WorldWideScience

Sample records for amphibian gastrophryne carolinensis

  1. Reproduction, embryonic development, and maternal transfer of contaminants in the amphibian Gastrophryne carolinensis

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    Hopkins, W.A.; DuRant, S.E.; Staub, B.P.; Rowe, C.L.; Jackson, B.P. [Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA (United States). Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife Science

    2006-05-15

    Although many amphibian populations around the world are declining at alarming rates, the cause of most declines remains unknown. Environmental contamination is one of several factors implicated in declines and may have particularly important effects on sensitive developmental stages. We examined maternal transfer of contaminants in eastern narrow-mouth toads (Gastrophryne carolinensis) collected from a reference site and near a coal-burning power plant. Adult toads inhabiting the industrial area transferred significant quantities of selenium and strontium to their eggs, but Se concentrations were most notable (up to 100 {mu} g/g dry mass). Compared with the reference site, hatching success was reduced by 11% in clutches from the contaminated site. In surviving larvae, the frequency of developmental abnormalities and abnormal swimming was 55-58% higher in the contaminated site relative to the reference site. Craniofacial abnormalities were nearly an order of magnitude more prevalent in hatchlings from the contaminated site. When all developmental criteria were considered collectively, offspring from the contaminated site experienced 19% lower viability. Although there was no statistical relationship between the concentration of Se or Sr transferred to eggs and any measure of offspring viability, our study demonstrates that maternal transfer may be an important route of contaminant exposure in amphibians that has been overlooked.

  2. Osteology and chondrocranial morphology of Gastrophryne carolinensis (Anura: Microhylidae, with a review of the osteological diversity of New World microhylids

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    Linda Trueb

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Microhylidae is a large, cosmopolitan anuran family. Recent molecular analyses have demonstrated the monophyly of the family—a conclusion that is supported by the larval morphology, coupled with the unique mode of tongue protrusion in adults, and a suite of osteological and myological characters seemingly associated with this innovation in feeding. Despite this functional constraint, osteological diversity probably exceeds that of any other anuran family, and this diversity is especially evident in the New Worldmicrohylids that comprise two clades, Gastrophryninae and Otophryninae. To facilitate comparisons among these clades, we describe the larval chondrocranium, skeletal development, and adult osteology of Gastrophryne carolinensis. We provide a phylogeneticcontext for these comparisons through a novel phylogenetic analysis of 45 microhylid genera based on data for one mitochondrial and three nuclear loci from previously published studies. Nearly all relationships within the monophyletic Gastrophryninae are resolvedwith robust support. Based on these results, we found that the larval chondrocrania of gastrophrynines share morphological features that distinguish them from Otophryne and other anurans. Among the adults, all gastrophrynines show evidence of an anterior shift ofthe jaws that is correlated with specializations in the otic region, and with the alignment of the planum antorbitale, the cartilage wall separating the nasal capsule from the orbits. The larval infrarostral and the adult mandibles lack a typical anuran mandibular symphysis, and the mentomeckelian bone of the adult is modified with a special process. The most variable part of the skull is the palate in which a neopalatine usually is absent and the vomer may be single or divided. The posteromedial processes of the hyoids of gastrophynines tend to be elaborated, and some taxa bear a peculiar transverse slit in the posterior part of the hyoid corpus. The anterior zonal

  3. Interspecific differences in susceptibility to competition and predation in a species-pair of larval amphibians

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    Walls, S.C.; Taylor, D.G.; Wilson, C.M.

    2002-01-01

    Fundamental issues in the study of predator-prey interactions include addressing how prey coexist with their predators and, moreover, whether predators promote coexistence among competing prey. We conducted a series of laboratory experiments with a freshwater assemblage consisting of two predators that differed in their foraging modes (a crayfish, Procambarus sp., and the western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis) and their prospective anuran prey (tadpoles of the narrow-mouthed toad, Gastrophryne carolinensis, and the squirrel treefrog, Hyla squirella). We examined whether competition occurs within and between these two prey species and, if so, whether the non-lethal presence of predators alters the outcome of competitive interactions. We also asked whether the two species of prey differ in their susceptibility to the two types of predators and whether interspecific differences in predator avoidance behavior might account for this variation. Our results indicated that Gastrophryne was a stronger competitor than Hyla; at high densities, Gastrophryne reduced the body size of both congeners and conspecifics, as well as the proportion of surviving conspecifics that metamorphosed. However, the presence of mosquitofish did not alter the outcome of this competition, nor did either type of predator affect the density-dependent responses of Gastrophryne. In laboratory foraging trials, the number of tadpoles of each prey species that was killed, but not completely consumed by mosquitofish, was similar for Gastrophryne and Hyla. Yet, significantly more individuals of Gastrophryne than of Hyla were the first prey eaten by mosquitofish; there was no difference in the number of individuals of each species eaten by crayfish. Overall, more individuals of Gastrophryne than of Hyla were killed and completely eaten by mosquitofish at the end of the experiment. The two species of prey did not differ in their spatial avoidance of either type of predator, suggesting that this behavior did

  4. Movement patterns and the conservation of amphibians breeding in small, temporary wetlands

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    Dodd, C.K.; Cade, B.S.

    1998-01-01

    Many amphibians breed in water but live most of their lives in terrestrial habitats. Little is known, however, about the spatial distribution of these habitats or of the distances and directions amphibians move to reach breeding sites. The amphibian community at a small, temporary pond in northcentral Florida was monitored for 5 years. Based on captures and recaptures of more than 2500 striped newts (Notophthalmus perstriatus) and 5700 eastern narrow-mouthed toads (Gastrophryne carolinensis), we tabulated the angles of orientation that these amphibians entered and exited the pond basin. Our results showed that movements of these species between the pond and terrestrial habitats were nonrandom in orientation, but that narrow corridors did not appear to be used. Differences between the species likely reflect differences in habitat preferences, whereas intraspecific differences among years and between the sexes likely reflect variation among individuals. For terrestrial buffer zones to be effective at conserving pond-breeding amphibian communities, they need both a distance and a directional component. The determination of a directional component may be obscured if studies are carried out over a short time span. Conservation efforts for wetland-breeding amphibians that concentrate solely on the wetland likely will fail without consideration of the adjacent terrestrial habitat.

  5. Amphibians.

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    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)

  6. Incubation temperature modifies neonatal thermoregulation in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

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    Goodman, Rachel M; Walguarnery, Justin W

    2007-08-01

    The thermal environment experienced during embryonic development can profoundly affect the phenotype, and potentially the fitness, of ectothermic animals. We examined the effect of incubation temperature on the thermal preferences of juveniles in the oviparous lizard, Anolis carolinensis. Temperature preference trials were conducted in a laboratory thermal gradient within 48 hr of hatching and after 22-27 days of maintenance in a common laboratory environment. Incubation temperature had a significant effect on the upper limit of the interquartile range (IQR) of temperatures selected by A. carolinensis within the first 2 days after hatching. Between the first and second trials, the IQR of selected temperatures decreased significantly and both the lower limit of the IQR and the median selected temperature increased significantly. This, along with a significant incubation temperature by time interaction in the upper limit of the IQR, resulted in a pattern of convergence in thermoregulation among treatment groups. The initial differences in selected temperatures, as well as the shift in selected temperatures between first and second trials, demonstrate plasticity in temperature selection. As a previous study failed to find environmentally induced plasticity in temperature selection in adult A. carolinensis, this study suggests that this type of plasticity is exclusive to the period of neonatal development.

  7. Endoscopy in Amphibians.

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    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. Surgery in Amphibians.

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    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.

  9. Climate change and amphibians

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    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

  10. AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DYNAMICS

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    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...

  11. Antiviral immunity in amphibians.

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    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.

  12. Genome reannotation of the lizard Anolis carolinensis based on 14 adult and embryonic deep transcriptomes

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    Eckalbar Walter L

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis, is a key species for both laboratory and field-based studies of evolutionary genetics, development, neurobiology, physiology, behavior, and ecology. As the first non-avian reptilian genome sequenced, A. carolinesis is also a prime reptilian model for comparison with other vertebrate genomes. The public databases of Ensembl and NCBI have provided a first generation gene annotation of the anole genome that relies primarily on sequence conservation with related species. A second generation annotation based on tissue-specific transcriptomes would provide a valuable resource for molecular studies. Results Here we provide an annotation of the A. carolinensis genome based on de novo assembly of deep transcriptomes of 14 adult and embryonic tissues. This revised annotation describes 59,373 transcripts, compared to 16,533 and 18,939 currently for Ensembl and NCBI, and 22,962 predicted protein-coding genes. A key improvement in this revised annotation is coverage of untranslated region (UTR sequences, with 79% and 59% of transcripts containing 5’ and 3’ UTRs, respectively. Gaps in genome sequence from the current A. carolinensis build (Anocar2.0 are highlighted by our identification of 16,542 unmapped transcripts, representing 6,695 orthologues, with less than 70% genomic coverage. Conclusions Incorporation of tissue-specific transcriptome sequence into the A. carolinensis genome annotation has markedly improved its utility for comparative and functional studies. Increased UTR coverage allows for more accurate predicted protein sequence and regulatory analysis. This revised annotation also provides an atlas of gene expression specific to adult and embryonic tissues.

  13. Ensayo de la actividad antimicrobiana de Pluchea carolinensis (salvia de playa

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    Celso Pérez

    2007-01-01

    de MIC fueron los más pequeños, de 0,1 mg/mL . Estos aislamientos clínicos poseen resistencia múltiple a antibióticos, por lo que los resultados indican que Pluchea carolinensis pudiera brindar una solución alternativa a la terapia con antibióticos, establecida en la medicina actual.

  14. Adaptive colouration in amphibians.

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    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.

  15. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

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    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…

  16. 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.

  17. Field Surveys of Amphibian Populations.

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    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)

  18. Sex determination in amphibians.

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    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

  19. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

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    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.

  20. The even darker side of the eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis): a review of global introductions, invasion biology, and pest management strategies

    OpenAIRE

    McAlpine, D. F.; Thompson, C W; Williams, G. R.; Koprowski, J. L.; Lurz, P.W.W.; Bertolino, S.; Huynh, H. M.

    2011-01-01

    The eastern gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, is one of the world’s most recognized sciurids and a highly successful human commensal. Historically restricted to eastern North America, gray squirrel populations are now established in Italy, U.K., South Africa, and Australia, and squirrels continue to expand their geographic range globally. Successful introductions of S. carolinensis often result in significant negative impacts on native ecosystem integrity. As a result, countries have devis...

  1. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis in nature

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    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.

  2. North American amphibians: distribution and diversity

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    : 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.

  3. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

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    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.

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

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    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,...

  5. Tail loss and narrow surfaces decrease locomotor stability in the arboreal green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis).

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    Hsieh, Shi-Tong Tonia

    2016-02-01

    Tails play an important role in dynamic stabilization during falling and jumping in lizards. Yet tail autotomy (the voluntary loss of an appendage) is a common mechanism used for predator evasion in these animals. How tail autotomy has an impact on locomotor performance and stability remains poorly understood. The goal of this study was to determine how tail loss affects running kinematics and performance in the arboreal green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. Lizards were run along four surface widths (9.5 mm, 15.9 mm, 19.0 mm and flat), before and following 75% tail autotomy. Results indicate that when perturbed with changes in surface breadth and tail condition, surface breadth tends to have greater impacts on locomotor performance than tail loss. Furthermore, while tail loss does have a destabilizing effect during regular running in these lizards, its function during steady locomotion is minimal. Instead, the tail probably plays a more active role during dynamic maneuvers that require dramatic changes in whole body orientation or center of mass trajectories.

  6. Effects of parasitism and morphology on squirrelpox virus seroprevalence in grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis.

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    Natasha E McGowan

    Full Text Available Invasive species have been cited as major causes of population extinctions in several animal and plant classes worldwide. The North American grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis has a major detrimental effect on native red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris populations across Britain and Ireland, in part because it can be a reservoir host for the deadly squirrelpox virus (SQPV. Whilst various researchers have investigated the epizootiology of SQPV disease in grey squirrels and have modelled the consequent effects on red squirrel populations, less work has examined morphological and physiological characteristics that might make individual grey squirrels more susceptible to contracting SQPV. The current study investigated the putative relationships between morphology, parasitism, and SQPV exposure in grey squirrels. We found geographical, sex, and morphological differences in SQPV seroprevalence. In particular, larger animals, those with wide zygomatic arch widths (ZAW, males with large testes, and individuals with concurrent nematode and/or coccidial infections had an increased seroprevalence of SQPV. In addition, males with larger spleens, particularly those with narrow ZAW, were more likely to be exposed to SQPV. Overall these results show that there is variation in SQPV seroprevalence in grey squirrels and that, consequently, certain individual, or populations of, grey squirrels might be more responsible for transmitting SQPV to native red squirrel populations.

  7. Macroparasite fauna of alien grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis: composition, variability and implications for native species.

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    Claudia Romeo

    Full Text Available Introduced hosts populations may benefit of an "enemy release" through impoverishment of parasite communities made of both few imported species and few acquired local ones. Moreover, closely related competing native hosts can be affected by acquiring introduced taxa (spillover and by increased transmission risk of native parasites (spillback. We determined the macroparasite fauna of invasive grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis in Italy to detect any diversity loss, introduction of novel parasites or acquisition of local ones, and analysed variation in parasite burdens to identify factors that may increase transmission risk for native red squirrels (S. vulgaris. Based on 277 grey squirrels sampled from 7 populations characterised by different time scales in introduction events, we identified 7 gastro-intestinal helminths and 4 parasite arthropods. Parasite richness is lower than in grey squirrel's native range and independent from introduction time lags. The most common parasites are Nearctic nematodes Strongyloides robustus (prevalence: 56.6% and Trichostrongylus calcaratus (6.5%, red squirrel flea Ceratophyllus sciurorum (26.0% and Holarctic sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri (17.7%. All other parasites are European or cosmopolitan species with prevalence below 5%. S. robustus abundance is positively affected by host density and body mass, C. sciurorum abundance increases with host density and varies with seasons. Overall, we show that grey squirrels in Italy may benefit of an enemy release, and both spillback and spillover processes towards native red squirrels may occur.

  8. Evolution of Dosage Compensation in Anolis carolinensis, a Reptile with XX/XY Chromosomal Sex Determination

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    Rupp, Shawn M.; Webster, Timothy H.; Olney, Kimberly C.; Hutchins, Elizabeth D.; Kusumi, Kenro

    2017-01-01

    In species with highly heteromorphic sex chromosomes, the degradation of one of the sex chromosomes will result in unequal gene expression between the sexes (e.g. between XX females and XY males) and between the sex chromosomes and the autosomes. Dosage compensation is a process whereby genes on the sex chromosomes achieve equal gene expression. We compared genome-wide levels of transcription between males and females, and between the X chromosome and the autosomes in the green anole, Anolis carolinensis. We present evidence for dosage compensation between the sexes, and between the sex chromosomes and the autosomes. When dividing the X chromosome into regions based on linkage groups, we discovered that genes in the first reported X-linked region, anole linkage group b (LGb), exhibit complete dosage compensation, although the rest of the X-linked genes exhibit incomplete dosage compensation. Our data further suggest that the mechanism of this dosage compensation is upregulation of the X chromosome in males. We report that approximately 10% of coding genes, most of which are on the autosomes, are differentially expressed between males and females. In addition, genes on the X chromosome exhibited higher ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution than autosomal genes, consistent with the fast-X effect. Our results from the green anole add an additional observation of dosage compensation in a species with XX/XY sex determination. PMID:28206607

  9. Effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide on thermoregulation in green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis).

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    Merchant, Mark; Fleury, Lauren; Rutherford, Renee; Paulissen, Mark

    2008-09-15

    Fever is a non-specific host defense mechanism that comprises part of the innate immune response. Innate immune function is thought to be an important adaptive immunological response to infection because it occurs across a broad diversity of phyla. Some reptiles can mount a febrile response, despite the fact that their internal body temperatures (T(b)s) are, to some extent, controlled by the environmental temperatures in which they live. This study was undertaken to determine if LPS would induce fever in green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis). Lizards were maintained in thermal gradients (22-45 degrees C) with a 12-h diurnal cycle. anoles were injected with LPS, pyrogen-free saline, or left untreated, and their T(b)s were recorded every 15min using internal cloacal probes. All lizards showed a diurnal periodicity in T(b) characterized by decreased temperatures during the scotophase (dark hours) and higher temperatures during the photophase (light phase). Anoles injected with LPS exhibited a hypothermic response, relative to untreated and saline-injected animals. The response varied from 2.1 to 4.6 degrees C lower than control lizards. The hypothermic response was initiated within 12-24h of LPS injection, and continued for 3 days after treatment. However, the anapyrexic response was observed primarily during scotophases, with photophase hypothermia observed only on the first day after LPS injection.

  10. Information theoretical approaches to chick-a-dee calls of Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis).

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    Freeberg, Todd M; Lucas, Jeffrey R

    2012-02-01

    One aim of this study was to apply information theoretical analyses to understanding the structural complexity of chick-a-dee calls of Carolina chickadees, Poecile carolinensis. A second aim of this study was to compare this structural complexity to that of the calls of black-capped chickadees, P. atricapillus, described in an earlier published report (Hailman, Ficken, & Ficken, 1985). Chick-a-dee calls were recorded from Carolina chickadees in a naturalistic observation study in eastern Tennessee. Calls were analyzed using approaches from information theory, including transition probability matrices, Zipf's rules, entropies, and information coding capacities of calls and notes of calls. As described for black-capped chickadees, calls of Carolina chickadees exhibited considerable structural complexity. Most results suggested that the call of Carolina chickadees is more structurally complex than that of black-capped chickadees. These findings add support to the growing literature on the complexity of this call system in Paridae species. Furthermore, these results point to the feasibility of detailed cross-species comparative analyses that may allow strong testing of hypotheses regarding signal evolution.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Influence of geography and climate on patterns of cell size and body size in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Rachel M; Echternacht, Arthur C; Hall, Jim C; Deng, Lihan D; Welch, Jessica N

    2013-06-01

    Geographic patterns in body size are often associated with latitude, elevation, or environmental and climatic variables. This study investigated patterns of body size and cell size of the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis, and potential associations with geography or climatic variables. Lizards were sampled from 19 populations across the native range, and body size, red blood cell size and size and number of muscle cells were measured. Climatic data from local weather stations and latitude and longitude were entered into model selection with Akaike's information criterion to explain patterns in cell and body sizes. Climatic variables did not drive any major patterns in cell size or body size; rather, latitude and longitude were the best predictors of cell and body size. In general, smaller body and cell sizes in Florida anoles drove geographic patterns in A. carolinensis. Small size in Florida may be attributable to the geological history of the peninsular state or the unique ecological factors in this area, including a recently introduced congener. In contrast to previous studies, we found that A. carolinensis does not follow Bergmann's rule when the influence of Florida is excluded. Rather, the opposite pattern of larger lizards in southern populations is evident in the absence of Florida populations, and mirrors the general pattern in squamates. Muscle cell size was negatively related to latitude and red blood cell size showed no latitudinal trend outside of Florida. Different patterns in the sizes of the 2 cell types confirm the importance of examining multiple cell types when studying geographic variation in cell size.

  16. Study of diseases of the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy. First isolation of the dermatophyte Microsporum cookei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffara, M; Scagliarini, A

    1999-02-01

    The ecological risks connected with the introduction of the North American grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy are many. Of particular importance is the conservation of the native red squirrel (S. vulgaris) population, since the experience from the British Isles showed that where the grey squirrel was introduced, the autochthonous red squirrel became extinct. To determine the health status of grey squirrels trapped and euthanasized during an eradication campaign in the Piedmont region, various analyses were carried out. This paper describes a preliminary mycological investigation. Microsporum cookei, a geophilic dermatophyte, was isolated for the first time from grey squirrels.

  17. Resistance of a lizard (the green anole, Anolis carolinensis; Polychridae) to ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cope, R.B.; Fabacher, D.L.; Lieske, C.; Miller, C.A.

    2001-01-01

    The green anole (Anolis carolinensis) is the most northerly distributed of its Neotropical genus. This lizard avoids a winter hibernation phase by the use of sun basking behaviors. Inevitably, this species is exposed to high doses of ambient solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Increases in terrestrial ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation secondary to stratospheric ozone depletion and habitat perturbation potentially place this species at risk of UVR-induced immunosuppression. Daily exposure to subinflammatory UVR (8 kJ/m2/day UV-B, 85 kJ/m2/day ultraviolet A [UV-A]), 6 days per week for 4 weeks (total cumulative doses of 192 kJ/m2 UV-B, 2.04 ?? 103 kJ/m2 UV-A) did not suppress the anole's acute or delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response to horseshoe crab hemocyanin. In comparison with the available literature UV-B doses as low as 0.1 and 15.9 kJ/m2 induced suppression of DTH responses in mice and humans, respectively. Exposure of anoles to UVR did not result in the inhibition of ex vivo splenocyte phagocytosis of fluorescein labeled Escherichia coli or ex vivo splenocyte nitric oxide production. Doses of UV-B ranging from 0.35 to 45 k J/m2 have been reported to suppress murine splenic/ peritoneal macrophage phagocytosis and nitric oxide production. These preliminary studies demonstrate the resistance of green anoles to UVR-induced immunosuppression. Methanol extracts of anole skin contained two peaks in the ultraviolet wavelength range that could be indicative of photoprotective substances. However, the resistance of green anoles to UVR is probably not completely attributable to absorption by UVR photoprotective substances in the skin but more likely results from a combination of other factors including absorption by the cutis and absorption and reflectance by various components of the dermis.

  18. 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.

  19. Immunolocalization of loricrin in the maturing α-layer of normal and regenerating epidermis of the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Strasser, Bettina; Eckhart, Leopold

    2015-03-01

    Numerous corneous proteins are produced during the differentiation of the complex lizard epidermis, comprising hard β-layers and softer α-layers. In the present ultrastructural and immunocytochemical study, we have localized a homolog of the mammalian skin barrier protein loricrin in the skin of the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis). We used an antibody specific to the carboxyterminus of loricrin 1, a gene of the epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) of A. carolinensis. Lizard loricrin is present in the maturing α-layer (lacunar cells) of normal scale epidermis and in the accumulating corneocytes of the wound epidermis (lacunar cells) of the regenerating epidermis. The protein appears as a component of the α-layer but not of the β-layer. Lizard loricrin is diffused in the cytoplasm of pre-corneous α-keratinocytes but eventually concentrates in the packing corneous material of the maturing corneocytes of the α-layer (lacunar) in normal epidermis or in the wound epidermis of regenerating epidermis. The protein likely contributes to the composition and pliability of the corneous material but is not specifically accumulated on the corneous cell envelope (marginal layer) that is scarcely differentiated in these cells. The study contributes to the knowledge on the distribution of specific corneous proteins that give rise to the different material properties of α-layers versus β-layers in lizard epidermis.

  20. Osteology of Carnufex carolinensis (Archosauria: Psuedosuchia from the Pekin Formation of North Carolina and Its Implications for Early Crocodylomorph Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan M Drymala

    Full Text Available Crocodylomorphs originated in the Late Triassic and were the only crocodile-line archosaurs to survive the end-Triassic extinction. Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that the closest relatives of these generally gracile, small-bodied taxa were a group of robust, large-bodied predators known as rauisuchids implying a problematic morphological gap between early crocodylomorphs and their closest relatives. Here we provide a detailed osteological description of the recently named early diverging crocodylomorph Carnufex carolinensis from the Upper Triassic Pekin Formation of North Carolina and assess its phylogenetic position within the Paracrocodylomorpha. Carnufex displays a mosaic of crocodylomorph, rauisuchid, and dinosaurian characters, as well as highly laminar cranial elements and vertebrae, ornamented dermal skull bones, a large, subtriangular antorbital fenestra, and a reduced forelimb. A phylogenetic analysis utilizing a comprehensive dataset of early paracrocodylomorphs and including seven new characters and numerous modifications to characters culled from the literature recovers Carnufex carolinensis as one of the most basal members of Crocodylomorpha, in a polytomy with two other large bodied taxa (CM 73372 and Redondavenator. The analysis also resulted in increased resolution within Crocodylomorpha and a monophyletic clade containing the holotype and two referred specimens of Hesperosuchus as well as Dromicosuchus. Carnufex occupies a key transition at the origin of Crocodylomorpha, indicating that the morphology typifying early crocodylomorphs appeared before the shift to small body size.

  1. Osteology of Carnufex carolinensis (Archosauria: Psuedosuchia) from the Pekin Formation of North Carolina and Its Implications for Early Crocodylomorph Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drymala, Susan M; Zanno, Lindsay E

    2016-01-01

    Crocodylomorphs originated in the Late Triassic and were the only crocodile-line archosaurs to survive the end-Triassic extinction. Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that the closest relatives of these generally gracile, small-bodied taxa were a group of robust, large-bodied predators known as rauisuchids implying a problematic morphological gap between early crocodylomorphs and their closest relatives. Here we provide a detailed osteological description of the recently named early diverging crocodylomorph Carnufex carolinensis from the Upper Triassic Pekin Formation of North Carolina and assess its phylogenetic position within the Paracrocodylomorpha. Carnufex displays a mosaic of crocodylomorph, rauisuchid, and dinosaurian characters, as well as highly laminar cranial elements and vertebrae, ornamented dermal skull bones, a large, subtriangular antorbital fenestra, and a reduced forelimb. A phylogenetic analysis utilizing a comprehensive dataset of early paracrocodylomorphs and including seven new characters and numerous modifications to characters culled from the literature recovers Carnufex carolinensis as one of the most basal members of Crocodylomorpha, in a polytomy with two other large bodied taxa (CM 73372 and Redondavenator). The analysis also resulted in increased resolution within Crocodylomorpha and a monophyletic clade containing the holotype and two referred specimens of Hesperosuchus as well as Dromicosuchus. Carnufex occupies a key transition at the origin of Crocodylomorpha, indicating that the morphology typifying early crocodylomorphs appeared before the shift to small body size.

  2. Genetic variation in the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) reveals island refugia and a fragmented Florida during the quaternary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollis, Marc; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2014-02-01

    The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) is a model organism for behavior and genomics that is native to the southeastern United States. It is currently thought that the ancestors of modern green anoles dispersed to peninsular Florida from Cuba. However, the climatic changes and geological features responsible for the early diversification of A. carolinensis in North America have remained largely unexplored. This is because previous studies (1) differ in their estimates of the divergence times of populations, (2) are based on a single genetic locus or (3) did not test specific hypotheses regarding the geologic and topographic history of Florida. Here we provide a multi-locus study of green anole genetic diversity and find that the Florida peninsula contains a larger number of genetically distinct populations that are more diverse than those on the continental mainland. As a test of the island refugia hypothesis in Pleistocene Florida, we use a coalescent approach to estimate the divergence times of modern green anole lineages. We find that all demographic events occurred during or after the Upper Pliocene and suggest that green anole diversification was driven by population divergence on interglacial island refugia in Florida during the Lower Pleistocene, while the region was often separated from continental North America. When Florida reconnected to the mainland, two separate dispersal events led to the expansion of green anole populations across the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coastal Plain.

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. 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....

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Phylogeny, genomic organization and expression of lambda and kappa immunoglobulin light chain genes in a reptile, Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Qian; Wei, Zhiguo; Yang, Zhi; Wang, Tao; Ren, Liming; Hu, Xiaoxiang; Meng, Qingyong; Guo, Ying; Zhu, Qinghong; Robert, Jacques; Hammarström, Lennart; Li, Ning; Zhao, Yaofeng

    2010-05-01

    The reptiles are the last major taxon of jawed vertebrates in which immunoglobulin light chain isotypes have not been well characterized. Using the recently released genome sequencing data, we show in this study that the reptile Anolis carolinensis expresses both lambda and kappa light chain genes. The genomic organization of both gene loci is structurally similar to their respective counterparts in mammals. The identified lambda locus contains three constant region genes each preceded by a joining gene segment, and a total of 37 variable gene segments. In contrast, the kappa locus contains only a single constant region gene, and two joining gene segments with a single family of 14 variable gene segments located upstream. Analysis of junctions of the recombined VJ transcripts reveals a paucity of N and P nucleotides in both expressed lambda and kappa sequences. These results help us to understand the generation of the immunoglobulin repertoire in reptiles and immunoglobulin evolution in vertebrates.

  10. Salmonella infection in green anoles (Anolis carolinensis), an invasive alien species on Chichi Island of the Ogasawara archipelago in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumiyama, Daisuke; Izumiya, Hidemasa; Kanazawa, Tomoko; Murata, Koichi

    2014-03-01

    We investigated the presence of Salmonella in the green anole (Anolis carolinensis), an invasive alien species on Chichi Island, Japan. Samples were also collected from feral goats and public toilets on the island to examine infectious routes. Salmonellae were isolated from 27.1% of 199 samples; 32.6% of 141 cloacal samples from anoles, 62.5% of 8 intestinal samples from anole carcasses, 16.7% of 12 fecal samples from goats and 2.6% of 38 toilet bowl swabs. The serotype of most isolates was Salmonella Oranienburg (94.4% of 54). Although we did not confirm the infection pathways, our results indicated that green anoles are a risk factor as a source of Salmonella for public health. It is important to consider endemic pathogens that may be amplified by alien species within their introduced areas.

  11. 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.

  12. How forelimb and hindlimb function changes with incline and perch diameter in the green anole, Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Kathleen L; Higham, Timothy E

    2012-07-01

    The range of inclines and perch diameters in arboreal habitats poses a number of functional challenges for locomotion. To effectively overcome these challenges, arboreal lizards execute complex locomotor behaviors involving both the forelimbs and the hindlimbs. However, few studies have examined the role of forelimbs in lizard locomotion. To characterize how the forelimbs and hindlimbs differentially respond to changes in substrate diameter and incline, we obtained three-dimensional high-speed video of green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) running on flat (9 cm wide) and narrow (1.3 cm) perches inclined at 0, 45 and 90 deg. Changes in perch diameter had a greater effect on kinematics than changes in incline, and proximal limb variables were primarily responsible for these kinematic changes. In addition, a number of joint angles exhibited greater excursions on the 45 deg incline compared with the other inclines. Anolis carolinensis adopted strategies to maintain stability similar to those of other arboreal vertebrates, increasing limb flexion, stride frequency and duty factor. However, the humerus and femur exhibited several opposite kinematic trends with changes in perch diameter. Further, the humerus exhibited a greater range of motion than the femur. A combination of anatomy and behavior resulted in differential kinematics between the forelimb and the hindlimb, and also a potential shift in the propulsive mechanism with changes in external demand. This suggests that a better understanding of single limb function comes from an assessment of both forelimbs and hindlimbs. Characterizing forelimb and hindlimb movements may reveal interesting functional differences between Anolis ecomorphs. Investigations into the physiological mechanisms underlying the functional differences between the forelimb and the hindlimb are needed to fully understand how arboreal animals move in complex habitats.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Distribuzione e consistenza della popolazione di Scoiattolo grigio Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin, 1788 nel levante genovese

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Venturini

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Distribution and population size of the Grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin, 1788 in Province of Genova (NW Italy In Liguria, the Grey squirrel population originated from an introduction of five pairs in an urban park (Genoa Nervi in 1966. A first study, carried out in the 1996 by interviews, located a second group 3 km far, in Bogliasco locality. In this study, conducted in 2001-04, the population size of Genoa Nervi and the presence of the species in surrounding areas were investigated. In 2002 the population size was estimated in 115/286 individuals by distance sampling method, while, by direct observation, it varied from 80 individuals (2004 to 114 individuals (2003. The sampling by hair tubes in surrounding areas confirmed the presence of a group of grey squirrels in Bogliasco and excluded a further dispersal of the species. Riassunto In Liguria, la popolazione di Scoiattolo grigio Sciurus carolinensis ha avuto origine dall'introduzione di 5 coppie nei parchi urbani di Genova Nervi nel 1966. Un primo studio condotto nel 1996 ha localizzato, tramite interviste, un secondo nucleo a 3 km di distanza, in località Bogliasco. Il presente studio, condotto nel 2001-2004, è stato finalizzato alla valutazione della consistenza della popolazione nei parchi di Nervi, mediante il metodo distance sampling e osservazioni dirette, e all'accertamento della presenza della specie nelle aree circostanti mediante l'utilizzo di hair tube. La stima della popolazione con il metodo distance sampling è risultata di 115/286 individui nel 2002, mentre quella ottenuta mediante osservazioni dirette è variata da 80 individui nel 2004 a 114 individui nel 2003. Gli accertamenti compiuti nelle aree circostanti i parchi di Nervi hanno consentito di confermare la presenza di un nucleo di scoiattoli a Bogliasco e di escludere un'ulteriore espansione della specie.

  4. 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.

  5. Transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in the lizard Anolis carolinensis reveals activation of conserved vertebrate developmental and repair mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Elizabeth D; Markov, Glenn J; Eckalbar, Walter L; George, Rajani M; King, Jesse M; Tokuyama, Minami A; Geiger, Lauren A; Emmert, Nataliya; Ammar, Michael J; Allen, April N; Siniard, Ashley L; Corneveaux, Jason J; Fisher, Rebecca E; Wade, Juli; DeNardo, Dale F; Rawls, J Alan; Huentelman, Matthew J; Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne; Kusumi, Kenro

    2014-01-01

    Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies.

  6. Immunocytochemical detection of beta-defensins and cathelicidins in the secretory granules of the tongue in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2015-04-01

    Previous molecular studies indicated that antimicrobial peptides in lizard are expressed in the skin and tongue among other epithelial organs. The present ultrastructural immunogold study aimed to detect the specific location of three broadly expressed antimicrobial peptides in the tongue of the lizard Anolis carolinensis. The immunocytochemical study indicated that beta-defensin-15, the likely main defensin of granulocytes and skin, is poorly expressed in some dense and medium-dense granules of glandular cells of the papillated tongue. Conversely beta-defensin-27 appears highly expressed in numerous pale and cribriform dense granules of glandular cells and is also secreted on the tongue surface. The immunostaining for cathelicidin-1 indicated a variable but however positive immunolabeling in numerous granules in the tongue glands, suggesting that this antimicrobial peptide previously found on the epidermal surface is also present in the tongue secretions and participates to the formation of the anti-microbial oral barrier. The study suggests that among the numerous beta-defensins and cathelicidins identified in the genome of this lizard is present a specific distribution of different peptide subtypes in various body regions, including the tongue, and that these peptides contribute to the formation of local antimicrobial barriers.

  7. Detection of squirrel poxvirus by nested and real-time PCR from red (Sciurus vulgaris and grey (Sciurus carolinensis squirrels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stavisky Jenny

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Squirrel poxvirus (SQPV is highly pathogenic to red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris, and is a significant contributing factor to the local extinction of the species in most parts of England and Wales, where infection is endemic in Eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis populations. Although a nested PCR assay has been used successfully to study the epidemiology of SQPV, samples have a long processing time and the assay is not quantifiable. Results This project describes the design and optimization of a real-time PCR for SQPV. Comparison with the nested PCR showed the real-time assay to be more sensitive by one log and able to detect approximately 144 genome copies per mg of tissue. Conclusions The real-time PCR has been used to quantify viral genome load in tissues from diseased and apparently healthy red and grey squirrels, and suggests that the titre of virus in tissues from diseased red squirrels is considerably higher than that found even in a grey squirrel with cutaneous lesions.

  8. The incredible shrinking dewlap: signal size, skin elasticity, and mechanical design in the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lailvaux, Simon P; Leifer, Jack; Kircher, Bonnie K; Johnson, Michele A

    2015-10-01

    The expression of male secondary sexual traits can be dynamic, changing size, shape, color, or structure over the course of different seasons. However, the factors underlying such changes are poorly understood. In male Anolis carolinensis lizards, a morphological secondary sexual signal called the dewlap changes size seasonally within individuals. Here, we test the hypothesis that seasonal changes in male dewlap size are driven by increased use and extension of the dewlap in spring and summer, when males are breeding, relative to the winter and fall. We captured male green anole lizards prior to the onset of breeding and constrained the dewlap in half of them such that it could not be extended. We then measured dewlap area in the spring, summer, and winter, and dewlap skin and belly skin elasticity in summer and winter. Dewlaps in unconstrained males increase in area from spring to summer and then shrink in the winter, whereas the dewlaps of constrained males consistently shrink from spring to winter. Dewlap skin is significantly more elastic than belly skin, and skin overall is more elastic in the summer relative to winter. These results show that seasonal changes in dewlap size are a function of skin elasticity and display frequency, and suggest that the mechanical properties of signaling structures can have important implications for signal evolution and design.

  9. Transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in the lizard Anolis carolinensis reveals activation of conserved vertebrate developmental and repair mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth D Hutchins

    Full Text Available Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

  3. Novel X-linked genes revealed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in the green anole, Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovatsos, Michail; Altmanová, Marie; Pokorná, Martina Johnson; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-08-28

    The green anole, Anolis carolinensis (ACA), is the model reptile for a vast array of biological disciplines. It was the first nonavian reptile to have its genome fully sequenced. During the genome project, the XX/XY system of sex chromosomes homologous to chicken chromosome 15 (GGA15) was revealed, and 106 X-linked genes were identified. We selected 38 genes located on eight scaffolds in ACA and having orthologs located on GGA15, then tested their linkage to ACA X chromosome by using comparative quantitative fluorescent real-time polymerase chain reaction applied to male and female genomic DNA. All tested genes appeared to be X-specific and not present on the Y chromosome. Assuming that all genes located on these scaffolds should be localized to the ACA X chromosome, we more than doubled the number of known X-linked genes in ACA, from 106 to 250. While demonstrating that the gene content of chromosome X in ACA and GGA15 is largely conserved, we nevertheless showed that numerous interchromosomal rearrangements had occurred since the splitting of the chicken and anole evolutionary lineages. The presence of many ACA X-specific genes localized to distinct contigs indicates that the ACA Y chromosome should be highly degenerated, having lost a large amount of its original gene content during evolution. The identification of novel genes linked to the X chromosome and absent on the Y chromosome in the model lizard species contributes to ongoing research as to the evolution of sex determination in reptiles and provides important information for future comparative and functional genomics.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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."

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. New world origins for haemoparasites infecting United Kingdom grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), as revealed by phylogenetic analysis of bartonella infecting squirrel populations in England and the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bown, K J; Ellis, B A; Birtles, R J; Durden, L A; Lello, J; Begon, M; Bennett, M

    2002-12-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of bartonella have suggested divergence between bartonellae that infect mammals native to the Old and New Worlds. We characterized bartonella isolated from Eastern grey squirrels (Sciurius carolinensis) in the United States and from grey and red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in the United Kingdom by nucleotide sequence comparison (gltA and groEL). Isolates from grey squirrels in the United States and the United Kingdom were identical, and most similar to Bartonella vinsonii, a species associated with New World rodents. A single and novel bartonella genotype was obtained from all 12 red squirrel isolates. Although grey squirrels were first introduced into the United Kingdom over 125 years ago, they continue to be infected solely by the bartonella associated with grey squirrels native to the United States. These results illustrate that exotic species may be accompanied by the introduction and maintenance, over many generations, of their microparasites.

  7. An invasive mammal (the gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis) commonly hosts diverse and atypical genotypes of the zoonotic pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Millins, Caroline; Magierecka, Agnieszka; Gilbert, Lucy

    2015-01-01

    Invasive vertebrate species can act as hosts for endemic pathogens and may alter pathogen community composition and dynamics. For the zoonotic pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the agent of Lyme borreliosis, recent work shows invasive rodent species can be of high epidemiological importance...... and may support host specific strains. This study examined the role of grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), (n=679), an invasive species in the United Kingdom (UK), as B. burgdorferi s.l. hosts. We found that grey squirrels were frequently infested with Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of B. burgdorferi...... s.l. in the UK, and 11.9% were infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. All four genospecies which occur in the UK were detected in grey squirrels, and unexpectedly, the bird associated genospecies B. garinii, was most common. The second most frequent infection was with B. afzelli. Genotyping of B. garinii...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. Do biomass harvesting guidelines influence herpetofauna following harvests of logging residues for renewable energy?.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritts, Sarah; Moorman, Christopher; Grodsky, Steven; Hazel, Dennis; Homyack, Jessica; Farrell, Chris; Castleberry, Steven

    2016-04-01

    Forests are a major supplier of renewable energy; however, gleaning logging residues for use as woody biomass feedstock could negatively alter habitat for species dependent on downed wood. Biomass Harvesting Guidelines (BHGs) recommend retaining a portion of woody biomass on the forest floor following harvest. Despite BHGs being developed to help ensure ecological sustainability, their contribution to biodiversity has not been evaluated experimentally at operational scales. We compared herpetofauanal evenness, diversity, and richness and abundance of Anaxyrus terrestris and Gastrophryne carolinensis among six treatments that varied in volume and spatial arrangement of woody biomass retained after clearcutting loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations in North Carolina, USA (n = 4), 2011-2014 and Georgia (n = 4), USA 2011-2013. Treatments were: (1) biomass harvest with no BHGs, (2) 15% retention with biomass clustered, (3) 15% retention with biomass dispersed, (4) 30% retention with biomass clustered, (5) 30% retention with biomass dispersed, and (6) no biomass harvest. We captured individuals with drift fence arrays and compared evenness, diversity, and richness metrics among treatments with repeated-measure, linear mixed-effects models. We determined predictors of A. terrestris and G. carolinensis abundances using a priori candidate N-mixture models with woody biomass volume, vegetation structure, and groundcover composition as covariates. We had 206 captures of 25 reptile species and 8710 captures of 17 amphibian species during 53690 trap nights. Herpetofauna diversity, evenness, and richness were similar among treatments. A. terrestris abundance was negatively related to volume of retained woody biomass in treatment units in North Carolina in 2013. G. carolinensis abundance was positively related with volume of retained woody debris in treatment units in Georgia in 2012. Other relationships between A. terrestris and G. carolinensis abundances and habitat metrics

  15. Estrogens can disrupt amphibian mating behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Assessment of the mass, length, center of mass, and principal moment of inertia of body segments in adult males of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) and green, or carolina, anole (Anolis carolinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legreneur, Pierre; Homberger, Dominique G; Bels, Vincent

    2012-07-01

    This study provides a morphometric data set of body segments that are biomechanically relevant for locomotion in two ecomorphs of adult male anoles, namely, the trunk-ground Anolis sagrei and the trunk-crown Anolis carolinensis. For each species, 10 segments were characterized, and for each segment, length, mass, location of the center of mass, and radius of gyration were measured or calculated, respectively. The radii of gyration were computed from the moments of inertia by using the double swing pendulum method. The trunk-ground A. sagrei has relatively longer and stockier hindlimbs and forelimbs with smaller body than A. carolinensis. These differences between the two ecomorphs demonstrated a clear relationship between morphology and performance, particularly in the context of predator avoidance behavior, such as running or jumping in A. sagrei and crypsis in A. carolinensis. Our results provide new perspectives on the mechanism of adaptive radiation as the limbs of the two species appear to scale via linear factors and, therefore, may also provide explanations for the mechanism of evolutionary changes of structures within an ecological context.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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....

  10. 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...

  11. 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,...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Do Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) and tufted titmice (Baeolophus bicolor) attend to the head or body orientation of a perched avian predator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle, Steven C; Freeberg, Todd M

    2016-05-01

    Individuals of many prey species adjust their foraging behavior in response to the presence of a predator. Responding to predators takes time away from searching for and exploiting food resources. To balance between the need to avoid predation and the need to forage, individuals should attend to cues from predators that indicate risk. Two such cues might be the predator's head orientation (where it might be looking) and body orientation (where it might be moving). In the current study, flocks of Carolina chickadees, Poecile carolinensis, and tufted titmice, Baeolophus bicolor, were presented with perched hawk and owl models. Predator model head and body orientation were independently manipulated relative to a feeding station birds were using. Chickadees and titmice avoided the feeders more when the heads of the models were facing toward the feeders compared to facing away from the feeders. Calling behavior of birds was also affected by head orientation of the models. No effect of predator body orientation on chickadee and titmouse behavior was detected. The results indicate that when chickadees and titmice detect a perched avian predator, they assess risk primarily based upon its head orientation. (PsycINFO Database Record

  1. The evolutionary dynamics of autonomous non-LTR retrotransposons in the lizard Anolis carolinensis shows more similarity to fish than mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Peter A; Basta, Holly; Floumanhaft, Mark; McClure, Marcella A; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2009-08-01

    The genome of the lizard Anolis carolinensis (the green anole) is the first nonavian reptilian genome sequenced. It offers a unique opportunity to comparatively examine the evolution of amniote genomes. We analyzed the abundance and diversity of non-LTR (long terminal repeat) retrotransposons in the anole using the Genome Parsing Suite. We found that the anole genome contains an extraordinary diversity of elements. We identified 46 families of elements representing five clades (L1, L2, CR1, RTE, and R4). Within most families, elements are very similar to each other suggesting that they have been inserted recently. The rarity of old elements suggests a high rate of turnover, the insertion of new elements being offset by the loss of element-containing loci. Consequently, non-LTR retrotransposons accumulate in the anole at a low rate and are found in low copy number. This pattern of diversity shows some striking similarity with the genome of teleostean fish but contrasts greatly with the low diversity and high copy number of mammalian L1 elements, suggesting a fundamental difference in the way mammals and nonmammalian vertebrates interact with their genomic parasites. The scarcity of divergent elements in anoles suggests that insertions have a deleterious effect and are eliminated by natural selection. We propose that the low abundance of non-LTR retrotransposons in the anole is related directly or indirectly to a higher rate of ectopic recombination in the anole relative to mammals.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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].

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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,...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Application of modelling tecniques to manage a population of grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis in Lombardy, northern Italy, and analysis of parameters estimates used in simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clara Tattoni

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis, an invasive alien species, is currently replacing the native Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris in British Isles and north-west Italy. Grey squirrel has recently been reported in the Ticino Park (Lombardy region, NW Italy and the species is likely to spread in the woodlands connecting Italy to other European countries. We used GRASS Geographical Information System (GIS and Spatially Explicit Population Dynamics Models (SEPM as a conservation tool to predict the spread of grey squirrels and to test different management options in the Ticino Regional Park and surrounding areas in a 40 years time frame. The integrated approach of SEPM and GIS allowed us to suggest public administration a cost effective action plan to stop the invasion process. We also analyse the parameters used in the model highlighting some missing data in literature: we can address future field study with the aim to improve model performance. Riassunto Modelli per la gestione di una popolazione di Scoiattolo grigio (Sciurus carolinensis in Lombardia e stima dei parametri usati nelle simulazioni. La sostituzione da parte dello Scoiattolo grigio (Sciurus carolinensis, specie alloctona e invasiva, dello Scoiattolo rosso (Sciurus vulgaris, specie autoctona Europea, é attualmente in corso nelle Isole Britanniche e nell’Italia nord occidentale. Lo Scoiattolo grigio é stato recentemente segnalato nel Parco Lombardo della Valle del Ticino (Italia nord occidentale ed é probabile che si diffonda nelle foreste che connettono l’Italia agli altri paesi europei. In questo lavoro il Sistema Informativo Geografico GRASS e i modelli denominati Spatially Explicit Population Dynamics Models sono stati usati come strumento per prevedere la diffusione dello Scoiattolo grigio e per verificare differenti opzioni gestionali all’interno del Parco del

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. [...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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,...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Equilibrium of global amphibian species distributions with climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolution of erythrocyte morphology in amphibians (Amphibia: Anura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

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    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.

  13. UV-B Radiation Contributes to Amphibian Population Declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Anthropogenic and ecological drivers of amphibian disease (ranavirosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Drought, Deluge and Declines: The Impact of Precipitation Extremes on Amphibians in a Changing Climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. clamitans, regardless of the concentration of road salt to which their eggs were exposed. Road salt decreased survivorship of A. maculatum, but not R. clamitans, and frequency of malformations increased significantly in both species at the highest salinity concentration. The lack of an effect of water molds on survival of embryos and no interaction between road salt and water molds indicates that observations of colonization of these eggs by water molds in the field probably represent a secondary invasion of unfertilized eggs or of embryos that had died of other causes. Given increasing salinization of freshwater habitats on several continents and the global distribution of water molds, our results suggest that some amphibian species may not be susceptible to the combined effects of these factors, permitting amphibian decline researchers to devote their attention to other potential causes.

  5. 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

    2013-03-11

    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.

  6. Questions concerning the potential impact of glyphosate-based herbicides on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Norman; Reichenbecher, Wolfram; Teichmann, Hanka; Tappeser, Beatrix; Lötters, Stefan

    2013-08-01

    Use of glyphosate-based herbicides is increasing worldwide. The authors review the available data related to potential impacts of these herbicides on amphibians and conduct a qualitative meta-analysis. Because little is known about environmental concentrations of glyphosate in amphibian habitats and virtually nothing is known about environmental concentrations of the substances added to the herbicide formulations that mainly contribute to adverse effects, glyphosate levels can only be seen as approximations for contamination with glyphosate-based herbicides. The impact on amphibians depends on the herbicide formulation, with different sensitivity of taxa and life stages. Effects on development of larvae apparently are the most sensitive endpoints to study. As with other contaminants, costressors mainly increase adverse effects. If and how glyphosate-based herbicides and other pesticides contribute to amphibian decline is not answerable yet due to missing data on how natural populations are affected. Amphibian risk assessment can only be conducted case-specifically, with consideration of the particular herbicide formulation. The authors recommend better monitoring of both amphibian populations and contamination of habitats with glyphosate-based herbicides, not just glyphosate, and suggest including amphibians in standardized test batteries to study at least dermal administration.

  7. Filling a gap in the distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: evidence in amphibians from northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Fan, Liqing; Soto-Azat, Claudio; Yan, Shaofei; Gao, Xu; Liu, Xuan; Wang, Supen; Liu, Conghui; Yang, Xuejiao; Li, Yiming

    2016-03-30

    Chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been recognized as a major driver of amphibian declines worldwide. Central and northern Asia remain as the greatest gap in the knowledge of the global distribution of Bd. In China, Bd has recently been recorded from south and central regions, but areas in the north remain poorly surveyed. In addition, a recent increase in amphibian farming and trade has put this region at high risk for Bd introduction. To investigate this, we collected a total of 1284 non-invasive skin swabs from wild and captive anurans and caudates, including free-ranging, farmed, ornamental, and museum-preserved amphibians. Bd was detected at low prevalence (1.1%, 12 of 1073) in live wild amphibians, representing the first report of Bd infecting anurans from remote areas of northwestern China. We were unable to obtain evidence of the historical presence of Bd from museum amphibians (n = 72). Alarmingly, Bd was not detected in wild amphibians from the provinces of northeastern China (>700 individuals tested), but was widely present (15.1%, 21 of 139) in amphibians traded in this region. We suggest that urgent implementation of measures is required to reduce the possibility of further spread or inadvertent introduction of Bd to China. It is unknown whether Bd in northern China belongs to endemic and/or exotic genotypes, and this should be the focus of future research.

  8. Stable Isotopes Reveal Trophic Partitioning and Trophic Plasticity of a Larval Amphibian Guild.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa Arribas

    Full Text Available Temporary ponds are highly variable systems where resource availability and community structure change extensively over time, and consequently the food web is highly dynamic. Amphibians play a critical role both as consumers and prey in aquatic communities and yet there is still little information on the trophic status of most amphibians. More importantly, little is known about the extent to which they can alter their trophic ecology in response to changing conditions. We experimentally investigated the effects of increased amphibian density, presence of intraguild competitors, and presence of native and invasive predators (either free or caged on the trophic status of a Mediterranean amphibian guild, using stable isotopes. We observed variations in δ13C and δ15N isotopic values among amphibian species and treatments and differences in their food sources. Macrophytes were the most important food resource for spadefoot toad tadpoles (Pelobates cultripes and relatively important for all anurans within the guild. High density and presence of P. cultripes tadpoles markedly reduced macrophyte biomass, forcing tadpoles to increase their feeding on detritus, algae and zooplankton, resulting in lower δ13C values. Native dytiscid predators only changed the isotopic signature of newts whereas invasive red swamp crayfish had an enormous impact on environmental conditions and greatly affected the isotopic values of amphibians. Crayfish forced tadpoles to increase detritus ingestion or other resources depleted in δ13C. We found that the opportunistic amphibian feeding was greatly conditioned by intra- and interspecific competition whereas non-consumptive predator effects were negligible. Determining the trophic plasticity of amphibians can help us understand natural and anthropogenic changes in aquatic ecosystems and assess amphibians' ability to adjust to different environmental conditions.

  9. Parasite (Ribeiroia ondatrae) infection linked to amphibian malformations in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, P.T.J.; Lunde, K.B.; Thurman, E.M.; Ritchie, E.G.; Wray, S.N.; Sutherland, D.R.; Kapfer, J.M.; Frest, T.J.; Bowerman, J.; Blaustein, A.R.

    2002-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens can influence the survivorship, behavior, and very structure of their host species. For example, experimental studies have shown that trematode parasites can cause high frequencies of severe limb malformations in amphibians. In a broad-scale field survey covering parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, we examined relationships between the frequency and types of morphological abnormalities in amphibians and the abundance of trematode parasite infection, pH, concentrations of 61 pesticides, and levels of orthophosphate and total nitrate. We recorded severe malformations at frequencies ranging from 1% to 90% in nine amphibian species from 53 aquatic systems. Infection of larvae by the trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae was associated with, and functionally related to, higher frequencies of amphibian limb malformations than found in uninfected populations (≤5%). Parasites were concentrated around the basal tissue of hind limbs in infected anurans, and malformations associated with infection included skin webbings, supernumerary limbs and digits, and missing or malformed hind limbs. In the absence of Ribeiroia, amphibian populations exhibited low (0-5%) frequencies of abnormalities involving missing digits or distal portions of a hind limb. Species were affected differentially by the parasite, and Ambystoma macrodactylum, Hyla regilla, Rand aurora, R. luteiventris, and Taricha torosa typically exhibited the highest frequencies of abnormalities. None of the water-quality variables measured was associated with malformed amphibians, but aquatic snail hosts (Planorbella spp.) were significant predictors of the presence and abundance of Ribeiroia infection. Morphological comparisons of adult specimens of Ribeiroia collected from different sites and raised in experimental definitive hosts suggested that all samples represented the same species - R. ondatrae. These field results, coupled with experimental research on the effects of

  10. Impacts from PCB accumulation on amphibians inhabiting streams flowing from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGarady, C J; Halbrook, R S

    2003-11-01

    Contamination at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP), Paducah, Kentucky, has been under evaluation for many years. We studied amphibians in selected outfalls (drainage ditches) flowing from the PGDP to determine if PCBs were accumulating in their tissues and how this might affect local populations. We determined relative amphibian species richness and abundance among seven outfalls and three reference streams by listening to their calls during audio surveys. We also captured amphibians from each study site during the summers of 2000 and 2001 and analyzed their carcasses for PCBs (Aroclor 1260 and 34 congeners) and livers for ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity, a biomarker of PCBs and other organic contamination. Ten species were heard across study sites, and abundance and richness at outfalls were similar to those observed at reference sites. However, there were significant differences in abundance (p = 0.001) and richness (p = 0.048) of amphibians between continuously flowing and intermittent outfalls. There were no significant differences in PCB concentrations (p = 0.113) in amphibians captured from study sites, although Aroclor 1260 concentrations tended to be higher in amphibians collected from one outfall (outfall 12) on the east side of the plant (x = 1260 microg/kg) compared with all other study sites (x = 489 microg/kg). EROD activity measured in the liver was not indicative of Aroclor 1260 concentrations in amphibians at the PGDP, and EROD did not differ by study site, species, age class, or gender. PCB concentrations measured in amphibians at the PGDP were similar to concentrations measured at reference sites and did not appear to negatively affect individual amphibians or abundance and richness.

  11. Acute toxicities of toxaphene and endrin to larvae of seven species of amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, R.J.; Swineford, D.M.

    1981-01-01

    Seven species of amphibian larvae were exposed to toxaphene and endrin in a continuous-flow dosing system to determine differences in sensitivity to the two compounds, EC50 and LC50 estimates varied from those for Rana sphenocephala by no more than one order of magnitude when calculated on the basis of intended concentrations. Removal of pesticides from water by the test animals was significant and it makes interpretation of results difficult. Continuous-flow toxicity tests conflict with the adaptations of amphibian larvae for static water; use of such tests for amphibians requires further evaluation.

  12. 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.

  13. A comparative analysis of the categorization of multidimensional stimuli: I. Unidimensional classification does not necessarily imply analytic processing; evidence from pigeons (Columba livia), squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and humans (Homo sapiens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills, A J; Lea, Stephen E G; Leaver, Lisa A; Osthaus, Britta; Ryan, Catriona M E; Suret, Mark B; Bryant, Catherine M L; Chapman, Sue J A; Millar, Louise

    2009-11-01

    Pigeons (Columba livia), gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and undergraduates (Homo sapiens) learned discrimination tasks involving multiple mutually redundant dimensions. First, pigeons and undergraduates learned conditional discriminations between stimuli composed of three spatially separated dimensions, after first learning to discriminate the individual elements of the stimuli. When subsequently tested with stimuli in which one of the dimensions took an anomalous value, the majority of both species categorized test stimuli by their overall similarity to training stimuli. However some individuals of both species categorized them according to a single dimension. In a second set of experiments, squirrels, pigeons, and undergraduates learned go/no-go discriminations using multiple simultaneous presentations of stimuli composed of three spatially integrated, highly salient dimensions. The tendency to categorize test stimuli including anomalous dimension values unidimensionally was higher than in the first set of experiments and did not differ significantly between species. The authors conclude that unidimensional categorization of multidimensional stimuli is not diagnostic for analytic cognitive processing, and that any differences between human's and pigeons' behavior in such tasks are not due to special features of avian visual cognition.

  14. AMPHIBIAN COMMUNITIES IN BIOGEOCOENOSIS WITH DIFFERENT STAGES OF ANTHROPOGENIC CLYMAX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchenkovskaya А. А.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We examined the abundance of juvenile (fingerlings and yearlings and sexually mature (3-6 years of various anurans at various biotopes with different degrees of anthropogenic influence. Population analysis has revealed that the number of juveniles in all the habitats are depended on type and level of anthropogenic influence. In all the habitats the most numerous species was synanthropic bufo viridis. In biotopes with high contamination of pollutants, only one species of amphibians - the marsh frog has populations with juveniles migrating here in the early fall. The highest number of mature individuals registered for the population of Bombina bombina, pelobates fuscus and in one biotope for hyla arborea. The populations of pelophylax ridibundus could be considered as the most balanced by number of juvenile and mature individuals.

  15. FIRST AMPHIBIAN FIND IN EARLY PERMIAN FROM SARDINIA (ITALY

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    AUSONIO RONCHI

    1997-03-01

    Full Text Available An amphibian fauna from Permo-Carboniferous boundary beds is recorded for the first time in Italy. A thin fossiliferous level has been found in the Perdasdefogu Basin in southeastern Sardinia;it yields several speciments of Branchiosaurus cf."B." petrolei Gaudry 1875, often in mass mortality assemblages.Repeated mass mortality events testify to sudden changes in the environment of the basin, possibly due to seasonal variations. The finding of speciments very close to Branchiosaurus petrolei,which is a common species in the Central France basins,confirms that Sardinia at the time belonged to the same hydrographic basin of continental Europe, with no seaway in between.Furthermore, though not the primary focus of this note, we report the first discovery of the xenacanth teeth and acanthodian spines in Italy.  

  16. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, with comparisons with adjoining states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio A. Lemos-Espinal

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest state, and its physiographic complexity affects the distribution of its herpetofauna. We list amphibians and reptiles for the state of Chihuahua, with their conservation status. We also compare this list to those of six adjoining states in the United States and Mexico (New Mexico, Texas, Coahuila, Durango, Sinaloa, and Sonora. A total of 175 species of amphibians and reptiles is found in Chihuahua. Thirty-eight are amphibians, and 137 reptiles. Chihuahuan amphibians and reptiles represent just over 37% of such species from Chihuahua and neighboring states. Chihuahua shares the highest proportion of its herpetofauna with Sonora and Durango. Most of the herpetofauna of Chihuahua falls in IUCNs least concern category and is not listed by SEMARNAT. However, turtles in Chihuahua are a group of particular conservation concern.

  17. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey 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 threatened/endangered sea turtles, diamondback terrapins, and rare reptiles/amphibians in coastal Rhode...

  18. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: REPTILEL (Reptile and Amphibian Lines)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for amphibians and reptiles in Central California. Vector lines in this data set represent general stream...

  19. Distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Pacific Northwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, Christopher A.; Bull, E.L.; Green, D.E.; Bowerman, Jay; Adams, Michael J.; Hyatt, A.; Wente, W.

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been associated with amphibian declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 210 pond-breeding amphibians from 37 field sites in Oregon and Washington. We detected B. dendrobatidis on 28% of sampled amphibians, and we found a?Y 1 detection of B. dendrobatidis from 43% of sites. Four of seven species tested positive for B. dendrobatidis, including the Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora), Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), and Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa). We also detected B. dendrobatidis in nonnative American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from six sites in western and central Oregon. Our study and other recently published findings suggest that B. dendrobatidis has few geographic and host taxa limitations among North American anurans. Further research on virulence, transmissibility, persistence, and interactions with other stressors is needed to assess the potential impact of B. dendrobatidis on Pacific Northwestern amphibians.

  20. Thyroid Histopathology Assessments for the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay to Detect Thyroid-active Substances

    Science.gov (United States)

    In support of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA) Test Guideline for the detection of substances that interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, a document was developed that provides a standardized appro...

  1. The amphibians and reptiles of the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge Chesterfield County, South Carolina

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This paper reports the results of a survey of the amphibians and reptiles occurring in the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, Chesterfield County, South...

  2. [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.

  3. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  4. Preliminary Assessment for Abnormal Amphibians on National Wildlife Refuges in the Southeast Region FY 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Preliminary screening assessments for abnormal amphibians were initiated on national wildlife refuges (NWRs) in the southeast region in 2000, with additional refuges...

  5. The ultrastructural histochemistry and stereoscanning electron microscopy of the rodent and amphibian surfactant systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stratton, C J; Wetzstein, H Y; Hardy, T

    1980-05-01

    Ultrastructural histochemical precedures were employed to determine the carbohydrate components and their contributions to the rodent and amphibian surfactant systems. Zirconium stained the rodent (rat) cytoplasm surrounding the multilamellar bodies, the Golgi, and was associated with the membrane structures of the compact lamellae of alveolar multilamellar bodies. In the rodent and amphibian (Rana pipiens), ruthenium red stain was observed within all tubular myelin surfactant matricies. The "gutters," tubular myelin surfactant matrix, and intratubular myelin surfactant matrix materials all demonstrated a positive reaction product. The periodic acid-chromic acid-silver procedure revealed irregular channels extending from the multilamellar bodies to the surface of the rodent great alveolar pneumocyte. The extra-pulmonary and respiratory surfaces in both species were additionally studied by stereoscanning electron microscopy. The respiratory anatomy of the rodent was corroborated. The amphibian lung demonstrated three orders of septa, and in the expired state, tertiary septal pits. The amphibian primary septa were hollow, blind tubules containing respiratory surfaces.

  6. Amphibians of the Aurunci Mountains (Latium, Central Italy. Checklist and conservation guidelines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Romano

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The Aurunci Mounts are among the less investigated areas of Latium for herpetological researches. In this study we surveyed 72 potential breeding sites of amphibians within the Monti Aurunci Regional Park. Fifty-eight spawning sites, and nine amphibian species (64.3% out the 14 amphibian species living in Latium region have been found. Green toad and European tree frog were recorded for the first time for the Aurunci Mounts. Reproductive activity was recorded for Salamandrina perspicillata, Triturus carnifex, Lissotriton vulgaris, Lissotriton italicus, Bufo bufo, Pseudopidalea viridis, Hyla intermedia, Rana italica and Rana synklepton hispanica. Unexpectedly, no amphibian species has been recorded within the Monte Redentore (pSIC IT6040027, despite this site was included within the Natura 2000 network also basing on the presence of Triturus carnifex.

  7. Study on abnormal amphibians on National Wildlife Refuges: Questions and answers

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document answers questions related to a 10-year abnormal amphibian study conducted on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges. Topics include: why the study was...

  8. Amphibian Distribution and Habitat, test, Published in 2001, Not Applicable scale, Runskip, Inc..

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — This Amphibian Distribution and Habitat dataset, published at Not Applicable scale, was produced all or in part from Bathymetric Survey information as of 2001. It...

  9. Amphibians and agrochemicals: Dermal contact and pesticide uptake from irrigated croplands in SW Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods Although isolated wetlands comprise a significant portion of amphibian breeding habitats throughout the United States, they are not protected under the Clean Water Act. In SW Georgia where agriculture is dominant within the landscape, many isolated ...

  10. DISTRIBUTIONAL CHANGES AND POPULATION STATUS FOR AMPHIBIANS IN THE EASTERN MOJAVE DESERT

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert of western North America, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distributional changes for amphi...

  11. Survey of reptiles and amphibians of North Platte National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This proposal is for surveying reptiles and amphibians of North Platte National Wildlife Refuge for the specific goals of generating a species list, species...

  12. Summary of amphibian and reptile surveys 2001 - North Mississippi Refuges Complex

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Report details surveys for amphibians and reptiles on Dahomey, Coldwater River, and Dahomey NWRs in 2001. Sampling methods and protocols are also included.

  13. Nationwide assessment of morphological abnormalities observed in amphibians collected from United States National Wildlife Refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Previously, amphibian malformations had only been studied at the site, state and regional levels, limiting our understanding of the types of malformations most...

  14. Applications of geographic information systems and remote sensing techniques to conservation of amphibians in northwestern Ecuador

    OpenAIRE

    Mariela Palacios González; Elisa Bonaccorso; Monica Papeş

    2015-01-01

    The biodiversity of the Andean Chocó in western Ecuador and Colombia is threatened by anthropogenic changes in land cover. The main goal of this study was to contribute to conservation of 12 threatened species of amphibians at a cloud forest site in northwestern Ecuador, by identifying and proposing protection of critical areas. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to quantify land cover changes over 35 years and outline important areas for amphibian cons...

  15. Amphibian acoustic data from the Arizona 1, Pinenut, and Canyon breccia pipe uranium mines in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinck, Jo E.; Hossack, Blake R.; Honeycutt, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The data consists of a summary of amphibian acoustic recordings at Canyon, Arizona 1, and Pinenut mines near the Grand Canyon. USGS is currently conducting biological surveys associated with uranium mines on federal lands in Arizona. These surveys include determining the composition of the local amphibian community. Original raw acoustic recordings used to create this summary data table are archived at Columbia Environmental Research Center.

  16. Protected areas network and conservation efforts concerning threatened amphibians in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Campos,F.S.; Llorente, G. A.; L. Rincón; R. Lourenço-de-Moraes; Solé, M.

    2016-01-01

    One of the most common conservation strategies used to preserve threatened species is the establishment of protected areas (PAs), providing a maximum representation of biodiversity with the smallest possible cost. The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the 35 global biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities, having high rate of habitat loss, which is one of the main factors driving threatened amphibians to extinction. Considering that amphibians are the vertebrate g...

  17. Amphibian decline and extinction: what we know and what we need to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, James P

    2010-11-01

    For over 350 million yr, thousands of amphibian species have lived on Earth. Since the 1980s, amphibians have been disappearing at an alarming rate, in many cases quite suddenly. What is causing these declines and extinctions? In the modern era (post 1500) there are 6 leading causes of biodiversity loss in general, and all of these acting alone or together are responsible for modern amphibian declines: commercial use; introduced/exotic species that compete with, prey on, and parasitize native frogs and salamanders; land use change; contaminants; climate change; and infectious disease. The first 3 causes are historical in the sense that they have been operating for hundreds of years, although the rate of change due to each accelerated greatly after about the mid-20th century. Contaminants, climate change, and emerging infectious diseases are modern causes suspected of being responsible for the so-called 'enigmatic decline' of amphibians in protected areas. Introduced/exotic pathogens, land use change, and infectious disease are the 3 causes with a clear role in amphibian decline as well as extinction; thus far, the other 3 causes are only implicated in decline and not extinction. The present work is a review of the 6 causes with a focus on pathogens and suggested areas where new research is needed. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a chytrid fungus that is an emerging infectious disease causing amphibian population decline and species extinction. Historically, pathogens have not been seen as a major cause of extinction, but Bd is an exception, which is why it is such an interesting, important pathogen to understand. The late 20th and early 21st century global biodiversity loss is characterized as a sixth extinction event. Amphibians are a striking example of these losses as they disappear at a rate that greatly exceeds historical levels. Consequently, modern amphibian decline and extinction is a lens through which we can view the larger story of biodiversity

  18. 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...

  19. [Helminth fauna of amphibians (Vertebrata: Amphibia) in the Republic of Belarus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimalov, V V

    2009-01-01

    Historical review of the investigations of helminth fauna in amphibians from Belarus is presented. In 12 amphibian species examined by different authors 46 helminth species were found, including 29 Trematoda, 13 Nematoda, 1 Monogenea, 2 Cestoda, and 1 Acanthocephala. Original data on helminths parasitizing Amphibia in Byelorussian Polesie, by the results of long-term investigations in 1986-2004 are given. Distribution of 40 helminth species by hosts and respective infestation rates are reported.

  20. Reptiles as potential vectors and hosts of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilburn, Vanessa L; Ibáñez, Roberto; Green, David M

    2011-12-06

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is considered to be a disease exclusively of amphibians. However, B. dendrobatidis may also be capable of persisting in the environment, and non-amphibian vectors or hosts may contribute to disease transmission. Reptiles living in close proximity to amphibians and sharing similar ecological traits could serve as vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis, harbouring the organism on their skin without succumbing to disease. We surveyed for the presence of B. dendrobatidis DNA among 211 lizards and 8 snakes at 8 sites at varying elevations in Panama where the syntopic amphibians were at pre-epizootic, epizootic or post-epizootic stages of chytridiomycosis. Detection of B. dendrobatidis DNA was done using qPCR analysis. Evidence of the amphibian pathogen was present at varying intensities in 29 of 79 examined Anolis humilis lizards (32%) and 9 of 101 A. lionotus lizards (9%), and in one individual each of the snakes Pliocercus euryzonus, Imantodes cenchoa, and Nothopsis rugosus. In general, B. dendrobatidis DNA prevalence among reptiles was positively correlated with the infection prevalence among co-occurring anuran amphibians at any particular site (r = 0.88, p = 0.004). These reptiles, therefore, may likely be vectors or reservoir hosts for B. dendrobatidis and could serve as disease transmission agents. Although there is no evidence of B. dendrobatidis disease-induced declines in reptiles, cases of coincidence of reptile and amphibian declines suggest this potentiality. Our study is the first to provide evidence of non-amphibian carriers for B. dendrobatidis in a natural Neotropical environment.

  1. Amphibians biochemical indices from reservoirs of different levels of waste discharge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. N. Zalipuha

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Influence of uranium mining and processing wastes on the metabolism of common amphibian species of the Dnieper region – the marsh frog (Pelophylax ridibundus – from differently contaminated reservoirs. The change of protein, lipids and carbohydrates in organs and tissues of frogs with ageing and under influence of the pollution. Considerable increase of energy consumption at the expense of lipids and carbohydrates is one of biochemical adaptations. It promotes partial resistance of amphibians to the influence of uranium mining wastes.

  2. Individual and Interactive Effects of Maternally- and Trophically-Derived Mercury on Early Amphibian Development

    OpenAIRE

    Bergeron, Christine Marie

    2011-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is an important environmental contaminant due to its global distribution, tendency to bioaccumulate, and toxicity to wildlife. However, Hg has received little attention in amphibians compared to other vertebrates, despite the fact that amphibian population declines have been documented worldwide and environmental contaminants are believed to contribute to some declines. During my dissertation research, I used a pluralistic approach which combined field studies and manipulative ...

  3. What we know and don't know about amphibian declines in the West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen

    1994-01-01

    The problem of declining amphibian species is thought to be particularly acute in western North America, but there are many gaps in our knowledge. Although several declines have been well-documented, other declines are anecdotal or hypothesized. Most documented declines are of ranid frogs or toads (Bufo). Species from montane habitats and those occurring in California have been best studied. Status of many desert species is unknown. Habitat destruction and introduced predators are the most common threats to amphibian populations. Some declines may represent natural variation in population size. Causes have not been determined for several cases where common species have declined over large areas. There are important considerations for ecosystem management, whether changes in amphibian populations are natural or caused by human activities. Causes for declines must be known so that management can be prescribed (or proscribed) to eliminate or minimize these causes. The natural variability of amphibian population numbers and the complexity of metapopulation structure emphasize the necessity of considering multiple temporal and spatial scales in ecosystem management. The decline of amphibian species throughout the world has received considerable recent attention (e.g., Blaustein and Wake 1990, Griffiths and Beebee 1992, Yoffe 1992). Much of this attention derives from a workshop held in February, 1990 on declining amphibians sponsored by the National Research Council Board (NRC) on Biology in Irvine, California (Barinaga 1990, Borchelt 1990). Because of media attention in the aftermath of this conference, it is a popular perception that amphibian declines are a new phenomenon that herpetologists have been slow to recognize (Griffiths and Beebee 1992, Quammen 1993). However, concern about amphibian populations in the United States dates back over 20 years. Beginning in the 1960s, a large, well-documented decline of northern leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) occurred in the

  4. 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.

  5. Serosurveillance of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in Amphibians and Reptiles from Alabama, USA

    OpenAIRE

    Graham, Sean P.; HASSAN, HASSAN K.; Chapman, Taryn; White, Gregory; Guyer, Craig; Unnasch, Thomas R.

    2012-01-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is among the most medically important arboviruses in North America, and studies suggest a role for amphibians and reptiles in its transmission cycle. Serum samples collected from 351 amphibians and reptiles (27 species) from Alabama, USA, were tested for the presence of antibodies against EEEV. Frogs, turtles, and lizards showed little or no seropositivity, and snakes had high seropositivity rates. Most seropositive species were preferred or abundant h...

  6. First record of Saprolegnia sp. in an amphibian population in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Daniel Prada-Salcedo

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Most research related to the decline of amphibians has been focused on the detection of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytriumdendrobatidis. This fungus is the main pathogen detected around the world. However, research has shown the presence of another fungus,Saprolegnia ferax, as a cause of mortality in amphibians in North America. Our study suggests a possible interspecific transmissioncaused by the presence of rainbow trout; thus, amphibian declines may not be attributable only to the presence of a single pathogen, butto other organisms and factors. Materials and methods. Our study revealed the presence of Saprolegnia sp. in the Andean frog Atelopusmittermeieri using the imprinting technique with lactophenol blue staining, which allowed the typical structures of this fungus to beobserved. Results. The importance of this discovery is the presence of two pathogenic fungi, B. dendrobatidis and Saprolegnia, whichaffecting simultaneously a population of amphibians. This finding brings attention to the eventual presence of other microorganismsthat might be involved individually or collectively in the decline of amphibian species. Conclusions. This record suggests a possibletransmission between rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, an introduced species in the highlands of Colombia, which shares thesame habitats with different species of amphibians in the Sanctuary of Flora and Fauna Guanentá in the upper river Fonce in the midCordillera Oriental of Colombia.

  7. Contrasting effects of temperature and precipitation change on amphibian phenology, abundance and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Maiorano, Luigi

    2016-07-01

    Climate change is determining a generalized phenological advancement, and amphibians are among the taxa showing the strongest phenological responsiveness to warming temperatures. Amphibians are strongly influenced by climate change, but we do not have a clear picture of how climate influences important parameters of amphibian populations, such as abundance, survival, breeding success and morphology. Furthermore, the relative impact of temperature and precipitation change remains underappreciated. We used Bayesian meta-analysis and meta-regression to quantify the impact of temperature and precipitation change on amphibian phenology, abundance, individual features and performance. We obtained effect sizes from studies performed in five continents. Temperature increase was the major driver of phenological advancement, while the impact of precipitation on phenology was weak. Conversely, population dynamics was mostly determined by precipitation: negative trends were associated with drying regimes. The impact of precipitation on abundance was particularly strong in tropical areas, while the importance of temperature was feeble. Both temperature and precipitation influenced parameters representing breeding performance, morphology, developmental rate and survival, but the response was highly heterogeneous among species. For instance, warming temperature increased body size in some species, and decreased size in others. Similarly, rainy periods increased survival of some species and reduced the survival of others. Our study showed contrasting impacts of temperature and precipitation changes on amphibian populations. Both climatic parameters strongly influenced amphibian performance, but temperature was the major determinant of the phenological changes, while precipitation had the major role on population dynamics, with alarming declines associated with drying trends.

  8. 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.

  9. Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bataille, Arnaud; Cashins, Scott D; Grogan, Laura; Skerratt, Lee F; Hunter, David; McFadden, Michael; Scheele, Benjamin; Brannelly, Laura A; Macris, Amy; Harlow, Peter S; Bell, Sara; Berger, Lee; Waldman, Bruce

    2015-04-22

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause precipitous population declines in its amphibian hosts. Responses of individuals to infection vary greatly with the capacity of their immune system to respond to the pathogen. We used a combination of comparative and experimental approaches to identify major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) alleles encoding molecules that foster the survival of Bd-infected amphibians. We found that Bd-resistant amphibians across four continents share common amino acids in three binding pockets of the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Moreover, strong signals of selection acting on these specific sites were evident among all species co-existing with the pathogen. In the laboratory, we experimentally inoculated Australian tree frogs with Bd to test how each binding pocket conformation influences disease resistance. Only the conformation of MHC-II pocket 9 of surviving subjects matched those of Bd-resistant species. This MHC-II conformation thus may determine amphibian resistance to Bd, although other MHC-II binding pockets also may contribute to resistance. Rescuing amphibian biodiversity will depend on our understanding of amphibian immune defence mechanisms against Bd. The identification of adaptive genetic markers for Bd resistance represents an important step forward towards that goal.

  10. Habitat split as a cause of local population declines of amphibians with aquatic larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, C Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos R; Haddad, Célio F B; Prado, Paulo I

    2010-02-01

    Most amphibian species have biphasic life histories and undergo an ontogenetic shift from aquatic to terrestrial habitats. In deforested landscapes, streams and forest fragments are frequently disjunct, jeopardizing the life cycle of forest-associated amphibians with aquatic larvae. We tested the impact of habitat split--defined as human-induced disconnection between habitats used by different life-history stages of a species--on four forest-associated amphibian species in a severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We surveyed amphibians in forest fragments with and without streams (referred to as wet and dry fragments, respectively), including the adjacent grass-field matrix. Our comparison of capture rates in dry fragments and nearby streams in the matrix allowed us to evaluate the number of individuals that engaged in high-risk migrations through nonforested habitats. Adult amphibians moved from dry fragments to matrix streams at the beginning of the rainy season, reproduced, and returned at the end of the breeding period. Juveniles of the year moved to dry fragments along with adults. These risky reproductive migrations through nonforested habitats that expose individuals to dehydration, predation, and other hazards may cause population declines in dry fragments. Indeed, capture rates were significantly lower in dry fragments compared with wet fragments. Declining amphibians would strongly benefit from investments in the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation and corridors linking breeding and nonbreeding areas.

  11. Amphibians acquire resistance to live and dead fungus overcoming fungal immunosuppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Taegan A; Sears, Brittany F; Venesky, Matthew D; Bessler, Scott M; Brown, Jenise M; Deutsch, Kaitlin; Halstead, Neal T; Lentz, Garrett; Tenouri, Nadia; Young, Suzanne; Civitello, David J; Ortega, Nicole; Fites, J Scott; Reinert, Laura K; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Raffel, Thomas R; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-07-10

    Emerging fungal pathogens pose a greater threat to biodiversity than any other parasitic group, causing declines of many taxa, including bats, corals, bees, snakes and amphibians. Currently, there is little evidence that wild animals can acquire resistance to these pathogens. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a pathogenic fungus implicated in the recent global decline of amphibians. Here we demonstrate that three species of amphibians can acquire behavioural or immunological resistance to B. dendrobatidis. Frogs learned to avoid the fungus after just one B. dendrobatidis exposure and temperature-induced clearance. In subsequent experiments in which B. dendrobatidis avoidance was prevented, the number of previous exposures was a negative predictor of B. dendrobatidis burden on frogs and B. dendrobatidis-induced mortality, and was a positive predictor of lymphocyte abundance and proliferation. These results suggest that amphibians can acquire immunity to B. dendrobatidis that overcomes pathogen-induced immunosuppression and increases their survival. Importantly, exposure to dead fungus induced a similar magnitude of acquired resistance as exposure to live fungus. Exposure of frogs to B. dendrobatidis antigens might offer a practical way to protect pathogen-naive amphibians and facilitate the reintroduction of amphibians to locations in the wild where B. dendrobatidis persists. Moreover, given the conserved nature of vertebrate immune responses to fungi and the fact that many animals are capable of learning to avoid natural enemies, these results offer hope that other wild animal taxa threatened by invasive fungi might be rescued by management approaches based on herd immunity.

  12. Amphibian mortality events and ranavirus outbreaks in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patla, Debra A.; St-Hilaire, Sophia; Rayburn, Andrew P.; Hossack, Blake R.; Peterson, Charles R.

    2016-01-01

    Mortality events in wild amphibians go largely undocumented, and where events are detected, the numbers of dead amphibians observed are probably a small fraction of actual mortality (Green and Sherman 2001; Skerratt et al. 2007). Incidental observations from field surveys can, despite limitations, provide valuable information on the presence, host species, and spatial distribution of diseases. Here we summarize amphibian mortality events and diagnoses recorded from 2000 to 2014 in three management areas: Yellowstone National Park; Grand Teton National Park (including John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway); and the National Elk Refuge, which together span a large portion of protected areas within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE; Noss et al. 2002). Our combined amphibian monitoring projects (e.g., Gould et al. 2012) surveyed an average of 240 wetlands per year over the 15 years. Field crews recorded amphibian mortalities during visual encounter and dip-netting surveys and collected moribund and dead specimens for diagnostic examinations. Amphibian and fish research projects during these years contributed additional mortality observations, specimens, and diagnoses.

  13. Physiological vagility: correlations with dispersal and population genetic structure of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Hedrick, Michael S; Hancock, Thomas V

    2014-01-01

    Physiological vagility represents the capacity to move sustainably and is central to fully explaining the processes involved in creating fine-scale genetic structure of amphibian populations, because movement (vagility) and the duration of movement determine the dispersal distance individuals can move to interbreed. The tendency for amphibians to maintain genetic differentiation over relatively short distances (isolation by distance) has been attributed to their limited dispersal capacity (low vagility) compared with other vertebrates. Earlier studies analyzing genetic isolation and population differentiation with distance treat all amphibians as equally vagile and attempt to explain genetic differentiation only in terms of physical environmental characteristics. We introduce a new quantitative metric for vagility that incorporates aerobic capacity, body size, body temperature, and the cost of transport and is independent of the physical characteristics of the environment. We test our metric for vagility with data for dispersal distance and body mass in amphibians and correlate vagility with data for genetic differentiation (F'(ST)). Both dispersal distance and vagility increase with body size. Differentiation (F'(ST)) of neutral microsatellite markers with distance was inversely and significantly (R2=0.61) related to ln vagility. Genetic differentiation with distance was not significantly related to body mass alone. Generalized observations are validated with several specific amphibian studies. These results suggest that interspecific differences in physiological capacity for movement (vagility) can contribute to genetic differentiation and metapopulation structure in amphibians.

  14. Effects of an infectious fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on amphibian predator-prey interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Han

    Full Text Available The effects of parasites and pathogens on host behaviors may be particularly important in predator-prey contexts, since few animal behaviors are more crucial for ensuring immediate survival than the avoidance of lethal predators in nature. We examined the effects of an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on anti-predator behaviors of tadpoles of four frog species. We also investigated whether amphibian predators consumed infected prey, and whether B. dendrobatidis caused differences in predation rates among prey in laboratory feeding trials. We found differences in anti-predator behaviors among larvae of four amphibian species, and show that infected tadpoles of one species (Anaxyrus boreas were more active and sought refuge more frequently when exposed to predator chemical cues. Salamander predators consumed infected and uninfected tadpoles of three other prey species at similar rates in feeding trials, and predation risk among prey was unaffected by B. dendrobatidis. Collectively, our results show that even sub-lethal exposure to B. dendrobatidis can alter fundamental anti-predator behaviors in some amphibian prey species, and suggest the unexplored possibility that indiscriminate predation between infected and uninfected prey (i.e., non-selective predation could increase the prevalence of this widely distributed pathogen in amphibian populations. Because one of the most prominent types of predators in many amphibian systems is salamanders, and because salamanders are susceptible to B. dendrobatidis, our work suggests the importance of considering host susceptibility and behavioral changes that could arise from infection in both predators and prey.

  15. RANAVIRUS CAUSES MASS DIE-OFFS OF ALPINE AMPHIBIANS IN THE SOUTHWESTERN ALPS, FRANCE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miaud, Claude; Pozet, Françoise; Gaudin, Nadine Curt Grand; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Labrut, Sophie

    2016-04-28

    Pathogenic fungi and viruses cause mortality outbreaks in wild amphibians worldwide. In the summer of 2012, dead tadpoles and adults of the European common frog Rana temporaria were reported in alpine lakes in the southwestern Alps (Mercantour National Park, France). A preliminary investigation using molecular diagnostic techniques identified a Ranavirus as the potential pathogenic agent. Three mortality events were recorded in the park, and samples were collected. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was not detected in any of the dead adult and juvenile frogs sampled (n=16) whereas all specimens were positive for a Ranavirus. The genome sequence of this Ranavirus was identical to previously published sequences of the common midwife toad virus (CMTV), a Ranavirus that has been associated with amphibian mortalities throughout Europe. We cultured virus from the organs of the dead common frogs and infecting adult male common frogs collected in another alpine region where no frog mortality had been observed. The experimentally infected frogs suffered 100% mortality (n=10). The alpine die-off is the first CMTV outbreak associated with mass mortality in wild amphibians in France. We describe the lesions observed and summarize amphibian populations affected by Ranaviruses in Europe. In addition, we discuss the ecologic specificities of mountain amphibians that may contribute to increasing their risk of exposure to and transmission of Ranaviruses.

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

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    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Understanding of the impact of chemicals on amphibians: a meta-analytic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egea-Serrano, Andrés; Relyea, Rick A; Tejedo, Miguel; Torralva, Mar

    2012-07-01

    Many studies have assessed the impact of different pollutants on amphibians across a variety of experimental venues (laboratory, mesocosm, and enclosure conditions). Past reviews, using vote-counting methods, have described pollution as one of the major threats faced by amphibians. However, vote-counting methods lack strong statistical power, do not permit one to determine the magnitudes of effects, and do not compare responses among predefined groups. To address these challenges, we conducted a meta-analysis of experimental studies that measured the effects of different chemical pollutants (nitrogenous and phosphorous compounds, pesticides, road deicers, heavy metals, and other wastewater contaminants) at environmentally relevant concentrations on amphibian survival, mass, time to hatching, time to metamorphosis, and frequency of abnormalities. The overall effect size of pollutant exposure was a medium decrease in amphibian survival and mass and a large increase in abnormality frequency. This translates to a 14.3% decrease in survival, a 7.5% decrease in mass, and a 535% increase in abnormality frequency across all studies. In contrast, we found no overall effect of pollutants on time to hatching and time to metamorphosis. We also found that effect sizes differed among experimental venues and among types of pollutants, but we only detected weak differences among amphibian families. These results suggest that variation in sensitivity to contaminants is generally independent of phylogeny. Some publication bias (i.e., selective reporting) was detected, but only for mass and the interaction effect size among stressors. We conclude that the overall impact of pollution on amphibians is moderately to largely negative. This implies that pollutants at environmentally relevant concentrations pose an important threat to amphibians and may play a role in their present global decline.

  20. Assessing the Threat of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in the Albertine Rift: Past, Present and Future.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracie A Seimon

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, the cause of chytridiomycosis, is a pathogenic fungus that is found worldwide and is a major contributor to amphibian declines and extinctions. We report results of a comprehensive effort to assess the distribution and threat of Bd in one of the Earth's most important biodiversity hotspots, the Albertine Rift in central Africa. In herpetological surveys conducted between 2010 and 2014, 1018 skin swabs from 17 amphibian genera in 39 sites across the Albertine Rift were tested for Bd by PCR. Overall, 19.5% of amphibians tested positive from all sites combined. Skin tissue samples from 163 amphibians were examined histologically; of these two had superficial epidermal intracorneal fungal colonization and lesions consistent with the disease chytridiomycosis. One amphibian was found dead during the surveys, and all others encountered appeared healthy. We found no evidence for Bd-induced mortality events, a finding consistent with other studies. To gain a historical perspective about Bd in the Albertine Rift, skin swabs from 232 museum-archived amphibians collected as voucher specimens from 1925-1994 were tested for Bd. Of these, one sample was positive; an Itombwe River frog (Phrynobatrachus asper collected in 1950 in the Itombwe highlands. This finding represents the earliest record of Bd in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We modeled the distribution of Bd in the Albertine Rift using MaxEnt software, and trained our model for improved predictability. Our model predicts that Bd is currently widespread across the Albertine Rift, with moderate habitat suitability extending into the lowlands. Under climatic modeling scenarios our model predicts that optimal habitat suitability of Bd will decrease causing a major range contraction of the fungus by 2080. Our baseline data and modeling predictions are important for comparative studies, especially if significant changes in amphibian health status or climactic conditions

  1. 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.

  2. Assessing the Threat of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in the Albertine Rift: Past, Present and Future.

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    Seimon, Tracie A; Ayebare, Samuel; Sekisambu, Robert; Muhindo, Emmanuel; Mitamba, Guillain; Greenbaum, Eli; Menegon, Michele; Pupin, Fabio; McAloose, Denise; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa; Meirte, Danny; Lukwago, Wilbur; Behangana, Mathias; Seimon, Anton; Plumptre, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the cause of chytridiomycosis, is a pathogenic fungus that is found worldwide and is a major contributor to amphibian declines and extinctions. We report results of a comprehensive effort to assess the distribution and threat of Bd in one of the Earth's most important biodiversity hotspots, the Albertine Rift in central Africa. In herpetological surveys conducted between 2010 and 2014, 1018 skin swabs from 17 amphibian genera in 39 sites across the Albertine Rift were tested for Bd by PCR. Overall, 19.5% of amphibians tested positive from all sites combined. Skin tissue samples from 163 amphibians were examined histologically; of these two had superficial epidermal intracorneal fungal colonization and lesions consistent with the disease chytridiomycosis. One amphibian was found dead during the surveys, and all others encountered appeared healthy. We found no evidence for Bd-induced mortality events, a finding consistent with other studies. To gain a historical perspective about Bd in the Albertine Rift, skin swabs from 232 museum-archived amphibians collected as voucher specimens from 1925-1994 were tested for Bd. Of these, one sample was positive; an Itombwe River frog (Phrynobatrachus asper) collected in 1950 in the Itombwe highlands. This finding represents the earliest record of Bd in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We modeled the distribution of Bd in the Albertine Rift using MaxEnt software, and trained our model for improved predictability. Our model predicts that Bd is currently widespread across the Albertine Rift, with moderate habitat suitability extending into the lowlands. Under climatic modeling scenarios our model predicts that optimal habitat suitability of Bd will decrease causing a major range contraction of the fungus by 2080. Our baseline data and modeling predictions are important for comparative studies, especially if significant changes in amphibian health status or climactic conditions are encountered

  3. Assessing the global zoo response to the amphibian crisis through 20-year trends in captive collections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Jeff; Patel, Freisha; Griffiths, Richard A; Young, Richard P

    2016-02-01

    Global amphibian declines are one of the biggest challenges currently facing the conservation community, and captive breeding is one way to address this crisis. Using information from the International Species Information System zoo network, we examined trends in global zoo amphibian holdings across species, zoo region, and species geographical region of origin from 1994 to 2014. These trends were compared before and after the 2004 Global Amphibian Assessment to assess whether any changes occurred and whether zoo amphibian conservation effort had increased. The numbers of globally threatened species (GTS) and their proportional representation in global zoo holdings increased and this rate of increase was significantly greater after 2004. North American, European, and Oceanian GTS were best represented in zoos globally, and proportions of Oceanian GTS held increased the most since 2004. South American and Asian GTS had the lowest proportional representation in zoos. At a regional zoo level, European zoos held the lowest proportions of GTS, and this proportion did not increase after 2004. Since 1994, the number of species held in viable populations has increased, and these species are distributed among more institutions. However, as of 2014, zoos held 6.2% of globally threatened amphibians, a much smaller figure than for other vertebrate groups and one that falls considerably short of the number of species for which ex situ management may be desirable. Although the increased effort zoos have put into amphibian conservation over the past 20 years is encouraging, more focus is needed on ex situ conservation priority species. This includes building expertise and capacity in countries that hold them and tracking existing conservation efforts if the evidence-based approach to amphibian conservation planning at a global level is to be further developed.

  4. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians of Cameroon, including first records for caecilians.

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    Doherty-Bone, T M; Gonwouo, N L; Hirschfeld, M; Ohst, T; Weldon, C; Perkins, M; Kouete, M T; Browne, R K; Loader, S P; Gower, D J; Wilkinson, M W; Rödel, M O; Penner, J; Barej, M F; Schmitz, A; Plötner, J; Cunningham, A A

    2013-02-28

    Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been hypothesised to be an indigenous parasite of African amphibians. In Cameroon, however, previous surveys in one region (in the northwest) failed to detect this pathogen, despite the earliest African Bd having been recorded from a frog in eastern Cameroon, plus one recent record in the far southeast. To reconcile these contrasting results, we present survey data from 12 localities across 6 regions of Cameroon from anurans (n = 1052) and caecilians (n = 85) of ca. 108 species. Bd was detected in 124 amphibian hosts at 7 localities, including Mt. Oku, Mt. Cameroon, Mt. Manengouba and lowland localities in the centre and west of the country. None of the hosts were observed dead or dying. Infected amphibian hosts were not detected in other localities in the south and eastern rainforest belt. Infection occurred in both anurans and caecilians, making this the first reported case of infection in the latter order (Gymnophiona) of amphibians. There was no significant difference between prevalence and infection intensity in frogs and caecilians. We highlight the importance of taking into account the inhibition of diagnostic qPCR in studies on Bd, based on all Bd-positive hosts being undetected when screened without bovine serum albumin in the qPCR mix. The status of Bd as an indigenous, cosmopolitan amphibian parasite in Africa, including Cameroon, is supported by this work. Isolating and sequencing strains of Bd from Cameroon should now be a priority. Longitudinal host population monitoring will be required to determine the effects, if any, of the infection on amphibians in Cameroon.

  5. Local adaptation of an anuran amphibian to osmotically stressful environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Tejedo, Miguel

    2003-08-01

    Water salinity is an intense physiological stress for amphibians. However, some species, such as Bufo calamita, breed in both brackish and freshwater environments. Because selection under environmentally stressful conditions can promote local adaptation of populations, we examined the existence of geographic variation in water salinity tolerance among B. calamita populations from either fresh or brackish water ponds in Southern Spain. Comparisons were made throughout various ontogenetic stages. A combination of field transplant and common garden experiments showed that water salinity decreased survival probability of individuals in all populations, prolonged their larval period, and reduced their mass at metamorphosis. However, significant population x salinity interactions indicated that the population native to brackish water (Saline) had a higher salinity tolerance than the freshwater populations, suggesting local adaptation. Saline individuals transplanted to freshwater environments showed similar survival probabilities, length of larval period, and mass at metamorphosis than those native to freshwater. This indicates that increased tolerance to osmotic stress does not imply a loss of performance in freshwater, at least during the larval and juvenile phases. Despite the adaptive process apparently undergone by Saline, all populations still shared the same upper limit of embryonic stress tolerance (around 10 g/l), defining a window of salinity range within which selection can act. Significant differences in embryonic and larval survival in brackish water among sibships for all populations suggest the existence of a genetic basis for the osmotic tolerance.

  6. Life-history evolution and mitogenomic phylogeny of caecilian amphibians.

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    San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Müller, Hendrik; Loader, Simon P; Zardoya, Rafael; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Wilkinson, Mark

    2014-04-01

    We analyze mitochondrial genomes to reconstruct a robust phylogenetic framework for caecilian amphibians and use this to investigate life-history evolution within the group. Our study comprises 45 caecilian mitochondrial genomes (19 of them newly reported), representing all families and 27 of 32 currently recognized genera, including some for which molecular data had never been reported. Support for all relationships in the inferred phylogenetic tree is high to maximal, and topology tests reject all investigated alternatives, indicating an exceptionally robust molecular phylogenetic framework of caecilian evolution consistent with current morphology-based supraspecific classification. We used the mitogenomic phylogenetic framework to infer ancestral character states and to assess correlation among three life-history traits (free-living larvae, viviparity, specialized pre-adult or vernal teeth), each of which occurs only in some caecilian species. Our results provide evidence that an ancestor of the Seychelles caecilians abandoned direct development and re-evolved a free-living larval stage. This study yields insights into the concurrent evolution of direct development and of vernal teeth in an ancestor of Teresomata that likely gave rise to skin-feeding (maternal dermatophagy) behavior and subsequently enabled evolution of viviparity, with skin feeding possibly a homologous precursor of oviduct feeding in viviparous caecilians.

  7. Plasticity of lung development in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher S. Rose

    2013-10-01

    Contrary to previous studies, we found that Xenopus laevis tadpoles raised in normoxic water without access to air can routinely complete metamorphosis with lungs that are either severely stunted and uninflated or absent altogether. This is the first demonstration that lung development in a tetrapod can be inhibited by environmental factors and that a tetrapod that relies significantly on lung respiration under unstressed conditions can be raised to forego this function without adverse effects. This study compared lung development in untreated, air-deprived (AD and air-restored (AR tadpoles and frogs using whole mounts, histology, BrdU labeling of cell division and antibody staining of smooth muscle actin. We also examined the relationship of swimming and breathing behaviors to lung recovery in AR animals. Inhibition and recovery of lung development occurred at the stage of lung inflation. Lung recovery in AR tadpoles occurred at a predictable and rapid rate and correlated with changes in swimming and breathing behavior. It thus presents a new experimental model for investigating the role of mechanical forces in lung development. Lung recovery in AR frogs was unpredictable and did not correlate with behavioral changes. Its low frequency of occurrence could be attributed to developmental, physical and behavioral changes, the effects of which increase with size and age. Plasticity of lung inflation at tadpole stages and loss of plasticity at postmetamorphic stages offer new insights into the role of developmental plasticity in amphibian lung loss and life history evolution.

  8. Climate Variability, Dissolved Organic Carbon, UV Exposure, and Amphibian Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, P. D.; O'Reilly, C. M.; Diamond, S.; Corn, S.; Muths, E.; Tonnessen, K.; Campbell, D. H.

    2001-12-01

    Increasing levels of UV radiation represent a potential threat to aquatic organisms in a wide range of environments, yet controls on in situ variability on UV exposure are relatively unknown. The primary control on the penetration of UV radiation in surface water environments is the amount of photoreactive dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Consequently, biogeochemical processes that control the cycling of DOC also affect the exposure of aquatic organisms to UV radiation. Three years of monitoring UV extinction and DOC composition in Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Sequoia/ Kings Canyon, and Olympic National Parks demonstrate that the amount of fulvic acid DOC is much more important than the total DOC pool in controlling UV attenuation. This photoreactive component of DOC originates primarily in soil, and is subject both to biogeochemical controls (e.g. temperature, moisture, vegetation, soil type) on production, and hydrologic controls on transport to surface water and consequently UV exposure to aquatic organisms. Both of these controls are positively related to precipitation with greater production and transport associated with higher precipitation amounts. For example, an approximately 20 percent reduction in precipitation from 1999 to 2000 resulted in a 27% - 59% reduction in the amount of photoreactive DOC at three sites in Rocky Mountain National Park. These differences in the amount of hydrophobic DOC result in an increase in UV exposure in the aquatic environment by a factor of 2 or more. Implications of these findings for observed patterns of amphibian decline will be discussed.

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

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    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Leaf Litter Inhibits Growth of an Amphibian Fungal Pathogen.

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    Stoler, Aaron B; Berven, Keith A; Raffel, Thomas R

    2016-06-01

    Past studies have found a heterogeneous distribution of the amphibian chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Recent studies have accounted for some of this heterogeneity through a positive association between canopy cover and Bd abundance, which is attributed to the cooling effect of canopy cover. We questioned whether leaf litter inputs that are also associated with canopy cover might also alter Bd growth. Leaf litter inputs exhibit tremendous interspecific chemical variation, and we hypothesized that Bd growth varies with leachate chemistry. We also hypothesized that Bd uses leaf litter as a growth substrate. To test these hypotheses, we conducted laboratory trials in which we exposed cultures of Bd to leachate of 12 temperate leaf litter species at varying dilutions. Using a subset of those 12 litter species, we also exposed Bd to pre-leached litter substrate. We found that exposure to litter leachate and substrate reduced Bd spore and sporangia densities, although there was substantial variation among treatments. In particular, Bd densities were inversely correlated with concentrations of phenolic acids. We conducted a field survey of phenolic concentrations in natural wetlands which verified that the leachate concentrations in our lab study are ecologically relevant. Our study reinforces prior indications that positive associations between canopy cover and Bd abundance are likely mediated by water temperature effects, but this phenomenon might be counteracted by changes in aquatic chemistry from leaf litter inputs.

  12. Invasive reptiles and amphibians: global perspectives and local solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, R.N.; Kraus, F.

    2010-01-01

    In the annals of invasive species biology, higher taxa such asmammals, plants and insects have received the lion’s shareof research attention, largely because many of these invadershave demonstrated a remarkable ability to degrade ecosys-tems and cause economic harm. Interest in invasive reptilesand amphibians (collectively ‘herpetofauna’, colloquially‘herps’) has historically lagged but is now garnering in-creased scrutiny as a result of their escalating pace ofinvasion. A few herpetofaunal invaders have received con-siderable attention in scientific and popular accounts, in-cluding the brown treesnakeBoiga irregularison Guam,Burmese pythonPython molurusin Florida, Coqu´ıEleutherodactylus coquiin Hawaii and cane toadBufomarinusin Australia. However, relatively few are aware ofmany emerging and potentially injurious herpetofaunalinvaders, such as Nile monitorsVaranus niloticusin Flor-ida, common kingsnakesLampropeltis getulain the CanaryIslands, boa constrictorsBoa constrictoron Aruba andCozumel, or a variety of giant constrictor snakes in PuertoRico. For the vast majority of the most commonlyintroduced species, real or potential impacts to nativeecosystems or human economic interests are poorly under-stood and incompletely explored; major pathways of intro-duction have only recently been elucidated, and effectivemanagement interventions have been limited (Kraus, 2009).

  13. Autonomic control of cardiorespiratory interactions in fish, amphibians and reptiles

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    E.W. Taylor

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Control of the heart rate and cardiorespiratory interactions (CRI is predominantly parasympathetic in all jawed vertebrates, with the sympathetic nervous system having some influence in tetrapods. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA has been described as a solely mammalian phenomenon but respiration-related beat-to-beat control of the heart has been described in fish and reptiles. Though they are both important, the relative roles of feed-forward central control and peripheral reflexes in generating CRI vary between groups of fishes and probably between other vertebrates. CRI may relate to two locations for the vagal preganglionic neurons (VPN and in particular cardiac VPN in the brainstem. This has been described in representatives from all vertebrate groups, though the proportion in each location is variable. Air-breathing fishes, amphibians and reptiles breathe discontinuously and the onset of a bout of breathing is characteristically accompanied by an immediate increase in heart rate plus, in the latter two groups, a left-right shunting of blood through the pulmonary circuit. Both the increase in heart rate and opening of a sphincter on the pulmonary artery are due to withdrawal of vagal tone. An increase in heart rate following a meal in snakes is related to withdrawal of vagal tone plus a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic effect that may be due to humoral factors released by the gut. Histamine is one candidate for this role.

  14. Autonomic control of cardiorespiratory interactions in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

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    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; Skovgaard, N

    2010-07-01

    Control of the heart rate and cardiorespiratory interactions (CRI) is predominantly parasympathetic in all jawed vertebrates, with the sympathetic nervous system having some influence in tetrapods. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) has been described as a solely mammalian phenomenon but respiration-related beat-to-beat control of the heart has been described in fish and reptiles. Though they are both important, the relative roles of feed-forward central control and peripheral reflexes in generating CRI vary between groups of fishes and probably between other vertebrates. CRI may relate to two locations for the vagal preganglionic neurons (VPN) and in particular cardiac VPN in the brainstem. This has been described in representatives from all vertebrate groups, though the proportion in each location is variable. Air-breathing fishes, amphibians and reptiles breathe discontinuously and the onset of a bout of breathing is characteristically accompanied by an immediate increase in heart rate plus, in the latter two groups, a left-right shunting of blood through the pulmonary circuit. Both the increase in heart rate and opening of a sphincter on the pulmonary artery are due to withdrawal of vagal tone. An increase in heart rate following a meal in snakes is related to withdrawal of vagal tone plus a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic effect that may be due to humoral factors released by the gut. Histamine is one candidate for this role.

  15. Post-mating clutch piracy in an amphibian.

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    Vieites, David R; Nieto-Román, Sandra; Barluenga, Marta; Palanca, Antonio; Vences, Miguel; Meyer, Axel

    2004-09-16

    Female multiple mating and alternative mating systems can decrease the opportunity for sexual selection. Sperm competition is often the outcome of females mating with multiple males and has been observed in many animals, and alternative reproductive systems are widespread among species with external fertilization and parental care. Multiple paternity without associated complex behaviour related to mating or parental care is also seen in simultaneously spawning amphibians and fishes that release gametes into water. Here we report 'clutch piracy' in a montane population of the common frog Rana temporaria, a reproductive behaviour previously unknown in vertebrates with external fertilization. Males of this species clasp the females and the pair deposits one spherical clutch of eggs. No parental care is provided. 'Pirate' males search for freshly laid clutches, clasp them as they would do a female and fertilize the eggs that were left unfertilized by the 'parental' male. This behaviour does not seem to be size-dependent, and some males mate with a female and perform clutch piracy in the same season. Piracy affected 84% of the clutches and in some cases increased the proportion of eggs fertilized, providing direct fitness benefits both for the pirate males and the females. Sexual selection--probably caused by a strong male-biased sex ratio--occurs in this population, as indicated by size-assortative mating; however, clutch piracy may reduce its impact. This provides a good model to explore how alternative mating strategies can affect the intensity of sexual selection.

  16. The potential influence of environmental pollution on amphibian development and decline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, R.E.

    1996-12-31

    Globally, amphibians are reportedly declining. Environmental pollution has been hypothesized to be associated with declines. Because of their aquatic development and permeable eggs, skin and gills, amphibians, like fishes, may be particularly susceptible to poor water quality or waterborne pollutants. This dissertation addresses effects of global pollutants such as pesticides, acid rain and associated metal toxicity, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the development, behavior, and physiology of amphibian early life stages. This report contains only chapter six and conclusions. Chapter 6 reports on a field experiment in which green frogs from two clutches were exposed from egg to 107 days of age to water and sediments in enclosures along a PCB and metal contamination gradient in the Fox River and wetlands near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green frogs showed lower hatching success and survival at sites with higher contaminant levels compared to cleaner wetland sites along Green Bay. Hatching success in the green frog was most significantly negatively correlated with sediment PCB levels. It can be concluded that environmental pollution and toxicants in aquatic environments can cause problems for amphibian early development. Sometimes the effects are subtle, and sometimes they are dramatic. In general, amphibian early life stages seem particularly sensitive to environmentally-realistic levels of low pH and metals, but appear more tolerant of TCDD and PCBs.

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

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    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.

  18. Monitoring strategy for eight amphibian species in French Guiana, South America.

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    Courtois, Elodie A; Devillechabrolle, Jennifer; Dewynter, Maël; Pineau, Kévin; Gaucher, Philippe; Chave, Jérôme

    2013-01-01

    Although dramatic amphibian declines have been documented worldwide, only few of such events have been quantitatively documented for the tropical forests of South America. This is due partly to the fact that tropical amphibians are patchily distributed and difficult to detect. We tested three methods often used to monitor population trends in amphibian species in a remote lowland tropical forest of French Guiana. These methods are capture-mark-recapture (CMR), estimation of the number of calling males with repeated counts data and distance sampling, and rates of occupancy inferred by presence/absence data. We monitored eight diurnal, terrestrial amphibian species including five Dendrobatidae and three Bufonidae. We found that CMR, the most precise way of estimating population size, can be used only with two species in high density patches where the recapture rate is high enough. Only for one of the species (Dendrobates tinctorius), a low coefficient of variation (CV = 0.19) can be achieved with 15 to 20 capture events. For dendrobatid species with day-calling males, audio surveys yield a better probability of detection with only 8 audio surveys needed; quantitative estimates can be achieved by computing the number of calling males inferred from audio counts or distance sampling analysis. We therefore suggest that an efficient monitoring protocol for Neotropical amphibian species should include a combination of sighting and audio techniques, and we discuss the need of implementing a large-scale monitoring in order to provide a baseline for comparison with future changes.

  19. Monitoring strategy for eight amphibian species in French Guiana, South America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie A Courtois

    Full Text Available Although dramatic amphibian declines have been documented worldwide, only few of such events have been quantitatively documented for the tropical forests of South America. This is due partly to the fact that tropical amphibians are patchily distributed and difficult to detect. We tested three methods often used to monitor population trends in amphibian species in a remote lowland tropical forest of French Guiana. These methods are capture-mark-recapture (CMR, estimation of the number of calling males with repeated counts data and distance sampling, and rates of occupancy inferred by presence/absence data. We monitored eight diurnal, terrestrial amphibian species including five Dendrobatidae and three Bufonidae. We found that CMR, the most precise way of estimating population size, can be used only with two species in high density patches where the recapture rate is high enough. Only for one of the species (Dendrobates tinctorius, a low coefficient of variation (CV = 0.19 can be achieved with 15 to 20 capture events. For dendrobatid species with day-calling males, audio surveys yield a better probability of detection with only 8 audio surveys needed; quantitative estimates can be achieved by computing the number of calling males inferred from audio counts or distance sampling analysis. We therefore suggest that an efficient monitoring protocol for Neotropical amphibian species should include a combination of sighting and audio techniques, and we discuss the need of implementing a large-scale monitoring in order to provide a baseline for comparison with future changes.

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

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    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.

  1. Evidence for the persistence of food web structure after amphibian extirpation in a Neotropical stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnum, Thomas R; Drake, John M; Colón-Gaud, Checo; Rugenski, Amanda T; Frauendorf, Therese C; Connelly, Scott; Kilham, Susan S; Whiles, Matt R; Lips, Karen R; Pringle, Catherine M

    2015-08-01

    Species losses are predicted to simplify food web structure, and disease-driven amphibian declines in Central America offer an opportunity to test this prediction. Assessment of insect community composition, combined with gut content analyses, was used to generate periphyton-insect food webs for a Panamanian stream, both pre- and post-amphibian decline. We then used network analysis to assess the effects of amphibian declines on food web structure. Although 48% of consumer taxa, including many insect taxa, were lost between pre- and post-amphibian decline sampling dates, connectance declined by less than 3%. We then quantified the resilience of food web structure by calculating the number of expected cascading extirpations from the loss of tadpoles. This analysis showed the expected effects of species loss on connectance and linkage density to be more than 60% and 40%, respectively, than were actually observed. Instead, new trophic linkages in the post-decline food web reorganized the food web topology, changing the identity of "hub" taxa, and consequently reducing the effects of amphibian declines on many food web attributes. Resilience of food web attributes was driven by a combination of changes in consumer diets, particularly those of insect predators, as well as the appearance of generalist insect consumers, suggesting that food web structure is maintained by factors independent of the original trophic linkages.

  2. 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.

  3. Occurrence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearl, C.A.; Bull, E.L.; Green, D.E.; Bowerman, J.; Adams, M.J.; Hyatt, A.; Wente, W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been associated with amphibian declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 210 pond-breeding amphibians from 37 field sites in Oregon and Washington. We detected B. dendrobatidis on 28% of sampled amphibians, and we found ??? 1 detection of B. dendrobatidis from 43% of sites. Four of seven species tested positive for B. dendrobatidis, including the Northern Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora), Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), and Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa). We also detected B. dendrobatidis in nonnative American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from six sites in western and central Oregon. Our study and other recently published findings suggest that B. dendrobatidis has few geographic and host taxa limitations among North American anurans. Further research on virulence, transmissibility, persistence, and interactions with other stressors is needed to assess the potential impact of B. dendrobatidis on Pacific Northwestern amphibians. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  4. Low thermal tolerances of stream amphibians in the Pacific Northwest: Implications for riparian and forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bury, R.B.

    2008-01-01

    Temperature has a profound effect on survival and ecology of amphibians. In the Pacific Northwest, timber harvest is known to increase peak stream temperatures to 24??C or higher, which has potential to negatively impact cold-water stream amphibians. I determined the Critical Thermal Maxima (CT max) for two salamanders that are endemic to the Pacific Northwest. Rhyacotriton variegatus larvae acclimated at 10??C had mean CTmax of 26.7 ?? 0.7 SD??C and adults acclimated at 11??C had mean CT max of 27.9 ?? 1.1??C. These were among the lowest known values for any amphibian. Values were significantly higher for larval Dicamptodon tenebrosus acclimated at 14??C (x = 29.1 ?? 0.2??C). Although the smallest R. variegatus had some of the lowest values, size of larvae and adults did not influence CTmax in this species. Current forest practices retain riparian buffers along larger fish-bearing streams; however, such buffers along smaller headwaters and non-fish bearing streams may provide favorable habitat conditions for coldwater-associated species in the Pacific Northwest. The current study lends further evidence to the need for protection of Northwest stream amphibians from environmental perturbations. Forest guidelines that include riparian buffer zones and configurations of upland stands should be developed, while monitoring amphibian responses to determine their success. ?? 2008 Brill Academic Publishers.

  5. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S. headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Adams, Michael J.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Pearl, Chistopher A.; Bettaso, James B.; Barichivich, William J.; Lowe, Winsor H.; True, Kimberly; Ware, Joy L.; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2010-01-01

    Many declines of amphibian populations have been associated with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Despite the relatively high prevalence of chytridiomycosis in stream amphibians globally, most surveys in North America have focused primarily on wetland-associated species, which are frequently infected. To better understand the distribution and prevalence of Bd in headwater amphibian communities, we sampled 452 tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei and Ascaphus montanus) and 304 stream salamanders (seven species in the Dicamptodontidae and Plethodontidae) for Bd in 38, first- to third-order streams in five montane areas across the United States. We tested for presence of Bd by using PCR on skin swabs from salamanders and metamorphosed tailed frogs or the oral disc of frog larvae. We detected Bd on only seven individuals (0.93%) in four streams. Based on our study and results from five other studies that have sampled headwater- or seep-associated amphibians in the United States, Bd has been detected on only 3% of 1,322 individuals from 21 species. These results differ strongly from surveys in Central America and Australia, where Bd is more prevalent on stream-breeding species, as well as results from wetland-associated anurans in the same regions of the United States that we sampled. Differences in the prevalence of Bd between stream- and wetland-associated amphibians in the United States may be related to species-specific variation in susceptibility to chytridiomycosis or habitat differences.

  6. A statistical assessment of population trends for data deficient Mexican amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Quintero

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background. Mexico has the world’s fifth largest population of amphibians and the second country with the highest quantity of threatened amphibian species. About 10% of Mexican amphibians lack enough data to be assigned to a risk category by the IUCN, so in this paper we want to test a statistical tool that, in the absence of specific demographic data, can assess a species’ risk of extinction, population trend, and to better understand which variables increase their vulnerability. Recent studies have demonstrated that the risk of species decline depends on extrinsic and intrinsic traits, thus including both of them for assessing extinction might render more accurate assessment of threats. Methods. We harvested data from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL and the published literature for Mexican amphibians, and used these data to assess the population trend of some of the Mexican species that have been assigned to the Data Deficient category of the IUCN using Random Forests, a Machine Learning method that gives a prediction of complex processes and identifies the most important variables that account for the predictions. Results. Our results show that most of the data deficient Mexican amphibians that we used have decreasing population trends. We found that Random Forests is a solid way to identify species with decreasing population trends when no demographic data is available. Moreover, we point to the most important variables that make species more vulnerable for extinction. This exercise is a very valuable first step in assigning conservation priorities for poorly known species.

  7. The Amphibians of Mount Oku, Cameroon: an updated species inventory and conservation review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty-Bone, Thomas M.; Gvoždík, Václav

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Amphibians are a disproportionately threatened group of vertebrates, the status of which in Sub-Saharan Africa is still uncertain, with heterogeneous fauna punctuated by mountains. Mount Oku, Cameroon is one such mountain, which holds many endemic and restricted-range species. The history of amphibian research on Mt Oku, current knowledge on biogeography and conservation biology is reviewed, including recent findings. This updated inventory adds 25 further species, with 50 species of amphibian so far recorded to the Oku Massif (c. 900 to 3,011 m). This includes 5 endemic to Mt Oku, 7 endemic to the Bamenda Highlands, 18 restricted to the highlands of Cameroon and Nigeria, and 20 with broader ranges across Africa. This includes a new mountain locality for the Critically Endangered Leptodactylodon axillaris. Among others, the first record of Phrynobatrachus schioetzi and Ptychadena taenioscelis from Cameroon are presented. The uncertainty of habitat affinities and elevational ranges are discussed. The proportion of threatened species on Mt Oku is 44.2%, but projected to increase to 47.9% due to new species descriptions and recent dramatic declines. The natural habitats of Mt Oku are irreplaceable refuges for its endemic and restricted-range amphibian populations under severe pressure elsewhere in their range. Threats to this important amphibian fauna are increasing, including agricultural encroachment, expanding aquaculture, livestock grazing, pollution, invasive species, forest loss and degradation. Past, present and desired conservation interventions to address these threats are discussed. PMID:28144180

  8. Influence of conservation programs on amphibians using seasonal wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balas, Caleb J.; Euliss, Ned H.; Mushnet, David M.

    2012-01-01

    Extensive modification of upland habitats surrounding wetlands to facilitate agricultural production has negatively impacted amphibian communities in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America. In attempts to mitigate ecosystem damage associated with extensive landscape alteration, vast tracks of upland croplands have been returned to perennial vegetative cover (i.e., conservation grasslands) under a variety of U.S. Department of Agriculture programs. We evaluated the influence of these conservation grasslands on amphibian occupancy of seasonal wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region. Using automated call surveys, aquatic funnel traps, and visual encounter surveys, we detected eight amphibian species using wetlands within three land-use categories (farmed, conservation grasslands, and native prairie grasslands) during the summers of 2005 and 2006. Seasonal wetlands within farmlands were used less frequently by amphibians than those within conservation and native prairie grasslands, and wetlands within conservation grasslands were used less frequently than those within native prairie grasslands by all species and life-stages we successfully modeled. Our results suggest that, while not occupied as frequently as wetlands within native prairie, wetlands within conservation grasslands provide important habitat for maintaining amphibian biodiversity in the Prairie Pothole Region

  9. Amphibian chytridiomycosis: a review with focus on fungus-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2015-11-25

    Amphibian declines and extinctions are emblematic for the current sixth mass extinction event. Infectious drivers of these declines include the recently emerged fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Chytridiomycota). The skin disease caused by these fungi is named chytridiomycosis and affects the vital function of amphibian skin. Not all amphibians respond equally to infection and host responses might range from resistant, over tolerant to susceptible. The clinical outcome of infection is highly dependent on the amphibian host, the fungal virulence and environmental determinants. B. dendrobatidis infects the skin of a large range of anurans, urodeles and caecilians, whereas to date the host range of B. salamandrivorans seems limited to urodeles. So far, the epidemic of B. dendrobatidis is mainly limited to Australian, neotropical, South European and West American amphibians, while for B. salamandrivorans it is limited to European salamanders. Other striking differences between both fungi include gross pathology and thermal preferences. With this review we aim to provide the reader with a state-of-the art of host-pathogen interactions for both fungi, in which new data pertaining to the interaction of B. dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans with the host's skin are integrated. Furthermore, we pinpoint areas in which more detailed studies are necessary or which have not received the attention they merit.

  10. 7α-Hydroxypregnenolone, a new key regulator of amphibian locomotion: discovery, progress and prospect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Haraguchi, Shogo; Matsunaga, Masahiro; Koyama, Teppei; Do Rego, Jean-Luc; Vaudry, Hubert

    2012-05-01

    Seasonally-breeding amphibians have served as excellent animal models to investigate the biosynthesis and biological actions of neurosteroids. Previous studies have demonstrated that the brain of amphibians possesses key steroidogenic enzymes and produces pregnenolone, a precursor of steroid hormones, and other various neurosteroids. We recently found that the brain of seasonally-breeding newts actively produces 7α-hydroxypregnenolone, a previously undescribed amphibian neurosteroid. This novel amphibian neurosteroid acts as a neuronal modulator to stimulate locomotor activity in newts. Subsequently, the mode of action of 7α-hydroxypregnenolone has been demonstrated in the newt brain. 7α-Hydroxypregnenolone stimulates locomotor activity through activation of the dopaminergic system. To understand the functional significance of 7α-hydroxypregnenolone in the regulation of locomotor activity, diurnal and seasonal changes in synthesis of 7α-hydroxypregnenolone have also been demonstrated in the newt brain. Melatonin derived from the pineal gland and eyes regulates 7α-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis in the brain, thus inducing diurnal locomotor changes. Prolactin, an adenohypophyseal hormone, regulates 7α-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis in the brain, and also induces seasonal locomotor changes. In addition, 7α-hydroxypregnenolone mediates corticosterone action to increase locomotor activity under stress. This review summarizes the discovery, progress and prospect of 7α-hydroxypregnenolone, a new key regulator of amphibian locomotion.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Climate change correlates with rapid delays and advancements in reproductive timing in an amphibian community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Brian D; Scott, David E; Pechmann, Joseph H K; Gibbons, J Whitfield

    2011-07-22

    Climate change has had a significant impact globally on the timing of ecological events such as reproduction and migration in many species. Here, we examined the phenology of reproductive migrations in 10 amphibian species at a wetland in South Carolina, USA using a 30 year dataset. We show for the first time that two autumn-breeding amphibians are breeding increasingly later in recent years, coincident with an estimated 1.2°C increase in local overnight air temperatures during the September through February pre-breeding and breeding periods. Additionally, two winter-breeding species in the same community are breeding increasingly earlier. Four of the 10 species studied have shifted their reproductive timing an estimated 15.3 to 76.4 days in the past 30 years. This has resulted in rates of phenological change that range from 5.9 to 37.2 days per decade, providing examples of some of the greatest rates of changing phenology in ecological events reported to date. Owing to the opposing direction of the shifts in reproductive timing, our results suggest an alteration in the degree of temporal niche overlap experienced by amphibian larvae in this community. Reproductive timing can drive community dynamics in larval amphibians and our results identify an important pathway by which climate change may affect amphibian communities.

  14. Reptiles, amphibians, and human Salmonella infection: a population-based, case-control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mermin, Jonathan; Hutwagner, Lori; Vugia, Duc; Shallow, Sue; Daily, Pamela; Bender, Jeffrey; Koehler, Jane; Marcus, Ruthanne; Angulo, Frederick J

    2004-04-15

    To estimate the burden of reptile- and amphibian-associated Salmonella infections, we conducted 2 case-control studies of human salmonellosis occurring during 1996-1997. The studies took place at 5 Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) surveillance areas: all of Minnesota and Oregon and selected counties in California, Connecticut, and Georgia. The first study included 463 patients with serogroup B or D Salmonella infection and 7618 population-based controls. The second study involved 38 patients with non-serogroup B or D Salmonella infection and 1429 controls from California only. Patients and controls were interviewed about contact with reptiles and amphibians. Reptile and amphibian contact was associated both with infection with serogroup B or D Salmonella (multivariable odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.2; Preptile or amphibian contact was 6% for all sporadic Salmonella infections and 11% among persons reptile and amphibian exposure is associated with approximately 74,000 Salmonella infections annually in the United States.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIABILITY IN THE AMOUNT AND SOURCE OF DISSOLVED ORGANIC CARBON: IMPLICATIONS FOR UV EXPOSURE IN AMPHIBIAN HABITS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) has been suggested as a potential cause of population declines and increases in malformations in amphibians. This study indicates that the present distributions of amphibians in four western U.S. National Parks are not related to UVR exposure and sugge...

  18. OPTICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL WATERS PROTECT AMPHIBIAN POPULATIONS FROM UV-B IN THE US PACIFIC NORTHWEST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increased exposure to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation has been proposed as a major environmental stressor leading to global amphibian declines. Prior experimental evidence from the US Pacific Northwest (PNW) indicating the acute embryonic sensitivity of at least 4 amphibian specie...

  19. Pathogen pollution and the emergence of a deadly amphibian pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, Valerie J; Peterson, Anna C

    2012-11-01

    Imagine a single pathogen that is responsible for mass mortality of over a third of an entire vertebrate class. For example, if a single pathogen were causing the death, decline and extinction of 30% of mammal species (including humans), the entire world would be paying attention. This is what has been happening to the world's amphibians - the frogs, toads and salamanders that are affected by the chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (referred to as Bd), which are consequently declining at an alarming rate. It has aptly been described as the worst pathogen in history in terms of its effects on biodiversity (Kilpatrick et al. 2010). The pathogen was only formally described about 13 years ago (Longcore et al. 1999), and scientists are still in the process of determining where it came from and investigating the question: why now? Healthy debate has ensued as to whether Bd is a globally endemic organism that only recently started causing high mortality due to shifting host responses and/or environmental change (e.g. Pounds et al. 2006) or whether a virulent strain of the pathogen has rapidly disseminated around the world in recent decades, affecting new regions with a vengeance (e.g. Morehouse et al. 2003; Weldon et al. 2004; Lips et al. 2008). We are finally beginning to shed more light on this question, due to significant discoveries that have emerged as a result of intensive DNA-sequencing methods comparing Bd isolates from different amphibian species across the globe. Evidence is mounting that there is indeed a global panzootic lineage of Bd (BdGPL) in addition to what appear to be more localized endemic strains (Fisher et al. 2009; James et al. 2009; Farrer et al. 2011). Additionally, BdGPL appears to be a hypervirulent strain that has resulted from the hybridization of different Bd strains that came into contact in recent decades, and is now potentially replacing the less-virulent endemic strains of the pathogen (Farrer et al. 2011

  20. 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.

  1. Using Ecological Niche Modeling For Biodiversity Conservation Guidance In The Western Podillya (Ukraine: Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tytar V.

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Maximum entropy niche modeling was employed as a tool to assess potential habitat suitability for 13 amphibian species and to map their potential distribution in the Western Podillya (Ukraine. The predictor variables used were of climate, topography and human impact (assessed by the Human Footprint. The “mean temperature of coldest quarter” and “isothermality” were two of the most important factors in predicting habitat suitability and distribution. Another profound contribution has been displayed by the Human Footprint, meaning that human infrastructure may benefit amphibians, a phenomenon that perhaps is much more widespread than thought. Areas have been distinguished that in the first place should be of interest to nature conservationists targeting amphibians (exemplified by Bombina variegata and a map summarizing species richness was produced.

  2. Impact of otter (Lutra lutra predation on amphibians in temporary ponds in Southern Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Cogălniceanu

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available We report the observation of an event of mortality of ribbed newts (Pleurodeles waltl and Iberian spadefoot toads (Pelobates cultripes due to predation by a pair of otters (Lutra lutra in a temporary pond complex in southern Spain. The peculiar predation mode on ribbed newts, with extraction of soft organs through an incision in the upper part of the thorax, may result in an under estimate of the importance of this species in the diet of otters. The high number of dead amphibians killed by two otters in only several hours suggests that the presence of these predators may pose a serious threat to amphibian populations. The risk is especially high in arid areas, with few ponds, synchronous reproductive migration, and high density of animals. We consider that measures promoting the conservation and population and range increase of otters might have a negative impact on amphibians.

  3. Populations of a susceptible amphibian species can grow despite the presence of a pathogenic chytrid fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ursina Tobler

    Full Text Available Disease can be an important driver of host population dynamics and epizootics can cause severe host population declines. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, the pathogen causing amphibian chytridiomycosis, may occur epizootically or enzootically and can harm amphibian populations in many ways. While effects of Bd epizootics are well documented, the effects of enzootic Bd have rarely been described. We used a state-space model that accounts for observation error to test whether population trends of a species highly susceptible to Bd, the midwife toad Alytes obstetricans, are negatively affected by the enzootic presence of the pathogen. Unexpectedly, Bd had no negative effect on population growth rates from 2002-2008. This suggests that negative effects of disease on individuals do not necessarily translate into negative effects at the population level. Populations of amphibian species that are susceptible to the emerging disease chytridiomycosis can persist despite the enzootic presence of the pathogen under current environmental conditions.

  4. Climate warming and the decline of amphibians and reptiles in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Araújo, Miguel B.; Thuiller, W.; Pearson, R. G.

    2006-01-01

    Aim We explore the relationship between current European distributions of amphibian and reptile species and observed climate, and project species potential distributions into the future. Potential impacts of climate warming are assessed by quantifying the magnitude and direction of modelled...... distributional shifts for every species. In particular we ask, first, what proportion of amphibian and reptile species are projected to lose and gain suitable climate space in the future? Secondly, do species projections vary according to taxonomic, spatial or environmental properties? And thirdly, what climate...... of forecasts is then used to group linearly covarying projections into clusters with reduced inter-model variability. Results We show that a great proportion of amphibian and reptile species are projected to expand distributions if dispersal is unlimited. This is because warming in the cooler northern ranges...

  5. Variable breeding phenology affects the exposure of amphibian embryos to ultraviolet radiation: Reply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, P.S.; Muths, E.

    2004-01-01

    Corn and Muths (2002) describe how seasonal and annual variation in estimated flux of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation, combined with year-to-year variation in amphibian breeding, phenology, introduces considerable variability in the UV-B exposures to amphibians. The response to our paper by Blaustein et al. (2004) misstates the objective and conclusions of our study, contains other errors of interpretation, and critiques our study for adopting practices that they themselves use. We are confident that an unbiased assessment will show that the conclusions of Corn and Muths (2002) are valid and robust with respect to montane amphibians, and that the criticisms raised by Blaustein et al. (2004) are either invalid or irrelevant.

  6. Joint effects of pesticides and ultraviolet-B radiation on amphibian larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Shuangying; Wages, Mike; Willming, Morgan; Cobb, George P; Maul, Jonathan D

    2015-12-01

    A combination of multiple stressors may be linked to global amphibian declines. Of these, pesticides and UVB radiation co-exposures were examined on the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) to provide information that may be useful for amphibian conservation. The independent action model and inferential statistics were used to examine interactions between pesticides (malathion, endosulfan, α-cypermethrin, or chlorothalonil) and environmentally relevant UVB exposures. UVB radiation alone caused 35-68% mortality and nearly 100% of malformations. Pesticides and UVB had additive effects on larval mortality; however, several non-additive effects (antagonistic and synergistic interactions) were observed for total body length. Insecticides mainly affected axial development, whereas UVB radiation caused high incidence of edema, gut malformations, and abnormal tail tips. These results suggest that sublethal developmental endpoints were more sensitive for detecting joint effects. This work has implications for amphibian risk assessments for ecosystems where pesticides and high UVB radiation may co-occur.

  7. Amphibians as Model Organisms for Studying the Dynamics of Eukaryote Genetic Material Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burlibaşa, L.

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians have played a key role in the elucidation of the mechanisms of early development over the last century. Much of our knowledge about the mechanisms of vertebrate early development comes from studies using Xenopus laevis. Xenopus sp. is a major contributor to our understanding of cell biological and biochemical processes, including: (1 chromosome replication; (2 chromatin, cytoskeleton and nuclear assembly; (3 cell cycle progression and (4 intracellular signaling. Amphibian embryos remained the embryos of choice for experimental embryology for many decades. European embryologists used predominantly urodele embryos (such as Triturus and embryos of the frog Rana temporaria, which is related to the North American species Rana pipiens. Using light, fluorescence, transmission electron microscopy (TEM and molecular investigations, some peculiar aspects of chromatin and chromosome organization and evolution in oogenesis and spermatogenesis of amphibians were investigated. We have focused our investigations on dynamics of the chromatin structure in different stages of development.

  8. Ranavirus could facilitate local extinction of rare amphibian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Julia E; Chaney, Jordan C; Sutton, William B; Lillard, Carson E; Kouba, Andrew J; Langhorne, Cecilia; Krebs, Jessi; Wilkes, Rebecca P; Hill, Rachel D; Miller, Debra L; Gray, Matthew J

    2016-10-01

    There is growing evidence that pathogens play a role in population declines and species extinctions. For small populations, disease-induced extinction may be especially probable. We estimated the susceptibility of two amphibian species of conservation concern (the dusky gopher frog [Lithobates sevosus] and boreal toad [Anaxyrus boreas boreas]) to an emerging pathogen (ranavirus) using laboratory challenge experiments, and combined these data with published demographic parameter estimates to simulate the potential effects of ranavirus exposure on extinction risk. We included effects of life stage during pathogen exposure, pathogen exposure interval, hydroperiod of breeding habitat, population carrying capacity, and immigration in simulations. We found that both species were highly susceptible to ranavirus when exposed to the pathogen in water at environmentally relevant concentrations. Dusky gopher frogs experienced 100 % mortality in four of six life stages tested. Boreal toads experienced 100 % mortality when exposed as tadpoles or metamorphs, which were the only life stages tested. Simulations showed population declines, greater extinction probability, and faster times to extinction with ranavirus exposure. These effects were more evident with more frequent pathogen exposure intervals and lower carrying capacity. Immigration at natural rates did little to mitigate effects of ranavirus exposure unless immigration occurred every 2 years. Our results demonstrate that disease-induced extinction by emerging pathogens, such as ranavirus, is possible, and that threat may be especially high for species with small population sizes. For the species in this study, conservation organizations should incorporate ranavirus surveillance into monitoring programs and devise intervention strategies in the event that disease outbreaks occur.

  9. Skin glands, poison and mimicry in dendrobatid and leptodactylid amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prates, Ivan; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Sciani, Juliana M; Pimenta, Daniel C; Toledo, Luís Felipe; Haddad, Célio F B; Jared, Carlos

    2012-03-01

    In amphibians, secretions of toxins from specialized skin poison glands play a central role in defense against predators. The production of toxic secretions is often associated with conspicuous color patterns that warn potential predators, as it is the case of many dendrobatid frogs, including Ameerega picta. This species resembles the presumably nontoxic Leptodactylus lineatus. This study tests for mimicry by studying the morphology and distribution of skin glands, components of skin secretion, and defensive behavior. Dorsal skin was studied histologically and histochemically, and skin secretions were submitted to sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography and assays for proteolytic activity. We found that poison glands in A. picta are filled with nonprotein granules that are rich in carbohydrates, while L. lineatus glands present protein granules. Accordingly, great amounts of proteins, at least some of them enzymes, were found in the poison of L. lineatus but not in that of A. picta. Both species differ greatly on profiles of gland distribution: In L. lineatus, poison glands are organized in clusters whose position coincides with colored elements of the dorsum. These regions are evidenced through a set of displays, suggesting that poison location is announced to predators through skin colors. In contrast, A. picta presents lower densities of glands, distributed homogeneously. This simpler profile suggests a rather qualitative than quantitative investment in chemical defense, in agreement with the high toxicity attributed to dendrobatids in general. Our data suggest that both species are toxic or unpalatable and transmit common warning signals to predators, which represents a case of Müllerian mimicry.

  10. The envelopes of amphibian oocytes: physiological modifications in Bufo arenarum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sánchez Mercedes

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A characterization of the Amphibian Bufo arenarum oocyte envelope is presented. It was made in different functional conditions of the oocyte: 1 when it has been released into the coelomic cavity during ovulation (surrounded by the coelomic envelope, (CE, 2 after it has passed through the oviduct and is deposed (surrounded by the viteline envelope, (VE, and 3 after oocyte activation (surrounded by the fertilization envelope, (FE. The characterization was made by SDS-PAGE followed by staining for protein and glycoproteins. Labeled lectins were used to identify glycosidic residues both in separated components on nitrocellulose membranes or in intact oocytes and embryos. Proteolytic properties of the content of the cortical granules were also analyzed. After SDS-PAGE of CE and VE, a different protein pattern was observed. This is probably due to the activity of a protease present in the pars recta of the oviduct. Comparison of the SDS-PAGE pattern of VE and FE showed a different mobility for one of the glycoproteins, gp75. VE and FE proved to have different sugar residues in their oligosaccharide chains. Mannose residues are only present in gp120 of the three envelopes. N-acetyl-galactosamine residues are present in all of the components, except for gp69 in the FE. Galactose residues are present mainly in gp120 of FE. Lectin-binding assays indicate the presence of glucosamine, galactose and N-acetyl galactosamine residues and the absence (or non-availability of N-acetyl-glucosamine or fucose residues on the envelopes surface. The cortical granule product (CGP shows proteolytic activity on gp75 of the VE.

  11. Deciphering morphological variation in the braincase of caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddin, Hillary C

    2011-07-01

    High levels of morphological homoplasy have hindered progress in understanding morphological evolution within gymnophione lissamphibians. Stemming from the hypothesis that the braincase has the potential to yield phylogenetic information, the braincases of 27 species (23 genera) of gymnophione amphibians were examined using high-resolution micro-computed tomography and histologically prepared specimens. Morphology of the brain and its relationship to features of the braincase is described, and it is shown that eight different patterns exist in the distribution of foramina in the antotic region. The distribution of variants is congruent with molecule-based phylogeny. Additionally, all variants are shown to correspond directly to stages along developmental continua, suggesting that the evolutionary truncation of development in the antotic region at various stages has driven the evolution of morphology in this region. Attempts to correlate the observed morphology with proxies of putative heterochronic events (including those attributable to burrowing, life history, and size) fail to explain the distribution of morphology if each proxy is considered separately. Thus, it is concluded that either currently unrecognized causes of heterochrony or combinations thereof have influenced morphology in different lineages independently. These data identify clades whose morphology can now be reconsidered in light of previously unrecognized heterochronic events, thereby providing a foundation for future analyses of the evolution of morphology within Gymnophiona as a whole. Most significantly, these data confirm, for the first time in a lissamphibian group, that the braincase can preserve important phylogenetic information that is otherwise obscured in regions of the skull that experience strong influences from functional constraints.

  12. Metamorphosis and neoteny: alternative pathways in an extinct amphibian clade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoch, Rainer R; Fröbisch, Nadia B

    2006-07-01

    The Branchiosauridae was a clade of small amphibians from the Permo-Carboniferous with an overall salamander-like appearance. The clade is distinguished by an extraordinary fossil record that comprises hundreds of well-preserved specimens, representing a wide range of ontogenetic stages. Branchiosaurids had external gills and weakly ossified skeletons, and due to this larval appearance their status as neotenic (perennibranchiate) forms has long been accepted. Despite their extensive fossil record large specimens with an adult morphology appeared to be lacking altogether, but recently two adult specimens were identified in a rich sample of Apateon gracilis collected in the 19th century from a locality near Dresden, Saxony. These specimens are unique among branchiosaurids in showing a high level of ossification, including bones that have never been reported in a branchiosaur. These highlight the successive formation of features believed to indicate terrestrial locomotion, as well as feeding on larger prey items. Moreover, these transformations occurred in a small time window (whereas the degree of size increase is used as a proxy of time) and the degree of concentration of developmental events in branchiosaurids is unique among tetrapods outside the lissamphibians. These specimens are compared with large adults of the neotenic branchiosaurid Apateon caducus from the Saar-Nahe Basin, which despite their larger body size lack the features found in the adult A. gracilis specimens. These specimens give new insight into patterns of metamorphosis (morphological transformation) in branchiosaurids that are believed to be correlated to a change of habitat, and clearly show that different life-history pathways comparable to those of modern salamanders were already established in this Paleozoic clade.

  13. Forest Fragments Surrounded by Sugar Cane Are More Inhospitable to Terrestrial Amphibian Abundance Than Fragments Surrounded by Pasture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Eveline Ribeiro D’Anunciação

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, there has been increasing interest in matrix-type influence on forest fragments. Terrestrial amphibians are good bioindicators for this kind of research because of low vagility and high philopatry. This study compared richness, abundance, and species composition of terrestrial amphibians through pitfall traps in two sets of semideciduous seasonal forest fragments in southeastern Brazil, according to the predominant surrounding matrix (sugar cane and pasture. There were no differences in richness, but fragments surrounded by sugar cane had the lowest abundance of amphibians, whereas fragments surrounded by pastures had greater abundance. The most abundant species, Rhinella ornata, showed no biometric differences between fragment groups but like many other amphibians sampled showed very low numbers of individuals in fragments dominated by sugar cane fields. Our data indicate that the sugar cane matrix negatively influences the community of amphibians present in fragments surrounded by this type of land use.

  14. Chytridiomycosis in endemic amphibians of the mountain tops of the Córdoba and San Luis ranges, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescano, Julián N; Longo, Silvana; Robledo, Gerardo

    2013-02-28

    Chytridiomycosis is a major threat to amphibian conservation. In Argentina, the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been recorded in several localities, and recently, it was registered in amphibians inhabiting low-elevation areas of mountain environments in Córdoba and San Luis provinces. In the present study, we searched for B. dendrobatidis in endemic and non-endemic amphibians on the mountain tops of Córdoba and San Luis provinces. We collected dead amphibians in the upper vegetation belt of the mountains of Córdoba and San Luis. Using standard histological techniques, the presence of fungal infection was confirmed in 5 species. Three of these species are endemic to the mountain tops of both provinces. Although there are no reported population declines in amphibians in these mountains, the presence of B. dendrobatidis in endemic species highlights the need for long-term monitoring plans in the area.

  15. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region.

  16. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Julia C; Hua, Jessica; Brogan, William R; Dang, Trang D; Urbina, Jenny; Bendis, Randall J; Stoler, Aaron B; Blaustein, Andrew R; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas) from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan) or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D) or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs). Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load. This result

  17. Biogeographic biases in research and their consequences for linking amphibian declines to pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiesari, Luis; Grillitsch, Britta; Grillitsch, Heinz

    2007-04-01

    The collapse of amphibian populations within pristine reserves worldwide suggests that diffuse, globally distributed factors such as pollution may be a cause of these declines. Nevertheless, cause-effect relationships between pollution and declines have proven difficult to establish at all scales, from local to global. We therefore aimed to quantitatively evaluate the weight of evidence for the role of pollution in global amphibian declines by first quantifying the published research on the effects of pollutants for all amphibian species in the world and then cross-referencing this information with species' biogeographic distribution, range area, and conservation status and with threats to species as summarized in the Global Amphibian Assessment. We found strong biogeographic and related taxonomic research biases, with a few, common, widely distributed generalist species from the northern hemisphere accounting for the majority of studies. Tropical regions, where more species and declines occur, were severely underrepresented in ecotoxicological research; therefore, current knowledge does not permit assessment of the significance of pollution in amphibian declines at a global scale or in regions where most declines occur. Moreover, if broader distributional ranges and occurrence at higher latitudes are correlated with broader environmental tolerances, current knowledge may considerably underestimate the sensitivity of the majority of amphibian species to pollutants. Finally, because species studied represent only a narrow subset of traits that mediate exposure and susceptibility to pollution, the current potential for extrapolation among species, guilds, ontogenetic phases, levels of complexity, habitat types, sites, and regions is weak. Ultimately, to mitigate these research biases and thus improve the basis for risk management, research policy must balance the spatial scale of the problem (global) and the distribution of knowledge (regional) so that biodiversity

  18. Mapping the global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the amphibian chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Deanna H; Aanensen, David M; Ronnenberg, Kathryn L; Powell, Christopher I; Walker, Susan F; Bielby, Jon; Garner, Trenton W J; Weaver, George; Fisher, Matthew C

    2013-01-01

    The rapid worldwide emergence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is having a profound negative impact on biodiversity. However, global research efforts are fragmented and an overarching synthesis of global infection data is lacking. Here, we provide results from a community tool for the compilation of worldwide Bd presence and report on the analyses of data collated over a four-year period. Using this online database, we analysed: 1) spatial and taxonomic patterns of infection, including amphibian families that appear over- and under-infected; 2) relationships between Bd occurrence and declining amphibian species, including associations among Bd occurrence, species richness, and enigmatic population declines; and 3) patterns of environmental correlates with Bd, including climate metrics for all species combined and three families (Hylidae, Bufonidae, Ranidae) separately, at both a global scale and regional (U.S.A.) scale. These associations provide new insights for downscaled hypothesis testing. The pathogen has been detected in 52 of 82 countries in which sampling was reported, and it has been detected in 516 of 1240 (42%) amphibian species. We show that detected Bd infections are related to amphibian biodiversity and locations experiencing rapid enigmatic declines, supporting the hypothesis that greater complexity of amphibian communities increases the likelihood of emergence of infection and transmission of Bd. Using a global model including all sampled species, the odds of Bd detection decreased with increasing temperature range at a site. Further consideration of temperature range, rather than maximum or minimum temperatures, may provide new insights into Bd-host ecology. Whereas caution is necessary when interpreting such a broad global dataset, the use of our pathogen database is helping to inform studies of the epidemiology of Bd, as well as enabling regional, national, and international prioritization of conservation efforts. We

  19. Mapping the global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the amphibian chytrid fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deanna H Olson

    Full Text Available The rapid worldwide emergence of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is having a profound negative impact on biodiversity. However, global research efforts are fragmented and an overarching synthesis of global infection data is lacking. Here, we provide results from a community tool for the compilation of worldwide Bd presence and report on the analyses of data collated over a four-year period. Using this online database, we analysed: 1 spatial and taxonomic patterns of infection, including amphibian families that appear over- and under-infected; 2 relationships between Bd occurrence and declining amphibian species, including associations among Bd occurrence, species richness, and enigmatic population declines; and 3 patterns of environmental correlates with Bd, including climate metrics for all species combined and three families (Hylidae, Bufonidae, Ranidae separately, at both a global scale and regional (U.S.A. scale. These associations provide new insights for downscaled hypothesis testing. The pathogen has been detected in 52 of 82 countries in which sampling was reported, and it has been detected in 516 of 1240 (42% amphibian species. We show that detected Bd infections are related to amphibian biodiversity and locations experiencing rapid enigmatic declines, supporting the hypothesis that greater complexity of amphibian communities increases the likelihood of emergence of infection and transmission of Bd. Using a global model including all sampled species, the odds of Bd detection decreased with increasing temperature range at a site. Further consideration of temperature range, rather than maximum or minimum temperatures, may provide new insights into Bd-host ecology. Whereas caution is necessary when interpreting such a broad global dataset, the use of our pathogen database is helping to inform studies of the epidemiology of Bd, as well as enabling regional, national, and international prioritization of conservation

  20. Trouble in the aquatic world: How wildlife professionals are battling amphibian declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Deanna H.; Chestnut, Tara E.

    2014-01-01

    A parasitic fungus, similar to the one that caused the extinction of numerous tropical frog and toad species, is killing salaman-ders in Europe. Scientists first identified the fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, in 2013 as the culprit behind the death of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) in the Netherlands (Martel et al. 2013) and are now exploring its potential impact to other species. Although the fungus, which kills the amphibians by infecting their skin, has not yet spread to the United States, researchers believe it's only a mat-ter of time before it does and, when that happens, the impact on salamander populations could be devastating (Martel et al. 2014). Reports of worldwide declines of amphibians began a quarter of a century ago (Blaustein & Wake 1990). Globally, some amphibian popula-tion declines occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and declining trends continued in North America (Houlahan et al. 2000). In the earlier years, population declines were attributed primar-ily to overharvest due to unregulated supply of species such as the northern leopard frog (Litho-bates pipiens) for educational use (Dodd 2013). In later years, however, causes of declines were less evident. In 1989, herpetologists at the First World Congress of Herpetology traded alarming stories of losses across continents and in seemingly pro-tected landscapes, making it clear that amphibian population declines were a "global phenomenon." In response to these reports, in 1991, the Interna-tional Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force to better understand the scale and scope of global amphibian declines. Unfortunate-ly, the absence of long-term monitoring data and targeted studies made it difficult for the task force to compile information.

  1. From tails to toes: developing nonlethal tissue indicators of mercury exposure in five amphibian species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfleeger, Adam Z.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Kowalski, Brandon M.; Herring, Garth; Willacker, James J.; Jackson, Allyson K.; Pierce, John

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental contaminants has been implicated as a factor in global amphibian decline. Mercury (Hg) is a particularly widespread contaminant that biomagnifies in amphibians and can cause a suite of deleterious effects. However, monitoring contaminant exposure in amphibian tissues may conflict with conservation goals if lethal take is required. Thus, there is a need to develop non-lethal tissue sampling techniques to quantify contaminant exposure in amphibians. Some minimally invasive sampling techniques, such as toe-clipping, are common in population-genetic research, but it is unclear if these methods can adequately characterize contaminant exposure. We examined the relationships between mercury (Hg) concentrations in non-lethally sampled tissues and paired whole-bodies in five amphibian species. Specifically, we examined the utility of three different tail-clip sections from four salamander species and toe-clips from one anuran species. Both tail and toe-clips accurately predicted whole-body THg concentrations, but the relationships differed among species and the specific tail-clip section or toe that was used. Tail-clips comprised of the distal 0–2 cm segment performed the best across all salamander species, explaining between 82 and 92 % of the variation in paired whole-body THg concentrations. Toe-clips were less effective predictors of frog THg concentrations, but THg concentrations in outer rear toes accounted for up to 79 % of the variability in frog whole-body THg concentrations. These findings suggest non-lethal sampling of tails and toes has potential applications for monitoring contaminant exposure and risk in amphibians, but care must be taken to ensure consistent collection and interpretation of samples.

  2. Risks of hormonally active pharmaceuticals to amphibians: a growing concern regarding progestagens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Säfholm, Moa; Ribbenstedt, Anton; Fick, Jerker; Berg, Cecilia

    2014-11-19

    Most amphibians breed in water, including the terrestrial species, and may therefore be exposed to water-borne pharmaceuticals during critical phases of the reproductive cycle, i.e. sex differentiation and gamete maturation. The objectives of this paper were to (i) review available literature regarding adverse effects of hormonally active pharmaceuticals on amphibians, with special reference to environmentally relevant exposure levels and (ii) expand the knowledge on toxicity of progestagens in amphibians by determining effects of norethindrone (NET) and progesterone (P) exposure to 0, 1, 10 or 100 ng l(-1) (nominal) on oogenesis in the test species Xenopus tropicalis. Very little information was found on toxicity of environmentally relevant concentrations of pharmaceuticals on amphibians. Research has shown that environmental concentrations (1.8 ng l(-1)) of the pharmaceutical oestrogen ethinylestradiol (EE2) cause developmental reproductive toxicity involving impaired spermatogenesis in frogs. Recently, it was found that the progestagen levonorgestrel (LNG) inhibited oogenesis in frogs by interrupting the formation of vitellogenic oocytes at an environmentally relevant concentration (1.3 ng l(-1)). Results from the present study revealed that 1 ng NET l(-1) and 10 ng P l(-1) caused reduced proportions of vitellogenic oocytes and increased proportions of previtellogenic oocytes compared with the controls, thereby indicating inhibited vitellogenesis. Hence, the available literature shows that the oestrogen EE2 and the progestagens LNG, NET and P impair reproductive functions in amphibians at environmentally relevant exposure concentrations. The progestagens are of particular concern given their prevalence, the range of compounds and that several of them (LNG, NET and P) share the same target (oogenesis) at environmental exposure concentrations, indicating a risk for adverse effects on fertility in exposed wild amphibians.

  3. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region.

  4. Large-scale recovery of an endangered amphibian despite ongoing exposure to multiple stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Roland A.; Fellers, Gary M.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Miller, David A. W.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Briggs, Cheryl J.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians are one of the most threatened animal groups, with 32% of species at risk for extinction. Given this imperiled status, is the disappearance of a large fraction of the Earth’s amphibians inevitable, or are some declining species more resilient than is generally assumed? We address this question in a species that is emblematic of many declining amphibians, the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae). Based on >7,000 frog surveys conducted across Yosemite National Park over a 20-y period, we show that, after decades of decline and despite ongoing exposure to multiple stressors, including introduced fish, the recently emerged disease chytridiomycosis, and pesticides, R. sierrae abundance increased sevenfold during the study and at a rate of 11% per year. These increases occurred in hundreds of populations throughout Yosemite, providing a rare example of amphibian recovery at an ecologically relevant spatial scale. Results from a laboratory experiment indicate that these increases may be in part because of reduced frog susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. The disappearance of nonnative fish from numerous water bodies after cessation of stocking also contributed to the recovery. The large-scale increases in R. sierrae abundance that we document suggest that, when habitats are relatively intact and stressors are reduced in their importance by active management or species’ adaptive responses, declines of some amphibians may be partially reversible, at least at a regional scale. Other studies conducted over similarly large temporal and spatial scales are critically needed to provide insight and generality about the reversibility of amphibian declines at a global scale. PMID:27698128

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia C Buck

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs. Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load

  8. Species composition and richness of amphibians in logged forests at Hulu Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izam, Nur Amalina Mohd; Ahmad, Amirrudin; Grismer, L. Lee; Saidin, Ahmad Nazri; Nor, Shukor Md.; Ahmad, Norhayati

    2016-11-01

    A study was done to compare amphibian species composition and richness between a disturbed forest due to logging/dam construction and a 30-year old logged forest at Hulu Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. This study was conducted from August to October 2014, using drift fenced-pitfall traps. The upstream (UP) and downstream riverine area (DP) of a dam called Puah Dam (PD) represented the disturbed forest habitat, while Sg. Deka Wildlife Reserve (SDWR) represented a 30-year old regenerating logged forest. There were six amphibian species found at SDWR, while four species were recorded at UP and DP.

  9. Insights into the evolution of proglucagon-derived peptides and receptors in fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Stephanie Y L; Lee, Leo T O; Chow, Billy K C

    2010-07-01

    Glucagon and the glucagon-like peptides (GLP-1 and GLP-2) share a common evolutionary origin and are triplication products of an ancestral glucagon exon. In mammals, a standard scenario is found where only a single proglucagon-derived peptide set exists. However, fish and amphibians have either multiple proglucagon genes or exons that are likely resultant of duplication events. Through phylogenetic analysis and examination of their respective functions, the proglucagon ligand-receptor pairs are believed to have evolved independently before acquiring specificity for one another. This review will provide a comprehensive overview of current knowledge of proglucagon-derived peptides and receptors, with particular focus on fish and amphibian species.

  10. 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.

  11. First detection of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-ranging populations of amphibians on mainland Asia: survey in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, HyoJin; Baek, HaeJun; Speare, Richard; Webb, Rebecca; Park, SunKyung; Kim, TaeHo; Lasater, Kelly C; Shin, SangPhil; Son, SangHo; Park, JaeHak; Min, MiSook; Kim, YoungJun; Na, Kijeong; Lee, Hang; Park, SeChang

    2009-09-01

    Chytridiomycosis, a disease that has caused amphibian population declines globally and elevated many species of anurans to endangered or threatened status, has recently been declared an internationally notifiable disease. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the amphibian chytrid fungus causing this disease, has not been previously reported in Korea or on mainland Asia. Thirty-six frog specimens representing 7 species were collected from the wild in South Korea and examined for Bd using standard PCR. Bd was detected in 14 (38.8%) samples from 3 species (Bufo gargarizans, Hyla japonica, and Rana catesbiana). Skin sections from all 14 PCR-positive frogs were examined using 2 staining techniques: haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Bd immunoperoxidase (IPX). In histological sections, zoosporangia were found in 6 frogs, with lower sensitivity for H&E (21%) than for IPX (46%). Intensity of infection, based on histopathology, was low in all frogs. These results confirm that Bd is present in South Korea and, hence, on the Asian mainland. Studies are urgently required to determine the impact of chytridiomycosis on Korean amphibians, and to map the distribution of Bd in Korea and other Asian mainland countries.

  12. The formation of synapses in amphibian striated muscle during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, M R; Pettigrew, A G

    1975-10-01

    1. A study has been made of the formation of synapses in developing reinnervated and cross-reinnervated amphibian twitch muscles which receive either a focal (iliofibularis) or a distributed (sartorius) innervation from 'en plaque' nerve terminals using histological, ultrastructural and electrophysiological techniques. 2. During the development of the tadpole through metamorphosis to the adult frog, the sartorius myofibres increased in length at about twice the rate of the iliofibularis myofibres, due to a fast rate of growth at their insertions on to the pelvic tendon. 3. The short iliofibularis and sartorius myofibres of young tadpoles (800 mum long) possessed only a single synapse and the iliofibularis myofibres did not receive any further innervation during development. However the sartorius myofibres received further transient innervation on the new muscle laid down during development at the fast growing pelvic insertion, until the distance between the original synapse formed on the myofibres and the synapse at the pelvic end of the muscle was about 12 mm. 4. During development synapses possessed either skewed, multimodal, or unimodal m.e.p.p. amplitude-frequency distributions; the intervals between m.e.p.p.s. were not distributed randomly according to a Poisson process, as m.e.p.p.s. of similar amplitudes tended to be separated by very short intervals; the unit-size e.p.p. had a similar amplitude-frequency distribution as the m.e.p.p.s. if these had a unimodal distribution. 5. Reinnervation or cross-reinnervation of the sartorius and the iliofibularis muscles in adults or at a late stage of development simply reconstituted the normal focal and distributed innervation patterns of the muscles, as found in the control muscles of the contralateral and unoperated legs. 6. These observations on synapse formation in amphibia are consistent with the hypothesis that during development the axon making the initial synaptic contact on the muscle cells induces a property

  13. Emerging Pathogen in Wild Amphibians and Frogs (Rana catesbeiana) Farmed for International Trade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoni, Rolando; Daszak, Peter; Apolo, Ada; Perdomo, Eugenio; Speranza, Gustavo

    2003-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging disease responsible for global decline and extinction of amphibians. We report the causative agent, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in North American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) farmed for the international restaurant trade. Our findings suggest that international trade may play a key role in the global dissemination of this and other emerging infectious diseases in wildlife. PMID:12967500

  14. The protection of amphibians and reptiles in the Russian Far East

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina V. Maslova

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Data on the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the Russian Far East in the reserves and national parks of federal importance are presented, as well as the information on the representation of these groups of animals in regional Red Data Books and the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation is provided.

  15. Role of amphibians and reptiles in creation of an ecological buffer against technogenic pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. L. Bulakhov

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available It has shown that fossorial activity of common spadefoot Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768 under conditions of heavy metals pollution of soils is able to reduce the level of the metals in soil. Tropho-metabolic activity (faeces excretion of amphibians (P. fuscus and reptiles (sand lizard Lacerta agilis Linnaeus, 1758 decreases the content of heavy metals in soils.

  16. A provisional check list of the reptiles and amphibians of Golden Gate Highlands National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.F. Bates

    1991-09-01

    Full Text Available A provisional check list of 26 reptile and amphibian species (8 frog, 8 lizard and 10 snake species occurring in Golden Gate Highlands National Park is presented. The list does not reflect the results of an intensive survey, but is a record of specimens collected in the park and preserved at the National Museum, Bloemfontein.

  17. First report of freshwater leech Helobdella stagnalis (Rhyncobdellida: Glossiphoniidae as a parasite of an anuran amphibian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocco Tiberti

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The authors describe the first case of parasitism on anuran amphibian, Rana temporaria, by the freshwater leech Helobdella stagnalis, in a mountainous area of northwestern Italy. The presence of skin abrasions and haemorrhages attributable to leech attack discards the hypothesis of a simple phoretic relationship between leech and frog.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Ecophysiology meets conservation: understanding the role of disease in amphibian population declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Johnson, Pieter T J; Hoverman, Jason T; Belden, Lisa K; Bradley, Paul W; Xie, Gisselle Y

    2012-06-19

    Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host-pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host-pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian-host-parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine-immune interactions, disease and climate change.

  1. Temperature-dependent acute toxicity of methomyl pesticide on larvae of 3 Asian amphibian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Edward Tak Chuen; Karraker, Nancy Elizabeth; Leung, Kenneth Mei Yee

    2015-10-01

    Relative to other animal taxa, ecotoxicological studies on amphibians are scarce, even though amphibians are experiencing global declines and pollution has been identified as an important threat. Agricultural lands provide important habitats for many amphibians, but often these lands are contaminated with pesticides. The authors determined the acute toxicity, in terms of 96-h median lethal concentrations, of the carbamate pesticide methomyl on larvae of 3 Asian amphibian species, the Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), the brown tree frog (Polypedates megacephalus), and the marbled pygmy frog (Microhyla pulchra), at 5 different temperatures (15 °C, 20 °C, 25 °C, 30 °C, and 35 °C) to examine the relationships between temperature and toxicity. Significant interspecific variation in methomyl sensitivity and 2 distinct patterns of temperature-dependent toxicity were found. Because high proportions of malformation among the surviving tadpoles were observed, a further test was carried out on the tree frog to determine effect concentrations using malformation as the endpoint. Concentrations as low as 1.4% of the corresponding 96-h median lethal concentrations at 25 °C were sufficient to cause malformation in 50% of the test population. As the toxicity of pesticides may be significantly amplified at higher temperatures, temperature effects should not be overlooked in ecotoxicological studies and derivation of safety limits in environmental risk assessment and management.

  2. Thermal physiology, disease, and amphibian declines on the eastern slopes of the Andes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Lehr, Edgar; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2014-04-01

    Rising temperatures, a widespread consequence of climate change, have been implicated in enigmatic amphibian declines from habitats with little apparent human impact. The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), now widespread in Neotropical mountains, may act in synergy with climate change causing collapse in thermally stressed hosts. We measured the thermal tolerance of frogs along a wide elevational gradient in the Tropical Andes, where frog populations have collapsed. We used the difference between critical thermal maximum and the temperature a frog experiences in nature as a measure of tolerance to high temperatures. Temperature tolerance increased as elevation increased, suggesting that frogs at higher elevations may be less sensitive to rising temperatures. We tested the alternative pathogen optimal growth hypothesis that prevalence of the pathogen should decrease as temperatures fall outside the optimal range of pathogen growth. Our infection-prevalence data supported the pathogen optimal growth hypothesis because we found that prevalence of Bd increased when host temperatures matched its optimal growth range. These findings suggest that rising temperatures may not be the driver of amphibian declines in the eastern slopes of the Andes. Zoonotic outbreaks of Bd are the most parsimonious hypothesis to explain the collapse of montane amphibian faunas; but our results also reveal that lowland tropical amphibians, despite being shielded from Bd by higher temperatures, are vulnerable to climate-warming stress.

  3. Do pathogens become more virulent as they spread? Evidence from the amphibian declines in Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Ben L; Puschendorf, Robert

    2013-09-01

    The virulence of a pathogen can vary strongly through time. While cyclical variation in virulence is regularly observed, directional shifts in virulence are less commonly observed and are typically associated with decreasing virulence of biological control agents through coevolution. It is increasingly appreciated, however, that spatial effects can lead to evolutionary trajectories that differ from standard expectations. One such possibility is that, as a pathogen spreads through a naive host population, its virulence increases on the invasion front. In Central America, there is compelling evidence for the recent spread of pathogenic Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and for its strong impact on amphibian populations. Here, we re-examine data on Bd prevalence and amphibian population decline across 13 sites from southern Mexico through Central America, and show that, in the initial phases of the Bd invasion, amphibian population decline lagged approximately 9 years behind the arrival of the pathogen, but that this lag diminished markedly over time. In total, our analysis suggests an increase in Bd virulence as it spread southwards, a pattern consistent with rapid evolution of increased virulence on Bd's invading front. The impact of Bd on amphibians might therefore be driven by rapid evolution in addition to more proximate environmental drivers.

  4. Linking global warming to amphibian declines through its effects on female body condition and survivorship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reading, C J

    2007-02-01

    There is general consensus that climate change has contributed to the observed decline, and extinction, of many amphibian species throughout the world. However, the mechanisms of its effects remain unclear. A laboratory study in 1980-1981 in which temperate zone amphibians that were prevented from hibernating had decreased growth rates, matured at a smaller size and had increased mortality compared with those that hibernated suggested one possible mechanism. I used data from a field study of common toads (Bufo bufo) in the UK, between 1983 and 2005, to determine whether this also occurs in the field. The results demonstrated two pathways by which global warming may cause amphibian declines. First, there was a clear relationship between a decline in the body condition of female common toads and the occurrence of warmer than average years since 1983. This was paralleled by a decline in their annual survival rates with the relationship between these two declines being highly correlated. Second, there was a significant relationship between the occurrence of mild winters and a reduction in female body size, resulting in fewer eggs being laid annually. Climate warming can, therefore, act on wild temperate zone amphibians by deleteriously affecting their physiology, during and after hibernation, causing increased female mortality rates and decreased fecundity in survivors.

  5. Low levels of chemical anthropogenic pollution may threaten amphibians by impairing predator recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polo-Cavia, Nuria; Burraco, Pablo; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Recent studies suggest that direct mortality and physiological effects caused by pollutants are major contributing factors to global amphibian decline. However, even sublethal concentrations of pollutants could be harmful if they combined with other factors to cause high mortality in amphibians. Here we show that sublethal concentrations of pollutants can disrupt the ability of amphibian larvae to recognize predators, hence increasing their risk of predation. This effect is indeed much more important since very low amounts of pollutants are ubiquitous, and environmental efforts are mostly directed towards preventing lethal spills. We analyzed the effects of two common contaminants (humic acid and ammonium nitrate) on the ability of tadpoles of the western spadefoot toad (Pelobates cultripes) to recognize chemical cues from a common predator, nymphs of the dragonfly Anax imperator. We compared the swimming activity of tadpoles in the presence and absence of water-borne chemical cues from dragonflies at different concentrations of humic acid and ammonium nitrate. Tadpoles reduced swimming activity in response to predator cues in the absence of pollutants, whereas they remained unresponsive to these cues when either humic acid or ammonium nitrate was added to the water, even at low concentrations. Moreover, changes in tadpole activity associated with the pollutants themselves were non-significant, indicating no toxic effect. Alteration of the natural chemical environment of aquatic systems by pollutants may be an important contributing cause for declines in amphibian populations, even at sublethal concentrations.

  6. Multiple stressors in amphibian communities: Effects of chemical contamination, bullfrogs, and fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.; Little, E.E.; Doyle, M.C.

    2007-01-01

    A leading hypothesis of amphibian population declines is that combinations of multiple stressors contribute to declines. We examined the role that chemical contamination, competition, and predation play singly and in combination in aquatic amphibian communities. We exposed larvae of American toads (Bufo americanus), southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) to overwintered bullfrog tadpoles (R. catesbeiana), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), the insecticide carbaryl, and ammonium nitrate fertilizer in 1000-L mesocosms. Most significantly, our study demonstrated that the presence of multiple factors reduced survival of B. americanus and A. maculatum and lengthened larval periods of R. sphenocephala. The presence of bluegill had the largest impact on the community; it eliminated B. americanus and A. maculatum and reduced the abundance of R. sphenocephala. Chemical contaminants had the second strongest effect on the community with the insecticide, reducing A. maculatum abundance by 50% and increasing the mass of anurans (frogs and toads) at metamorphosis; the fertilizer positively influenced time and mass at metamorphosis for both anurans and A. maculatum. Presence of overwintered bullfrogs reduced mass and increased time to metamorphosis of anurans. While both bluegill and overwintered bullfrog tadpoles had negative effects on the amphibian community, they performed better in the presence of one another and in contaminated habitats. Our results indicate that predicting deleterious combinations from single-factor effects may not be straightforward. Our research supports the hypothesis that combinations of factors can negatively impact some amphibian species and could contribute to population declines. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. Type specimens of amphibians in the National Museum of Natural History, Leiden, The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gasso Miracle, M.E.; Hoek Ostende, van den L.W.; Arntzen, J.W.

    2007-01-01

    The amphibian type specimens held in the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden are listed. A total of 775 type specimens representing 143 taxon names were encountered. The list provides the original name, the original publication date, pagination and illustrations, current name, type locality

  8. The Effects of Ammonium Perchlorate on Reproduction and Development of Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    magnesium [Mg], potassium, and sodium) on early amphibian development have shown that they, and AP in particular, are embryotoxic and significantly...testing, a range-finding test for KI was conducted to determine its embryotoxicity . Task 3: Effects of Perchlorate Derived from Food Sources on

  9. 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...

  10. Inefficiency and Bias of Search Engines in Retrieving References Containing Scientific Names of Fossil Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Lauren E.; Dubois, Alain; Shepard, Donald B.

    2008-01-01

    Retrieval efficiencies of paper-based references in journals and other serials containing 10 scientific names of fossil amphibians were determined for seven major search engines. Retrievals were compared to the number of references obtained covering the period 1895-2006 by a Comprehensive Search. The latter was primarily a traditional…

  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 distribution of Reptiles and amphibians in the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri region (Nepal)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nanhoe, L.M.R.; Ouboter, P.E.

    1987-01-01

    The reptiles and amphibians of the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri region in Nepal are keyed and described. Their distribution is recorded, based on both personal observations and literature data. The ecology of the species is discussed. The zoogeography and the altitudinal distribution are analysed. All in al

  13. Alternative Conceptions in Animal Classification Focusing on Amphibians and Reptiles: A Cross-Age Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, Chiung-Fen; Yao, Tsung-Wei; Chiu, Yu-Chih

    2004-01-01

    This study examined students' alternative conceptions of reptiles and amphibians and the extent to which these conceptions remain intact through the elementary (grades 4 and 6), junior, and senior high school years. We administered multiple-choice and free-response instruments to a total of 513 students and interviewed at least 20 students at each…

  14. Amphibians. Animal Life in Action[TM]. Schlessinger Science Library. [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

    This 23-minute videotape for grades 5-8, presents the myriad of animal life that exists on the planet. Students can view and perform experiments and investigations that help explain animal traits and habits. Students find out about the world of amphibians as they examine their physical characteristics, environments, and life cycles, as well as…

  15. Terminology of Gonadal Anomalies in Fish and Amphibians Resulting from Chemical Exposures

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper reviews the terms that have been used to describe various types of gonadal deformities and lesions in amphibians and fish, identifies the body of literature that has reported effects on gonad morphology/histology, and suggests a standardized set of terms and definition...

  16. A mathematical model of amphibian skin epithelium with two types of transporting cellular units

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Erik Hviid; Rasmussen, B E

    1985-01-01

    A computer model of ion transport across amphibian skin epithelium containing two types of cellular units, their relative number and sizes, and a paracellular pathway has been developed. The two cellular units are, a large Na+ transporting compartment representing the major epithelium from stratum...

  17. Amphibian breeding and climate change: The importance of snow in the mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, P. Stephen

    2003-01-01

    The breeding phenologies of ectotherms are inextricably linked to weather, and amphibians in some temperate locations may have been breeding earlier in recent years in response to warmer spring temperatures (Beebee 1995: Forchhammer et al. 1998; Gibbs & Breisch 2001). Directional change in the timing of breeding resulting from climate change may have consequences for the fitness of individuals and may affect the persistence of amphibian populations (Ovaska 1997: Donnelly & Crump 1998). Blaustein et al. (2001) contribute valuable information to the small, but growing, data set of long-term observations of amphibian breeding phenology. As in other studies, Blaustein et al. found a significant relationship between air temperature and phenology, with earlier breeding associated with warmer air temperatures for boreal toads (Bufo boreas) and Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae) in Oregon and for spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) in Michigan. Contrary to other studies, however, there was no trend toward earlier breeding relative to year for any of these species or for Fowler's toads (B. fouleri) in Ontario. These results are important in demonstrating that changes in breeding phenology due to climate change are not universal among amphibians.

  18. Challenges with effective nutrient supplementation for amphibians: A review of cricket studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingston, Shannon; Lavin, Shana R; Sullivan, Kathleen; Attard, Lydia; Valdes, Eduardo V

    2014-01-01

    Over the last 25 years, numerous studies have investigated the impact of insect supplementation on insect nutrient content. In light of recent nutrition related challenges with regards to zoo amphibians fed an insect based diet, this review attempts to comprehensively compile both anecdotal and published data in the context of practical application on this topic. Insects, primarily crickets, used for amphibian diets historically demonstrate low concentrations of key nutrients including calcium and vitamin A. Commonly used practices for supplementation involving powder dusting or gut loading have been shown to improve delivery of calcium and vitamin A, though often not reaching desired nutrient concentrations. The large variety of factors influencing insect nutrient content are difficult to control, making study design, and results often inconsistent. Formulation and availability of more effective gut loading diets, combined with a standardized protocol for insect husbandry and dietary management may be the most effective way to supplement insects for use in amphibian feeding programs. Ideally, the nutritional improvement of feeder insects would begin at the breeder level; however, until this becomes a viable choice, we confirm that supplementation of crickets through both gut-loading and dusting appear necessary to support the nutritional health of amphibians and other insectivores in managed collections.

  19. Utilizing In Vitro Derived Metabolic Rate Constants to Inform Pesticide Body Burdens in Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Over 2.4 billion kilograms of pesticides have been used worldwide in preventing diseases, dealing with nuisance animals and aiding in crop management Although pesticides are used to control insects and diseases, exposure to non-target species frequently occurs.Amphibians are impo...

  20. 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.

  1. Amphibian Declines Are Not Uniquely High amongst the Vertebrates: Trend Determination and the British Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Buckley

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Although amphibians have experienced major global declines and an increasing extinction rate, recent results indicate that they are not as uniquely disadvantaged as previously supposed. Acquisition of robust data is evidently crucial to the determination of both absolute and relative rates of biodiversity declines, and thus in prioritising conservation actions. In Britain there is arguably a longer history of recording, and attempting to conserve, a wide range of species groups than anywhere else in the world. This stems from the early activities of Victorian naturalists in the nineteenth century, the establishment of natural history societies and, since the mid-twentieth century, a range of national recording schemes and organisations actively involved in conservation. In this review we summarise comparative evidence for British amphibians and reptiles concerning historical abundance, population trends and their causes, and outline how they relate to the situation elsewhere in Europe (and possibly the World. We discuss possible reasons why the plight of ectothermic vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles seems generally worse than that of endotherms (birds and mammals, as well as research priorities and factors likely to impact amphibians and reptile conservation in future.

  2. Pathologic changes associated with suspected hypovitaminosis A in amphibians under managed care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Carlos E; Pessier, Allan P

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin A deficiency is a recently recognized nutritional disease in amphibians fed insect-based diets. The classic pathologic lesion that has been associated with hypovitaminosis A in amphibians is squamous metaplasia of the lingual and oral mucosa. In an attempt to further characterize the range of lesions that may be associated with vitamin A deficiency, we reviewed archived amphibian necropsy reports from three facilities. As previously reported, the tongue was the most commonly affected site in animals presenting with squamous metaplasia. However, metaplastic changes were also observed in a variety of locations that included the oral cavity, nasal cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, cloaca, skin, urinary bladder, ureter, and reproductive tract. In addition, species and age-specific differences were noted in the development of squamous metaplasia. This review highlights the need to establish standardized guidelines for optimal postmortem tissue sampling of amphibians in order to maximize the accurate diagnosis of pathologic lesions that may be associated with hypovitaminosis A. Zoo Biol. 33:508-515, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.

  3. 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....

  4. Applications of geographic information systems and remote sensing techniques to conservation of amphibians in northwestern Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariela Palacios González

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The biodiversity of the Andean Chocó in western Ecuador and Colombia is threatened by anthropogenic changes in land cover. The main goal of this study was to contribute to conservation of 12 threatened species of amphibians at a cloud forest site in northwestern Ecuador, by identifying and proposing protection of critical areas. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS and remote sensing techniques to quantify land cover changes over 35 years and outline important areas for amphibian conservation. We performed a supervised classification of an IKONOS satellite image from 2011 and two aerial photographs from 1977 and 2000. The 2011 IKONOS satellite image classification was used to delineate areas important for conservation of threatened amphibians within a 200 m buffer around rivers and streams. The overall classification accuracy of the three images was ≥80%. Forest cover was reduced by 17% during the last 34 years. However, only 50% of the study area retained the initial (1977 forest cover, as land was cleared for farming and eventually reforested. Finally, using the 2011 IKONOS satellite image, we delineated areas of potential conservation interest that would benefit the long term survival of threatened amphibian species at the Ecuadorian cloud forest site studied.

  5. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... eggs. 16.14 Section 16.14 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF... Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or their... eggs thereof may be released into the wild except by the State wildlife conservation agency...

  6. 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.

  7. Dynamic stability of communities of amphibians in short-term-flooded forest ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. V. Zhukov

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The estimation of stability of amphibian populations on the basis of data of population dynamics is given. The paper shows an attempt to estimate the direction of dynamic changes of amphibian populations, and defines the rate of the system deviation from the stationary state due to possible influence of the environmental factors by using concepts such as reactivity, degree of reactivity and flexibility of the system when using their indexes. It is found that populations of amphibians are quite stable with regard to quantifying these species. Characteristic feature is the elasticity of the system. It is confirmed by the elasticity of the system species Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758. TypePelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768 is defined as a factor of stability of the system in quantitative terms. Dependenceof dynamics of the population on its size is established using the regression equation. Dynamics of groups depends on the action of possible predictors in response to which the population of B. bufo is not changed. The ecosystem is characterized as a place of interaction between biotic factors and factors of abiotic origin, which are due to the external action. Internal factor of the ecosystem stability is the influence of some amphibian populations on the other ones. The system features sustainable and relatively stable number of B. bufo, which does not affect the level of its stability. Stationary state of the grouping is unstable due to dynamic matrix, which describes the behavior of the group in the vicinity of the first stationary state. The second steady state is stableone, and the system returns to the stationary state with the help of wave-like dynamics. On the basis of our study it is established that the number of groups of amphibians remains stable, the systems behave differently, and dynamics of their return to the stationary state is elastic or reactive one. Еcosystems within lime-ash oak forests in the Central floodplain of the Samarariver

  8. Spatial and temporal variation in radiation exposure of amphibians - Implications for environmental risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stark, K. [Stockholm University (Sweden)

    2014-07-01

    Although amphibians are threatened world-wide, many amphibian species are protected in national legislation. Thus, amphibians need special attention in many environmental risk assessments for releases of contaminants such as radionuclides. In fact, amphibians' ecology and physiology (including, for example, a complex life-cycle with both aquatic and terrestrial life stages, and a thin skin) makes them sensitive to radiation exposure. In current dose models for wildlife, homogenous distribution of radionuclides in soil is assumed. However, soils are heterogeneous environments and radionuclide contamination can be very unevenly distributed. As a consequence, bioaccumulation of radionuclides in biota may vary on a local scale. Specifically, organisms' spatial location and movement within habitats may affect both their external and internal exposure pattern to radionuclides. Therefore, measuring the spatial location of individual amphibians within ecosystems and understanding why they use these different locations is essential for predicting potential effects of released radionuclides on these populations. The aim of this study was to investigate amphibians' spatial distribution in a {sup 137}Cs contaminated wetland area and their body content of {sup 137}Cs at the beginning and end of the summer period. The study site was a wetland nature reserve called Bladmyra near Gaevle in the central-eastern part of Sweden. This area received fallout of {sup 137}Cs after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. This study measured the spatial distributions of two amphibian species (Rana arvalis and Bufo bufo) with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags in a mark-and-recapture study during 2012-2014. In addition, {sup 137}Cs body content in the two species was measured by whole body counting in spring and autumn of 2013. The results showed differences between years in how marked animals used the study area: More individuals stayed in a small area during 2012 than in 2013

  9. 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

  10. Making leaps in amphibian ecotoxicology: translating individual-level effects of contaminants to population viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willson, J D; Hopkins, W A; Bergeron, C M; Todd, B D

    2012-09-01

    Concern that environmental contaminants contribute to global amphibian population declines has prompted extensive experimental investigation, but individual-level experimental results have seldom been translated to population-level processes. We used our research on the effects of mercury (Hg) on American toads (Bufo americanus) as a model for bridging the gap between individual-level contaminant effects and amphibian population viability. We synthesized the results of previous field and laboratory studies examining effects of Hg throughout the life cycle of B. americanus and constructed a comprehensive demographic population model to evaluate the consequences of Hg exposure on population dynamics. Our model explicitly considered density-dependent larval survival, which is known to be an important driver of amphibian population dynamics, and incorporated two important factors that have seldom been considered in previous amphibian modeling studies: environmental stochasticity and sublethal effects. We demonstrated that decreases in embryonic survival and sublethal effects (e.g., reduced body size) that delay maturation have minor effects on population dynamics, whereas contaminant effects that reduce late-larval or post-metamorphic survival have important population-level consequences. We found that excessive Hg exposure through maternal transfer or larval diet, alone, had minor effects on B. americanus populations. Simultaneous maternal and dietary exposure resulted in reduced population size and a dramatic increase in extinction probability, but explicit prediction of population-level effects was dependent on the strength of larval density dependence. Our results suggest that environmental contaminants can influence amphibian population viability, but that highly integrative approaches are needed to translate individual-level effects to populations.

  11. Linking global climate and temperature variability to widespread amphibian declines putatively caused by disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R

    2010-05-01

    The role of global climate change in the decline of biodiversity and the emergence of infectious diseases remains controversial, and the effect of climatic variability, in particular, has largely been ignored. For instance, it was recently revealed that the proposed link between climate change and widespread amphibian declines, putatively caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), was tenuous because it was based on a temporally confounded correlation. Here we provide temporally unconfounded evidence that global El Niño climatic events drive widespread amphibian losses in genus Atelopus via increased regional temperature variability, which can reduce amphibian defenses against pathogens. Of 26 climate variables tested, only factors associated with temperature variability could account for the spatiotemporal patterns of declines thought to be associated with Bd. Climatic predictors of declines became significant only after controlling for a pattern consistent with epidemic spread (by temporally detrending the data). This presumed spread accounted for 59% of the temporal variation in amphibian losses, whereas El Niño accounted for 59% of the remaining variation. Hence, we could account for 83% of the variation in declines with these two variables alone. Given that global climate change seems to increase temperature variability, extreme climatic events, and the strength of Central Pacific El Niño episodes, climate change might exacerbate worldwide enigmatic declines of amphibians, presumably by increasing susceptibility to disease. These results suggest that changes to temperature variability associated with climate change might be as significant to biodiversity losses and disease emergence as changes to mean temperature.

  12. Germ tube mediated invasion of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibian skin is host dependent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Van Rooij

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease in amphibians and driver of worldwide amphibian declines.We focussed on the early stages of infection by Bd in 3 amphibian species with a differential susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. Skin explants of Alytes muletensis, Litoria caerulea and Xenopus leavis were exposed to Bd in an Ussing chamber for 3 to 5 days. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin were observed using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. To validate the observations in vitro, comparison was made with skin from experimentally infected frogs. Additional in vitro experiments were performed to elucidate the process of intracellular colonization in L. caerulea. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin are: attachment of zoospores to host skin, zoospore germination, germ tube development, penetration into skin cells, invasive growth in the host skin, resulting in the loss of host cell cytoplasm. Inoculation of A. muletensis and L. caerulea skin was followed within 24 h by endobiotic development, with sporangia located intracellularly in the skin. Evidence is provided of how intracellular colonization is established and how colonization by Bd proceeds to deeper skin layers. Older thalli develop rhizoid-like structures that spread to deeper skin layers, form a swelling inside the host cell to finally give rise to a new thallus. In X. laevis, interaction of Bd with skin was limited to an epibiotic state, with sporangia developing upon the skin. Only the superficial epidermis was affected. Epidermal cells seemed to be used as a nutrient source without development of intracellular thalli. The in vitro data agreed with the results obtained after experimental infection of the studied frog species. These data suggest that the colonization strategy of B. dendrobatidis is host dependent, with the extent of colonization most likely determined by inherent

  13. Germ tube mediated invasion of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibian skin is host dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; D'Herde, Katharina; Brutyn, Melanie; Croubels, Siska; Ducatelle, Richard; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease in amphibians and driver of worldwide amphibian declines.We focussed on the early stages of infection by Bd in 3 amphibian species with a differential susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. Skin explants of Alytes muletensis, Litoria caerulea and Xenopus leavis were exposed to Bd in an Ussing chamber for 3 to 5 days. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin were observed using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. To validate the observations in vitro, comparison was made with skin from experimentally infected frogs. Additional in vitro experiments were performed to elucidate the process of intracellular colonization in L. caerulea. Early interactions of Bd with amphibian skin are: attachment of zoospores to host skin, zoospore germination, germ tube development, penetration into skin cells, invasive growth in the host skin, resulting in the loss of host cell cytoplasm. Inoculation of A. muletensis and L. caerulea skin was followed within 24 h by endobiotic development, with sporangia located intracellularly in the skin. Evidence is provided of how intracellular colonization is established and how colonization by Bd proceeds to deeper skin layers. Older thalli develop rhizoid-like structures that spread to deeper skin layers, form a swelling inside the host cell to finally give rise to a new thallus. In X. laevis, interaction of Bd with skin was limited to an epibiotic state, with sporangia developing upon the skin. Only the superficial epidermis was affected. Epidermal cells seemed to be used as a nutrient source without development of intracellular thalli. The in vitro data agreed with the results obtained after experimental infection of the studied frog species. These data suggest that the colonization strategy of B. dendrobatidis is host dependent, with the extent of colonization most likely determined by inherent characteristics of the host

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Direct evidence for the role of pesticides in amphibian population declines in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    For 20 years, conservationists have agreed that amphibian populations around the world are declining. Proposed causes of these declines include habitat loss, environmental contaminants, disease, introduced predators, global climate change, and others. Substantial but indirect evidence through labo...

  17. BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT APPROACHES FOR STREAM-RIPARIAN AREAS: PERSPECTIVES FOR PACIFIC NORTHWEST HEADWATER FORESTS, MICROCLIMATES, AND AMPHIBIANS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stream-riparian areas represent a nexus of biodiversity, with disproportionate numbers of species tied to and interacting within this key habitat. New research in Pacific Northwest headwater forests, especially the characterization of microclimates and amphibian distributions, is...

  18. Leech predation on amphibian eggs%水蛭捕食两栖类卵

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Antonio ROMANO; Anna Rita Di CERBO

    2007-01-01

    Many oviparous organisms develop elaborate strategies against egg-predators to reduce the likelihood of mortality, since predatory pressure on early stages of development in organisms with complex life cycles can strongly influence their survival. Amphibian eggs are preyed upon by a wide range of taxa including macrophagous leeches. We surveyed the literature for references where amphibian egg predation by leeches was reported and uncovered 27 papers. Amphibian egg predation by leeches was previously reported for a greater percentage of anurans (3.6%, n=591) than urodeles (1.6%, n=255). Furthermore, we provided the first record of leech predation on the eggs of Northern spectacled salamander Salamandrina perspicillata. This appears to be the first report for Western European urodeles. No significant difference between the two amphibian orders was observed. However, when we analyzed the data from the three geographic areas of North America, Europe and Asia separately, differences were observed between anuran and urodele species in Northern America. Leeches were observed foraging upon all amphibian life stages. Leeches should be included, therefore, among the natural enemies of some species of amphibians.%许多卵生动物具有对付食卵者的精巧策略以降低死亡率,因为早期发育阶段的捕食压力能显著影响具复杂生活史动物的生存.两栖动物卵被水蛭等很多物种所捕食.我们查阅了水蛭捕食两栖类卵的文献,发现27篇论文.在所报道的水蛭捕食两栖类卵的例子中,无尾类(3.6%, n=591)明显多于有尾类(1.6%, n=255).此外,我们第一次记录到水蛭捕食四趾螈(Salamandrina perspicillata)卵,这也是西欧有尾类的第一例报道.我们没有发现两个两栖动物类群间存在差异.然而,当我们分别分析来自北美、欧洲和亚洲三个地区的数据时,发现北美的有尾类和无尾类间存在显著差异.水蛭可捕食各生活史阶段的两栖动物,因此,水蛭

  19. Do hormone-modulating chemicals impact on reproduction and development of wild amphibians?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orton, Frances; Tyler, Charles R

    2015-11-01

    Globally, amphibians are undergoing a precipitous decline. At the last estimate in 2004, 32% of the approximately 6000 species were threatened with extinction and 43% were experiencing significant declines. These declines have been linked with a wide range of environmental pressures from habitat loss to climate change, disease and pollution. This review evaluates the evidence that endocrine-disrupting contaminants (EDCs) - pollutants that affect hormone systems - are impacting on wild amphibians and contributing to population declines. The review is limited to anurans (frogs and toads) as data for effects of EDCs on wild urodeles (salamanders, newts) or caecilians (limbless amphibians) are extremely limited. Evidence from laboratory studies has shown that a wide range of chemicals have the ability to alter hormone systems and affect reproductive development and function in anurans, but for the most part only at concentrations exceeding those normally found in natural environments. Exceptions can be found for exposures to the herbicide atrazine and polychlorinated biphenyls in leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) and perchlorate in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). These contaminants induce feminising effects on the male gonads (including 'intersex' - oocytes within testes) at concentrations measured in some aquatic environments. The most extensive data for effects of an EDC in wild amphibian populations are for feminising effects of atrazine on male gonad development in regions across the USA. Even where strong evidence has been provided for feminising effects of EDCs, however, the possible impact of these effects on fertility and breeding outcome has not been established, making inference for effects on populations difficult. Laboratory studies have shown that various chemicals, including perchlorate, polychlorinated biphenyls and bromodiphenylethers, also act as endocrine disrupters through interfering with thyroid-dependent processes that are fundamental for

  20. A survey of amphibians and reptiles in Chu Mom Ray National Park, Vietnam, with implications for herpetofaunal conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Jestrzemski

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A herpetological survey was conducted in spring 2012 in the eastern part of Chu Mom Ray National Park, Kon Tum Province, southern Vietnam, to create a first inventory list of amphibians and reptiles and record threats to the local herpetocommunity. We also evaluated the efficiency of two faunistic inventory methods, drift fences and transect visual encounter surveys, in detecting reptiles and amphibians under the given circumstances. Five drift fence arrays with pitfalls and double-ended funnel traps were set up in lowland evergreen forest at elevations from 777 to 846 m a.s.l. and monitored over 40 nights. Additionally, 22 night excursions were conducted along an adjacent forest stream transect. A total of 62 species of amphibians and reptiles were recorded, comprising 24 anurans, one caecilian, 20 lizards, 16 snakes and one freshwater turtle. Because all specimens were released after capture in the field, proper identification and taxonomic revision are required for at least ten recorded amphibian and six reptile species. Four species are listed in the Vietnam Red Data Book (2007 and two species are listed in the Governmental Decree No32/2006/ND-CP (2006. In terms of distribution patterns, old-growth forest habitat harbored the highest number of recorded reptiles and amphibians (41 species, followed by open land (18 species and secondary forest (14 species. Most species were captured opportunistically (34, followed by the drift fences (29 and transect night surveys (18. Opportunistic encounters provided for most reptiles (22, while most amphibians were recorded at the drift fence arrays (15. Poaching of wildlife proved to be the major threat to the local herpetofauna, in particular large reptiles. In the study area, reptiles and amphibians are also at risk from habitat loss and degradation. Recommendations for reptile and amphibian conservation are provided.

  1. Differences in the umbrella effects of African amphibians and mammals based on two estimators of the area of occupancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2006-02-01

    Conservation organizations are collecting large-scale data regarding distribution and threats to vertebrate taxa. These data sets will enable planners to systematically identify large-scale conservation priorities; however, they will cover only a tiny proportion of living organisms. Therefore, it is essential to investigate to what extent the areas selected for conservation actions can provide protection for other species. We analyzed the umbrella effect between amphibians and mammals across mainland Africa. We built habitat suitability models within the geographic ranges of 1654 species, based on data collected in the framework of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Global Amphibian Assessment and IUCN Global Mammal Assessment. We applied systematic reserve selection algorithms to two sets of estimators of the area of occupancy of amphibians and mammals (geographic ranges and estimated suitable areas) and thus selected four reserve systems. We then quantified the protection that each of the four systems provided for amphibians and mammals. Reserves selected for amphibians and mammals were comparable in area, with the former concentrated in the Afrotropical region and the latter more evenly dispersed. Mammal reserves left fewer gaps in species coverage among amphibians than the reverse, but amphibian reserves included a larger proportion of each mammal's area of occupancy than the reverse. For both taxa, setting reserves to include estimated suitable areas instead of ranges resulted in the clustering of reserves in the tropics. Furthermore, it efficiently protected hidden gaps (species with unsuitable portions of their range inside protected areas) in the other taxon and included a higher proportion of the area of occupancy of the other taxon. Overall, amphibians and mammals in Africa acted as an umbrella for a high proportion of species in the other taxon. Focusing on estimated suitable areas instead of ranges improved the umbrella effect of both taxa.

  2. Global representation of threatened amphibians ex situ is bolstered by non-traditional institutions, but gaps remain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Biega, A; Greenberg, D.A.; Mooers, A.O.

    2017-01-01

    priority by testing how eight variables relating to extinction risk – International Union for the Conservation of Nature status, habitat specialization, obligate stream breeding, geographic range size, body size and island, high-altitude and tropical endemism – vary between amphibian species held in zoos...... greater overall extinction risk in the near future. We strongly encourage zoos to continue increasing their holdings of amphibian species, but to pay greater attention to these species of particular conservation concern....

  3. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Masako Andoh; Akiko Sakata; Ai Takano; Hiroki Kawabata; Hiromi Fujita; Yumi Une; Koichi Goka; Toshio Kishimoto; Shuji Ando

    2015-01-01

    One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the pre...

  4. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccranie, James R

    2015-03-13

    An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras is provided. The list includes three amphibian species (Ptychohyla euthysanota, Bolitoglossa odonnelli, Oedipina chortiorum) and two reptile species (Laemanctus waltersi [elevated from subspecies status], Epictia phenops) not included in the most recent checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the country. Also, one amphibian genus and species (Triprion petasatus) is removed from the country list and one Honduran lizard (Ctenosaura praeocularis) is synonymized with an older name. Comments where more study is needed are also included where pertinent. Authors, dates, and original spellings of the higher-level taxonomy of all taxa covered herein are also given. A total of 401 species (137 amphibians and 264 reptiles) are now known from the country with 111 species (27.7%) being Honduran endemics (52 amphibians and 59 reptiles).

  5. Intersex in fishes and amphibians: population implications, prevalence, mechanisms and molecular biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Moneim, Ahmed; Coulter, David P; Mahapatra, Cecon T; Sepúlveda, Maria S

    2015-11-01

    Intersex is defined as the abnormal presence of both testicular and ovarian cells in gonads of gonochoristic animals. Its occurrence is widespread and reports on its presence in the gonads of vertebrates continues to increase. In this review, we use standardized terminology to summarize the current knowledge of intersex in gonochoristic fishes and amphibians. We describe the different indices that have been used to assess the severity of intersex and synthesize reports discussing the prevalence of intersex in relation to different types of pollutants. In addition, we evaluate the geographic distribution and chronology of the reported cases of intersex in fishes and amphibians, their pathological descriptions and severity and discuss species sensitivities. We also summarize molecular biomarkers that have been tested for early detection of intersex in wild populations and highlight additional biomarkers that target molecular pathways involved in gonadal development that require further investigation for use in the diagnosis of intersex. Finally, we discuss the needs for future research in this field.

  6. Amphibians in the Region of Murcia (SE Iberian peninsula: conservation status and priority areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Egea-Serrano, A.

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available The conservation status of amphibian species was studied in the Region of Murcia, taking into consideration 10 variables concerning their biology and distribution. The results obtained show that the amphibian species exposed to the highest risk of extinction in the study area are those with long larval development and a restricted distribution range. According to this species classification, an index is proposed for assessing areas whose conservation is of the highest priority. In the Region of Murcia, most of these areas are located in the main mountain systems, primarily confined to the northwest. Regional Parks and proposed priority conservation areas overlap by only about 12%. The current isolation of these areas makes it necessary to undertake habitat restoration programmes to ensure their interconnection.

  7. Comparative 3D analyses and palaeoecology of giant early amphibians (Temnospondyli: Stereospondyli)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Steyer, J.-Sébastien; de Esteban-Trivigno, Soledad; Mujal, Eudald; Gil, Lluís

    2016-01-01

    Macroevolutionary, palaeoecological and biomechanical analyses in deep time offer the possibility to decipher the structural constraints, ecomorphological patterns and evolutionary history of extinct groups. Here, 3D comparative biomechanical analyses of the extinct giant early amphibian group of stereospondyls together with living lissamphibians and crocodiles, shows that: i) stereospondyls had peculiar palaeoecological niches with proper bites and stress patterns very different than those of giant salamanders and crocodiles; ii) their extinction may be correlated with the appearance of neosuchians, which display morphofunctional innovations. Stereospondyls weathered the end-Permian mass extinction, re-radiated, acquired gigantic sizes and dominated (semi) aquatic ecosystems during the Triassic. Because these ecosystems are today occupied by crocodilians, and stereospondyls are extinct amphibians, their palaeobiology is a matter of an intensive debate: stereospondyls were a priori compared with putative living analogous such as giant salamanders and/or crocodilians and our new results try to close this debate. PMID:27457883

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. One-sided limb preference is linked to alternating-limb locomotion in anuran amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malashichev, Yegor B

    2006-11-01

    Amphibians provide a unique opportunity for identifying possible links between lateralized behaviors, locomotion, and phylogeny and for addressing the origin of lateralized behaviors of higher vertebrates. Five anuran species with different locomotive habits were tested for forelimb and hind limb preferences during 2 stereotyped behavior sequences--wiping a foreign object off their snout and righting themselves from the overturned position. The experiments were analyzed in a broader context of previous findings on anuran lateralization involving 11 anuran species that were studied within the same experimental paradigms. This analysis shows that one-sided forelimb and hind limb motor lateralization in anurans is strongly associated with alternating-limb locomotion and other unilateral limb activity. Conclusions reached for anuran amphibians may be applicable to other vertebrates possessing paired appendages-the degree of lateralization in motor response depends on the mode of locomotion used by a species.

  11. Flavor aversion learning induced by lithium chloride in reptiles but not in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paradis, Sébastien; Cabanac, Michel

    2004-07-30

    Flavor aversion learning occurs when digestive illness follows ingestion of a novel food. Such learning has been shown to exist in mammals and birds. In this experiment, we looked for flavor aversion learning in amphibians (Bufo paracnemis, Pachytriton breviceps) and reptiles (Basiliscus vitattus, B. basiliscus, Eumeces schneideri, Mabuya multifasciata). After intake of the novel food, the animals received i.p. injection of either lithium chloride (LiCl), an effective illness inducer, or a saline solution. A week later, the LiCl injection had not affected the food intake of the amphibians whereas in the lizards it had produced a strong aversion to the flavor of the novel food. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that specific mental capacities emerged with reptiles.

  12. Local analysis or the composition of amphibian and shark teeth using laser probe mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chibon, P; Eloy, J F

    1979-09-01

    In the intention of confirming and extending previous studies on the ultrastructure of the teeth of the lower vertebrates, we have performed analyses of the amounts of various chemical elements present in the teeth of two amphibians and a shark. For this purpose we employed a laser probe mass spectrometer, with which we were able to measure profiles of the variation of amount of the different elements with depth at the different points chosen for analysis. The results are expressed as relative abundances using phosphorus as reference. Differences in the relative amounts of many elements can be observed at different sample points on a tooth, and, for a given sample point, at different depths. These differences certainly reflect ultrastructural features, although some of these may not yet have been described. Fluorine has been found to be much abundant in the teeth of a shark than in those of amphibians.

  13. Enhanced call effort in Japanese tree frogs infected by amphibian chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Deuknam; Waldman, Bruce

    2016-03-01

    Some amphibians have evolved resistance to the devastating disease chytridiomycosis, associated with global population declines, but immune defences can be costly. We recorded advertisement calls of male Japanese tree frogs (Hyla japonica) in the field. We then assessed whether individuals were infected by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causal agent of the disease. This allowed us to analyse call properties of males as a function of their infection status. Infected males called more rapidly and produced longer calls than uninfected males. This enhanced call effort may reflect pathogen manipulation of host behaviour to foster disease transmission. Alternatively, increased calling may have resulted from selection on infected males to reproduce earlier because of their shortened expected lifespan. Our results raise the possibility that sublethal effects of Bd alter amphibian life histories, which contributes to long-term population declines.

  14. 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...

  15. Serosurveillance of eastern equine encephalitis virus in amphibians and reptiles from Alabama, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Sean P; Hassan, Hassan K; Chapman, Taryn; White, Gregory; Guyer, Craig; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2012-03-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is among the most medically important arboviruses in North America, and studies suggest a role for amphibians and reptiles in its transmission cycle. Serum samples collected from 351 amphibians and reptiles (27 species) from Alabama, USA, were tested for the presence of antibodies against EEEV. Frogs, turtles, and lizards showed little or no seropositivity, and snakes had high seropositivity rates. Most seropositive species were preferred or abundant hosts of Culex spp. mosquitoes at Tuskegee National Forest, that target ectothermic hosts. The cottonmouth, the most abundant ectotherm sampled, displayed a high prevalence of seropositivity, indicating its possible role as an amplification and/or over-wintering reservoir for EEEV.

  16. Dynamics of Chytridiomycosis during the Breeding Season in an Australian Alpine Amphibian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brannelly, Laura A; Hunter, David A; Lenger, Daniel; Scheele, Ben C; Skerratt, Lee F; Berger, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Understanding disease dynamics during the breeding season of declining amphibian species will improve our understanding of how remnant populations persist with endemic infection, and will assist the development of management techniques to protect disease-threatened species from extinction. We monitored the endangered Litoria verreauxii alpina (alpine treefrog) during the breeding season through capture-mark-recapture (CMR) studies in which we investigated the dynamics of chytridiomycosis in relation to population size in two populations. We found that infection prevalence and intensity increased throughout the breeding season in both populations, but infection prevalence and intensity was higher (3.49 and 2.02 times higher prevalence and intensity, respectively) at the site that had a 90-fold higher population density. This suggests that Bd transmission is density-dependent. Weekly survival probability was related to disease state, with heavily infected animals having the lowest survival. There was low recovery from infection, especially when animals were heavily infected with Bd. Sympatric amphibian species are likely to be reservoir hosts for the disease and can play an important role in the disease ecology of Bd. Although we found 0% prevalence in crayfish (Cherax destructor), we found that a sympatric amphibian (Crinia signifera) maintained 100% infection prevalence at a high intensity throughout the season. Our results demonstrate the importance of including infection intensity into CMR disease analysis in order to fully understand the implications of disease on the amphibian community. We recommend a combined management approach to promote lower population densities and ensure consistent progeny survival. The most effective management strategy to safeguard the persistence of this susceptible species might be to increase habitat area while maintaining a similar sized suitable breeding zone and to increase water flow and area to reduce drought.

  17. Dynamics of Chytridiomycosis during the Breeding Season in an Australian Alpine Amphibian.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura A Brannelly

    Full Text Available Understanding disease dynamics during the breeding season of declining amphibian species will improve our understanding of how remnant populations persist with endemic infection, and will assist the development of management techniques to protect disease-threatened species from extinction. We monitored the endangered Litoria verreauxii alpina (alpine treefrog during the breeding season through capture-mark-recapture (CMR studies in which we investigated the dynamics of chytridiomycosis in relation to population size in two populations. We found that infection prevalence and intensity increased throughout the breeding season in both populations, but infection prevalence and intensity was higher (3.49 and 2.02 times higher prevalence and intensity, respectively at the site that had a 90-fold higher population density. This suggests that Bd transmission is density-dependent. Weekly survival probability was related to disease state, with heavily infected animals having the lowest survival. There was low recovery from infection, especially when animals were heavily infected with Bd. Sympatric amphibian species are likely to be reservoir hosts for the disease and can play an important role in the disease ecology of Bd. Although we found 0% prevalence in crayfish (Cherax destructor, we found that a sympatric amphibian (Crinia signifera maintained 100% infection prevalence at a high intensity throughout the season. Our results demonstrate the importance of including infection intensity into CMR disease analysis in order to fully understand the implications of disease on the amphibian community. We recommend a combined management approach to promote lower population densities and ensure consistent progeny survival. The most effective management strategy to safeguard the persistence of this susceptible species might be to increase habitat area while maintaining a similar sized suitable breeding zone and to increase water flow and area to reduce drought.

  18. Quantitative Proteomics of an Amphibian Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, following Exposure to Thyroid Hormone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Thekkiniath

    Full Text Available Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3. Tadpoles may be infected with Bd and the fungus may be exposed to T3 during metamorphosis. We hypothesize that exposure of Bd to T3 may induce the expression of factors associated with host colonization and pathogenicity. We utilized a proteomics approach to better understand the dynamics of the Bd-T3 interaction. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS, we generated a data set of a large number of cytoplasmic and membrane proteins following exposure of Bd to T3. From these data, we identified a total of 263 proteins whose expression was significantly changed following T3 exposure. We provide evidence for expression of an array of proteins that may play key roles in both genomic and non-genomic actions of T3 in Bd. Additionally, our proteomics study shows an increase in several proteins including proteases and a class of uncommon crinkler and crinkler-like effector proteins suggesting their importance in Bd pathogenicity as well as those involved in metabolism and energy transfer, protein fate, transport and stress responses. This approach provides insights into the mechanistic basis of the Bd-amphibian interaction following T3 exposure.

  19. First survey for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Connecticut (USA) finds widespread prevalence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Richardson, Jonathan L; Mohabir, Leon

    2013-02-28

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is an emerging infectious fungal pathogen of amphibians and is linked to global population declines. Until now, there has only been 1 survey for the fungus in the northeastern USA, which focused primarily on northern New England. We tested for Bd in a large number of samples (916 individuals from 116 sites) collected throughout the state of Connecticut, representing 18 native amphibian species. In addition, 239 preserved wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus tadpoles from throughout the state were screened for the fungus. Bd presence was assessed in both the fresh field swabs and the preserved samples using a sensitive quantitative PCR assay. Our contemporary survey found widespread Bd prevalence throughout Connecticut, occurring in 14 species and in 28% of all sampled animals. No preserved L. sylvaticus specimens tested positive for the fungus. Two common species, bullfrogs R. catesbeiana and green frogs R. clamitans had particularly high infection rates (0.21-0.39 and 0.33-0.42, respectively), and given their wide distribution throughout the state, we suggest they may serve as sentinels for Bd occurrence in this region. Further analyses found that several other factors increase the likelihood of infection, including life stage, host sex, and host family. Within sites, ponds with ranids, especially green frogs, increased the likelihood of Bd prevalence. By studying Bd in populations not facing mass declines, the results from this study are an important contribution to our understanding of how some amphibian species and populations remain infected yet exhibit no signs of chytridiomycosis even when Bd is widely distributed.

  20. Localized hotspots drive continental geography of abnormal amphibians on U.S. wildlife refuges.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari K Reeves

    Full Text Available Amphibians with missing, misshapen, and extra limbs have garnered public and scientific attention for two decades, yet the extent of the phenomenon remains poorly understood. Despite progress in identifying the causes of abnormalities in some regions, a lack of knowledge about their broader spatial distribution and temporal dynamics has hindered efforts to understand their implications for amphibian population declines and environmental quality. To address this data gap, we conducted a nationwide, 10-year assessment of 62,947 amphibians on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges. Analysis of a core dataset of 48,081 individuals revealed that consistent with expected background frequencies, an average of 2% were abnormal, but abnormalities exhibited marked spatial variation with a maximum prevalence of 40%. Variance partitioning analysis demonstrated that factors associated with space (rather than species or year sampled captured 97% of the variation in abnormalities, and the amount of partitioned variance decreased with increasing spatial scale (from site to refuge to region. Consistent with this, abnormalities occurred in local to regional hotspots, clustering at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers. We detected such hotspot clusters of high-abnormality sites in the Mississippi River Valley, California, and Alaska. Abnormality frequency was more variable within than outside of hotspot clusters. This is consistent with dynamic phenomena such as disturbance or natural enemies (pathogens or predators, whereas similarity of abnormality frequencies at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers suggests involvement of factors that are spatially consistent at a regional scale. Our characterization of the spatial and temporal variation inherent in continent-wide amphibian abnormalities demonstrates the disproportionate contribution of local factors in predicting hotspots, and the episodic nature of their occurrence.

  1. Coincident mass extirpation of neotropical amphibians with the emergence of the infectious fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Tina L; Rovito, Sean M; Wake, David B; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2011-06-01

    Amphibians highlight the global biodiversity crisis because ∼40% of all amphibian species are currently in decline. Species have disappeared even in protected habitats (e.g., the enigmatic extinction of the golden toad, Bufo periglenes, from Costa Rica). The emergence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been implicated in a number of declines that have occurred in the last decade, but few studies have been able to test retroactively whether Bd emergence was linked to earlier declines and extinctions. We describe a noninvasive PCR sampling technique that detects Bd in formalin-preserved museum specimens. We detected Bd by PCR in 83-90% (n = 38) of samples that were identified as positive by histology. We examined specimens collected before, during, and after major amphibian decline events at established study sites in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. A pattern of Bd emergence coincident with decline at these localities is revealed-the absence of Bd over multiple years at all localities followed by the concurrent emergence of Bd in various species at each locality during a period of population decline. The geographical and chronological emergence of Bd at these localities also indicates a southbound spread from southern Mexico in the early 1970s to western Guatemala in the 1980s/1990s and to Monteverde, Costa Rica by 1987. We find evidence of a historical "Bd epidemic wave" that began in Mexico and subsequently spread to Central America. We describe a technique that can be used to screen museum specimens from other amphibian decline sites around the world.

  2. Larval Environment Alters Amphibian Immune Defenses Differentially across Life Stages and Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine L Krynak

    Full Text Available Recent global declines, extirpations and extinctions of wildlife caused by newly emergent diseases highlight the need to improve our knowledge of common environmental factors that affect the strength of immune defense traits. To achieve this goal, we examined the influence of acidification and shading of the larval environment on amphibian skin-associated innate immune defense traits, pre and post-metamorphosis, across two populations of American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana, a species known for its wide-ranging environmental tolerance and introduced global distribution. We assessed treatment effects on 1 skin-associated microbial communities and 2 post-metamorphic antimicrobial peptide (AMP production and 3 AMP bioactivity against the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. While habitat acidification did not affect survival, time to metamorphosis or juvenile mass, we found that a change in average pH from 7 to 6 caused a significant shift in the larval skin microbial community, an effect which disappeared after metamorphosis. Additionally, we found shifts in skin-associated microbial communities across life stages suggesting they are affected by the physiological or ecological changes associated with amphibian metamorphosis. Moreover, we found that post-metamorphic AMP production and bioactivity were significantly affected by the interactions between pH and shade treatments and interactive effects differed across populations. In contrast, there were no significant interactions between treatments on post-metamorphic microbial community structure suggesting that variation in AMPs did not affect microbial community structure within our study. Our findings indicate that commonly encountered variation in the larval environment (i.e. pond pH and degree of shading can have both immediate and long-term effects on the amphibian innate immune defense traits. Our work suggests that the susceptibility of amphibians to emerging diseases could be

  3. Toxicity of two insecticides to California, USA, anurans and its relevance to declining amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.M.

    2009-01-01

    Contaminants have been associated with population declines of several amphibian species in California (USA). Pesticides from the Central Valley of California are transported by winds into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and precipitate into wet meadows where amphibians breed. The present study examined the chronic toxicity of two of the insecticides most commonly used in the Central Valley and found in the mountains, chlorpyrifos and endosulfan, to larval Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) and foothill yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii) and discusses the implications of this toxicity to declining amphibian populations. Larvae were exposed to the pesticides from Gosner stages 25 to 26 through metamorphosis. The estimated median lethal concentration (LC50) for chlorpyrifos was 365 ??g/L in P. regilla and 66.5 ??g/L for R. boylii. Time to metamorphosis increased with concentration of chlorpyrifos in both species, and cholinesterase activity declined with exposure concentration in metamorphs of both species at Gosner stages 42 to 46. For endosulfan, the estimated LC50 was 15.6 ??g/L for P. regilla and 0.55 ??g/L for R. boylii. All R. boylii exposed to concentrations of greater than 0.8 ??g/L died before they entered metamorphosis. Pseudacris regilla remains relatively abundant and is broadly distributed throughout California. In contrast, R. boylii is among the species experiencing severe population declines. The present study adds to the increasing evidence that pesticides are very harmful to amphibians living in areas that are miles from sources of pesticide application. ?? 2009 SETAC.

  4. Cattle grazing and conservation of a meadow-dependent amphibian species in the Sierra Nevada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie M Roche

    Full Text Available World-wide population declines have sharpened concern for amphibian conservation on working landscapes. Across the Sierra Nevada's national forest lands, where almost half of native amphibian species are considered at risk, permitted livestock grazing is a notably controversial agricultural activity. Cattle (Bos taurus grazing is thought to degrade the quality, and thus reduce occupancy, of meadow breeding habitat for amphibian species of concern such as the endemic Yosemite toad (Anaxyrus [ = Bufo] canorus. However, there is currently little quantitative information correlating cattle grazing intensity, meadow breeding habitat quality, and toad use of meadow habitat. We surveyed biotic and abiotic factors influencing cattle utilization and toad occupancy across 24 Sierra Nevada meadows to establish these correlations and inform conservation planning efforts. We utilized both traditional regression models and Bayesian structural equation modeling to investigate potential drivers of meadow habitat use by cattle and Yosemite toads. Cattle use was negatively related to meadow wetness, while toad occupancy was positively related. In mid and late season (mid July-mid September grazing periods, cattle selected for higher forage quality diets associated with vegetation in relatively drier meadows, whereas toads were more prevalent in wetter meadows. Because cattle and toads largely occupied divergent zones along the moisture gradient, the potential for indirect or direct negative effects is likely minimized via a partitioning of the meadow habitat. During the early season, when habitat use overlap was highest, overall low grazing levels resulted in no detectable impacts on toad occupancy. Bayesian structural equation analyses supported the hypothesis that meadow hydrology influenced toad meadow occupancy, while cattle grazing intensity did not. These findings suggest cattle production and amphibian conservation can be compatible goals within this

  5. Demonstration and Certification of Amphibian Ecological Risk Assessment Protocol. Cost and Performance Report (Version 2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-07-01

    day benthic invertebrate toxicity tests conducted with the midge, Chironomus tentans, and the amphipod, Hyalella azteca . Actual unit costs for these...management decisions in wetlands often rely on site-specific benthic invertebrate toxicity testing using organisms such as the amphipod, H. azteca ...amphipod (H. azteca ), and the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Although remediation has not yet occurred, the arsenic NOAEC from the amphibian

  6. 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.

  7. Cumulative effects of road de-icing salt on amphibian behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Denoël, Mathieu; Bichot, Marion; Ficetola, G. Francesco; Delcourt, Johann; Ylieff, Marc; Kestemont, Patrick; Poncin, Pascal

    2010-01-01

    Despite growing evidence of the detrimental effect of chemical substances on organisms, limited research has focused on changes in behavioral patterns, in part due to the difficulties to obtain detailed quantitative data. Recent developments in efficient computer-based video analyses have allowed testing pesticide effects on model species such as the zebrafish. However, these new techniques have not yet been applied to amphibians and directly to conservation issues, i.e. to assess toxicologic...

  8. Discovery of a new family of amphibians from northeast India with ancient links to Africa

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The limbless, primarily soil-dwelling and tropical caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) comprise the least known order of tetrapods. On the basis of unprecedented extensive fieldwork, we report the discovery of a previously overlooked, ancient lineage and radiation of caecilians from threatened habitats in the underexplored states of northeast India. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitogenomic and nuclear DNA sequences, and comparative cranial anatomy indicate an unexpected sister-group rela...

  9. 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 ...

  10. Mercury accumulation along a contamination gradient and nondestructive indices of bioaccumulation in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Christine M; Bodinof, Catherine M; Unrine, Jason M; Hopkins, William A

    2010-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) is an important environmental contaminant due to its global distribution, tendency to bioaccumulate, and toxicity in wildlife. However, Hg has received little attention in amphibians compared to other vertebrates. Amphibians vary widely in life history strategies and feeding ecologies, which could influence Hg exposure and accumulation. To determine whether species and life stage affects Hg bioaccumulation, adults from three species (Plethodon cinereus, Eurycea bislineata, and Bufo americanus) and larvae from the latter two species were collected along a contamination gradient on the South River (VA, USA). Total Hg (THg) concentrations in the contaminated site were 3.5 to 22 times higher than in the reference site. Differences were found in THg concentrations in amphibians that were consistent with their habitat requirements and feeding preferences. In general, adults (3,453 +/- 196 ng/g, dry mass) and larvae (2,479 +/- 171 ng/g) of the most river-associated species, E. bislineata, had the highest THg concentrations, followed by B. americanus tadpoles (2,132 +/- 602 ng/g), whereas adults of the more terrestrial B. americanus (598 +/- 117 ng/g) and P. cinereus (583 +/- 178 ng/g) had the lowest concentrations. In addition, nondestructive sampling techniques were developed. For the salamander species, THg concentrations in tail tissue were strongly correlated (r >or= 0.97) with the remaining carcass. A strong positive correlation (r = 0.92) also existed between blood and whole-body THg concentrations in B. americanus. These results suggest that amphibians and their terrestrial predators may be at risk of Hg exposure in this system and that nondestructive methods may be a viable sampling alternative that reduces impacts to local populations.

  11. Trends in Rocky Mountain amphibians and the role of beaver as a keystone species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Gould, William R.; Patla, Debra A.; Muths, Erin L.; Daley, Rob; Legg, Kristin; Corn, P. Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Despite prevalent awareness of global amphibian declines, there is still little information on trends for many widespread species. To inform land managers of trends on protected landscapes and identify potential conservation strategies, we collected occurrence data for five wetland-breeding amphibian species in four national parks in the U.S. Rocky Mountains during 2002–2011. We used explicit dynamics models to estimate variation in annual occupancy, extinction, and colonization of wetlands according to summer drought and several biophysical characteristics (e.g., wetland size, elevation), including the influence of North American beaver (Castor canadensis). We found more declines in occupancy than increases, especially in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks (NP), where three of four species declined since 2002. However, most species in Rocky Mountain NP were too rare to include in our analysis, which likely reflects significant historical declines. Although beaver were uncommon, their creation or modification of wetlands was associated with higher colonization rates for 4 of 5 amphibian species, producing a 34% increase in occupancy in beaver-influenced wetlands compared to wetlands without beaver influence. Also, colonization rates and occupancy of boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas) and Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) were ⩾2 times higher in beaver-influenced wetlands. These strong relationships suggest management for beaver that fosters amphibian recovery could counter declines in some areas. Our data reinforce reports of widespread declines of formerly and currently common species, even in areas assumed to be protected from most forms of human disturbance, and demonstrate the close ecological association between beaver and wetland-dependent species.

  12. Localized hotspots drive continental geography of abnormal amphibians on U.S. wildlife refuges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Mari K; Medley, Kimberly A; Pinkney, Alfred E; Holyoak, Marcel; Johnson, Pieter T J; Lannoo, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians with missing, misshapen, and extra limbs have garnered public and scientific attention for two decades, yet the extent of the phenomenon remains poorly understood. Despite progress in identifying the causes of abnormalities in some regions, a lack of knowledge about their broader spatial distribution and temporal dynamics has hindered efforts to understand their implications for amphibian population declines and environmental quality. To address this data gap, we conducted a nationwide, 10-year assessment of 62,947 amphibians on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges. Analysis of a core dataset of 48,081 individuals revealed that consistent with expected background frequencies, an average of 2% were abnormal, but abnormalities exhibited marked spatial variation with a maximum prevalence of 40%. Variance partitioning analysis demonstrated that factors associated with space (rather than species or year sampled) captured 97% of the variation in abnormalities, and the amount of partitioned variance decreased with increasing spatial scale (from site to refuge to region). Consistent with this, abnormalities occurred in local to regional hotspots, clustering at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers. We detected such hotspot clusters of high-abnormality sites in the Mississippi River Valley, California, and Alaska. Abnormality frequency was more variable within than outside of hotspot clusters. This is consistent with dynamic phenomena such as disturbance or natural enemies (pathogens or predators), whereas similarity of abnormality frequencies at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers suggests involvement of factors that are spatially consistent at a regional scale. Our characterization of the spatial and temporal variation inherent in continent-wide amphibian abnormalities demonstrates the disproportionate contribution of local factors in predicting hotspots, and the episodic nature of their occurrence.

  13. A second-order characteristic line scheme for solving a juvenile-adult model of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Keng; Wang, Yi

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we develop a second-order characteristic line scheme for a nonlinear hierarchical juvenile-adult population model of amphibians. The idea of the scheme is not to follow the characteristics from the initial data, but for each time step to find the origins of the grid nodes at the previous time level. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate the accuracy of the scheme and its capability to handle solutions with singularity.

  14. 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.

  15. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Corn, P. Stephen; Winsor H. Lowe,; R. Kenneth Honeycutt,; Sean A. Parks,

    2013-01-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host–parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent

  16. Phylogeny and differentiation of reptilian and amphibian ranaviruses detected in Europe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anke C Stöhr

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses in amphibians and fish are considered emerging pathogens and several isolates have been extensively characterized in different studies. Ranaviruses have also been detected in reptiles with increasing frequency, but the role of reptilian hosts is still unclear and only limited sequence data has been provided. In this study, we characterized a number of ranaviruses detected in wild and captive animals in Europe based on sequence data from six genomic regions (major capsid protein (MCP, DNA polymerase (DNApol, ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase alpha and beta subunit-like proteins (RNR-α and -β, viral homolog of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2, eIF-2α (vIF-2α genes and microsatellite region. A total of ten different isolates from reptiles (tortoises, lizards, and a snake and four ranaviruses from amphibians (anurans, urodeles were included in the study. Furthermore, the complete genome sequences of three reptilian isolates were determined and a new PCR for rapid classification of the different variants of the genomic arrangement was developed. All ranaviruses showed slight variations on the partial nucleotide sequences from the different genomic regions (92.6-100%. Some very similar isolates could be distinguished by the size of the band from the microsatellite region. Three of the lizard isolates had a truncated vIF-2α gene; the other ranaviruses had full-length genes. In the phylogenetic analyses of concatenated sequences from different genes (3223 nt/10287 aa, the reptilian ranaviruses were often more closely related to amphibian ranaviruses than to each other, and most clustered together with previously detected ranaviruses from the same geographic region of origin. Comparative analyses show that among the closely related amphibian-like ranaviruses (ALRVs described to date, three recently split and independently evolving distinct genetic groups can be distinguished. These findings underline the wide host

  17. Biotic Acceptance in Introduced Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe and North America

    OpenAIRE

    Poessel, S. A.; Beard, Karen H.; Callahan, C. M.; Ferreira, R.B.; Cologgi, E. T.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: The biotic resistance hypothesis argues that complex plant and animal communities are more resistant to invasion than simpler communities. Conversely, the biotic acceptance hypothesis states that non-native and native species richness are positively related. Most tests of these hypotheses at continental scales, typically conducted on plants, have found support for biotic acceptance. We tested these hypotheses on both amphibians and reptiles across Europe and North America. Location: Cont...

  18. Monitoring and Management of a Sensitive Resource: A Landscape-level Approach with Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-03-01

    nighttime assessments of vocalizing frogs during the breeding seasons executed from February through September (frog call surveys), (2) monthly daytime...study areas on each of the installations. (1) Frog call surveys - Species-specific frog vocalizations were taped and assessed by ear on one night...Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) meeting. Patuxent Wildlife Reararch Center, Laurel, MD. 13-15 October. Mitchell, J.C. 2000. Monitoring anuran

  19. Anuran amphibians in an Atlantic Forest area at Serra do Tabuleiro, Santa Catarina, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Milena Wachlevski; Luciana Kreutz Erdtmann; Paulo Christiano de Anchietta Garcia

    2014-01-01

    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,...

  20. Book Review: McCranie, J.R., L.D. Wilson - G. Köhler. 2005. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Bay Islands and Cayos Cochinos, Honduras

    OpenAIRE

    Sasa, Mahmood

    2007-01-01

    During the last four years, we have witnessed the publication of several important books that summarized current knowledge on the herpetofauna of Central America: Savage's (2002) The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica, McCranie and Wilson's (2002) The Amphibians of Honduras, Campbell and Lamar's (2004) The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere, and Solórzano's (2004) Serpientes de Costa Rica. Recently, McCranie, Wilson and Köhler inspire us with a volume on the species of amphibians ...