integrity of anuran sperm in fresh water for up to 6 hours showed an extremely high osmotic tolerance relative to fish sperm. The very high longevity and osmotic tolerance of anuran sperm and high longevity of cryptobranchid sperm, relative to those of freshwater fish, may reflect the complex fertilization history of amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a

  13. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schiesari, L.; Waichman, A.; Brock, T.C.M.; Adams, C.; Grillitsch, B.

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural frontiers are dynamic environments characterized by the conversion of native habitats to agriculture. Because they are currently concentrated in diverse tropical habitats, agricultural frontiers are areas where the largest number of species is exposed to hazardous land management practi

  14. Pentastomiasis and other parasitic zoonoses from reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantchev, Nikola; Tappe, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles are growing in popularity as pets.The colonization of reptiles and amphibians by parasites and the resulting disease conditions are the most common problems seen in captive animals.This review focuses on pentastomiasis and sparganosis, important parasitic zoonoses of reptiles and amphibians, respectively, and free living-amoebae. Humans are suitable accidental hosts for some pentastomid species (particularly Armillifer and Porocephalus). In geographical areas with special ethnics, such as in West and Central Africa, and East Asia, 8-45% of the human population can be affected. Usually the larvae are coincidentally found during abdominal surgeries. However, fatalities have been described. Extreme caution is necessary when handling infected reptiles. Ocular or cerebral sparganosis is not uncommonly found in humans in East Asia. This disease is caused by spargana, tapeworm larvae (plerocercoids) of Spirometra sp. The infection occurs when uncooked meat from reptiles or amphibians is applied to wounds or eyes and the parasites migrate directly to human tissue, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. As a consequence of the reptile's predatory behaviour, the full spectrum of endo- and ectoparasites from potential prey animals can be found as transiting parasites in the intestinal tract, e. g. Hymenolepis nana, Cryptosporidium (C.) muris, C parvum or Capillaria hepatica. Occasionally, free-living amoebae are also found in reptile faeces (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmanella, Vahlkampfia or Echinamoeba sp.).

  15. Evolution of posterior lateral line development in fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichon, Fabien; Ghysen, Alain

    2004-01-01

    The lateral line is a sensory system present in fish and amphibians. It is composed of discrete sense organs, the neuromasts, arranged on the head and body in species-specific patterns. The neuromasts are deposited by migrating primordia that originate from pre- and postotic placodes and follow defined pathways on the head and body. Here we examine the formation of the posterior lateral line (PLL), which extends rostrocaudally on the trunk and tail. In amphibians, the PLL neuromasts are deposited as a single wave from the head to the tip of the tail. In the zebrafish, however, the first wave of neuromast deposition forms but a rudimentary PLL, and several additional waves are needed to form the adult pattern. We show that the amphibian mode is also present in the sturgeon and therefore probably represents the primitive mode, whereas the zebrafish mode is highly conserved in several teleost species. A third mode is found in a subgroup of teleosts, the protacanthopterygians, and may represent a synapomorphy of this group. Altogether, the mode of formation of the embryonic PLL appears to have undergone remarkably few changes during the long history of anamniote evolution, even though large differences can be observed in the lateral line morphology of adult fishes.

  16. Independent evolution of the sexes promotes amphibian diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lisle, Stephen P; Rowe, Locke

    2015-03-22

    Classic ecological theory predicts that the evolution of sexual dimorphism constrains diversification by limiting morphospace available for speciation. Alternatively, sexual selection may lead to the evolution of reproductive isolation and increased diversification. We test contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by examining the relationship between sexual dimorphism and diversification in amphibians. Our analysis shows that the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is associated with increased diversification and speciation, contrary to the ecological theory. Further, this result is unlikely to be explained by traditional sexual selection models because variation in amphibian SSD is unlikely to be driven entirely by sexual selection. We suggest that relaxing a central assumption of classic ecological models-that the sexes share a common adaptive landscape-leads to the alternative hypothesis that independent evolution of the sexes may promote diversification. Once the constraints of sexual conflict are relaxed, the sexes can explore morphospace that would otherwise be inaccessible. Consistent with this novel hypothesis, the evolution of SSD in amphibians is associated with reduced current extinction threat status, and an historical reduction in extinction rate. Our work reconciles conflicting predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory and illustrates that the ability of the sexes to evolve independently is associated with a spectacular vertebrate radiation.

  17. Optimizing protection efforts for amphibian conservation in Mediterranean landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Muñoz, Enrique; Ceacero, Francisco; Carretero, Miguel A.; Pedrajas-Pulido, Luis; Parra, Gema; Guerrero, Francisco

    2013-05-01

    Amphibians epitomize the modern biodiversity crisis, and attract great attention from the scientific community since a complex puzzle of factors has influence on their disappearance. However, these factors are multiple and spatially variable, and declining in each locality is due to a particular combination of causes. This study shows a suitable statistical procedure to determine threats to amphibian species in medium size administrative areas. For our study case, ten biological and ecological variables feasible to affect the survival of 15 amphibian species were categorized and reduced through Principal Component Analysis. The principal components extracted were related to ecological plasticity, reproductive potential, and specificity of breeding habitats. Finally, the factor scores of species were joined in a presence-absence matrix that gives us information to identify where and why conservation management are requires. In summary, this methodology provides the necessary information to maximize benefits of conservation measures in small areas by identifying which ecological factors need management efforts and where should we focus them on.

  18. Interventions for reducing extinction risk in chytridiomycosis-threatened amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Ben C; Hunter, David A; Grogan, Laura F; Berger, Lee; Kolby, Jon E; McFadden, Michael S; Marantelli, Gerry; Skerratt, Lee F; Driscoll, Don A

    2014-10-01

    Wildlife diseases pose an increasing threat to biodiversity and are a major management challenge. A striking example of this threat is the emergence of chytridiomycosis. Despite diagnosis of chytridiomycosis as an important driver of global amphibian declines 15 years ago, researchers have yet to devise effective large-scale management responses other than biosecurity measures to mitigate disease spread and the establishment of disease-free captive assurance colonies prior to or during disease outbreaks. We examined the development of management actions that can be implemented after an epidemic in surviving populations. We developed a conceptual framework with clear interventions to guide experimental management and applied research so that further extinctions of amphibian species threatened by chytridiomycosis might be prevented. Within our framework, there are 2 management approaches: reducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis) in the environment or on amphibians and increasing the capacity of populations to persist despite increased mortality from disease. The latter approach emphasizes that mitigation does not necessarily need to focus on reducing disease-associated mortality. We propose promising management actions that can be implemented and tested based on current knowledge and that include habitat manipulation, antifungal treatments, animal translocation, bioaugmentation, head starting, and selection for resistance. Case studies where these strategies are being implemented will demonstrate their potential to save critically endangered species.

  19. Cardiac performance correlates of relative heart ventricle mass in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluthe, Gregory J; Hillman, Stanley S

    2013-08-01

    This study used an in situ heart preparation to analyze the power output and stroke work of spontaneously beating hearts of four anurans (Rhinella marina, Lithobates catesbeianus, Xenopus laevis, Pyxicephalus edulis) and three urodeles (Necturus maculosus, Ambystoma tigrinum, Amphiuma tridactylum) that span a representative range of relative ventricle mass (RVM) found in amphibians. Previous research has documented that RVM correlates with dehydration tolerance and maximal aerobic capacity in amphibians. The power output (mW g(-1) ventricle mass) and stroke work (mJ g(-1) ventricle muscle mass) were independent of RVM and were indistinguishable from previously published results for fish and reptiles. RVM was significantly correlated with maximum power output (P max, mW kg(-1) body mass), stroke volume, cardiac output, afterload pressure (P O) at P max, and preload pressure (P I) at P max. P I at P max and P O at P max also correlated very closely with each other. The increases in both P I and P O at maximal power outputs in large hearts suggest that concomitant increases in blood volume and/or increased modulation of vascular compliance either anatomically or via sympathetic tone on the venous vasculature would be necessary to achieve P max in vivo. Hypotheses for variation in RVM and its concomitant increased P max in amphibians are developed.

  20. Nomenclatural notes on living and fossil amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín, C.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available A review of extinct and living amphibians known from fossils (Allocaudata, Anura and Caudata has revealed several cases that require nomenclatural changes in order to stabilize the taxonomy of the group. Nomenclatural changes include homonym replacements, corrections of spelling variants and authorships, name availabilities, and in particular, the proposal of new combinations. These changes will allow the incorporation of some palaeontological taxa to the current evolutionary models of relationship of modern forms based on molecular phylogenies. Rana cadurcorum for Rana plicata Filhol, 1877, Rana auscitana for Rana pygmaea Lartet, 1851, and Rana sendoa for Rana robusta Brunner, 1956. Anchylorana Taylor, 1942 is considered a new synonym of Lithobates Fitzinger, 1843. New combinations proposed are: Anaxyrus defensor for Bufo defensor Meylan, 2005; Anaxyrus hibbardi for Bufo hibbardi Taylor, 1937; Anaxyrus pliocompactilis for Bufo pliocompactilis Wilson, 1968; Anaxyrus repentinus for Bufo repentinus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus rexroadensis for Bufo rexroadensis Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus spongifrons for Bufo spongifrons Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus suspectus for Bufo suspectus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus tiheni for Bufo tiheni Auffenberg, 1957; Anaxyrus valentinensis for Bufo valentinensis Estes et Tihen, 1964; Ichthyosaura wintershofi for Triturus wintershofi Lunau, 1950; Incilius praevius for Bufo praevius Tihen, 1951; Lithobates bucella for Rana bucella Holman, 1965; Lithobates dubitus for Anchylorana dubita Taylor, 1942; Lithobates fayeae for Rana fayeae Taylor, 1942; Lithobates miocenicus for Rana miocenica Holman, 1965; Lithobates moorei for Anchylorana moorei Taylor, 1942; Lithobates parvissimus for Rana parvissima

  1. Nematodes as indicators of shrimp farm impact on an amazonian estuary (Curuçá, Pará, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virag Venekey

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Shrimp farming reduces demand on wild fishery stocks and avoids environmental damage resulting from fishing practices, however, it has the potential to affect the water quality if not properly managed. In this study the impacts of a shrimp farm in an Amazonian estuary were evaluated, focusing on changes in nematodes regarding taxonomic composition, richness, density and diversity. Sampling was conducted in August 2004 (dry season and January 2005 (rainy season in the river at stations situated upstream and downstream at different distances from the main source of farm effluent discharge. Thirty-eight genera were recorded with Terschellingia dominating in the dry season and Terschellingia, Daptonema, Ptycholaimellus and Gomphionema in the rainy season. Abundances were within the range recorded in other estuaries and together with genera richness and diversity showed a strong temporal pattern with significantly higher values in the rainy season. No clear patterns of changes were observed at the stations. Some signs of organic enrichment were detected but they were not yet intense, probably a consequence of the strong local hydrodynamics and the age of the shrimp farm, which was just starting its operation. We recommend that in future studies on farming impacts a combination of factors, beyond the physical and chemical parameters of the water and sediments or taxonomic refinement, should be taken into account - such as the duration of the operation of the farm, the area occupied by ponds and the farm's production. Furthermore, we also believe that nematodes are a useful tool for evaluating aquaculture impacts due to the ease of sampling and because they are organisms at the base of marine food chain.

  2. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Steven M; Bell, Kristen E; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2007-05-15

    Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these "enigmatic" declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by approximately 75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks.

  3. Amphibians and disease: Implications for conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    The decline of amphibian populations is a world-wide phenomenon that has received increasing attention since about 1990. In 2004, the World Conservation Union’s global amphibian assessment concluded that 48% of the world’s 5,743 described amphibian species were in decline, with 32% considered threatened (Stuart et al. 2004). Amphibian declines are a significant issue in the western United States, where all native species of frogs in the genus Rana and many toads in the genus Bufo are at risk, particularly those that inhabit mountainous areas (Corn 2003a,b; Bradford 2005).

  4. Restored agricultural wetlands in Central Iowa: habitat quality and amphibian response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Clay; Rebecca A. Reeves,; Smalling, Kelly; Klaver, Robert W.; Vandever, Mark; Battaglin, William A.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape.

  5. Habitat heterogeneity drives the host-diversity-begets-parasite-diversity relationship: evidence from experimental and field studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Wood, Chelsea L; Joseph, Maxwell B; Preston, Daniel L; Haas, Sarah E; Springer, Yuri P

    2016-07-01

    Despite a century of research into the factors that generate and maintain biodiversity, we know remarkably little about the drivers of parasite diversity. To identify the mechanisms governing parasite diversity, we combined surveys of 8100 amphibian hosts with an outdoor experiment that tested theory developed for free-living species. Our analyses revealed that parasite diversity increased consistently with host diversity due to habitat (i.e. host) heterogeneity, with secondary contributions from parasite colonisation and host abundance. Results of the experiment, in which host diversity was manipulated while parasite colonisation and host abundance were fixed, further reinforced this conclusion. Finally, the coefficient of host diversity on parasite diversity increased with spatial grain, which was driven by differences in their species-area curves: while host richness quickly saturated, parasite richness continued to increase with neighbourhood size. These results offer mechanistic insights into drivers of parasite diversity and provide a hierarchical framework for multi-scale disease research.

  6. Feeding habits of Sotalia fluviatilis in the Amazonian Estuary = Hábitos alimentares de Sotalia fluviatilis no estuário amazônico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Beltrán-Pedreros

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we present an analysis of the fifty S. fluviatilis feeding habits in the Amazonian Estuary. Animals were bycaught by the artisanal fishing fleet between 1996 and 2001. Feeding habits were analyzed by prey occurrence frequency (%F and number percentage and stomachs contents preys similarity between marine and freshwater fishspecies present in the Amazonian Estuary. Thirteen fish species were identified (%F= 86.6, the most significant families were Sciaenidae (32%, Trichiuridae (26% e Ariidae (16%, and four crustaceans species (%F=26. S. fluviatilis feeding habits did not differ bygender and in general, calves had higher prey diversity than juveniles and adults. The similarity was high (0.89 between estuarine S. fluviatilis feeding habits and the fishes speciespresent in the Amazonian Estuary when the environment is mostly marine.Objetivou-se descrever e analisar os hábitos alimentares de 50 golfinhos Sotalia fluviatilis capturados acidentalmente na frota pesqueira artesanal do Estuário Amazônico entre 1996 e 2001. As presas foram identificadas e calculadas a freqüência de ocorrência e numérica; testada a similaridade entre a diversidade de presas dos conteúdos e a diversidade de peixes marinhos e de água doce do estuário e, comparados os hábitos alimentares por sexo e categoria de maturidade. Ocorreram 13 espécies de peixes (86,6% onde as famíliasSciaenidae (32%, Trichiuridae (26% e Ariidae (16% foram mais representativas e, quatro espécies de crustáceos (26%. A espécie não apresentou diferenças nos hábitos alimentares entre sexos, mas, os filhotes tiveram maior diversidade de presas que jovens e adultos.Finalmente, houve maior similaridade (0.89 entre a diversidade de presas de S. fluviatilis e as espécies de peixes quando o estuário apresenta características marinhas.

  7. The origin and nature of macroecological patterns in amphibians: old questions, novel approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidney F. Gouveia

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The role of physiological parameters as determinants of macroscale patterns is still widely disputed. Using amphibians as a model, I revisited three fundamental themes in macroecology from a physiological perspective: the global diversity gradient, ecogeographical rules and the evolution of the climatic niche at physiological and macroecological scales. To do this, I used a variety of data types, performed a number of spatial and phylogenetic analyses and proposed novel applications for some methods. I also provided support for some well-established hypotheses regarding the physiological determinants of species diversity and trait variation across space, while revealing other lesser known patterns and the possible processes underlying species’ distributions and niche evolution. I emphasize the need for a novel integration of theoretical and methodological approaches to improve the analysis of broad-scale ecological processes, in particular those related to the fundamental features (e.g. physiology of species. I also highlight the strategic role of macroecology in this quest, especially in the face of ongoing environmental changes. 

  8. Endocannabinoids affect the reproductive functions in teleosts and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottone, E; Guastalla, A; Mackie, K; Franzoni, M F

    2008-04-16

    Following the discovery in the brain of the bonyfish Fugu rubripes of two genes encoding for type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1A and CB1B), investigations on the phylogeny of these receptors have indicated that the cannabinergic system is highly conserved. Among the multiple functions modulated by cannabinoids/endocannabinoids through the CB1 receptors one of the more investigated is the mammalian reproduction. Therefore, since studies performed in animal models other than mammals might provide further insight into the biology of these signalling molecules, the major aim of the present paper was to review the comparative data pointing toward the endocannabinoid involvement in the reproductive control of non-mammalian vertebrates, namely bonyfish and amphibians. The expression and distribution of CB1 receptors were investigated in the CNS and gonads of two teleosts, Pelvicachromis pulcher and Carassius auratus as well as in the anuran amphibians Xenopus laevis and Rana esculenta. In general the large diffusion of neurons targeted by cannabinoids in both fish and amphibian forebrain indicate endocannabinoids as pivotal local messengers in several neural circuits involved in either sensory integrative activities, like the olfactory processes (in amphibians) and food response (in bonyfish), or neuroendocrine machinery (in both). By using immunohistochemistry for CB1 and GnRH-I, the codistribution of the two signalling molecules was found in the fish basal telencephalon and preoptic area, which are key centers for gonadotropic regulation in all vertebrates. A similar topographical codistribution was observed also in the septum of the telencephalon in Rana esculenta and Xenopus laevis. Interestingly, the double standard immunofluorescence on the same brain section, aided with a laser confocal microscope, showed that in anurans a subset of GnRH-I neurons exhibited also the CB1 immunostaining. The fact that CB1-LI-IR was found indeed in the FSH gonadotrophs of the Xenopus

  9. Occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus) and Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis) from Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Joāo Carlos Gomes; Alves, Leucio Câmara; Faustino, Maria Aparecida da Gloria; Marmontel, Miriam

    2011-12-01

    Infections by Cryptosporidium spp. in aquatic mammals is a major concern due to the possibility of the waterborne transmission of oocysts. The aim of the present study was to report the occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus) and Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis) from Brazil. Fecal samples were collected and processed using Kinyoun's method. Positive samples were also submitted to the direct immunofluorescence test. The results revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts in 12.5% (17/136) of the material obtained from the Antillean manatees and in 4.3% (05/115) of the samples from the Amazonian manatees. Cryptosporidium spp. infection was more prevalent in captive animals than in free-ranging specimens.

  10. Patterns of energy allocation to reproduction in three Amazonian fish species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo N. dos Santos

    Full Text Available The study considered the influence of the hydrological cycle and gonadal development on the accumulation and use of energy in three fish species from an Amazonian flooded area. Fishes were sampled over a 24 hour period at monthly intervals between July 2004 and June 2005 using gillnets of different mesh sizes. Body cavity fat and gonadosomatic indices were determined, as well as energy content of gonads and muscles. Amongst the studied species, different means of energy allocation for reproduction were found: Acestrorhynchus falcirostris allocate energy from body cavity fat to its gonads; Pygocentrus nattereri uses mainly energy accumulated in the muscles for the process of gonadal maturation; and Hoplosternum littorale uses energy accumulated in their muscles and body cavity fat for reproductive processes. It is quite clear that the flood pulse regulates the gain and use of the energy reserves in fishes from the Amazonian floodplain.

  11. Phenolic constituents and antioxidant activity of geopropolis from two species of amazonian stingless bees

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silva, Ellen Cristina Costa da; Muniz, Magno Perea; Nunomura, Rita de Cassia Saraiva, E-mail: ellensilva@yahoo.com.br [Departamento de Quimica, Instituto de Ciencias Exatas, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, AM (Brazil); Nunomura, Sergio Massayoshi [Departamento de Produtos Naturais, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia, Manaus, AM (Brazil); Zilse, Gislene Almeida Carvalho [Departamento de Biodiversidade, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia, Manaus, AM (Brazil)

    2013-09-01

    We investigated the phenolic constituents and antioxidant activity of geopropolis from two species of stingless Amazonian bees, Melipona interrupta and Melipona seminigra. The chemical investigation of geopropolis from Melipona interrupta led to the isolation of 5,7,4'-trihydroxyflavonone, 3,5,6,7,4'-pentahydroxyflavonol, naringenine-4'-O-{beta}-D-glucopyranoside and myricetin-3-O-{beta}-D-glucopyranoside. Their structures were assigned based on spectroscopic analyses, including two-dimensional NMR techniques. Antioxidant activity of methanol and ethanol extracts of M. interrupta and M. seminigra were measured using the 1,2-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay. This is also the first work reporting the chemical investigation of stingless bee species from the Amazonian region. (author)

  12. Acute oral toxicity of chemicals in terrestrial life stages of amphibians: Comparisons to birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Mark; Finnegan, Meaghean; Weltje, Lennart; Kosmala-Grzechnik, Sylwia; Gross, Melanie; Wheeler, James R

    2016-10-01

    Amphibians are currently the most threatened and rapidly declining group of vertebrates and this has raised concerns about their potential sensitivity and exposure to plant protection products and other chemicals. Current environmental risk assessment procedures rely on surrogate species (e.g. fish and birds) to cover the risk to aquatic and terrestrial life stages of amphibians, respectively. Whilst a recent meta-analysis has shown that in most cases amphibian aquatic life stages are less sensitive to chemicals than fish, little research has been conducted on the comparative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages. Therefore, in this paper we address the questions "What is the relative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages to acute chemical oral exposure when compared with mammals and birds?" and "Are there correlations between oral toxicity data for amphibians and data for mammals or birds?" Identifying a relationship between these data may help to avoid additional vertebrate testing. Acute oral amphibian toxicity data collected from the scientific literature and ecotoxicological databases were compared with toxicity data for mammals and birds. Toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages are generally sparse, as noted in previous reviews. Single-dose oral toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages were available for 26 chemicals and these were positively correlated with LD50 values for mammals, while no correlation was found for birds. Further, the data suggest that oral toxicity to terrestrial amphibian life stages is similar to or lower than that for mammals and birds, with a few exceptions. Thus, mammals or birds are considered adequate toxicity surrogates for use in the assessment of the oral exposure route in amphibians. However, there is a need for further data on a wider range of chemicals to explore the wider applicability of the current analyses and recommendations.

  13. Comparative acute and chronic sensitivity of fish and amphibians: a critical review of data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weltje, Lennart; Simpson, Peter; Gross, Melanie; Crane, Mark; Wheeler, James R

    2013-04-01

    The relative sensitivity of amphibians to chemicals in the environment, including plant protection product active substances, is the subject of ongoing scientific debate. The objective of this study was to compare systematically the relative sensitivity of amphibians and fish to chemicals. Acute and chronic toxicity data were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) ECOTOX database and were supplemented with data from the scientific and regulatory literature. The overall outcome is that fish and amphibian toxicity data are highly correlated and that fish are more sensitive (both acute and chronic) than amphibians. In terms of acute sensitivity, amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only four of 55 chemicals and more than 100-fold more sensitive for only two chemicals. However, a detailed inspection of these cases showed a similar acute sensitivity of fish and amphibians. Chronic toxicity data for fish were available for 52 chemicals. Amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only two substances (carbaryl and dexamethasone) and greater than 100-fold more sensitive for only a single chemical (sodium perchlorate). The comparison for carbaryl was subsequently determined to be unreliable and that for sodium perchlorate is a potential artifact of the exposure medium. Only a substance such as dexamethasone, which interferes with a specific aspect of amphibian metamorphosis, might not be detected using fish tests. However, several other compounds known to influence amphibian metamorphosis were included in the analysis, and these did not affect amphibians disproportionately. These analyses suggest that additional amphibian testing is not necessary during chemical risk assessment.

  14. North Cascades National Park Service Complex Natural Resource Preservation Program Amphibian Inventory Big Beaver Watershed 1996 - Progress Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory — The 1996 amphibian inventory in North Cascades National Park Service Complex Big Beaver watershed is part of a four year program to inventory amphibians in Pacific...

  15. Did the martian outflow channels mostly form during the Amazonian Period?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, J. Alexis P.; Platz, Thomas; Gulick, Virginia; Baker, Victor R.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Kargel, Jeffrey; Yan, Jianguo; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Glines, Natalie

    2015-09-01

    Simud, Tiu, and Ares Valles comprise some of the largest outflow channels on Mars. Their excavation has been attributed variously to (or a combination of) erosion by catastrophic floods, glaciers, and debris flows. Numerous investigations indicate that they formed largely during the Late Hesperian (3.61-3.37 Ga). However, these studies mostly equate the ages of the outflow channel floors to those of the flows that generated mesoscale (several hundred meters to a few kilometers) bedforms within them. To improve the statistical accuracy in the age determinations of these flow events, we have used recently acquired high-resolution image and topographic data to map and date portions of Simud, Tiu and Ares Valles, which are extensively marked by these bedforms. Our results, which remove the statistical effects of older and younger outflow channel floor surfaces on the generation of modeled ages, reveal evidence for major outflow channel discharges occurring during the Early (3.37-1.23 Ga) and Middle (1.23-0.328 Ga) Amazonian, with activity significantly peaking during the Middle Amazonian stages. We also find that during the documented stages of Middle Amazonian discharges, the floor of Tiu Valles underwent widespread collapse, resulting in chaotic terrain formation. In addition, we present evidence showing that following the outflow channel discharges, collapse within northern Simud Valles generated another chaotic terrain. This younger chaos region likely represents the latest stage of large-scale outflow channel resurfacing within the study area. Our findings imply that in southern circum-Chryse the martian hydrosphere experienced large-scale drainage during the Amazonian, which likely led to periodic inundation and sedimentation within the northern plains.

  16. Wood decomposition in Amazonian hydropower reservoirs: An additional source of greenhouse gases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abril, Gwenaël; Parize, Marcelo; Pérez, Marcela A. P.; Filizola, Naziano

    2013-07-01

    Amazonian hydroelectric reservoirs produce abundant carbon dioxide and methane from large quantities of flooded biomass that decompose anaerobically underwater. Emissions are extreme the first years after impounding and progressively decrease with time. To date, only water-to-air fluxes have been considered in these estimates. Here, we investigate in two Amazonian reservoirs (Balbina and Petit Saut) the fate of above water standing dead trees, by combining a qualitative analysis of wood state and density through time and a quantitative analysis of the biomass initially flooded. Dead wood was much more decomposed in the Balbina reservoir 23 years after flooding than in the Petit Saut reservoir 10 years after flooding. Termites apparently played a major role in wood decomposition, occurring mainly above water, and resulting in a complete conversion of this carbon biomass into CO2 and CH4 at a timescale much shorter than reservoir operation. The analysis of pre-impounding wood biomass reveals that above-water decomposition in Amazonian reservoirs is a large, previously unrecognized source of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, representing 26-45% of the total reservoir flux integrated over 100 years. Accounting for both below- and above-water fluxes, we could estimate that each km2 of Amazonian forest converted to reservoir would emit over 140 Gg CO2-eq in 100 years. Hydropower plants in the Amazon should thus generate 0.25-0.4 MW h per km2 flooded area to produce lower greenhouse gas emissions than gas power plants. They also have the disadvantage to emit most of their greenhouse gases the earliest years of operation.

  17. Ritualistic use of the holly Ilex guayusa by Amazonian Jívaro Indians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, W H; Kennelly, E J; Bass, G N; Wedner, H J; Elvin-Lewis, M P; Fast, D

    1991-01-01

    In Amazonian Peru and Ecuador leaf decoctions of the rainforest holly Ilex guayusa with high caffeine concentrations are used as a morning stimulant. After daily ingestion, ritualistic vomiting by male Achuar Indians, better known as Jívaros, reduces excessive caffeine intake, so that blood levels of caffeine and biotransformed dimethylxanthines do not cause undesirable CNS and other effects. Emesis is learned and apparently not due to emetic compounds.

  18. Contribution of Multiple Inter-kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfers to Evolution and Adaptation of Amphibian-killing Chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baofa Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian populations are experiencing catastrophic declines driven by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Although horizontal gene transfer (HGT facilitates the evolution and adaptation in many fungi by conferring novel function genes to the recipient fungi, inter-kingdom HGT in Bd remains largely unexplored. In this study, our investigation detects 19 bacterial genes transferred to Bd, including metallo-beta-lactamase and arsenate reductase that play important roles in the resistance to antibiotics and arsenates. Moreover, three probable HGT gene families in Bd are from plants and one gene family coding the ankyrin repeat-containing protein appears to come from oomycetes. The observed multi-copy gene families associated with HGT are probably due to the independent transfer events or gene duplications. Five HGT genes with extracellular locations may relate to infection, and some other genes may participate in a variety of metabolic pathways, and in doing so add important metabolic traits to the recipient. The evolutionary analysis indicates that all the transferred genes evolved under purifying selection, suggesting that their functions in Bd are similar to those of the donors. Collectively, our results indicate that HGT from diverse donors may be an important evolutionary driver of Bd, and improve its adaptations for infecting and colonizing host amphibians.

  19. Contribution of Multiple Inter-Kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfers to Evolution and Adaptation of Amphibian-Killing Chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Baofa; Li, Tong; Xiao, Jinhua; Liu, Li; Zhang, Peng; Murphy, Robert W.; He, Shunmin; Huang, Dawei

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian populations are experiencing catastrophic declines driven by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Although horizontal gene transfer (HGT) facilitates the evolution and adaptation in many fungi by conferring novel function genes to the recipient fungi, inter-kingdom HGT in Bd remains largely unexplored. In this study, our investigation detects 19 bacterial genes transferred to Bd, including metallo-beta-lactamase and arsenate reductase that play important roles in the resistance to antibiotics and arsenates. Moreover, three probable HGT gene families in Bd are from plants and one gene family coding the ankyrin repeat-containing protein appears to come from oomycetes. The observed multi-copy gene families associated with HGT are probably due to the independent transfer events or gene duplications. Five HGT genes with extracellular locations may relate to infection, and some other genes may participate in a variety of metabolic pathways, and in doing so add important metabolic traits to the recipient. The evolutionary analysis indicates that all the transferred genes evolved under purifying selection, suggesting that their functions in Bd are similar to those of the donors. Collectively, our results indicate that HGT from diverse donors may be an important evolutionary driver of Bd, and improve its adaptations for infecting and colonizing host amphibians. PMID:27630622

  20. Correlation between the habitats productivity and species richness (amphibians and reptiles) in Portugal through remote sensed data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodoro, A. C.; Sillero, N.; Alves, S.; Duarte, L.

    2013-10-01

    Several biogeographic theories propose that the species richness depends on the structure and ecosystems diversity. The habitat productivity, a surrogate for these variables, can be evaluated through satellite imagery, namely using vegetation indexes (e.g. NDVI). We analyzed the correlation between species richness (from the Portuguese Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles) and NDVI (from Landsat, MODIS, and Vegetation images). The species richness database contains more than 80000 records, collected from bibliographic sources (at 1 or 10 km of spatial resolution) and fieldwork sampling stations (recorded with GPS devices). Several study areas were chosen for Landsat images (three subsets), and all Portugal for MODIS and Vegetation images. The Landsat subareas had different climatic and habitat characteristics, located in the north, center and south of Portugal. Different species richness datasets were used depending on the image spatial resolution: data with metric resolution were used for Landsat, and with 1 km resolution, for MODIS and Vegetation images. The NDVI indexes and all the images were calculated/processed in an open source software (Quantum GIS). Several plug-ins were applied in order to automatize several procedures. We did not find any correlation between the species richness of amphibians and reptiles (not even after separating both groups by species of Atlantic and Mediterranean affinity) and the NDVI calculated with Landsat, MODIS and Vegetation images. Our results may fail to find a relationship because as the species richness is not correlated with only one variable (NDVI), and thus other environmental variables must be considered.

  1. The double odyssey of Madagascan polystome flatworms leads to new insights on the origins of their amphibian hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verneau, Olivier; Du Preez, Louis H; Laurent, Véronique; Raharivololoniaina, Liliane; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2009-05-07

    Polystomatid flatworms are parasites of high host specificity, which mainly infect amphibian hosts. Only one polystome species has so far been recorded from Madagascar despite the high species richness and endemicity of amphibians on this island. Out of the 86 screened Malagasy frog species, we recovered polystomes from 25 in the families Ptychadenidae and Mantellidae. Molecular phylogenetic analysis uncovered an unexpected diversity of polystome species belonging to two separate clades: one forming a lineage within the genus Metapolystoma, with one species in Ptychadena and several species in the mantellid host genera Aglyptodactylus and Boophis; and the second corresponding to an undescribed genus that was found in the species of the subfamily Mantellinae in the family Mantellidae. The phylogenetic position of the undescribed genus along with molecular dating suggests that it may have colonized Madagascar in the Late Mesozoic or Early Cainozoic. By contrast, the more recent origin of Metapolystoma in Madagascar at ca 14-2 Myr ago strongly suggests that the ancestors of Ptychadena mascareniensis colonized Madagascar naturally by overseas dispersal, carrying their Metapolystoma parasites. Our findings provide a striking example of how parasite data can supply novel insights into the biogeographic history of their hosts.

  2. Fast demographic traits promote high diversification rates of Amazonian trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baker, Timothy R; Pennington, R Toby; Magallon, Susana; Gloor, Emanuel; Laurance, William F; Alexiades, Miguel; Alvarez, Esteban; Araujo, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J M M; Aymard, Gerardo; de Oliveira, Atila Alves; Amaral, Iêda; Arroyo, Luzmila; Bonal, Damien; Brienen, Roel J W; Chave, Jerome; Dexter, Kyle G; Di Fiore, Anthony; Eler, Eduardo; Feldpausch, Ted R; Ferreira, Leandro; Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela; van der Heijden, Geertje; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio, Eurídice; Huamantupa, Isau; Killeen, Tim J; Laurance, Susan; Leaño, Claudio; Lewis, Simon L; Malhi, Yadvinder; Marimon, Beatriz Schwantes; Marimon Junior, Ben Hur; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Neill, David; Peñuela-Mora, Maria Cristina; Pitman, Nigel; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A; Ramírez, Fredy; Ramírez Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruschel, Ademir R; Salomão, Rafael P; de Andrade, Ana Segalin; Silva, J Natalino M; Silveira, Marcos; Simon, Marcelo F; Spironello, Wilson; ter Steege, Hans; Terborgh, John; Toledo, Marisol; Torres-Lezama, Armando; Vasquez, Rodolfo; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A; Phillips, Oliver L; Santos, F.

    2014-01-01

    The Amazon rain forest sustains the world's highest tree diversity, but it remains unclear why some clades of trees are hyperdiverse, whereas others are not. Using dated phylogenies, estimates of current species richness and trait and demographic data from a large network of forest plots, we show th

  3. Estimating the global conservation status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species

    Science.gov (United States)

    ter Steege, Hans; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Killeen, Timothy J.; Laurance, William F.; Peres, Carlos A.; Guevara, Juan Ernesto; Salomão, Rafael P.; Castilho, Carolina V.; Amaral, Iêda Leão; de Almeida Matos, Francisca Dionízia; de Souza Coelho, Luiz; Magnusson, William E.; Phillips, Oliver L.; de Andrade Lima Filho, Diogenes; de Jesus Veiga Carim, Marcelo; Irume, Mariana Victória; Martins, Maria Pires; Molino, Jean-François; Sabatier, Daniel; Wittmann, Florian; López, Dairon Cárdenas; da Silva Guimarães, José Renan; Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Manzatto, Angelo Gilberto; Reis, Neidiane Farias Costa; Terborgh, John; Casula, Katia Regina; Montero, Juan Carlos; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Honorio Coronado, Euridice N.; Montoya, Alvaro Javier Duque; Zartman, Charles Eugene; Mostacedo, Bonifacio; Vasquez, Rodolfo; Assis, Rafael L.; Medeiros, Marcelo Brilhante; Simon, Marcelo Fragomeni; Andrade, Ana; Camargo, José Luís; Laurance, Susan G. W.; Nascimento, Henrique Eduardo Mendonça; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Marimon, Ben-Hur; Costa, Flávia; Targhetta, Natalia; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Brienen, Roel; Castellanos, Hernán; Duivenvoorden, Joost F.; Mogollón, Hugo F.; Piedade, Maria Teresa Fernandez; Aymard C., Gerardo A.; Comiskey, James A.; Damasco, Gabriel; Dávila, Nállarett; García-Villacorta, Roosevelt; Diaz, Pablo Roberto Stevenson; Vincentini, Alberto; Emilio, Thaise; Levis, Carolina; Schietti, Juliana; Souza, Priscila; Alonso, Alfonso; Dallmeier, Francisco; Ferreira, Leandro Valle; Neill, David; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arroyo, Luzmila; Carvalho, Fernanda Antunes; Souza, Fernanda Coelho; do Amaral, Dário Dantas; Gribel, Rogerio; Luize, Bruno Garcia; Pansonato, Marcelo Petrati; Venticinque, Eduardo; Fine, Paul; Toledo, Marisol; Baraloto, Chris; Cerón, Carlos; Engel, Julien; Henkel, Terry W.; Jimenez, Eliana M.; Maas, Paul; Mora, Maria Cristina Peñuela; Petronelli, Pascal; Revilla, Juan David Cardenas; Silveira, Marcos; Stropp, Juliana; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; Baker, Tim R.; Daly, Doug; Paredes, Marcos Ríos; da Silva, Naara Ferreira; Fuentes, Alfredo; Jørgensen, Peter Møller; Schöngart, Jochen; Silman, Miles R.; Arboleda, Nicolás Castaño; Cintra, Bruno Barçante Ladvocat; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; Di Fiore, Anthony; Phillips, Juan Fernando; van Andel, Tinde R.; von Hildebrand, Patricio; Barbosa, Edelcilio Marques; de Matos Bonates, Luiz Carlos; de Castro, Deborah; de Sousa Farias, Emanuelle; Gonzales, Therany; Guillaumet, Jean-Louis; Hoffman, Bruce; Malhi, Yadvinder; de Andrade Miranda, Ires Paula; Prieto, Adriana; Rudas, Agustín; Ruschell, Ademir R.; Silva, Natalino; Vela, César I. A.; Vos, Vincent A.; Zent, Eglée L.; Zent, Stanford; Cano, Angela; Nascimento, Marcelo Trindade; Oliveira, Alexandre A.; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Ramos, José Ferreira; Sierra, Rodrigo; Tirado, Milton; Medina, Maria Natalia Umaña; van der Heijden, Geertje; Torre, Emilio Vilanova; Vriesendorp, Corine; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R.; Baider, Claudia; Balslev, Henrik; de Castro, Natalia; Farfan-Rios, William; Ferreira, Cid; Mendoza, Casimiro; Mesones, Italo; Torres-Lezama, Armando; Giraldo, Ligia Estela Urrego; Villarroel, Daniel; Zagt, Roderick; Alexiades, Miguel N.; Garcia-Cabrera, Karina; Hernandez, Lionel; Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Isau; Milliken, William; Cuenca, Walter Palacios; Pansini, Susamar; Pauletto, Daniela; Arevalo, Freddy Ramirez; Sampaio, Adeilza Felipe; Valderrama Sandoval, Elvis H.; Gamarra, Luis Valenzuela

    2015-01-01

    Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria. If confirmed, these results would increase the number of threatened plant species on Earth by 22%. We show that the trends observed in Amazonia apply to trees throughout the tropics, and we predict that most of the world’s >40,000 tropical tree species now qualify as globally threatened. A gap analysis suggests that existing Amazonian protected areas and indigenous territories will protect viable populations of most threatened species if these areas suffer no further degradation, highlighting the key roles that protected areas, indigenous peoples, and improved governance can play in preventing large-scale extinctions in the tropics in this century. PMID:26702442

  4. Commonness of Amazonian palm (Arecaceae) species: Cross-scale links and potential determinants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristiansen, Thea; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Grández, César; Salo, Jukka; Balslev, Henrik

    2009-07-01

    The mechanisms that cause variation in commonness (abundances and range sizes) of species remain debated in ecology, and a repeatedly observed pattern is the positive relation between local abundances and larger scale range sizes. We used the Amazonian palm species (Arecaceae) to investigate the dependence between and potential determinants of commonness across three (local, landscape, continental) spatial scales. Commonness at the smaller scales (local abundance, landscape frequency) was estimated using data from 57 transects (5 × 500 m) in primary, non-inundated ( terra firme) rainforest in a western Amazonian landscape, while commonness at the largest scale (continental range size) was estimated from digitized distribution maps. Landscape frequency was positively related to both local abundance and continental range size, which, however, were not related to each other. Landscape frequency was positively related to topographic niche breadth. Stem height correlated with continental range size and was the only species life-history trait related to any commonness measure. Distance from the study area to a species' range centre did not influence any of the commonness measures. The factors determining commonness in the Amazonian palm flora appear to be scale-dependent, with the unrelated local scale abundance and continental range size probably being controlled by different driving factors. Interestingly, commonness at the intermediate, landscape scale seems linked to both the smaller and the larger scale. Our results point towards topographic niche breadth at the smaller scales and stem height, possibly reflecting species' dispersal potential, at the continental scale as important determinants of commonness.

  5. Siliceous spicules enhance fracture-resistance and stiffness of pre-colonial Amazonian ceramics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natalio, Filipe; Corrales, Tomas P.; Wanka, Stephanie; Zaslansky, Paul; Kappl, Michael; Lima, Helena Pinto; Butt, Hans-Jürgen; Tremel, Wolfgang

    2015-08-01

    Pottery was a traditional art and technology form in pre-colonial Amazonian civilizations, widely used for cultural expression objects, utensils and as cooking vessels. Abundance and workability of clay made it an excellent choice. However, inferior mechanical properties constrained their functionality and durability. The inclusion of reinforcement particles is a possible route to improve its resistance to mechanical and thermal damage. The Amazonian civilizations incorporated freshwater tree sponge spicules (cauixí) into the clay presumably to prevent shrinkage and crack propagation during drying, firing and cooking. Here we show that isolated siliceous spicules are almost defect-free glass fibres with exceptional mechanical stability. After firing, the spicule Young’s modulus increases (from 28 ± 5 GPa to 46 ± 8 GPa) inferring a toughness increment. Laboratory-fabricated ceramic models containing different inclusions (sand, glass-fibres, sponge spicules) show that mutually-oriented siliceous spicule inclusions prevent shrinkage and crack propagation leading to high stiffness clays (E = 836 ± 3 MPa). Pre-colonial amazonian potters were the first civilization known to employ biological materials to generate composite materials with enhanced fracture resistance and high stiffness in the history of mankind.

  6. Controls of Nazca ridge subduction on the Amazonian foreland basin geometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espurt, N.; Baby, P.; Brusset, S.; Roddaz, M.; Hermoza, W.; Regard, V.; Martinod, J.; Bolaños, R.

    2006-12-01

    In the central Andes, the Nazca ridge subduction imprints can be tracked on the eastern side of the Andes. The western part of the Amazonian basin is currently an atypical foreland basin because the Amazonian foreland basin 3-D geometry does not follow the foreland basin system model of DeCelles and Giles [1]. The Amazonian foreland basin consists of two main subsiding basins separated by the NE-SW trending structural/morphologic Fitzcarrald Arch. Geomorphic and lithospheric data provide evidence that the large wavelength Fitzcarrald Arch uplift at 750 kilometers ahead of the trench results from the Nazca ridge flat subduction. The flexure of the South American lithosphere is overcompensated by the buoyancy of the Nazca ridge impeaching a four-component foreland basin system. The recent deformations of the Amazon basin are characterized by vertical motions as recorded by the radial modern drainage network and the deformation of Pliocene to recent fluvial deposits on both sides of the arch, according to the kinematics of the Nazca ridge subduction. In addition, analogue lithospheric experiments similarly show that the ridge buoyancy induces uplift above the flat-slab segment in the foreland basin separating two subsiding sub-basins resulting from the flexure of the continental lithosphere. [1] DeCelles, P.G., and Giles, K.A.(1996)Foreland basin systems: Basin Research, 8, 105-123.

  7. Extremely long-distance seed dispersal by an overfished Amazonian frugivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jill T; Nuttle, Tim; Saldaña Rojas, Joe S; Pendergast, Thomas H; Flecker, Alexander S

    2011-11-22

    Throughout Amazonia, overfishing has decimated populations of fruit-eating fishes, especially the large-bodied characid, Colossoma macropomum. During lengthy annual floods, frugivorous fishes enter vast Amazonian floodplains, consume massive quantities of fallen fruits and egest viable seeds. Many tree and liana species are clearly specialized for icthyochory, and seed dispersal by fish may be crucial for the maintenance of Amazonian wetland forests. Unlike frugivorous mammals and birds, little is known about seed dispersal effectiveness of fishes. Extensive mobility of frugivorous fish could result in extremely effective, multi-directional, long-distance seed dispersal. Over three annual flood seasons, we tracked fine-scale movement patterns and habitat use of wild Colossoma, and seed retention in the digestive tracts of captive individuals. Our mechanistic model predicts that Colossoma disperses seeds extremely long distances to favourable habitats. Modelled mean dispersal distances of 337-552 m and maximum of 5495 m are among the longest ever reported. At least 5 per cent of seeds are predicted to disperse 1700-2110 m, farther than dispersal by almost all other frugivores reported in the literature. Additionally, seed dispersal distances increased with fish size, but overfishing has biased Colossoma populations to smaller individuals. Thus, overexploitation probably disrupts an ancient coevolutionary relationship between Colossoma and Amazonian plants.

  8. Estimating the global conservation status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter Steege, Hans; Pitman, Nigel C A; Killeen, Timothy J; Laurance, William F; Peres, Carlos A; Guevara, Juan Ernesto; Salomão, Rafael P; Castilho, Carolina V; Amaral, Iêda Leão; de Almeida Matos, Francisca Dionízia; de Souza Coelho, Luiz; Magnusson, William E; Phillips, Oliver L; de Andrade Lima Filho, Diogenes; de Jesus Veiga Carim, Marcelo; Irume, Mariana Victória; Martins, Maria Pires; Molino, Jean-François; Sabatier, Daniel; Wittmann, Florian; López, Dairon Cárdenas; da Silva Guimarães, José Renan; Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Manzatto, Angelo Gilberto; Reis, Neidiane Farias Costa; Terborgh, John; Casula, Katia Regina; Montero, Juan Carlos; Feldpausch, Ted R; Honorio Coronado, Euridice N; Montoya, Alvaro Javier Duque; Zartman, Charles Eugene; Mostacedo, Bonifacio; Vasquez, Rodolfo; Assis, Rafael L; Medeiros, Marcelo Brilhante; Simon, Marcelo Fragomeni; Andrade, Ana; Camargo, José Luís; Laurance, Susan G W; Nascimento, Henrique Eduardo Mendonça; Marimon, Beatriz S; Marimon, Ben-Hur; Costa, Flávia; Targhetta, Natalia; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Brienen, Roel; Castellanos, Hernán; Duivenvoorden, Joost F; Mogollón, Hugo F; Piedade, Maria Teresa Fernandez; Aymard C, Gerardo A; Comiskey, James A; Damasco, Gabriel; Dávila, Nállarett; García-Villacorta, Roosevelt; Diaz, Pablo Roberto Stevenson; Vincentini, Alberto; Emilio, Thaise; Levis, Carolina; Schietti, Juliana; Souza, Priscila; Alonso, Alfonso; Dallmeier, Francisco; Ferreira, Leandro Valle; Neill, David; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arroyo, Luzmila; Carvalho, Fernanda Antunes; Souza, Fernanda Coelho; do Amaral, Dário Dantas; Gribel, Rogerio; Luize, Bruno Garcia; Pansonato, Marcelo Petrati; Venticinque, Eduardo; Fine, Paul; Toledo, Marisol; Baraloto, Chris; Cerón, Carlos; Engel, Julien; Henkel, Terry W; Jimenez, Eliana M; Maas, Paul; Mora, Maria Cristina Peñuela; Petronelli, Pascal; Revilla, Juan David Cardenas; Silveira, Marcos; Stropp, Juliana; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; Baker, Tim R; Daly, Doug; Paredes, Marcos Ríos; da Silva, Naara Ferreira; Fuentes, Alfredo; Jørgensen, Peter Møller; Schöngart, Jochen; Silman, Miles R; Arboleda, Nicolás Castaño; Cintra, Bruno Barçante Ladvocat; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; Di Fiore, Anthony; Phillips, Juan Fernando; van Andel, Tinde R; von Hildebrand, Patricio; Barbosa, Edelcilio Marques; de Matos Bonates, Luiz Carlos; de Castro, Deborah; de Sousa Farias, Emanuelle; Gonzales, Therany; Guillaumet, Jean-Louis; Hoffman, Bruce; Malhi, Yadvinder; de Andrade Miranda, Ires Paula; Prieto, Adriana; Rudas, Agustín; Ruschell, Ademir R; Silva, Natalino; Vela, César I A; Vos, Vincent A; Zent, Eglée L; Zent, Stanford; Cano, Angela; Nascimento, Marcelo Trindade; Oliveira, Alexandre A; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Ramos, José Ferreira; Sierra, Rodrigo; Tirado, Milton; Medina, Maria Natalia Umaña; van der Heijden, Geertje; Torre, Emilio Vilanova; Vriesendorp, Corine; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R; Baider, Claudia; Balslev, Henrik; de Castro, Natalia; Farfan-Rios, William; Ferreira, Cid; Mendoza, Casimiro; Mesones, Italo; Torres-Lezama, Armando; Giraldo, Ligia Estela Urrego; Villarroel, Daniel; Zagt, Roderick; Alexiades, Miguel N; Garcia-Cabrera, Karina; Hernandez, Lionel; Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Isau; Milliken, William; Cuenca, Walter Palacios; Pansini, Susamar; Pauletto, Daniela; Arevalo, Freddy Ramirez; Sampaio, Adeilza Felipe; Valderrama Sandoval, Elvis H; Gamarra, Luis Valenzuela

    2015-11-01

    Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria. If confirmed, these results would increase the number of threatened plant species on Earth by 22%. We show that the trends observed in Amazonia apply to trees throughout the tropics, and we predict that most of the world's >40,000 tropical tree species now qualify as globally threatened. A gap analysis suggests that existing Amazonian protected areas and indigenous territories will protect viable populations of most threatened species if these areas suffer no further degradation, highlighting the key roles that protected areas, indigenous peoples, and improved governance can play in preventing large-scale extinctions in the tropics in this century.

  9. RENO, NV, JANUARY 15, 2004: FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Factors known or suspected to be adversely affecting native amphibian populations in the US were identified using information from 267 species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors in the forthcoming book, 'Status and Conservation of U.S. Amphibians'. Spec...

  10. Ultraviolet radiation and Vitamin D3 in amphibian health, behaviour, diet and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, R E; Browne, R K

    2009-10-01

    Amphibians are currently suffering a period of mass extinction with approximately 20% of species under severe threat and more than 120 species already extinct. In light of this crisis there is an urgency to establish viable ex situ populations and also find the causes of in situ declines. The role of ultraviolet radiation and Vitamin D(3) in amphibian health directly influences both ex situ and in situ populations. Vitamin D(3) can be photosynthesised endogenously via UV-B radiation (UV-B), or acquired through the diet, and then metabolised to calcitriol the biologically active hormonal form. Although, there is a lack of literature concerning Vitamin D(3) requirements and calcitriol synthesis in amphibians, amphibians are likely to have similar Vitamin D(3) requirements and metabolic processes as other vertebrates due to the phylogenetically conservative nature of calcitriol biosynthesis. Deficiencies in calcitriol in amphibians result in nutritional metabolic bone disease (NMBD) and could compromise reproduction and immunity. However, excess biologically active UV radiation has also proven detrimental across all three amphibian life stages and therefore could impact both in situ and ex situ populations. Here we review the role and necessity of UV-B and calcitriol in amphibians and the potential for negative impacts due to excessive exposure to UV radiation. We also identify priorities for research that could provide critical information for maintaining healthy in ex situ and in situ populations of amphibians.

  11. Amphibian and reptile records from around the Betsiboka Delta area in North-Western Madagascar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Erens, Jesse; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Vences, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    This study summarises amphibian and reptile records from ad hoc surveys in a series of localities in the North-West of Madagascar, largely centred on the delta of the Betsiboka River. Eleven amphibian and approximately 32 reptile species were found, with taxonomic uncertainties remaining for some

  12. Phase-II conjugation ability for PAH metabolism in amphibians: characteristics and inter-species differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Haruki; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Nakayama, Shouta M M; Tanaka-Ueno, Tomoko; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2011-10-01

    The present study examines amphibian metabolic activity - particularly conjugation - by analysis of pyrene (a four ring, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) metabolites using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detector (FD), a mass spectrometry detector (MS) system and kinetic analysis of conjugation enzymes. Six amphibian species were exposed to pyrene (dissolved in water): African claw frog (Xenopus laevis); Tago's brown frog (Rana tagoi); Montane brown frog (Rana ornativentris); Wrinkled frog (Rana rugosa); Japanese newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster); and Clouded salamander (Hynobius nebulosus); plus one fish species, medaka (Oryzias latipes); and a fresh water snail (Clithon retropictus), and the resultant metabolites were collected. Identification of pyrene metabolites by HPLC and ion-trap MS system indicated that medaka mainly excreted pyrene-1-glucuronide (PYOG), while pyrene-1-sulfate (PYOS) was the main metabolite in all amphibian species. Pyrene metabolites in amphibians were different from those in invertebrate fresh water snails. Inter-species differences were also observed in pyrene metabolism among amphibians. Metabolite analysis showed that frogs relied more strongly on sulfate conjugation than did Japanese newts and clouded salamanders. Furthermore, urodelan amphibians, newts and salamanders, excreted glucose conjugates of pyrene that were not detected in the anuran amphibians. Kinetic analysis of conjugation by hepatic microsomes and cytosols indicated that differences in excreted metabolites reflected differences in enzymatic activities. Furthermore, pyrenediol (PYDOH) glucoside sulfate was detected in the Japanese newt sample. This novel metabolite has not been reported previously to this report, in which we have identified unique characteristics of amphibians in phase II pyrene metabolism.

  13. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamukai, Kenichi; Une, Yumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2014-05-13

    The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd.

  14. 14 CFR 29.519 - Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. 29.519 Section 29.519 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF... § 29.519 Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. (a) General. For hull type rotorcraft,...

  15. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis with bioaugmentation: characteristics of effective probiotics and strategies for their selection and use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Loudon, Andrew H; Becker, Matthew H; Bell, Sara C; Woodhams, Douglas C; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Harris, Reid N

    2013-06-01

    Probiotic therapy through bioaugmentation is a feasible disease mitigation strategy based on growing evidence that microbes contribute to host defences of plants and animals. Amphibians are currently threatened by the rapid global spread of the pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. Bioaugmentation of locally occurring protective bacteria on amphibians has mitigated this disease effectively in laboratory trials and one recent field trial. Areas still naïve to Bd provide an opportunity for conservationists to proactively implement probiotic strategies to prevent further amphibian declines. In areas where Bd is endemic, bioaugmentation can facilitate repatriation of susceptible amphibians currently maintained in assurance colonies. Here, we synthesise the current research in amphibian microbial ecology and bioaugmentation to identify characteristics of effective probiotics in relation to their interactions with Bd, their host, other resident microbes and the environment. To target at-risk species and amphibian communities, we develop sampling strategies and filtering protocols that result in probiotics that inhibit Bd under ecologically relevant conditions and persist on susceptible amphibians. This filtering tool can be used proactively to guide amphibian disease mitigation and can be extended to other taxa threatened by emerging infectious diseases.

  16. A meta-analysis of the effects of pesticides and fertilizers on survival and growth of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Nick J; Bancroft, Betsy A; Garcia, Tiffany S

    2013-04-01

    The input of agrochemicals has contributed to alteration of community composition in managed and associated natural systems, including amphibian biodiversity. Pesticides and fertilizers negatively affect many amphibian species and can cause mortality and sublethal effects, such as reduced growth and increased susceptibility to disease. However, the effect of pesticides and fertilizers varies among amphibian species. We used meta-analytic techniques to quantify the lethal and sublethal effects of pesticides and fertilizers on amphibians in an effort to review the published work to date and produce generalized conclusions. We found that pesticides and fertilizers had a negative effect on survival of -0.9027 and growth of -0.0737 across all reported amphibian species. We also observed differences between chemical classes in their impact on amphibians: inorganic fertilizers, organophosphates, chloropyridinyl, phosphonoglycines, carbamates, and triazines negatively affected amphibian survival, while organophosphates and phosphonoglycines negatively affected amphibian growth. Our results suggest that pesticides and fertilizers are an important stressor for amphibians in agriculturally dominated systems. Furthermore, certain chemical classes are more likely to harm amphibians. Best management practices in agroecosystems should incorporate amphibian species-specific response to agrochemicals as well as life stage dependent susceptibility to best conserve amphibian biodiversity in these landscapes.

  17. Towards gene banking amphibian maternal germ lines: short-term incubation, cryoprotectant tolerance and cryopreservation of embryonic cells of the frog, Limnodynastes peronii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca Lawson

    Full Text Available Gene banking is arguably the best method available to prevent the loss of genetic diversity caused by declines in wild populations, when the causes of decline cannot be halted or reversed. For one of the most impacted vertebrate groups, the amphibians, gene banking technologies have advanced considerably, and gametes from the male line can be banked successfully for many species. However, cryopreserving the female germ line remains challenging, with attempts at cryopreserving oocytes unsuccessful due to their large size and yolk content. One possible solution is to target cryopreservation of early embryos that contain the maternal germ line, but consist of smaller cells. Here, we investigate the short term incubation, cryoprotectant tolerance, and cryopreservation of dissociated early embryonic cells from gastrulae and neurulae of the Striped Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes peronii. Embryos were dissociated and cells were incubated for up to 24 hours in various media. Viability of both gastrula and neurula cells remained high (means up to 40-60% over 24 hours of incubation in all media, although viability was maintained at a higher level in Ca(2+-free Simplified Amphibian Ringer; low speed centrifugation did not reduce cell viability. Tolerance of dissociated embryonic cells was tested for two cryoprotectants, glycerol and dimethyl sulphoxide; dissociated cells of both gastrulae and neurulae were highly tolerant to both-indeed, cell viability over 24 hours was higher in media containing low-to-medium concentrations than in equivalent cryoprotectant-free media. Viability over 24 hours was lower in concentrations of cryoprotectant higher than 10%. Live cells were recovered following cryopreservation of both gastrula and neurula cells, but only at low rates. Optimal cryodiluents were identified for gastrula and neurula cells. This is the first report of a slow cooling protocol for cryopreservation of amphibian embryonic cells, and sets future research

  18. Towards gene banking amphibian maternal germ lines: short-term incubation, cryoprotectant tolerance and cryopreservation of embryonic cells of the frog, Limnodynastes peronii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Bianca; Clulow, Simon; Mahony, Michael J; Clulow, John

    2013-01-01

    Gene banking is arguably the best method available to prevent the loss of genetic diversity caused by declines in wild populations, when the causes of decline cannot be halted or reversed. For one of the most impacted vertebrate groups, the amphibians, gene banking technologies have advanced considerably, and gametes from the male line can be banked successfully for many species. However, cryopreserving the female germ line remains challenging, with attempts at cryopreserving oocytes unsuccessful due to their large size and yolk content. One possible solution is to target cryopreservation of early embryos that contain the maternal germ line, but consist of smaller cells. Here, we investigate the short term incubation, cryoprotectant tolerance, and cryopreservation of dissociated early embryonic cells from gastrulae and neurulae of the Striped Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes peronii. Embryos were dissociated and cells were incubated for up to 24 hours in various media. Viability of both gastrula and neurula cells remained high (means up to 40-60%) over 24 hours of incubation in all media, although viability was maintained at a higher level in Ca(2+)-free Simplified Amphibian Ringer; low speed centrifugation did not reduce cell viability. Tolerance of dissociated embryonic cells was tested for two cryoprotectants, glycerol and dimethyl sulphoxide; dissociated cells of both gastrulae and neurulae were highly tolerant to both-indeed, cell viability over 24 hours was higher in media containing low-to-medium concentrations than in equivalent cryoprotectant-free media. Viability over 24 hours was lower in concentrations of cryoprotectant higher than 10%. Live cells were recovered following cryopreservation of both gastrula and neurula cells, but only at low rates. Optimal cryodiluents were identified for gastrula and neurula cells. This is the first report of a slow cooling protocol for cryopreservation of amphibian embryonic cells, and sets future research directions for

  19. Environmental refuge from disease-driven amphibian extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puschendorf, Robert; Hoskin, Conrad J; Cashins, Scott D; McDonald, Keith; Skerratt, Lee F; Vanderwal, Jeremy; Alford, Ross A

    2011-10-01

    Species that are tolerant of broad environmental gradients may be less vulnerable to epizootic outbreaks of disease. Chytridriomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has been linked to extirpations and extinctions of amphibian species in many regions. The pathogen thrives in cool, moist environments, and high amphibian mortality rates have commonly occurred during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in amphibian populations in high-elevation tropical rainforests. In Australia several high-elevation species, including the armored mist frog (Litoria lorica), which is designated as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), were believed to have gone extinct during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the 1980s and early 1990s. Species with greater elevational ranges disappeared from higher elevations, but remained common in the lowlands. In June 2008, we surveyed a stream in a high-elevation dry sclerophyll forest and discovered a previously unknown population of L. lorica and a population of the waterfall frog (Litoria nannotis). We conducted 6 additional surveys in June 2008, September 2008, March 2009, and August 2009. Prevalences of B. dendrobatidis infection (number infected per total sampled) were consistently high in frogs (mean 82.5%, minimum 69%) of both species and in tadpoles (100%) during both winter (starting July) and summer (starting February). However, no individuals of either species showed clinical signs of disease, and they remained abundant (3.25 - 8.75 individuals of L. lorica and 6.5-12.5 individuals of L. nannotis found/person/100 m over 13 months). The high-elevation dry sclerophyll site had little canopy cover, low annual precipitation, and a more defined dry season than a nearby rainforest site, where L. nannotis was more negatively affected by chytridiomycosis. We hypothesize this lack of canopy cover allowed the rocks on which frogs perched to warm up, thereby slowing growth and

  20. Pesticides in amphibian habitats of Central and Northern California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Sparling, W; McConnell, Laura; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Drakeford, Leticia

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have indicated that toxicity from pesticide exposure may be contributing to amphibian declines in California and that atmospheric deposition could be a primary pathway for pesticides to enter amphibian habitats. We report on a survey of California wetlands sampled along transects associated with Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia National Park. Each transect ran from the Pacific coast to the Cascades or Sierra Nevada mountains. Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla), water, and sediment were collected from wetlands in 2001 and 2002. Twenty-three pesticides were found in frog, water, or sediment samples. Six contaminants including trifluralin, α-endosulfan, chlordanes, and trans-nonachlor were found in adult P. regilla. Seventeen contaminants were found in sediments, including endosulfan sulfate, chlordanes, 1-chloro-4-[2,2-dichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethenyl]benzene (4,4′-DDE), and chlorpyrifos. The mean number of chemicals detected per pond in sediments was 2.4 (2.5, standard deviation). In water, 17 chemicals were detected, with β-endosulfan being present in almost all samples. Trifluralin, chlordanes, and chlorpyrifos were the next most common. The mean number of chemicals in water per pond was 7.8 (2.9). With the possible exception of chlorpyrifos oxon in sediments and total endosulfans, none of the contaminants exceeded known lethal or sublethal concentrations in P. regilla tissue. Endosulfans, chlorpyrifos, and trifluralin were associated with historic and present day population status of amphibians. Cholinesterase, an essential neurological enzyme that can be depressed by certain pesticides, was reduced in tadpoles from areas with the greatest population declines.

  1. Relationship Between Landscape Character, UV Exposure, and Amphibian Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, C. M.; Brooks, P. D.; Corn, P. S.; Muths, E.; Campbell, D. H.; Diamond, S.; Tonnessen, K.

    2001-12-01

    Widespread reports of amphibian declines have been considered a warning of large-scale environmental degradation, yet the reasons for these declines remain unclear. This study suggests that exposure to ultraviolet radiation may act as an environmental stressor that affects population breeding success or susceptibility to disease. Ultraviolet radiation is attenuated by dissolved and particulate compounds in water, which may be of either terrestrial or aquatic origin. UV attenuation by dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is primarily due to compounds in the fulvic acid fraction, which originate in soil environments. These terrestrially-derived fulvic acids are transported to during hydrologic flushing events such as snowmelt and episodic precipitation and play an important role in controlling UV exposure in surface waters. As part of a previously published project, amphibian surveys were conducted at seventeen sites in Rocky Mountain National Park both during, and subsequent to, a three-year drought (1988 - 1990). During this period, ten sites lost one amphibian species, while only one site gained a previously unreported species. One possible explanation for these localized species losses is increased exposure to UV radiation, mediated by reduced terrestrial DOC inputs during dry periods. Several subsequent years of water chemistry data showed that the sites with documented species losses were characterized by a range of DOC concentrations, but tended to have a greater proportion of terrestrial DOC than sites that did not undergo species loss. This suggests that terrestrial inputs exert a strong control on DOC concentrations that may influence species success. We used physical environmental factors to develop a classification scheme for these sites. There are many physical factors that can influence terrestrial DOC inputs, including landscape position, geomorphology, soil type, and watershed vegetation. In addition, we considered the possible effects on internal aquatic

  2. Influence of Physiological Stress on Nutrient Stoichiometry in Larval Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirschman, Lucas J; Haslett, Savhannah; Fritz, Kelley A; Whiles, Matt R; Warne, Robin W

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental stressors alters animal phenotypes as well as nutrient metabolism, assimilation, and excretion. While stress-induced shifts in nutrient processes are known to alter organismal carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stoichiometry, there has been little exploration of how environmental factors influence phosphorous (P). A better understanding of how P cycling varies with animal physiological state may provide insight into across-scale processes, because P is essential to animal function and ecological processes such as production and decomposition. We tested the effects of predator stress and exogenous glucocorticoids on C∶N∶P stoichiometry of larval amphibians. Glucocorticoids altered nutrient stoichiometry, apparently by modulating ossification and renal function. This reduced whole-body P and significantly increased N∶P. Additionally, elevated glucocorticoids caused a long-term reduction in P excretion. This reduction may reflect an initial unmeasured loss of P that glucocorticoids induce over acute timescales. In contrast, exposure to predator cues had no effect on larval C∶N∶P stoichiometry, which highlights that different stressors have varied effects on the endocrine stress response. Predation, in particular, is ubiquitous in the environment; thus, larvae responding to predators have conserved mechanisms that likely prevent or minimize physiological disruption. These results demonstrate the differing physiological roles of N and P, distinct nutrient demands associated with amphibian metamorphosis, and the contrasting effects that different environmental factors have on the physiological stress response. Our results also suggest that anthropogenic changes to the environment that induce chronic stress in amphibians could affect the biogeochemistry of nutrient-poor environments where they may act as keystone species.

  3. A review of cryptic species in amphibians%隐种及其在两栖动物中的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄华; 郑荣泉; 张加勇; 陈雯; 于晓云; 陈平

    2012-01-01

    近年来,由于分子生物学的迅猛发展,物种内隐藏的生物多样性越来越多地被发现,由此引发的隐种问题也备受关注.隐种的存在对现有的生物多样性评估提出了挑战.在实践上,隐种的界定对于自然资源的保护和管理具有重要意义.两栖动物由于迁移能力较弱,通常具有较强的遗传分化,因而可能包含较丰富的隐种多样性.简述了隐种的概念和形成机制,归纳了国内外两栖类动物中隐种的研究进展,并着重介绍了界定两栖动物隐种的研究方法,最后,对今后两栖动物隐种的研究作了简要展望.我国两栖动物资源丰富,并具有独特的地形和气候特点,对这些物种遗传多样性和系统地理学的研究亟待开展.%With the rapid development of molecular biology in recent years, more and more hidden biodiversity within the species was discovered, and many people begin to pay attention to the cryptic species problem. There are many challenges on biodiversity estimation because of the prevalence of cryptic species. In practice, the identification and description of cryptic species complexes have important implications for conservation and natural resource protection and management. Due to the weak of migration and strong philopatric. amphibians usually have a strong genetic differentiation and might be storehouses of tremendous cryptic diversity. The paper has briefly described the concept and formative mechanism of cryptic species, summarized the research status and introduced the methods of definition of cryptic species importantly in amphibians at home and abroad. In addition, we also discussed the prospects of researches on cryptic species in amphibians. There are rich amphibian resources, unique topography and climate character in China, so that it is urgent to research on both genetic diversity and phylogeography of these amphibian species.

  4. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna.

  5. Evolutionary landscape of amphibians emerging from ancient freshwater fish inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Tong; Zhang, Yan-Feng; Wu, Qian; Zhang, Hao

    2012-05-01

    It is very interesting that the only extant marine amphibian is the marine frog, Fejervarya cancrivora. This study investigated the reasons for this apparent rarity by conducting a phylogenetic tree analysis of the complete mitochondrial genomes from 14 amphibians, 67 freshwater fishes, four migratory fishes, 35 saltwater fishes, and one hemichordate. The results showed that amphibians, living fossil fishes, and the common ancestors of modern fishes are phylogenetically separated. In general, amphibians, living fossil fishes, saltwater fishes, and freshwater fishes are clustered in different clades. This suggests that the ancestor of living amphibians arose from a type of primordial freshwater fish, rather than the coelacanth, lungfish, or modern saltwater fish. Modern freshwater fish and modern saltwater fish were probably separated from a common ancestor by a single event, caused by crustal movement.

  6. Diverse Communications Project at Vandenberg Air Force Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-07-25

    Assessment 37 5.0 LIST OF REFERENCES Arnold, R.A. 1983 Ecological studies of six Endangered butterflies ( Lepidoptera , Lycaenidae): Island...1996 Reptiles and Amphibians of Vandenberg Air Force Base, Santa Barbara County, California. Report No. 4, Museum of Systematics and Ecology...complex: recognition of a species and description of a new subspecies. (Lycaenidae). Journal ofResearch on the Lepidoptera 27: 173-185. Diverse

  7. Parallels in amphibian and bat declines from pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskew, Evan A; Todd, Brian D

    2013-03-01

    Pathogenic fungi have substantial effects on global biodiversity, and 2 emerging pathogenic species-the chytridiomycete Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and the ascomycete Geomyces destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats-are implicated in the widespread decline of their vertebrate hosts. We synthesized current knowledge for chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome regarding disease emergence, environmental reservoirs, life history characteristics of the host, and host-pathogen interactions. We found striking similarities between these aspects of chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome, and the research that we review and propose should help guide management of future emerging fungal diseases.

  8. Inhibition of Escherichia coli ATP synthase by amphibian antimicrobial peptides

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Previously melittin, the α-helical basic honey bee venom peptide, was shown to inhibit F1-ATPase by binding at the β-subunit DELSEED motif of F1Fo ATP synthase. Herein, we present the inhibitory effects of the basic α-helical amphibian antimicrobial peptides, ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, carein 1.8, carein 1.9, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, maculatin 1.1, maganin II, MRP, or XT-7, on purified F1 and membrane bound F1Fo E. coli ATP synthase. We found that the extent of inhibition by amphib...

  9. Fast demographic traits promote high diversification rates of Amazonian trees

    OpenAIRE

    Baker, Timothy R.; Pennington, R. Toby; Magallon, Susana; Gloor, Emanuel; Laurance, William F.; Alexiades, Miguel; Alvarez, Esteban; Araujo, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J. M. M.; Aymard, Gerardo; de Oliveira, Atila Alves; Amaral, Iêda; Arroyo, Luzmila; Bonal, Damien; Roel J.W. Brienen

    2014-01-01

    The Amazon rain forest sustains the world's highest tree diversity, but it remains unclear why some clades of trees are hyperdiverse, whereas others are not. Using dated phylogenies, estimates of current species richness and trait and demographic data from a large network of forest plots, we show that fast demographic traits - short turnover times - are associated with high diversification rates across 51 clades of canopy trees. This relationship is robust to assuming that diversification rat...

  10. Biological diversity of a temporary pond herpetofauna in north Florida sandhills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, C.K.

    1992-01-01

    From 1985 through 1990, the herpetofauna of a temporary pond in an uplands longleaf pine sandhills community in north-central Florida was monitored. A drift fence completely encircled the pond. Animals were captured in pitfall traps and marked as they entered and exited the pond basin. I captured 16 155 individuals of 42 species (16 amphibians, 26 reptiles). The species richness, diversity (using Margalef's Diversity Index) and dominance (using the Berger-Parker Index) varied among years. Between 62.5% and 87.5% of the amphibian species and 65% to 81% of the reptile species were captured in any one year. Daily amphibian capture was positively correlated with rainfall, whereas reptile capture was either not correlated or weakly negatively correlated with rainfall. Hydroperiod duration was not correlated with the numbers of either amphibians or reptiles captured. Neither the amphibian nor the reptile community showed any trends in diversity or dominance indices during the course of the study, although both communities were dominated by a few species. However, the species responsible for community dominance changed somewhat as the study progressed. Assessing the results of this study is hampered by the lack of comparable studies elsewhere, expected natural fluctuations of amphibian populations, and a prolonged drought, especially during the latter stages of the study. The herpetological community at Breezeway Pond does not appear to follow theoretical predictions of community response to stress. Temporary ponds are important centres of herpetofaunal biodiversity in uplands sandhills communities. Long-term studies are needed to monitor the composition, structure, and functional interactions of their resident species.

  11. Why does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) not occur everywhere? An exploratory study in Missouri ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Alex; Smith, Kevin G

    2013-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a globally emerging pathogen that has caused widespread amphibian population declines, extirpations, and extinctions. However, Bd does not occur in all apparently suitable amphibian populations, even within regions where it is widespread, and it is often unclear why Bd occurs in some habitats but not others. In this study, we rigorously surveyed the amphibian and invertebrate biodiversity of 29 ponds in Missouri, screened resident amphibian larvae (Rana (Lithobates) sp.) for Bd infection, and characterized the aquatic physiochemical environment of each pond (temperature pH, conductivity, nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a). Our goal was to generate hypotheses toward answering the question, "Why does Bd not occur in all apparently suitable habitats?" Bd occurred in assayed amphibians in 11 of the 29 ponds in our study area (38% of ponds). We found no significant relationship between any single biotic or abiotic variable and presence of Bd. However, multivariate analyses (nonmetric multidimensional scaling and permutational tests of dispersion) revealed that ponds in which Bd occurred were a restricted subset of all ponds in terms of amphibian community structure, macroinvertebrate community structure, and pond physiochemistry. In other words, Bd ponds from 6 different conservation areas were more similar to each other than would be expected based on chance. The results of a structural equation model suggest that patterns in the occurrence of Bd among ponds are primarily attributable to variation in macroinvertebrate community structure. When combined with recent results showing that Bd can infect invertebrates as well as amphibians, we suggest that additional research should focus on the role played by non-amphibian biota in determining the presence, prevalence, and pathogenicity of Bd in amphibian populations.

  12. Why does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis not occur everywhere? An exploratory study in Missouri ponds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Strauss

    Full Text Available The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is a globally emerging pathogen that has caused widespread amphibian population declines, extirpations, and extinctions. However, Bd does not occur in all apparently suitable amphibian populations, even within regions where it is widespread, and it is often unclear why Bd occurs in some habitats but not others. In this study, we rigorously surveyed the amphibian and invertebrate biodiversity of 29 ponds in Missouri, screened resident amphibian larvae (Rana (Lithobates sp. for Bd infection, and characterized the aquatic physiochemical environment of each pond (temperature pH, conductivity, nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a. Our goal was to generate hypotheses toward answering the question, "Why does Bd not occur in all apparently suitable habitats?" Bd occurred in assayed amphibians in 11 of the 29 ponds in our study area (38% of ponds. We found no significant relationship between any single biotic or abiotic variable and presence of Bd. However, multivariate analyses (nonmetric multidimensional scaling and permutational tests of dispersion revealed that ponds in which Bd occurred were a restricted subset of all ponds in terms of amphibian community structure, macroinvertebrate community structure, and pond physiochemistry. In other words, Bd ponds from 6 different conservation areas were more similar to each other than would be expected based on chance. The results of a structural equation model suggest that patterns in the occurrence of Bd among ponds are primarily attributable to variation in macroinvertebrate community structure. When combined with recent results showing that Bd can infect invertebrates as well as amphibians, we suggest that additional research should focus on the role played by non-amphibian biota in determining the presence, prevalence, and pathogenicity of Bd in amphibian populations.

  13. Synergistic effects of the invasive Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) and climate change on aquatic amphibian survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saenz, Daniel; Fucik, Erin M; Kwiatkowski, Matthew A

    2013-11-01

    Changes in climate and the introduction of invasive species are two major stressors to amphibians, although little is known about the interaction between these two factors with regard to impacts on amphibians. We focused our study on an invasive tree species, the Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), that annually sheds its leaves and produces leaf litter that is known to negatively impact aquatic amphibian survival. The purpose of our research was to determine whether the timing of leaf fall from Chinese tallow and the timing of amphibian breeding (determined by weather) influence survival of amphibian larvae. We simulated a range of winter weather scenarios, ranging from cold to warm, by altering the relative timing of when leaf litter and amphibian larvae were introduced into aquatic mesocosms. Our results indicate that amphibian larvae survival was greatly affected by the length of time Chinese tallow leaf litter decomposes in water prior to the introduction of the larvae. Larvae in treatments simulating warm winters (early amphibian breeding) were introduced to the mesocosms early in the aquatic decomposition process of the leaf litter and had significantly lower survival compared with cold winters (late amphibian breeding), likely due to significantly lower dissolved oxygen levels. Shifts to earlier breeding phenology, linked to warming climate, have already been observed in many amphibian taxa, and with most climate models predicting a significant warming trend over the next century, the trend toward earlier breeding should continue if not increase. Our results strongly suggest that a warming climate can interact with the effects of invasive plant species, in ways we have not previously considered, to reduce the survival of an already declining group of organisms.

  14. An unprecedented role reversal: ground beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Carabidae lure amphibians and prey upon them.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Wizen

    Full Text Available Amphibians often feed on beetle larvae, including those of ground beetles (Carabidae. Preliminary reports have detailed an unusual trophic interaction in which, in contrast, larvae of the ground beetle Epomis prey upon juvenile and adult amphibians. While it is known that these larvae feed exclusively on amphibians, how the predator-prey encounter occurs to the advantage of the beetle larvae had been unknown to date. Using laboratory observations and controlled experiments, we recorded the feeding behavior of Epomis larvae, as well as the behavior of their amphibian prey. Here we reveal that larvae of two species of Epomis (E. circumscriptus and E. dejeani lure their potential predator, taking advantage of the amphibian's predation behavior. The Epomis larva combines a sit-and-wait strategy with unique movements of its antennae and mandibles to draw the attention of the amphibian to the presence of a potential prey. The intensity of this enticement increases with decreasing distance between the larva and the amphibian. When the amphibian attacks, the larva almost always manages to avoid the predator's protracted tongue, exploiting the opportunity to attach itself to the amphibian's body and initiate feeding. Our findings suggest that the trophic interaction between Epomis larvae and amphibians is one of the only natural cases of obligatory predator-prey role reversal. Moreover, this interaction involves a small insect larva that successfully lures and preys on a larger vertebrate. Such role reversal is exceptional in the animal world, extending our perspective of co-evolution in the arms race between predator and prey, and suggesting that counterattack defense behavior has evolved into predator-prey role reversal.

  15. Energetic planning in isolated Amazonian communities using geographical information system; Planejamento energetico em regioes isoladas da Amazonia utilizando sistemas de informacoes geograficas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almeida, Arthur [Universidade Federal do Para (UFPA), Belem, PA (Brazil). Programa de Pos-Graduacao de Engenharia Eletrica; Rocha, Brigida R.P.; Monteiro, Jose H.A.; Gaspar, Gabriella C.M. [Universidade Federal do Para (UFPA), Belem, PA (Brazil). Dept. de Engenharia Eletrica e de Computacao; Aarao Junior, Raimundo N.N. [Universidade Federal do Para (UFPA), Belem, PA (Brazil). Dept. de Engenharia Mecanica

    2004-07-01

    This paper proposes a system of electric planning in isolated Amazonian communities. For those communities, we propose the use of decentralized systems of electric energy with biomass as fuel. We also propose a computer system of electric planning with geographical information systems for its facilities of integrating geographical information, so useful in an Amazonian context. (author)

  16. Impacts of selective logging on inbreeding and gene flow in two Amazonian timber species with contrasting ecological and reproductive characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinson, C C; Kanashiro, M; Harris, S A; Boshier, D H

    2015-01-01

    Selective logging in Brazil allows for the removal of up to 90% of trees above 50 cm diameter of a given timber species, independent of a species' life history characteristics or how quickly it will recover. The genetic and demographic effects of selective logging on two Amazonian timber species (Dipteryx odorata Leguminosae, Jacaranda copaia Bignoniaceae) with contrasting ecological and reproductive characteristics were assessed in the same forest. Genetic diversity and gene flow were characterized by genotyping adults and seed sampled before and after logging, using hypervariable microsatellite markers. Overall, there were no short-term genetic impacts on the J. copaia population, with commercial application of current Brazilian forest management regulations. In contrast, for D. Odorata, selective logging showed a range of genetic impacts, with a 10% loss of alleles, and reductions in siring by pollen from trees within the 546-ha study area (23-11%) and in the number of pollen donors per progeny array (2.8-1.6), illustrating the importance of the surrounding landscape. Asynchrony in flowering between D. odorata trees led to trees with no breeding partners, which could limit the species reproduction and regeneration under current regulations. The results are summarized with other published studies from the same site and the implications for forest management discussed. The different types and levels of impacts associated with each species support the idea that ecological and genetic information by species, ecological guild or reproductive group is essential in helping to derive sustainable logging guidelines for tropical forests.

  17. Napoleon Bonaparte and the fate of an Amazonian rat: new data on the taxonomy of Mesomys hispidus (Rodentia: Echimyidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Ludovic; Mauffrey, Jean-François; Cuisin, Jacques; Patton, James L; Hänni, Catherine; Catzeflis, François

    2003-04-01

    The spiny rat Mesomys hispidus is one of many South American rodents that lack adequate taxonomic definition. The few sampled populations of this broadly distributed trans-Amazonian arboreal rat have come from widely separated regions and are typically highly divergent. The holotype was described in 1817 by A.-G. Desmarest, after Napoleon's army brought it to Paris following the plunder of Lisbon in 1808; however, the locality of origin has remained unknown. Here we examine the taxonomic status of this species by direct comparison of 50 extant individuals with the holotype at the morphometric and genetic levels, the latter based on 331 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene retrieved from a small skin fragment of the holotype with ancient DNA technology. Extensive sequence divergence is present among samples of M. hispidus collected from throughout its range, from French Guiana across Amazonia to Bolivia and Peru, with at least seven mitochondrial clades recognized (average divergence of 7.7% Kimura 2-parameter distance). Sequence from the holotype is, however, only weakly divergent from those of recent samples from French Guiana. Moreover, the holotype clusters with greater that 99% posterior probability with samples from this part of Amazonia in a discriminant analysis based on 22 cranial and dental measurements. Thus, we suggest that the holotype was originally obtained in eastern Amazonia north of the Amazon River, most likely in the Brazilian state of Amapá. Despite the high level of sequence diversity and marked morphological differences in size across the range of M. hispidus, we continue to regard this assemblage as a single species until additional samples and analyses suggest otherwise.

  18. The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: the herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rafe M; Siler, Cameron D; Oliveros, Carl H; Welton, Luke J; Rock, Ashley; Swab, John; Weerd, Merlijn Van; van Beijnen, Jonah; Jose, Edgar; Rodriguez, Dominic; Jose, Edmund; Diesmos, Arvin C

    2013-01-01

    We provide the first report on the herpetological biodiversity (amphibians and reptiles) of the northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range (Cagayan and Isabela provinces), northeast Luzon Island, Philippines. New data from extensive previously unpublished surveys in the Municipalities of Gonzaga, Gattaran, Lasam, Santa Ana, and Baggao (Cagayan Province), as well as fieldwork in the Municipalities of Cabagan, San Mariano, and Palanan (Isabela Province), combined with all available historical museum records, suggest this region is quite diverse. Our new data indicate that at least 101 species are present (29 amphibians, 30 lizards, 35 snakes, two freshwater turtles, three marine turtles, and two crocodilians) and now represented with well-documented records and/or voucher specimens, confirmed in institutional biodiversity repositories. A high percentage of Philippine endemic species constitute the local fauna (approximately 70%). The results of this and other recent studies signify that the herpetological diversity of the northern Philippines is far more diverse than previously imagined. Thirty-eight percent of our recorded species are associated with unresolved taxonomic issues (suspected new species or species complexes in need of taxonomic partitioning). This suggests that despite past and present efforts to comprehensively characterize the fauna, the herpetological biodiversity of the northern Philippines is still substantially underestimated and warranting of further study.

  19. The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: the herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafe Brown

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available We provide the first report on the herpetological biodiversity (amphibians and reptiles of the northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range (Cagayan and Isabela provinces, northeast Luzon Island, Philippines. New data from extensive previously unpublished surveys in the Municipalities of Gonzaga, Gattaran, Lasam, Santa Ana, and Baggao (Cagayan Province, as well as fieldwork in the Municipalities of Cabagan, San Mariano, and Palanan (Isabela Province, combined with all available historical museum records, suggest this region is quite diverse. Our new data indicate that at least 101 species are present (29 amphibians, 30 lizards, 35 snakes, two freshwater turtles, three marine turtles, and two crocodilians and now represented with well-documented records and/or voucher specimens, confirmed in institutional biodiversity repositories. A high percentage of Philippine endemic species constitute the local fauna (approximately 70%. The results of this and other recent studies signify that the herpetological diversity of the northern Philippines is far more diverse than previously imagined. Thirty-eight percent of our recorded species are associated with unresolved taxonomic issues (suspected new species or species complexes in need of taxonomic partitioning. This suggests that despite past and present efforts to comprehensively characterize the fauna, the herpetological biodiversity of the northern Philippines is still substantially underestimated and warranting of further study.

  20. Amazonian malaria: asymptomatic human reservoirs, diagnostic challenges, environmentally driven changes in mosquito vector populations, and the mandate for sustainable control strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva-Nunes, Mônica; Moreno, Marta; Conn, Jan E; Gamboa, Dionicia; Abeles, Shira; Vinetz, Joseph M; Ferreira, Marcelo U

    2012-03-01

    Across the Americas and the Caribbean, nearly 561,000 slide-confirmed malaria infections were reported officially in 2008. The nine Amazonian countries accounted for 89% of these infections; Brazil and Peru alone contributed 56% and 7% of them, respectively. Local populations of the relatively neglected parasite Plasmodium vivax, which currently accounts for 77% of the regional malaria burden, are extremely diverse genetically and geographically structured. At a time when malaria elimination is placed on the public health agenda of several endemic countries, it remains unclear why malaria proved so difficult to control in areas of relatively low levels of transmission such as the Amazon Basin. We hypothesize that asymptomatic parasite carriage and massive environmental changes that affect vector abundance and behavior are major contributors to malaria transmission in epidemiologically diverse areas across the Amazon Basin. Here we review available data supporting this hypothesis and discuss their implications for current and future malaria intervention policies in the region. Given that locally generated scientific evidence is urgently required to support malaria control interventions in Amazonia, we briefly describe the aims of our current field-oriented malaria research in rural villages and gold-mining enclaves in Peru and a recently opened agricultural settlement in Brazil.

  1. Equilibrium of global amphibian species distributions with climate.

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    Munguía, Mariana; Rahbek, Carsten; Rangel, Thiago F; Diniz-Filho, Jose Alexandre F; Araújo, Miguel B

    2012-01-01

    A common assumption in bioclimatic envelope modeling is that species distributions are in equilibrium with contemporary climate. A number of studies have measured departures from equilibrium in species distributions in particular regions, but such investigations were never carried out for a complete lineage across its entire distribution. We measure departures of equilibrium with contemporary climate for the distributions of the world amphibian species. Specifically, we fitted bioclimatic envelopes for 5544 species using three presence-only models. We then measured the proportion of the modeled envelope that is currently occupied by the species, as a metric of equilibrium of species distributions with climate. The assumption was that the greater the difference between modeled bioclimatic envelope and the occupied distribution, the greater the likelihood that species distribution would not be at equilibrium with contemporary climate. On average, amphibians occupied 30% to 57% of their potential distributions. Although patterns differed across regions, there were no significant differences among lineages. Species in the Neotropic, Afrotropics, Indo-Malay, and Palaearctic occupied a smaller proportion of their potential distributions than species in the Nearctic, Madagascar, and Australasia. We acknowledge that our models underestimate non equilibrium, and discuss potential reasons for the observed patterns. From a modeling perspective our results support the view that at global scale bioclimatic envelope models might perform similarly across lineages but differently across regions.

  2. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

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    Svistunov, S.A.; Mitashov, V.I.

    1986-07-01

    Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of /sup 3/H-thymidine. It was established that the source of replenishment of the retina by new cells is its terminal zone in all animals investigated. This is attested to by the gradual migration of labeled cells from the growth zone into differentiated layers of the retina. The most intensely labeled cells occupy a distal position relative to other labeled cells, therefore marking the boundary between the initial part of the retina, not containing labeled nuclei, and the part being augmented. For each species studied, a level of proliferative activity is characteristic for cells of the terminal zone, which decreases in the order axolotl-clawed frog-triton -ambystoma. In the axolotl and additional growth zone is noted in the retina, in addition to the terminal, which is located in the area of the unclosed section of the embryonic fissure. Results obtained serve as a basis for the regenerative potentials of eye tissues revealed previously in these amphibian species.

  3. Evolution of climatic niche specialization: a phylogenetic analysis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J

    2014-11-22

    The evolution of climatic niche specialization has important implications for many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation. The climatic niche reflects the set of temperature and precipitation conditions where a species can occur. Thus, specialization to a limited set of climatic conditions can be important for understanding patterns of biogeography, species richness, community structure, allopatric speciation, spread of invasive species and responses to climate change. Nevertheless, the factors that determine climatic niche width (level of specialization) remain poorly explored. Here, we test whether species that occur in more extreme climates are more highly specialized for those conditions, and whether there are trade-offs between niche widths on different climatic niche axes (e.g. do species that tolerate a broad range of temperatures tolerate only a limited range of precipitation regimes?). We test these hypotheses in amphibians, using phylogenetic comparative methods and global-scale datasets, including 2712 species with both climatic and phylogenetic data. Our results do not support either hypothesis. Rather than finding narrower niches in more extreme environments, niches tend to be narrower on one end of a climatic gradient but wider on the other. We also find that temperature and precipitation niche breadths are positively related, rather than showing trade-offs. Finally, our results suggest that most amphibian species occur in relatively warm and dry environments and have relatively narrow climatic niche widths on both of these axes. Thus, they may be especially imperilled by anthropogenic climate change.

  4. Evolution of erythrocyte morphology in amphibians (Amphibia: Anura

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    Jie Wei

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT We compared the morphology of the erythrocytes of five anurans, two toad species - Bufo gargarizans (Cantor, 1842 and Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799 and three frog species - Fejervarya limnocharis (Gravenhorst, 1829, Microhyla ornata (Duméril & Bibron, 1841, and Rana zhenhaiensis (Ye, Fei & Matsui, 1995. We then reconstructed the ancestral state of erythrocyte size (ES and nuclear size (NS in amphibians based on a molecular tree. Nine morphological traits of erythrocytes were all significantly different among the five species. The results of principal component analysis showed that the first component (49.1% of variance explained had a high positive loading for erythrocyte length, nuclear length, NS and ratio of erythrocyte length/erythrocyte width; the second axis (28.5% of variance explained mainly represented erythrocyte width and ES. Phylogenetic generalized least squares analysis showed that the relationship between NS and ES was not affected by phylogenetic relationships although there was a significant linear relationship between these two variables. These results suggested that (1 the nine morphological traits of erythrocytes in the five anuran species were species-specific; (2 in amphibians, larger erythrocytes generally had larger nuclei.

  5. UV-B Radiation Contributes to Amphibian Population Declines

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    Blaustein, Andrew

    2007-05-01

    UV-B (280-315 nm) radiation is the most significant biologically damaging radiation at the terrestrial surface. At the organismal level, UV-B radiation can slow growth rates, cause immune dysfunction and result in sublethal damage. UV-B radiation can lead to mutations and cell death. Over evolutionary time, UV radiation has been an important stressor on living organisms. Natural events, including impacts from comets and asteroids, volcanic activity, supernova explosions and solar flares, can cause large-scale ozone depletion with accompanying increases in UV radiation. However, these natural events are transient. Moreover, the amount of ozone damage due to natural events depends upon a number of variables, including the magnitude of the event. This is different from modern-day human-induced production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chemicals that deplete stratospheric ozone continuously, resulting in long-term increases in UV-B radiation at the surface of the earth. We will briefly review the effects of UV-B exposure in one group of aquatic organisms_amphibians. UV-B has been implicated as a possible factor contributing to global declines and range reductions in amphibian populations.

  6. Anthropogenic and ecological drivers of amphibian disease (ranavirosis.

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    Alexandra C North

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses are causing mass amphibian die-offs in North America, Europe and Asia, and have been implicated in the decline of common frog (Rana temporaria populations in the UK. Despite this, we have very little understanding of the environmental drivers of disease occurrence and prevalence. Using a long term (1992-2000 dataset of public reports of amphibian mortalities, we assess a set of potential predictors of the occurrence and prevalence of Ranavirus-consistent common frog mortality events in Britain. We reveal the influence of biotic and abiotic drivers of this disease, with many of these abiotic characteristics being anthropogenic. Whilst controlling for the geographic distribution of mortality events, disease prevalence increases with increasing frog population density, presence of fish and wild newts, increasing pond depth and the use of garden chemicals. The presence of an alternative host reduces prevalence, potentially indicating a dilution effect. Ranavirosis occurrence is associated with the presence of toads, an urban setting and the use of fish care products, providing insight into the causes of emergence of disease. Links between occurrence, prevalence, pond characteristics and garden management practices provides useful management implications for reducing the impacts of Ranavirus in the wild.

  7. Evolution of cranial development and the role of neural crest: insights from amphibians.

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    Hanken, James; Gross, Joshua B

    2005-11-01

    Contemporary studies of vertebrate cranial development document the essential role played by the embryonic neural crest as both a source of adult tissues and a locus of cranial form and patterning. Yet corresponding and basic features of cranial evolution, such as the extent of conservation vs. variation among species in the contribution of the neural crest to specific structures, remain to be adequately resolved. Investigation of these features requires comparable data from species that are both phylogenetically appropriate and taxonomically diverse. One key group are amphibians, which are uniquely able to inform our understanding of the ancestral patterns of ontogeny in fishes and tetrapods as well as the evolution of presumably derived patterns reported for amniotes. Recent data support the hypothesis that a prominent contribution of the neural crest to cranial skeletal and muscular connective tissues is a fundamental property that evolved early in vertebrate history and is retained in living forms. The contribution of the neural crest to skull bones appears to be more evolutionarily labile than that of cartilages, although significance of the limited comparative data is difficult to establish at present. Results underline the importance of accurate and reliable homology assessments for evaluating the contrasting patterns of derivation reported for the three principal tetrapod models: mouse, chicken and frog.

  8. Disease in a dynamic landscape: host behavior and wildfire reduce amphibian chytrid infection

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    Hossack, Blake R.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Ware, Joy L.; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Disturbances are often expected to magnify effects of disease, but these effects may depend on the ecology, behavior, and life history of both hosts and pathogens. In many ecosystems, wildfire is the dominant natural disturbance and thus could directly or indirectly affect dynamics of many diseases. To determine how probability of infection by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) varies relative to habitat use by individuals, wildfire, and host characteristics, we sampled 404 boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) across Glacier National Park, Montana (USA). Bd causes chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease linked with widespread amphibian declines, including the boreal toad. Probability of infection was similar for females and the combined group of males and juveniles. However, only 9% of terrestrial toads were infected compared to >30% of aquatic toads, and toads captured in recently burned areas were half as likely to be infected as toads in unburned areas. We suspect these large differences in infection reflect habitat choices by individuals that affect pathogen exposure and persistence, especially in burned forests where warm, arid conditions could limit Bd growth. Our results show that natural disturbances such as wildfire and the resulting diverse habitats can influence infection across large landscapes, potentially maintaining local refuges and host behaviors that facilitate evolution of disease resistance.

  9. Anuran amphibians in an Atlantic Forest area at Serra do Tabuleiro, Santa Catarina, Brazil

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    Milena Wachlevski

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Atlantic Forest is a priority area for the conservation of amphibians, with some regions already showing knowledge gaps. We analyzed the composition and richness of anuran species in an area of dense ombrophilous forest at Serra do Tabuleiro, the seasonal richness variation, and the daily activity of males during vocalization shifts. We collected samples of anurans from two permanent ponds and from a track within the forest for 14 months. We recorded 32 anuran species, among which Aplastodiscus cochranae, A. ehrhardti, and Hypsiboas poaju are included in the list of endangered species in the state. The highest number of species was associated to spring and summer. The most frequent anuran species were H. bischoffi, Adenomera araucaria, and Physalaemus nanus, registered throughout the study period. The daily activity of males was concentrated between 8 p.m. and 12 p.m., but some species keep vocalizing overnight, indicating that vocal activity can differ among species undergoing the same weather conditions. The diversity of anurans recorded in our study was high, including endangered species and species with poor biological knowledge, reinforcing the relevance of Serra do Tabuleiro as a priority area for preserving the Atlantic Forest.

  10. Vitamin A (Retinoid) Metabolism and Actions: What We Know and What We Need to Know About Amphibians

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    Clugston, Robin D.; Blaner, William S.

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin A status is an important consideration in the health of both wild and captive amphibians. Data concerning whole body vitamin A homeostasis in amphibians are scarce, although these animals have been used as experimental models to study the actions of vitamin A in vision, limb regeneration and embryogenesis. The available data suggest that many aspects of vitamin A biology in amphibians are similar to the canonical characteristics of vitamin A metabolism and actions established in mammals. This is consistent with the evolutionary conservation of these important biological processes. Amphibians must obtain vitamin A in their diet, with captive animals being prone to vitamin A deficiency. There is still much to be learned about vitamin A biology in amphibians that can only be achieved through rigorous scientific research. Improved understanding of amphibian vitamin A biology will aid the conservation of endangered amphibians in the wild, as well as the successful maintenance of ex situ populations. PMID:24958673

  11. Vitamin A (retinoid) metabolism and actions: What we know and what we need to know about amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clugston, Robin D; Blaner, William S

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin A status is an important consideration in the health of both wild and captive amphibians. Data concerning whole body vitamin A homeostasis in amphibians are scarce, although these animals have been used as experimental models to study the actions of vitamin A in vision, limb regeneration and embryogenesis. The available data suggest that many aspects of vitamin A biology in amphibians are similar to the canonical characteristics of vitamin A metabolism and actions established in mammals. This is consistent with the evolutionary conservation of these important biological processes. Amphibians must obtain vitamin A in their diet, with captive animals being prone to vitamin A deficiency. There is still much to be learned about vitamin A biology in amphibians that can only be achieved through rigorous scientific research. Improved understanding of amphibian vitamin A biology will aid the conservation of endangered amphibians in the wild, as well as the successful maintenance of ex situ populations.

  12. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  13. Citation rate and perceived subject bias in the amphibian-decline literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmer, Michel E; Bishop, Phillip J

    2011-02-01

    As a result of global declines in amphibian populations, interest in the conservation of amphibians has grown. This growth has been fueled partially by the recent discovery of other potential causes of declines, including chytridiomycosis (the amphibian chytrid, an infectious disease) and climate change. It has been proposed that researchers have shifted their focus to these novel stressors and that other threats to amphibians, such as habitat loss, are not being studied in proportion to their potential effects. We tested the validity of this proposal by reviewing the literature on amphibian declines, categorizing the primary topic of articles within this literature (e.g., habitat loss or UV-B radiation) and comparing citation rates among articles on these topics and impact factors of journals in which the articles were published. From 1990 to 2009, the proportion of papers on habitat loss remained fairly constant, and although the number of papers on chytridiomycosis increased after the disease was described in 1998, the number of published papers on amphibian declines also increased. Nevertheless, papers on chytridiomycosis were more highly cited than papers not on chytridiomycosis and were published in journals with higher impact factors on average, which may indicate this research topic is more popular in the literature. Our results were not consistent with a shift in the research agenda on amphibians. We believe the perception of such a shift has been supported by the higher citation rates of papers on chytridiomycosis.

  14. Chytrid blinders: what other disease risks to amphibians are we missing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffus, Amanda L J

    2009-09-01

    Amphibian declines are occurring on a global scale, and infectious disease has been implicated as a factor in some species. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with amphibian declines and/or extinctions in many locations, however, few of the studies have actually performed detailed pathological investigations to link the emergence of the disease with mortality rates large enough to cause the declines. Many studies are based solely on the presence of infection, not disease, because of the reliance on molecular tests for Bd. The emphasis of the importance of Bd combined with easy molecular tests has resulted in poor investigations into amphibian mortality and declines in many areas. The line between infection and disease has been blurred, and a step back to basic pathological and biological investigations is needed as other disease risks to amphibians, such as ranaviruses, are likely being missed. In this article, starting points for proper investigative techniques for amphibian mortalities and declines are identified and areas that need to be improved, especially communication between biologist and veterinarians involved in amphibian disease research, are suggested. It is hoped that this will start a much needed discussion in the area and lead to some consensus building about methodologies used in amphibian disease research.

  15. Drought, Deluge and Declines: The Impact of Precipitation Extremes on Amphibians in a Changing Climate

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    Susan C. Walls

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  16. Chytridiomycosis, amphibian extinctions, and lessons for the prevention of future panzootics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriger, Kerry M; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2009-03-01

    The human-mediated transport of infected amphibians is the most plausible driver for the intercontinental spread of chytridiomycosis, a recently emerged infectious disease responsible for amphibian population declines and extinctions on multiple continents. Chytridiomycosis is now globally ubiquitous, and it cannot be eradicated from affected sites. Its rapid spread both within and between continents provides a valuable lesson on preventing future panzootics and subsequent erosion of biodiversity, not only of amphibians, but of a wide array of taxa: the continued inter-continental trade and transport of animals will inevitably lead to the spread of novel pathogens, followed by numerous extinctions. Herein, we define and discuss three levels of amphibian disease management: (1) post-exposure prophylactic measures that are curative in nature and applicable only in a small number of situations; (2) pre-exposure prophylactic measures that reduce disease threat in the short-term; and (3) preventive measures that remove the threat altogether. Preventive measures include a virtually complete ban on all unnecessary long-distance trade and transport of amphibians, and are the only method of protecting amphibians from disease-induced declines and extinctions over the long-term. Legislation to prevent the emergence of new diseases is urgently required to protect global amphibian biodiversity.

  17. Effect of road deicing salt on the susceptibility of amphibian embryos to infection by water molds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Ruthig, Gregory R

    2009-01-01

    Some causative agents of amphibian declines act synergistically to impact individual amphibians and their populations. In particular, pathogenic water molds (aquatic oomycetes) interact with environmental stressors and increase mortality in amphibian embryos. We documented colonization of eggs of three amphibian species, the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), the green frog (Rana clamitans), and the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), by water molds in the field and examined the interactive effects of road deicing salt and water molds, two known sources of mortality for amphibian embryos, on two species, R. clamitans and A. maculatum in the laboratory. We found that exposure to water molds did not affect embryonic survivorship in either A. maculatum or R.