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Sample records for amphibian pathogen batrachochytrium

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

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    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

  2. Differences in sensitivity to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis among amphibian populations

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    Paul W. Bradley; Stephanie S. Gervasi; Jessica Hua; Rickey D. Cothran; Rick A. Relyea; Deanna H. Olson; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2015-01-01

    Contributing to the worldwide biodiversity crisis are emerging infectious diseases, which can lead to extirpations and extinctions of hosts. For example, the infectious fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is associated with worldwide amphibian population declines and extinctions. Sensitivity to Bd varies with species, season, and life stage. However,...

  3. Using occupancy models to understand the distribution of an amphibian pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

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    Adams, Michael J.; Chelgren, Nathan; Reinitz, David M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Rachowicz, L.J.; Galvan, Stephanie; Mccreary, Brome; Pearl, Christopher A.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Bettaso, Jamie B.; Bull, Evelyn L.; Leu, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen that is receiving attention around the world for its role in amphibian declines. Study of its occurrence patterns is hampered by false negatives: the failure to detect the pathogen when it is present. Occupancy models are a useful but currently underutilized tool for analyzing detection data when the probability of detecting a species is <1. We use occupancy models to evaluate hypotheses concerning the occurrence and prevalence of B. dendrobatidis and discuss how this application differs from a conventional occupancy approach. We found that the probability of detecting the pathogen, conditional on presence of the pathogen in the anuran population, was related to amphibian development stage, day of the year, elevation, and human activities. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was found throughout our study area but was only estimated to occur in 53.4% of 78 populations of native amphibians and 66.4% of 40 populations of nonnative Rana catesbeiana tested. We found little evidence to support any spatial hypotheses concerning the probability that the pathogen occurs in a population, but did find evidence of some taxonomic variation. We discuss the interpretation of occupancy model parameters, when, unlike a conventional occupancy application, the number of potential samples or observations is finite.

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

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    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.

  5. Substrate-specific gene expression in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the chytrid pathogen of amphibians.

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    Erica Bree Rosenblum

    Full Text Available Determining the mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction is critical for understanding and mitigating infectious disease. Mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity are of particular interest given the recent outbreaks of fungal diseases in wildlife populations. Our study focuses on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, the chytrid pathogen responsible for amphibian declines around the world. Previous studies have hypothesized a role for several specific families of secreted proteases as pathogenicity factors in Bd, but the expression of these genes has only been evaluated in laboratory growth conditions. Here we conduct a genome-wide study of Bd gene expression under two different nutrient conditions. We compare Bd gene expression profiles in standard laboratory growth media and in pulverized host tissue (i.e., frog skin. A large proportion of genes in the Bd genome show increased expression when grown in host tissue, indicating the importance of studying pathogens on host substrate. A number of gene classes show particularly high levels of expression in host tissue, including three families of secreted proteases (metallo-, serine- and aspartyl-proteases, adhesion genes, lipase-3 encoding genes, and a group of phylogenetically unusual crinkler-like effectors. We discuss the roles of these different genes as putative pathogenicity factors and discuss what they can teach us about Bd's metabolic targets, host invasion, and pathogenesis.

  6. Detection of the emerging amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and ranavirus in Russia

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    Reshetnikov, Andrey N.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Charles, Kaylene M.; Nebergall, Emily E.; Olson, Deanna H.

    2014-01-01

    In a population of the European common toad Bufo bufo from a rural pond in the region of Lake Glubokoe Regional Reserve in Moscow province, Russia, unexplained mass mortality events involving larvae and metamorphs have been observed over a monitoring period of >20 yr. We tested toads from this and a nearby site for the emerging amphibian pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and ranavirus (Rv). Both pathogens were detected, and at the rural pond site, with the above-noted losses and decline in toad breeding success, 40% of B. bufo metamorphs were Bd positive, 46% were Rv positive and 20% were co-infected with both pathogens. Toad metamorphs from a neighbouring water body were also Bd and Rv positive (25 and 55%, respectively). This is the first confirmation of these pathogens in Russia. Questions remain as to the origins of these pathogens in Russia and their roles in documented mass mortality events.

  7. The emerging amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis globally infects introduced populations of the North American bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana.

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    Garner, Trenton W J; Perkins, Matthew W; Govindarajulu, Purnima; Seglie, Daniele; Walker, Susan; Cunningham, Andrew A; Fisher, Matthew C

    2006-09-22

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the chytridiomycete fungus which has been implicated in global amphibian declines and numerous species extinctions. Here, we show that introduced North American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) consistently carry this emerging pathogenic fungus. We detected infections by this fungus on introduced bullfrogs from seven of eight countries using both PCR and microscopic techniques. Only native bullfrogs from eastern Canada and introduced bullfrogs from Japan showed no sign of infection. The bullfrog is the most commonly farmed amphibian, and escapes and subsequent establishment of feral populations regularly occur. These factors taken together with our study suggest that the global threat of B. dendrobatidis disease transmission posed by bullfrogs is significant.

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

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    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.

  9. Factors related to the distribution and prevalence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dentrobatidis in Rana cascadae and other amphibians in the Klamath Mountains

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    Jonah Piovia-Scott; Karen L. Pope; Sharon P. Lawler; Esther M. Cole; Janet E. Foley

    2011-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis, has been associated with declines and extinctions of montane amphibians worldwide. To gain insight into factors affecting its distribution and prevalence we focus on the amphibian community of the Klamath Mountains in northwest...

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

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    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.

  11. Widespread presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in wild amphibian communities in Madagascar

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    Bletz, Molly C.; Rosa, Gonçalo M.; Andreone, Franco; Courtois, Elodie A.; Schmeller, Dirk S.; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H. C.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Raharivololoniaina, Liliane; Vences, Miguel; Weldon, Ché; Edmonds, Devin; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Harris, Reid N.; Fisher, Matthew C.; Crottini, Angelica

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been a significant driver of amphibian declines. While globally widespread, Bd had not yet been reported from within Madagascar. We document surveys conducted across the country between 2005 and 2014, showing Bd's first record in 2010. Subsequently, Bd was detected in multiple areas, with prevalence reaching up to 100%. Detection of Bd appears to be associated with mid to high elevation sites and to have a seasonal pattern, with greater detectability during the dry season. Lineage-based PCR was performed on a subset of samples. While some did not amplify with any lineage probe, when a positive signal was observed, samples were most similar to the Global Panzootic Lineage (BdGPL). These results may suggest that Bd arrived recently, but do not exclude the existence of a previously undetected endemic Bd genotype. Representatives of all native anuran families have tested Bd-positive, and exposure trials confirm infection by Bd is possible. Bd's presence could pose significant threats to Madagascar's unique “megadiverse” amphibians. PMID:25719857

  12. Detection of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Museum Specimens of Andean Aquatic Birds: Implications for Pathogen Dispersal.

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    Burrowes, Patricia A; De la Riva, Ignacio

    2017-04-01

    The occurrence of the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in the feet of live waterfowl has been documented, but the potential role of birds as dispersers has not been studied. We report the presence of Bd in the feet of preserved aquatic birds in the Bolivian high Andes during the time of drastic amphibian declines in the country. We sampled 48 aquatic birds from the Bolivian Andes that were preserved in museum collections. Birds were sampled for the presence of Bd DNA by swabbing, taking small pieces of tissue from toe webbing, or both. We detected Bd by DNA using quantitative PCR in 42% of the birds sampled via toe tissue pieces. This method was significantly better than swabbing at detecting Bd from bird feet. We confirmed Bd presence by sequencing Bd -positive samples and found 91-98% homology with Bd sequences from GenBank. Our study confirms that aquatic birds can carry Bd and thus may serve as potential vectors of this pathogen across large distances and complex landscapes. In addition, we recommend using DNA from preserved birds as a novel source of data to test hypotheses on the spread of chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

  13. Projecting the Global Distribution of the Emerging Amphibian Fungal Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Based on IPCC Climate Futures.

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    Gisselle Yang Xie

    Full Text Available Projected changes in climate conditions are emerging as significant risk factors to numerous species, affecting habitat conditions and community interactions. Projections suggest species range shifts in response to climate change modifying environmental suitability and is supported by observational evidence. Both pathogens and their hosts can shift ranges with climate change. We consider how climate change may influence the distribution of the emerging infectious amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, a pathogen associated with worldwide amphibian population losses. Using an expanded global Bd database and a novel modeling approach, we examined a broad set of climate metrics to model the Bd-climate niche globally and regionally, then project how climate change may influence Bd distributions. Previous research showed that Bd distribution is dependent on climatic variables, in particular temperature. We trained a machine-learning model (random forest with the most comprehensive global compilation of Bd sampling records (~5,000 site-level records, mid-2014 summary, including 13 climatic variables. We projected future Bd environmental suitability under IPCC scenarios. The learning model was trained with combined worldwide data (non-region specific and also separately per region (region-specific. One goal of our study was to estimate of how Bd spatial risks may change under climate change based on the best available data. Our models supported differences in Bd-climate relationships among geographic regions. We projected that Bd ranges will shift into higher latitudes and altitudes due to increased environmental suitability in those regions under predicted climate change. Specifically, our model showed a broad expansion of areas environmentally suitable for establishment of Bd on amphibian hosts in the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Our projections are useful for the development of monitoring designs in these areas

  14. Species-level correlates of susceptibility to the pathogenic amphibian fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the United States

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    Betsy A. Bancroft; Barbara A. Han; Catherine L. Searle; Lindsay M. Biga; Deanna H. Olson; Lee B. Kats; Joshua J. Lawler; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2011-01-01

    Disease is often implicated as a factor in population declines of wildlife and plants. Understanding the characteristics that may predispose a species to infection by a particular pathogen can help direct conservation efforts. Recent declines in amphibian populations world-wide are a major conservation issue and may be caused in part by a fungal pathogen, ...

  15. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and the risk of a second amphibian pandemic

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    Yap, Tiffany A.; Nguyen, Natalie T.; Serr, Megan; Shepak, Alex; Vredenburg, Vance

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians are experiencing devastating population declines globally. A major driver is chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Bdwas described in 1999 and has been linked with declines since the 1970s, while Bsal is a more recently discovered pathogen that was described in 2013. It is hypothesized that Bsaloriginated in Asia and spread via international trade to Europe, where it has been linked to salamander die-offs. Trade in live amphibians thus represents a significant threat to global biodiversity in amphibians. We review the current state of knowledge regarding Bsal and describe the risk of Bsal spread. We discuss regional responses to Bsal and barriers that impede a rapid, coordinated global effort. The discovery of a second deadly emerging chytrid fungal pathogen in amphibians poses an opportunity for scientists, conservationists, and governments to improve global biosecurity and further protect humans and wildlife from a growing number of emerging infectious diseases.

  16. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis detected in amphibians from National Forests in eastern Texas, USA

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    Daniel Saenz; Brendan T. Kavanagh; Matthew A. Kwiatkowski

    2010-01-01

    The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, Longcore et al. 1999), is well known as a major threat to amphibians resulting in mass die-offs and population declines throughout the world (Berger et al. 1998; Blaustein and Keisecker 2002; Daszak et al. 2003; McCallum 2005; Rachowicz et al. 2006)....

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

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    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.

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

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

    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...

  19. Presence of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Native Amphibians Exported from Madagascar

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    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. PMID:24599336

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

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    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Projecting the global distribution of the emerging amphibian fungal pathogen, batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, based on IPCC climate futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisselle Yang Xie; Deanna H. Olson; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2016-01-01

    Projected changes in climate conditions are emerging as significant risk factors to numerous species, affecting habitat conditions and community interactions. Projections suggest species range shifts in response to climate change modifying environmental suitability and is supported by observational evidence. Both pathogens and their hosts can shift ranges with climate...

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

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

    2013-08-01

    Population declines and extinctions of amphibians have been attributed to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), especially one globally emerging recombinant lineage ('Bd-GPL'). We used PCR assays that target the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of Bd to determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of Bd in South Korea, where Bd is widely distributed but is not known to cause morbidity or mortality in wild populations. We isolated Korean Bd strains from native amphibians with low infection loads and compared them to known worldwide Bd strains using 19 polymorphic SNP and microsatellite loci. Bd prevalence ranged between 12.5 and 48.0%, in 11 of 17 native Korean species, and 24.7% in the introduced bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus. Based on ITS sequence variation, 47 of the 50 identified Korean haplotypes formed a group closely associated with a native Brazilian Bd lineage, separated from the Bd-GPL lineage. However, multilocus genotyping of three Korean Bd isolates revealed strong divergence from both Bd-GPL and the native Brazilian Bd lineages. Thus, the ITS region resolves genotypes that diverge from Bd-GPL but otherwise generates ambiguous phylogenies. Our results point to the presence of highly diversified endemic strains of Bd across Asian amphibian species. The rarity of Bd-GPL-associated haplotypes suggests that either this lineage was introduced into Korea only recently or Bd-GPL has been outcompeted by native Bd strains. Our results highlight the need to consider possible complex interactions among native Bd lineages, Bd-GPL and their associated amphibian hosts when assessing the spread and impact of Bd-GPL on worldwide amphibian populations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

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    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.

  4. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar

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    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Ramirez, Sara D.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease

  5. Effects of urbanization on the occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: do urban environments provide refuge from the amphibian chytrid fungus?

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    Daniel Saenz; Taylor L. Hall; Matthew A. Kwiatkowski

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a widespread pathogenic fungus that is known to cause the disease, chytridiomycosis, which can be lethal to many amphibians. We compared occurrence rates on spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) in urban and forested breeding sites in eastern Texas, USA. All study sites were at...

  6. Pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in marbled water frog Telmatobius marmoratus: first record from Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.

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    Cossel, John; Lindquist, Erik; Craig, Heather; Luthman, Kyle

    2014-11-13

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with amphibian declines worldwide but has not been well-studied among Critically Endangered amphibian species in Bolivia. We sampled free-living marbled water frogs Telmatobius marmoratus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from Isla del Sol, Bolivia, for Bd using skin swabs and quantitative polymerase chain reactions. We detected Bd on 44% of T. marmoratus sampled. This is the first record of Bd in amphibians from waters associated with Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. These results further confirm the presence of Bd in Bolivia and substantiate the potential threat of this pathogen to the Critically Endangered, sympatric Titicaca water frog T. culeus and other Andean amphibians.

  7. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan.

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    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. 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

  9. Low prevalence of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians of U.S

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Host identity matters in the amphibian-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis system: fine-scale patterns of variation in responses to a multi-host pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanie Gervasi; Carmen Gondhalekar; Deanna H. Olson; Andrew R. Blaustein

    2013-01-01

    Species composition within ecological assemblages can drive disease dynamics including pathogen invasion, spread, and persistence. In multi-host pathogen systems, interspecific variation in responses to infection creates important context dependency when predicting the outcome of disease. Here, we examine the responses of three sympatric host species to a single fungal...

  12. Pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but not B. salamandrivorans, detected on eastern hellbenders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma K Bales

    Full Text Available Recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Until recently, Bd was thought to be the only Batrachochytrium species that infects amphibians; however a newly described species, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs, is linked to die-offs in European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra. Little is known about the distribution, host range, or origin of Bs. In this study, we surveyed populations of an aquatic salamander that is declining in the United States, the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis, for the presence of Bs and Bd. Skin swabs were collected from a total of 91 individuals in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, and tested for both pathogens using duplex qPCR. Bs was not detected in any samples, suggesting it was not present in these hellbender populations (0% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.0-0.04. Bd was found on 22 hellbenders (24% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.16 ≤ 0.24 ≤ 0.34, representing all four states. All positive samples had low loads of Bd zoospores (12.7 ± 4.9 S.E.M. genome equivalents compared to other Bd susceptible species. More research is needed to determine the impact of Batrachochytrium infection on hellbender fitness and population viability. In particular, understanding how hellbenders limit Bd infection intensity in an aquatic environment may yield important insights for amphibian conservation. This study is among the first to evaluate the distribution of Bs in the United States, and is consistent with another, which failed to detect Bs in the U.S. Knowledge about the distribution, host-range, and origin of Bs may help control the spread of this pathogen, especially to regions of high salamander diversity, such as the eastern United States.

  13. Pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but not B. salamandrivorans, detected on eastern hellbenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bales, Emma K; Hyman, Oliver J; Loudon, Andrew H; Harris, Reid N; Lipps, Gregory; Chapman, Eric; Roblee, Kenneth; Kleopfer, John D; Terrell, Kimberly A

    2015-01-01

    Recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations have been attributed to chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Until recently, Bd was thought to be the only Batrachochytrium species that infects amphibians; however a newly described species, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs), is linked to die-offs in European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Little is known about the distribution, host range, or origin of Bs. In this study, we surveyed populations of an aquatic salamander that is declining in the United States, the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis), for the presence of Bs and Bd. Skin swabs were collected from a total of 91 individuals in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, and tested for both pathogens using duplex qPCR. Bs was not detected in any samples, suggesting it was not present in these hellbender populations (0% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.0-0.04). Bd was found on 22 hellbenders (24% prevalence, 95% confidence intervals of 0.16 ≤ 0.24 ≤ 0.34), representing all four states. All positive samples had low loads of Bd zoospores (12.7 ± 4.9 S.E.M. genome equivalents) compared to other Bd susceptible species. More research is needed to determine the impact of Batrachochytrium infection on hellbender fitness and population viability. In particular, understanding how hellbenders limit Bd infection intensity in an aquatic environment may yield important insights for amphibian conservation. This study is among the first to evaluate the distribution of Bs in the United States, and is consistent with another, which failed to detect Bs in the U.S. Knowledge about the distribution, host-range, and origin of Bs may help control the spread of this pathogen, especially to regions of high salamander diversity, such as the eastern United States.

  14. Gene expression differs in susceptible and resistant amphibians exposed toBatrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskew, Evan A; Shock, Barbara C; LaDouceur, Elise E B; Keel, Kevin; Miller, Michael R; Foley, Janet E; Todd, Brian D

    2018-02-01

    Chytridiomycosis, the disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ), has devastated global amphibian biodiversity. Nevertheless, some hosts avoid disease after Bd exposure even as others experience near-complete extirpation. It remains unclear whether the amphibian adaptive immune system plays a role in Bd defence. Here, we describe gene expression in two host species-one susceptible to chytridiomycosis and one resistant-following exposure to two Bd isolates that differ in virulence. Susceptible wood frogs ( Rana sylvatica ) had high infection loads and mortality when exposed to the more virulent Bd isolate but lower infection loads and no fatal disease when exposed to the less virulent isolate. Resistant American bullfrogs ( R. catesbeiana ) had high survival across treatments and rapidly cleared Bd infection or avoided infection entirely. We found widespread upregulation of adaptive immune genes and downregulation of important metabolic and cellular maintenance components in wood frogs after Bd exposure, whereas American bullfrogs showed little gene expression change and no evidence of an adaptive immune response. Wood frog responses suggest that adaptive immune defences may be ineffective against virulent Bd isolates that can cause rapid physiological dysfunction. By contrast, American bullfrogs exhibited robust resistance to Bd that is likely attributable, at least in part, to their continued upkeep of metabolic and skin integrity pathways as well as greater antimicrobial peptide expression compared to wood frogs, regardless of exposure. Greater understanding of these defences will ultimately help conservationists manage chytridiomycosis.

  15. Correlates of virulence in a frog-killing fungal pathogen: evidence from a California amphibian decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonah Piovia-Scott; Karen Pope; S. Joy Worth; Erica Bree Rosenblum; Dean Simon; Gordon Warburton; Louise A. Rollins-Smith; Laura K. Reinert; Heather L. Wells; Dan Rejmanek; Sharon Lawler; Janet Foley

    2015-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines and extinctions in amphibians worldwide, and there is increasing evidence that some strains of this pathogen are more virulent than others. While a number of putative virulence factors have been identified, few studies link these factors to specific epizootic events. We...

  16. Inhibition of Fungal Pathogens across Genotypes and Temperatures by Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly R. Muletz-Wolz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Symbiotic bacteria may dampen the impacts of infectious diseases on hosts by inhibiting pathogen growth. However, our understanding of the generality of pathogen inhibition by different bacterial taxa across pathogen genotypes and environmental conditions is limited. Bacterial inhibitory properties are of particular interest for the amphibian-killing fungal pathogens (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, for which probiotic applications as conservation strategies have been proposed. We quantified the inhibition strength of five putatively B. dendrobatidis-inhibitory bacteria isolated from woodland salamander skin against six Batrachochytrium genotypes at two temperatures (12 and 18°C. We selected six genotypes from across the Batrachochytrium phylogeny: B. salamandrivorans, B. dendrobatidis-Brazil and four genotypes of the B. dendrobatidis Global Panzootic Lineage (GPL1: JEL647, JEL404; GPL2: SRS810, JEL423. We performed 96-well plate challenge assays in a full factorial design. We detected a Batrachochytrium genotype by temperature interaction on bacterial inhibition score for all bacteria, indicating that bacteria vary in ability to inhibit Batrachochytrium depending on pathogen genotype and temperature. Acinetobacter rhizosphaerae moderately inhibited B. salamandrivorans at both temperatures (μ = 46–53%, but not any B. dendrobatidis genotypes. Chryseobacterium sp. inhibited three Batrachochytrium genotypes at both temperatures (μ = 5–71%. Pseudomonas sp. strain 1 inhibited all Batrachochytrium genotypes at 12°C and four Batrachochytrium genotypes at 18°C (μ = 5–100%. Pseudomonas sp. strain 2 and Stenotrophomonas sp. moderately to strongly inhibited all six Batrachochytrium genotypes at both temperatures (μ = 57–100%. All bacteria consistently inhibited B. salamandrivorans. Using cluster analysis of inhibition scores, we found that more closely related Batrachochytrium genotypes grouped together

  17. Prevalence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigafus, Brent H.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.

    2014-01-01

    Information on disease presence can be of use to natural resource managers, especially in areas supporting threatened and endangered species that occur coincidentally with species that are suspected vectors for disease. Ad hoc reports may be of limited utility (Muths et al. 2009), but a general sense of pathogen presence (or absence) can inform management directed at T&E species, especially in regions where disease is suspected to have caused population declines (Bradley et al. 2002). The Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis), a species susceptible to infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) (Bradley et al. 2002), and the non-native, invasive American Bullfrog (L. catesbeianus), a suspected vector for chytridiomycosis (Schloegel et al. 2012, Gervasi et al. 2013), both occur at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) and surrounding lands in southern Arizona. Efforts to eradicate the bullfrog from BANWR began in 1997 (Suhre, 2010). Eradication from the southern portion of BANWR was successful by 2008 but the bullfrog remains present at the Arivaca Cienega and in areas immediately adjacent to the refuge (Fig. 1). Curtailing the re-invasion of the bullfrog into BANWR will require vigilance as to ensure the health of Chiricahua Leopard Frog populations.

  18. Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tara Chestnut; Chauncey Anderson; Radu Popa; Andrew R. Blaustein; Mary Voytek; Deanna H. Olson; Julie. Kirshtein

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, by one estimate, 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction, and disease is one threat to amphibian populations. The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a contributor to amphibian declines...

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara Chestnut

    Full Text Available Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, by one estimate, 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction, and disease is one threat to amphibian populations. The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is a contributor to amphibian declines worldwide. Bd research has focused on the dynamics of the pathogen in its amphibian hosts, with little emphasis on investigating the dynamics of free-living Bd. Therefore, we investigated patterns of Bd occupancy and density in amphibian habitats using occupancy models, powerful tools for estimating site occupancy and detection probability. Occupancy models have been used to investigate diseases where the focus was on pathogen occurrence in the host. We applied occupancy models to investigate free-living Bd in North American surface waters to determine Bd seasonality, relationships between Bd site occupancy and habitat attributes, and probability of detection from water samples as a function of the number of samples, sample volume, and water quality. We also report on the temporal patterns of Bd density from a 4-year case study of a Bd-positive wetland. We provide evidence that Bd occurs in the environment year-round. Bd exhibited temporal and spatial heterogeneity in density, but did not exhibit seasonality in occupancy. Bd was detected in all months, typically at less than 100 zoospores L(-1. The highest density observed was ∼3 million zoospores L(-1. We detected Bd in 47% of sites sampled, but estimated that Bd occupied 61% of sites, highlighting the importance of accounting for imperfect detection. When Bd was present, there was a 95% chance of detecting it with four samples of 600 ml of water or five samples of 60 mL. Our findings provide important baseline information to advance the study of Bd disease ecology, and advance our understanding of amphibian exposure to free

  2. 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.

  3. Motile zoospores of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis move away from antifungal metabolites produced by amphibian skin bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Brianna A; Walton, D Brian; Harris, Reid N

    2011-03-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an amphibian skin disease that threatens amphibian biodiversity worldwide. The fungal agent of chytridiomycosis is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. There is considerable variation in disease outcomes such that some individuals and populations co-exist with the fungus and others quickly succumb to disease. Amphibians in populations that co-exist with the B. dendrobatidis have sublethal infections on their skins. Symbiotic skin bacteria have been shown in experiments and surveys to play a role in protecting amphibians from chytridiomycosis. Little is known about the mechanisms that antifungal skin bacteria use to ameliorate the effects of B. dendrobatidis. In this study, we identified that B. dendrobatidis isolate JEL 310 zoospores display chemotaxis, in the presence of two bacterially-produced metabolites (2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol and indole-3-carboxaldehyde). In the presence of either metabolite, B. dendrobatidis zoospores move more frequently away from the metabolite. Using parameters estimated from this study, a simple stochastic model of a random walk on a lattice was evaluated. The model shows that these individual behaviors over short time-scales directly lead to population behaviors over long time-scales, such that most zoospores will escape, or not infect a tryptone substrate containing the bacterially-produced metabolite, whereas many zoospores will infect the tryptone substrate containing no metabolite. These results suggest that amphibians that have skin bacteria produce antifungal metabolites that might be able to keep B. dendrobatidis infections below the lethal threshold and thus are able to co-exist with the fungus.

  4. Unexpected rarity of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957-2011.

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    Carly Muletz

    Full Text Available Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central American plethodontids. We tested 1,498 Plethodon salamanders of 12 species (892 museum specimens, 606 wild individuals for the presence of Bd, and tested 94 of those for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs and for ranavirus. Field samples were collected in 2011 from 48 field sites across a 767 km transect. Historic samples from museum specimens were collected at five sites with the greatest number and longest duration of collection (1957-987, four of which were sampled in the field in 2011. None of the museum specimens were positive for Bd, but four P. cinereus from field surveys were positive. The overall Bd prevalence from 1957-2011 for 12 Plethodon species sampled across a 757 km transect was 0.2% (95% CI 0.1-0.7%. All 94 samples were negative for Bs and ranavirus. We conclude that known amphibian pathogens are unlikely causes for declines in these Plethodon populations. Furthermore, these exceptionally low levels of Bd, in a region known to harbor Bd, may indicate that Plethodon specific traits limit Bd infection.

  5. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians confiscated from illegal wildlife trade and used in an ex situ breeding program in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Paula, C D; Pacífico-Assis, E C; Catão-Dias, J L

    2012-03-20

    This paper describes an outbreak of chytridiomycosis affecting a group of Dendrobates tinctorius, a Neotropical anuran species, confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade and housed in a private zoo in Brazil as part of an ex situ breeding program. We examined histological sections of the skin of 30 D. tinctorius and 20 Adelphobates galactonotus individuals. Twenty D. tinctorius (66.7%) and none of the A. galactonotus were positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Multiple development stages of Bd infection were observed. The reasons for the inter-specific difference in the rate of infection could not be determined, and further studies are advised. Because the examined population consisted of confiscated frogs, detailed epidemiological aspects could not be investigated, and the source of the fungus remains uncertain. The existence of ex situ amphibian populations is important for protecting species at higher risk in the wild, and ex situ amphibian conservation and breeding programs in Brazil may be established using confiscated frogs as founders. However, this paper alerts these programs to the urgency of strict quarantine procedures to prevent the introduction of potential pathogens, particularly Bd, into ex situ conservation programs.

  6. Contribution of Multiple Inter-kingdom Horizontal Gene Transfers to Evolution and Adaptation of Amphibian-killing Chytrid, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

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    Baofa Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian populations are experiencing catastrophic declines driven by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Although horizontal gene transfer (HGT facilitates the evolution and adaptation in many fungi by conferring novel function genes to the recipient fungi, inter-kingdom HGT in Bd remains largely unexplored. In this study, our investigation detects 19 bacterial genes transferred to Bd, including metallo-beta-lactamase and arsenate reductase that play important roles in the resistance to antibiotics and arsenates. Moreover, three probable HGT gene families in Bd are from plants and one gene family coding the ankyrin repeat-containing protein appears to come from oomycetes. The observed multi-copy gene families associated with HGT are probably due to the independent transfer events or gene duplications. Five HGT genes with extracellular locations may relate to infection, and some other genes may participate in a variety of metabolic pathways, and in doing so add important metabolic traits to the recipient. The evolutionary analysis indicates that all the transferred genes evolved under purifying selection, suggesting that their functions in Bd are similar to those of the donors. Collectively, our results indicate that HGT from diverse donors may be an important evolutionary driver of Bd, and improve its adaptations for infecting and colonizing host amphibians.

  7. Presence and prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in commercial amphibians in Mexico City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galindo-Bustos, Miguel Angel; Hernandez-Jauregui, Dulce María Brousset; Cheng, Tina; Vredenburg, Vance; Parra-Olea, Gabriela

    2014-12-01

    In Mexico City, native and exotic amphibians are commonly sold through the pet trade. This study investigates the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in native amphibians being sold at two commercial markets and at a herpetarium in Mexico City. A total of 238 individuals (6 genera and 12 species) were tested for Bd using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. There were 197 Bd-positive individuals (prevalence 82%) from five species of amphibians. Hyla eximia from the markets had very high Bd prevalence (100%; 76/76 and 99%; 88/89) but those from the herpetarium were Bd negative (0/12). Ambystoma mexicanum from the herpetarium also had a high Bd-positive prevalence (80%; 28/35). Though A. mexicanum is nearly extinct in the wild, a commercial market continues to flourish through the pet trade. Now that captive colonies of A. mexicanum are currently used for reintroduction programs, the authors recommend quarantine to reduce spread of Bd via movement of infected animals in the trade and between colonies and via disposal of wastewater from captive collections.

  8. Heterogeneous occupancy and density estimates of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in waters of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chestnut, Tara E.; Anderson, Chauncey; Popa, Radu; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Voytek, Mary; Olson, Deanna H.; Kirshtein, Julie

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity losses are occurring worldwide due to a combination of stressors. For example, by one estimate, 40% of amphibian species are vulnerable to extinction, and disease is one threat to amphibian populations. The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a contributor to amphibian declines worldwide. Bd research has focused on the dynamics of the pathogen in its amphibian hosts, with little emphasis on investigating the dynamics of free-living Bd. Therefore, we investigated patterns of Bd occupancy and density in amphibian habitats using occupancy models, powerful tools for estimating site occupancy and detection probability. Occupancy models have been used to investigate diseases where the focus was on pathogen occurrence in the host. We applied occupancy models to investigate free-living Bd in North American surface waters to determine Bd seasonality, relationships between Bd site occupancy and habitat attributes, and probability of detection from water samples as a function of the number of samples, sample volume, and water quality. We also report on the temporal patterns of Bd density from a 4-year case study of a Bd-positive wetland. We provide evidence that Bd occurs in the environment year-round. Bd exhibited temporal and spatial heterogeneity in density, but did not exhibit seasonality in occupancy. Bd was detected in all months, typically at less than 100 zoospores L−1. The highest density observed was ∼3 million zoospores L−1. We detected Bd in 47% of sites sampled, but estimated that Bd occupied 61% of sites, highlighting the importance of accounting for imperfect detection. When Bd was present, there was a 95% chance of detecting it with four samples of 600 ml of water or five samples of 60 mL. Our findings provide important baseline information to advance the study of Bd disease ecology, and advance our understanding of amphibian exposure

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in coastal and montane California, USA Anurans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Reinitz, David M.; Kleeman, Patrick M.

    2011-01-01

    We found amphibian chytrid fungus (Bd = Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) to be widespread within a coastalwatershed at Point Reyes National Seashore, California and within two high elevation watersheds at Yosemite NationalPark, California. Bd was associated with all six species that we sampled (Bufo boreas, B. canorus, Pseudacris regilla, Ranadraytonii, R. sierrae, and Lithobates catesbeianus). For those species sampled at 10 or more sites within a watershed, thepercentage of Bd-positive sites varied from a low of 20.7% for P. regilla at one Yosemite watershed to a high of 79.6% forP. regilla at the Olema watershed at Point Reyes. At Olema, the percent of Bd-positive water bodies declined each year ofour study (2005-2007). Because P. regilla was the only species found in all watersheds, we used that species to evaluatehabitat variables related to the sites where P. regilla was Bd-positive. At Olema, significant variables were year, length ofshoreline (perimeter), percentage cover of rooted vegetation, and water depth. At the two Yosemite watersheds, waterdepth, water temperature, and silt/mud were the most important covariates, though the importance of these three factorsdiffered between the two watersheds. The presence of Bd in species that are not declining suggests that some of theamphibians in our study were innately resistant to Bd, or had developed resistance after Bd became established.

  12. Development of antimicrobial peptide defenses of southern leopard frogs, Rana sphenocephala, against the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, Whitney M; Reinert, Laura K; Hanlon, Shane M; Parris, Matthew J; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian species face the growing threat of extinction due to the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced in granular glands of the skin are an important defense against this pathogen. Little is known about the ontogeny of AMP production or the impact of AMPs on potentially beneficial symbiotic skin bacteria. We show here that Rana (Lithobates) sphenocephala produces a mixture of four AMPs with activity against B. dendrobatidis, and we report the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of synthesized replicates of these four AMPs tested against B. dendrobatidis. Using mass spectrometry and protein quantification assays, we observed that R. sphenocephala does not secrete a mature suite of AMPs until approximately 12 weeks post-metamorphosis, and geographically disparate populations produce a different suite of peptides. Use of norepinephrine to induce maximal secretion significantly reduced levels of culturable skin bacteria. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Development of in vitro models for a better understanding of the early pathogenesis of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infections in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rooij, Pascale; Martel, An; Brutyn, Melanie; Maes, Sofie; Chiers, Koen; Van Waeyenberghe, Lieven; Croubels, Siska; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2010-12-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the causal agent of chytridiomycosis, is implicated in the global decline of amphibians. This chytrid fungus invades keratinised epithelial cells, and infection is mainly associated with epidermal hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis. Since little is known about the pathogenesis of chytridiomycosis, this study was designed to optimise the conditions under which primary keratinocytes and epidermal explants of amphibian skin could be maintained ex vivo for several days. The usefulness of the following set-ups for pathogenesis studies was investigated: a) cultures of primary keratinocytes; b) stripped epidermal (SE) explants; c) full-thickness epidermal (FTE) explants on Matrigel™; d) FTE explants in cell culture inserts; and e) FTE explants in Ussing chambers. SE explants proved most suitable for short-term studies, since adherence of fluorescently-labelled zoospores to the superficial epidermis could be observed within one hour of infection. FTE explants in an Ussing chamber set-up are most suitable for the study of the later developmental stages of B. dendrobatidis in amphibian skin up to five days post-infection. These models provide a good alternative for in vivo experiments, and reduce the number of experimental animals needed. 2010 FRAME.

  14. Distribution and pathogenicity of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in boreal toads from the grand teton area of western wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, P.J.; St-Hilaire, S.; Bruer, S.; Corn, P.S.; Peterson, C.R.

    2009-01-01

    The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the skin disease chytridiomycosis, has been linked to amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Bd has been implicated in recent declines of boreal toads, Bufo boreas boreas, in Colorado but populations of boreal toads in western Wyoming have high prevalence of Bd without suffering catastrophic mortality. In a field and laboratory study, we investigated the prevalence of Bd in boreal toads from the Grand Teton ecosystem (GRTE) in Wyoming and tested the pathogenicity of Bd to these toads in several environments. The pathogen was present in breeding adults at all 10 sites sampled, with a mean prevalence of 67%. In an experiment with juvenile toadlets housed individually in wet environments, 106 zoospores of Bd isolated from GRTE caused lethal disease in all Wyoming and Colorado animals within 35 days. Survival time was longer in toadlets from Wyoming than Colorado and in toadlets spending more time in dry sites. In a second trial involving Colorado toadlets exposed to 35% fewer Bd zoospores, infection peaked and subsided over 68 days with no lethal chytridiomycosis in any treatment. However, compared with drier aquaria with dry refuges, Bd infection intensity was 41% higher in more humid aquaria and 81% higher without dry refuges available. Our findings suggest that although widely infected in nature, Wyoming toads may escape chytridiomycosis due to a slight advantage in innate resistance or because their native habitat hinders Bd growth or provides more opportunities to reduce pathogen loads behaviorally than in Colorado. ?? 2009 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  15. Mapping amphibian disease patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen Parks

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades the worldwide emergence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes chytridiomycosis, has drastically impacted populations of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Currently, as much as 40% of the roughly 6300 known amphibian species are deemed imperiled, and chytridiomycosis is...

  16. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an anuran community in the southeastern Talamanca Region of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Cory K. Adams; Josh B. Pierce; David Laurencio

    2009-01-01

    Soon after the discovery of the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, Longcore et al. 1999), it became apparent that Bd was a major threat to amphibians resulting in mass die-offs and population declines throughout the world (Berger et aI. 1998; Blaustein and Keisecker 2002; Daszak et aI. 2003; McCallum...

  17. Prevalence and pathogen load estimates for the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis are impacted by ITS DNA copy number variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rebollar, Eria A.; Woodhams, Douglas C.; LaBumbard, Brandon

    2017-01-01

    in amphibians and white nose syndrome in bats. Chytridiomycosis is caused by the fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), and is responsible for declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. Over a decade ago, a qPCR assay was developed to determine Bd prevalence...

  18. Effects of nutrient supplementation on host-pathogen dynamics of the amphibian chytrid fungus: a community approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Julia C; Rohr, Jason R; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic stressors may influence hosts and their pathogens directly or may alter host-pathogen dynamics indirectly through interactions with other species. For example, in aquatic ecosystems, eutrophication may be associated with increased or decreased disease risk. Conversely, pathogens can influence community structure and function and are increasingly recognised as important members of the ecological communities in which they exist.In outdoor mesocosms, we experimentally manipulated nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and the presence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and examined the effects on Bd abundance on larval amphibian hosts ( Pseudacris regilla : Hylidae), amphibian traits and community dynamics. We predicted that resource supplementation would mitigate negative effects of Bd on tadpole growth and development and that indirect effects of treatments would propagate through the community.Nutrient additions caused changes in algal growth, which benefitted tadpoles through increased mass, development and survival. Bd-exposed tadpoles metamorphosed sooner than unexposed individuals, but their mass at metamorphosis was not affected by Bd exposure. We detected additive rather than interactive effects of nutrient supplementation and Bd in this experiment.Nutrient supplementation was not a significant predictor of infection load of larval amphibians. However, a structural equation model revealed that resource supplementation and exposure of amphibians to Bd altered the structure of the aquatic community. This is the first demonstration that sublethal effects of Bd on amphibians can alter aquatic community dynamics.

  19. First in Vivo Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Transcriptomes Reveal Mechanisms of Host Exploitation, Host-Specific Gene Expression, and Expressed Genotype Shifts

    OpenAIRE

    Amy R. Ellison; Graziella V. DiRenzo; Caitlin A. McDonald; Karen R. Lips; Kelly R. Zamudio

    2017-01-01

    For generalist pathogens, host species represent distinct selective environments, providing unique challenges for resource acquisition and defense from host immunity, potentially resulting in host-dependent differences in pathogen fitness. Gene expression modulation should be advantageous, responding optimally to a given host and mitigating the costs of generalism. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungal pathogen of amphibians, shows variability in pathogenicity among isolates, and with...

  20. Whether the Weather Drives Patterns of Endemic Amphibian Chytridiomycosis: A Pathogen Proliferation Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Kris A.; Skerratt, Lee F.; Garland, Stephen; Kriticos, Darren; McCallum, Hamish

    2013-01-01

    The pandemic amphibian disease chytridiomycosis often exhibits strong seasonality in both prevalence and disease-associated mortality once it becomes endemic. One hypothesis that could explain this temporal pattern is that simple weather-driven pathogen proliferation (population growth) is a major driver of chytridiomycosis disease dynamics. Despite various elaborations of this hypothesis in the literature for explaining amphibian declines (e.g., the chytrid thermal-optimum hypothesis) it has not been formally tested on infection patterns in the wild. In this study we developed a simple process-based model to simulate the growth of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) under varying weather conditions to provide an a priori test of a weather-linked pathogen proliferation hypothesis for endemic chytridiomycosis. We found strong support for several predictions of the proliferation hypothesis when applied to our model species, Litoria pearsoniana, sampled across multiple sites and years: the weather-driven simulations of pathogen growth potential (represented as a growth index in the 30 days prior to sampling; GI30) were positively related to both the prevalence and intensity of Bd infections, which were themselves strongly and positively correlated. In addition, a machine-learning classifier achieved ∼72% success in classifying positive qPCR results when utilising just three informative predictors 1) GI30, 2) frog body size and 3) rain on the day of sampling. Hence, while intrinsic traits of the individuals sampled (species, size, sex) and nuisance sampling variables (rainfall when sampling) influenced infection patterns obtained when sampling via qPCR, our results also strongly suggest that weather-linked pathogen proliferation plays a key role in the infection dynamics of endemic chytridiomycosis in our study system. Predictive applications of the model include surveillance design, outbreak preparedness and response, climate change scenario modelling

  1. High prevalence of the amphibian chytrid pathogen in Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Rayna C; Gata Garcia, Adriana V; Stuart, Bryan L; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-03-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that is implicated in the worldwide decline and extinction of amphibians. Africa has been proposed as a potential source for the global expansion of Bd, yet the distribution of Bd across the continent remains largely unexplored. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), we screened for the presence of Bd in 166 adult anurans from two national parks in Gabon (Monts de Cristal and Ivindo). Bd was detected in 20 of the 42 species and was present at all three sites surveyed (two in Monts de Cristal, and one in Ivindo) with high prevalence (19.6%-36.0%). Both national parks were Bd-positive at all elevations and across habitat types, though no dead or dying frogs were encountered. To our knowledge, this study presents the first evidence of Bd in Gabon and the first record of infection for 19 of the 20 species that were Bd-positive. Documenting the distribution and virulence of Bd across Africa will be essential for understanding the dynamics of amphibian chytridiomycosis across the globe.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Acevedo, A.A.; Franco, R.; Carrero, D.A.

    2016-07-01

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

  3. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N.

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, inc...

  4. Do Frogs Get Their Kicks on Route 66? Continental U.S. Transect Reveals Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-21

    that the Bullfrog ( Rana catesbeiana ) is a potential carrier of chytridiomycosis, an emerging fungal disease of amphibians. Herp J 14: 201–207. 89... Rana catesbeiana in Venezuela. Biol Cons 120: 115–119. 90. Garner TWJ, Walker S, Bosch J, Hyatt AD, Cunningham AA, et al. (2006) The emerging amphibian...pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis globally infects introduced populations of the North American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana . Biol Lett 2: 455–459

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    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...

  6. Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

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

  7. Adaptive tolerance to a pathogenic fungus drives major histocompatibility complex evolution in natural amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Anna E; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2016-03-30

    Amphibians have been affected globally by the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and we are just now beginning to understand how immunogenetic variability contributes to disease susceptibility. Lineages of an expressed major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II locus involved in acquired immunity are associated with chytridiomycosis susceptibility in controlled laboratory challenge assays. Here, we extend these findings to natural populations that vary both in exposure and response to Bd We find that MHC alleles and supertypes associated with Bd survival in the field show a molecular signal of positive selection, while those associated with susceptibility do not, supporting the hypothesis that heritable Bd tolerance is rapidly evolving. We compare MHC supertypes to neutral loci to demonstrate where selection versus demography is shaping MHC variability. One population with Bd tolerance in nature shows a significant signal of directional selection for the same allele (allele Q) that was significantly associated with survival in an earlier laboratory study. Our findings indicate that selective pressure for Bd survival drives rapid immunogenetic adaptation in some natural populations, despite differences in environment and demography. Our field-based analysis of immunogenetic variation confirms that natural amphibian populations have the evolutionary potential to adapt to chytridiomycosis. © 2016 The Authors.

  8. Confronting inconsistencies in the amphibian-chytridiomycosis system: implications for disease management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venesky, Matthew D; Raffel, Thomas R; McMahon, Taegan A; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-05-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is one of the largest threats to wildlife and is putatively linked to the extirpation of numerous amphibians. Despite over a decade of research on Bd, conflicting results from a number of studies make it difficult to forecast where future epizootics will occur and how to manage this pathogen effectively. Here, we emphasize how resolving these conflicts will advance Bd management and amphibian conservation efforts. We synthesize current knowledge on whether Bd is novel or endemic, whether amphibians exhibit acquired resistance to Bd, the importance of host resistance versus tolerance to Bd, and how biotic (e.g. species richness) and abiotic factors (e.g. climate change) affect Bd abundance. Advances in our knowledge of amphibian-chytrid interactions might inform the management of fungal pathogens in general, which are becoming more common and problematic globally. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  9. Distribution limits of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: a case study in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Kirshtein, Julie D.; Corn, P. Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of the environmental constraints on a pathogen is critical to predicting its dynamics and effects on populations. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), an aquatic fungus that has been linked with widespread amphibian declines, is ubiquitous in the Rocky Mountains. As part of assessing the distribution limits of Bd in our study area, we sampled the water column and sediments for Bd zoospores in 30 high-elevation water bodies that lacked amphibians. All water bodies were in areas where Bd has been documented from neighboring, lower-elevation areas. We targeted areas lacking amphibians because existence of Bd independent of amphibians would have both ecologic and management implications. We did not detect Bd, which supports the hypothesis that it does not live independently of amphibians. However, assuming a detection sensitivity of 59.5% (based on sampling of water where amphibians tested positive for Bd), we only had 95% confidence of detecting Bd if it was in > or =16% of our sites. Further investigation into potential abiotic reservoirs is needed, but our results provide a strategic step in determining the distributional and environmental limitations of Bd in our study region.

  10. Sleuthing out a silent scourge for amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen Parks; Deanna (Dede) Olson

    2013-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), causes the infectious disease chytridiomycosis, which has triggered massive die-offs and extinctions of amphibians around the world. The disease, identified in 1998, is a significant contributor to the global amphibian biodiversity crisis, and no clear means of arresting its spread...

  11. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis not found in rainforest frogs along an altitudinal gradient of Papua New Guinea

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dahl, C.; Kiatik, I.; Baisen, I.; Bronikowski, E.; Fleischer, R. C.; Rotzel, N. C.; Lock, J.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Narayan, E.; Hero, J.-M.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 3 (2012), s. 183-186 ISSN 0268-0130 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : altitude * amphibians * Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.081, year: 2012

  12. Insights From Genomics Into Spatial and Temporal Variation in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, A Q; Voyles, J; Rios-Sotelo, G; Rosenblum, E B

    2016-01-01

    Advances in genetics and genomics have provided new tools for the study of emerging infectious diseases. Researchers can now move quickly from simple hypotheses to complex explanations for pathogen origin, spread, and mechanisms of virulence. Here we focus on the application of genomics to understanding the biology of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a novel and deadly pathogen of amphibians. We provide a brief history of the system, then focus on key insights into Bd variation garnered from genomics approaches, and finally, highlight new frontiers for future discoveries. Genomic tools have revealed unexpected complexity and variation in the Bd system suggesting that the history and biology of emerging pathogens may not be as simple as they initially seem. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  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. The role of 'atypical' Brucella in amphibians: are we facing novel emerging pathogens?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mühldorfer, K; Wibbelt, G; Szentiks, C A; Fischer, D; Scholz, H C; Zschöck, M; Eisenberg, T

    2017-01-01

    To discuss together the novel cases of Brucella infections in frogs with the results of published reports to extend our current knowledge on 'atypical' brucellae isolated from amphibians and to discuss the challenges we face on this extraordinary emerging group of pathogens. Since our first description, an additional 14 isolates from four different frog species were collected. Novel isolates and a subset of Brucella isolates previously cultured from African bullfrogs were characterized by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and broth microdilution susceptibility testing. MALDI-TOF MS worked very efficiently for an accurate bacterial identification to the genus level. Within the cluster analysis, 'atypical' brucellae grouped distant from Brucella melitensis and were even more separated by FT-IR spectroscopy with respect to their geographical origin. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of 14 antimicrobial substances are provided as baseline data on antimicrobial susceptibility. The case history of Brucella infections in amphibians reveals a variety of pathologies ranging from localized manifestations to systemic infections. Some isolates seem to be capable of causing high mortality in zoological exhibitions putting higher demands on the management of endangered frog species. There is considerable risk in overlooking and misidentifying 'atypical' Brucella in routine diagnostics. Brucella have only recently been described in cold-blooded vertebrates. Their presence in frog species native to Africa, America and Australia indicates a more common occurrence in amphibians than previously thought. This study provides an extensive overview of amphibian brucellae by highlighting the main features of their clinical significance, diagnosis and zoonotic potential. © 2016 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  16. Do Frogs Still Get Their Kicks On Route 66? A Transcontinental Transect For Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis) Infection On U.S. Department Of Defense Installations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-04

    Daszak P, Strieby A, Cunningham AA, Longcore JE, Brown CC, Porter D (2004) Experimental evidence that the bullfrog ( Rana catesbeiana ) is a potential...Leopard Frog ( Rana pipiens) populations suggest intraspecies differences in resistance to pathogens. Develop Comp Immunol33: 1247-1257. Vredenburg VT...Woodhams DC, Hyatt AD, Boyle DG, Rollins-Smith LA (2007a) The Northern Leopard Frog Rana pipiens is a widespread reservoir species harboring

  17. 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.

  18. Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, Gwij; Pasmans, Frank; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Rouffaer, Lieze O; Van Praet, Sarah; Schaub, Michael; Canessa, Stefano; Laudelout, Arnaud; Kinet, Thierry; Adriaensen, Connie; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Bert, Wim; Bossuyt, Franky; Martel, An

    2017-04-19

    The recent arrival of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe was followed by rapid expansion of its geographical distribution and host range, confirming the unprecedented threat that this chytrid fungus poses to western Palaearctic amphibians. Mitigating this hazard requires a thorough understanding of the pathogen's disease ecology that is driving the extinction process. Here, we monitored infection, disease and host population dynamics in a Belgian fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) population for two years immediately after the first signs of infection. We show that arrival of this chytrid is associated with rapid population collapse without any sign of recovery, largely due to lack of increased resistance in the surviving salamanders and a demographic shift that prevents compensation for mortality. The pathogen adopts a dual transmission strategy, with environmentally resistant non-motile spores in addition to the motile spores identified in its sister species B. dendrobatidis. The fungus retains its virulence not only in water and soil, but also in anurans and less susceptible urodelan species that function as infection reservoirs. The combined characteristics of the disease ecology suggest that further expansion of this fungus will behave as a 'perfect storm' that is able to rapidly extirpate highly susceptible salamander populations across Europe.

  19. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25808889

  20. Growth characteristics and enzyme activity in Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symonds, E Pearl; Trott, Darren J; Bird, Philip S; Mills, Paul

    2008-09-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a member of the phylum Chytridiomycota and the causative organism chytridiomycosis, a disease of amphibians associated with global population declines and mass mortality events. The organism targets keratin-forming epithelium in adult and larval amphibians, which suggests that keratinolytic activity may be required to infect amphibian hosts. To investigate this hypothesis, we tested 10 isolates of B. dendrobatidis for their ability to grow on a range of keratin-supplemented agars and measured keratolytic enzyme activity using a commercially available kit (bioMerieux API ZYM). The most dense and fastest growth of isolates were recorded on tryptone agar, followed by growth on frog skin agar and the slowest growth recorded on feather meal and boiled snake skin agar. Growth patterns were distinctive for each nutrient source. All 10 isolates were strongly positive for a range of proteolytic enzymes which may be keratinolytic, including trypsin and chymotrypsin. These findings support the predilection of B. dendrobatidis for amphibian skin.

  1. 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. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. The lethal fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is present in lowland tropical forests of far eastern Panamá.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eria A Rebollar

    Full Text Available The fungal disease chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is one of the main causes of amphibian population declines and extinctions all over the world. In the Neotropics, this fungal disease has caused catastrophic declines in the highlands as it has spread throughout Central America down to Panamá. In this study, we determined the prevalence and intensity of Bd infection in three species of frogs in one highland and four lowland tropical forests, including two lowland regions in eastern Panamá in which the pathogen had not been detected previously. Bd was present in all the sites sampled with a prevalence ranging from 15-34%, similar to other Neotropical lowland sites. The intensity of Bd infection on individual frogs was low, ranging from average values of 0.11-24 zoospore equivalents per site. Our work indicates that Bd is present in anuran communities in lowland Panamá, including the Darién province, and that the intensity of the infection may vary among species from different habitats and with different life histories. The population-level consequences of Bd infection in amphibian communities from the lowlands remain to be determined. Detailed studies of amphibian species from the lowlands will be essential to determine the reason why these species are persisting despite the presence of the pathogen.

  3. Bacterial and parasitic diseases of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaphake, Eric

    2009-09-01

    Whether in private practice or in a zoologic setting, veterinarians of the exotic animal persuasion are asked to work on amphibians. Veterinarians are able to evaluate amphibians thoroughly for medical issues, with infectious diseases at the forefront. Until quite recently, many infectious diseases were unknown or even misdiagnosed as being caused by opportunistic secondary organisms. Although Batrachochytrium dendrobates and viral diseases are in the forefront of research for amphibians, parasitic and bacterial diseases often present secondarily and, occasionally, even as the primary cause. Full diagnostic workups, when possible, can be critical in determining all the factors involved in morbidity and mortality issues in amphibians.

  4. Tolerance of fungal infection in European water frogs exposed to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis after experimental reduction of innate immune defenses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bigler, Laurent; Marschang, Rachel

    2012-10-23

    While emerging diseases are affecting many populations of amphibians, some populations are resistant. Determining the relative contributions of factors influencing disease resistance is critical for effective conservation management. Innate immune defenses in amphibian skin are vital host factors against a number of emerging pathogens such as ranaviruses and the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Adult water frogs from Switzerland (Pelophylax esculentus and P. lessonae) collected in the field with their natural microbiota intact were exposed to Bd after experimental reduction of microbiota, skin peptides, both, or neither to determine the relative contributions of these defenses. Naturally-acquired Bd infections were detected in 10/51 P. lessonae and 4/19 P. esculentus, but no disease outbreaks or population declines have been detected at this site. Thus, this population was immunologically primed, and disease resistant. No mortality occurred during the 64 day experiment. Forty percent of initially uninfected frogs became sub-clinically infected upon experimental exposure to Bd. Reduction of both skin peptide and microbiota immune defenses caused frogs to gain less mass when exposed to Bd than frogs in other treatments. Microbiota-reduced frogs increased peptide production upon Bd infection. Ranavirus was undetectable in all but two frogs that appeared healthy in the field, but died within a week under laboratory conditions. Virus was detectable in both toe-clips and internal organs. Intact skin microbiota reduced immune activation and can minimize subclinical costs of infection. Tolerance of Bd or ranavirus infection may differ with ecological conditions.

  5. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. 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....

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2010-08-03

    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.

  9. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the collapse of anuran species richness and abundance in the Upper Manu National Park, Southeastern Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Lehr, Edgar; Rodriguez, Lily O; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2011-04-01

    Amphibians are declining worldwide, but these declines have been particularly dramatic in tropical mountains, where high endemism and vulnerability to an introduced fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is associated with amphibian extinctions. We surveyed frogs in the Peruvian Andes in montane forests along a steep elevational gradient (1200-3700 m). We used visual encounter surveys to sample stream-dwelling and arboreal species and leaf-litter plots to sample terrestrial-breeding species. We compared species richness and abundance among the wet seasons of 1999, 2008, and 2009. Despite similar sampling effort among years, the number of species (46 in 1999) declined by 47% between 1999 and 2008 and by 38% between 1999 and 2009. When we combined the number of species we found in 2008 and 2009, the decline from 1999 was 36%. Declines of stream-dwelling and arboreal species (a reduction in species richness of 55%) were much greater than declines of terrestrial-breeding species (reduction of 20% in 2008 and 24% in 2009). Similarly, abundances of stream-dwelling and arboreal frogs were lower in the combined 2008-2009 period than in 1999, whereas densities of frogs in leaf-litter plots did not differ among survey years. These declines may be associated with the infection of frogs with Bd. B. dendrobatidis prevalence correlated significantly with the proportion of species that were absent from the 2008 and 2009 surveys along the elevational gradient. Our results suggest Bd may have arrived at the site between 1999 and 2007, which is consistent with the hypothesis that this pathogen is spreading in epidemic waves along the Andean cordilleras. Our results also indicate a rapid decline of frog species richness and abundance in our study area, a national park that contains many endemic amphibian species and is high in amphibian species richness. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Fight Fungi with Fungi: Antifungal Properties of the Amphibian Mycobiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearns, Patrick J; Fischer, Sarah; Fernández-Beaskoetxea, Saioa; Gabor, Caitlin R; Bosch, Jaime; Bowen, Jennifer L; Tlusty, Michael F; Woodhams, Douglas C

    2017-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases caused by fungal taxa are increasing and are placing a substantial burden on economies and ecosystems worldwide. Of the emerging fungal diseases, chytridomycosis caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd ) is linked to global amphibian declines. Amphibians have innate immunity, as well as additional resistance through cutaneous microbial communities. Despite the targeting of bacteria as potential probiotics, the role of fungi in the protection against Bd infection in unknown. We used a four-part approach, including high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities, cultivation of fungi, Bd challenge assays, and experimental additions of probiotic to Midwife Toads ( Altyes obstetricans ), to examine the overlapping roles of bacterial and fungal microbiota in pathogen defense in captive bred poison arrow frogs ( Dendrobates sp.). Our results revealed that cutaneous fungal taxa differed from environmental microbiota across three species and a subspecies of Dendrobates spp. frogs. Cultivation of host-associated and environmental fungi realved numerous taxa with the ability to inhibit or facilitate the growth of Bd . The abundance of cutaneous fungi contributed more to Bd defense (~45% of the fungal community), than did bacteria (~10%) and frog species harbored distinct inhibitory communities that were distinct from the environment. Further, we demonstrated that a fungal probiotic therapy did not induce an endocrine-immune reaction, in contrast to bacterial probiotics that stressed amphibian hosts and suppressed antimicrobial peptide responses, limiting their long-term colonization potential. Our results suggest that probiotic strategies against amphibian fungal pathogens should, in addition to bacterial probiotics, focus on host-associated and environmental fungi such as Penicillium and members of the families Chaetomiaceae and Lasiosphaeriaceae.

  11. Fight Fungi with Fungi: Antifungal Properties of the Amphibian Mycobiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. Kearns

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases caused by fungal taxa are increasing and are placing a substantial burden on economies and ecosystems worldwide. Of the emerging fungal diseases, chytridomycosis caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (hereafter Bd is linked to global amphibian declines. Amphibians have innate immunity, as well as additional resistance through cutaneous microbial communities. Despite the targeting of bacteria as potential probiotics, the role of fungi in the protection against Bd infection in unknown. We used a four-part approach, including high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities, cultivation of fungi, Bd challenge assays, and experimental additions of probiotic to Midwife Toads (Altyes obstetricans, to examine the overlapping roles of bacterial and fungal microbiota in pathogen defense in captive bred poison arrow frogs (Dendrobates sp.. Our results revealed that cutaneous fungal taxa differed from environmental microbiota across three species and a subspecies of Dendrobates spp. frogs. Cultivation of host-associated and environmental fungi realved numerous taxa with the ability to inhibit or facilitate the growth of Bd. The abundance of cutaneous fungi contributed more to Bd defense (~45% of the fungal community, than did bacteria (~10% and frog species harbored distinct inhibitory communities that were distinct from the environment. Further, we demonstrated that a fungal probiotic therapy did not induce an endocrine-immune reaction, in contrast to bacterial probiotics that stressed amphibian hosts and suppressed antimicrobial peptide responses, limiting their long-term colonization potential. Our results suggest that probiotic strategies against amphibian fungal pathogens should, in addition to bacterial probiotics, focus on host-associated and environmental fungi such as Penicillium and members of the families Chaetomiaceae and Lasiosphaeriaceae.

  12. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus’s egg?

    OpenAIRE

    Muijsers, Mariska; Martel, An; Van Rooij, Pascale; Baert, Kris; Vercauteren, Griet; Ducatelle, Richard; De Backer, Patrick; Vercammen, Francis; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibi...

  13. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly C. Bletz

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has only recently been detected. While no Bd-associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd. We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd. A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd-associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd. Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively. Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd-associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were

  14. Estimating Herd Immunity to Amphibian Chytridiomycosis in Madagascar Based on the Defensive Function of Amphibian Skin Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Myers, Jillian; Woodhams, Douglas C; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Rakotonirina, Angela; Weldon, Che; Edmonds, Devin; Vences, Miguel; Harris, Reid N

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Amphibians have been globally threatened by the still expanding infectious disease, chytridiomycosis. Madagascar is an amphibian biodiversity hotspot where Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) has only recently been detected. While no Bd -associated population declines have been reported, the risk of declines is high when invasive virulent lineages become involved. Cutaneous bacteria contribute to host innate immunity by providing defense against pathogens for numerous animals, including amphibians. Little is known, however, about the cutaneous bacterial residents of Malagasy amphibians and the functional capacity they have against Bd . We cultured 3179 skin bacterial isolates from over 90 frog species across Madagascar, identified them via Sanger sequencing of approximately 700 bp of the 16S rRNA gene, and characterized their functional capacity against Bd . A subset of isolates was also tested against multiple Bd genotypes. In addition, we applied the concept of herd immunity to estimate Bd -associated risk for amphibian communities across Madagascar based on bacterial antifungal activity. We found that multiple bacterial isolates (39% of all isolates) cultured from the skin of Malagasy frogs were able to inhibit Bd . Mean inhibition was weakly correlated with bacterial phylogeny, and certain taxonomic groups appear to have a high proportion of inhibitory isolates, such as the Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Xanthamonadaceae (84, 80, and 75% respectively). Functional capacity of bacteria against Bd varied among Bd genotypes; however, there were some bacteria that showed broad spectrum inhibition against all tested Bd genotypes, suggesting that these bacteria would be good candidates for probiotic therapies. We estimated Bd -associated risk for sampled amphibian communities based on the concept of herd immunity. Multiple amphibian communities, including those in the amphibian diversity hotspots, Andasibe and Ranomafana, were estimated to be

  15. Absence of invasive Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana populations on Viwa-Tailevu, Fiji Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Narayan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We report on the first survey of chytridiomycosis (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis- Bd in the endangered Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitiana population on Viwa-Tailevu, Fiji Islands. This fungal pathogen has been implicated as the primary cause of amphibian declines worldwide. Few cases have been reported from tropical Asia however it was recently documented in 4 species of frogs in Indonesia. Two hundred individual frogs were swabbed from 5 different sites on Viwa Island. Swabs were tested to quantify the number of Bd zoospore equivalents using real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR technique. We found zero (% prevalence of Bd in ground frogs. The lack of Bd may be due to 1 hot weather all year round inhibiting the spread of Bd, 2 Bd may be absent from Viwa Island due to a lack of amphibian introductions (not introduced or importation of exotic frogs such as Rana catesbeia-na, or Xenopus spp or pet trade spp or 3 the lack of introduction by human vectors due to the geographic isolation, and low visitation of non-local people into the island. While it is difficult to test these hypotheses, a precautionary approach would suggest an effective quarantine is required to protect Fiji’s endemic frogs from future disease outbreak. Conservation effort and research is needed at international level to assist the Fiji government in monitoring and protecting their unique endemic amphibians from outbreaks of B. dendrobatidis.

  16. Composition of Micro-eukaryotes on the Skin of the Cascades Frog (Rana cascadae and Patterns of Correlation between Skin Microbes and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan G. Kueneman

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Global amphibian decline linked to fungal pathogens has galvanized research on applied amphibian conservation. Skin-associated bacterial communities of amphibians have been shown to mediate fungal skin infections and the development of probiotic treatments with antifungal bacteria has become an emergent area of research. While exploring the role of protective bacteria has been a primary focus for amphibian conservation, we aim to expand and study the other microbes present in amphibian skin communities including fungi and other micro-eukaryotes. Here, we characterize skin-associated bacteria and micro-eukaryotic diversity found across life stages of Cascades frog (Rana cascadae and their associated aquatic environments using culture independent 16S and 18S rRNA marker-gene sequencing. Individuals of various life stages of Cascades frogs were sampled from a population located in the Trinity Alps in Northern California during an epidemic of the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. We filtered the bacterial sequences against a published database of bacteria known to inhibit B. dendrobatidis in co-culture to estimate the proportion of the skin bacterial community that is likely to provide defense against B. dendrobatidis. Tadpoles had a significantly higher proportion of B. dendrobatidis-inhibitory bacterial sequence matches relative to subadult and adult Cascades frogs. We applied a network analysis to examine patterns of correlation between bacterial taxa and B. dendrobatidis, as well as micro-eukaryotic taxa and B. dendrobatidis. Combined with the published database of bacteria known to inhibit B. dendrobatidis, we used the network analysis to identify bacteria that negatively correlated with B. dendrobatidis and thus could be good probiotic candidates in the Cascades frog system.

  17. A survey for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endangered and highly susceptible Vietnamese salamanders (Tylototriton spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thien, Tao Nguyen; Martel, An; Brutyn, Melanie; Bogaerts, Sergé; Sparreboom, Max; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Fisher, Matthew C; Beukema, Wouter; Van, Tang Duong; Chiers, Koen; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-01

    Until now, Asian amphibians appear to have largely escaped declines driven by chytridiomycosis. Vietnamese salamanders that belong to the genus Tylototriton are rare and have a patchy distribution in mountainous areas, falling within the proposed environmental envelope of chytrid infections, surrounded by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infected regions. If these salamanders are susceptible to chytridiomycosis, then their populations could be highly vulnerable after the introduction of B. dendrobatidis. Examination for the presence of the chytrid fungus in skin swabs from 19 Tylototriton asperrimus and 104 Tylototriton vietnamensis by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed. Susceptibility of T. asperrimus to experimental infection by using the global panzootic lineage (BdGPL) strain of B. dendrobatidis was examined. The fungus was absent in all samples from all wild salamanders examined. Inoculation with the BdGPL strain resulted in mortality of all five inoculated salamanders within 3 weeks after inoculation with infected animals that manifested severe orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and spongiosis. Although infection by B. dendrobatidis currently appears absent in Vietnamese Tylototriton populations, the rarity of these animals, their pronounced susceptibility to chytridiomycosis, an apparently suitable environmental context and increasing likelihood of the pathogen being introduced, together suggest the need of urgent measures to avoid future scenarios of extinction as witnessed in Central America and Australia.

  18. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in anurans of the Mediterranean region of Baja California, México

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta-Garcia, Anny; Adams, Andrea J.; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Galina-Tessaro, Patricia; Valdez-Villavicencio, Jorge H.; Hollingsworth, Bradford; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Fisher, Robert N.

    2018-01-01

     Chytridiomycosis is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and is regarded as one of the most significant threats to global amphibian populations. In México, Bd was first reported in 2003 and has now been documented in 13 states. We visited 33 localities and swabbed 199 wild-caught anurans from 7 species (5 native, 2 exotic) across the Mediterranean region of the state of Baja California. Using quantitative PCR, Bd was detected in 94 individuals (47.2% of samples) at 25 of the 33 survey localities for 5 native and 1 exotic frog species. The exotic Xenopus laevis was the only species that tested completely negative for Bd. We found that remoteness, distance to agricultural land, and elevation were the best predictors of Bd presence. These are the first Bd-positive results for the state of Baja California and its presence should be regarded as an additional conservation threat to the region’s native frog species. 

  19. Salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) in the United States—Developing research, monitoring, and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Muths, Erin L.; Katz, Rachel A.; Canessa, Stefano; Adams, Michael J.; Ballard, Jennifer R.; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Coleman, Jeremy; Gray, Matthew J.; Harris, M. Camille; Harris, Reid N.; Hossack, Blake R.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lips, Karen R.; Lovich, Robert E.; McCallum, Hamish I.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn

    2016-01-20

    The recently (2013) identified pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), poses a severe threat to the distribution and abundance of salamanders within the United States and Europe. Development of a response strategy for the potential, and likely, invasion of Bsal into the United States is crucial to protect global salamander biodiversity. A formal working group, led by Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins Science Center, and Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, was held at the USGS Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis in Fort Collins, Colorado, United States from June 23 to June 25, 2015, to identify crucial Bsal research and monitoring needs that could inform conservation and management strategies for salamanders in the United States. Key findings of the workshop included the following: (1) the introduction of Bsal into the United States is highly probable, if not inevitable, thus requiring development of immediate short-term and long-term intervention strategies to prevent Bsal establishment and biodiversity decline; (2) management actions targeted towards pathogen containment may be ineffective in reducing the long-term spread of Bsal throughout the United States; and (3) early detection of Bsal through surveillance at key amphibian import locations, among high-risk wild populations, and through analysis of archived samples is necessary for developing management responses. Top research priorities during the preinvasion stage included the following: (1) deployment of qualified diagnostic methods for Bsal and establishment of standardized laboratory practices, (2) assessment of susceptibility for amphibian hosts (including anurans), and (3) development and evaluation of short- and long-term pathogen intervention and management strategies. Several outcomes were achieved during the workshop, including development

  20. Itraconazole treatment reduces Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and increases overwinter field survival in juvenile Cascades frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Bennett M; Pope, Karen L; Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Brown, Richard N; Foley, Janet E

    2015-01-15

    The global spread of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has led to widespread extirpation of amphibian populations. During an intervention aimed at stabilizing at-risk populations, we treated wild-caught Cascades frogs Rana cascadae with the antifungal drug itraconazole. In fall 2012, we collected 60 recently metamorphosed R. cascadae from 1 of the 11 remnant populations in the Cascades Mountains (CA, USA). Of these, 30 randomly selected frogs were treated with itraconazole and the other 30 frogs served as experimental controls; all were released at the capture site. Bd prevalence was low at the time of treatment and did not differ between treated frogs and controls immediately following treatment. Following release, Bd prevalence gradually increased in controls but not in treated frogs, with noticeable (but still non-significant) differences 3 wk after treatment (27% [4/15] vs. 0% [0/13]) and strong differences 5 wk after treatment (67% [8/12] vs. 13% [1/8]). We did not detect any differences in Bd prevalence and load between experimental controls and untreated wild frogs during this time period. In spring 2013, we recaptured 7 treated frogs but none of the experimental control frogs, suggesting that over-winter survival was higher for treated frogs. The itraconazole treatment did appear to reduce growth rates: treated frogs weighed 22% less than control frogs 3 wk after treatment (0.7 vs. 0.9 g) and were 9% shorter than control frogs 5 wk after treatment (18.4 vs. 20.2 mm). However, for critically small populations, increased survival of the most at-risk life stage could prevent or delay extinction. Our results show that itraconazole treatment can be effective against Bd infection in wild amphibians, and therefore the beneficial effects on survivorship may outweigh the detrimental effects on growth.

  1. Pathogen richness and abundance predict patterns of adaptive major histocompatibility complex variation in insular amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Supen; Liu, Conghui; Wilson, Anthony B; Zhao, Na; Li, Xianping; Zhu, Wei; Gao, Xu; Liu, Xuan; Li, Yiming

    2017-09-01

    The identification of the factors responsible for genetic variation and differentiation at adaptive loci can provide important insights into the evolutionary process and is crucial for the effective management of threatened species. We studied the impact of environmental viral richness and abundance on functional diversity and differentiation of the MHC class Ia locus in populations of the black-spotted pond frog (Pelophylax nigromaculatus), an IUCN-listed species, on 24 land-bridge islands of the Zhoushan Archipelago and three nearby mainland sites. We found a high proportion of private MHC alleles in mainland and insular populations, corresponding to 32 distinct functional supertypes, and strong positive selection on MHC antigen-binding sites in all populations. Viral pathogen diversity and abundance were reduced at island sites relative to the mainland, and islands housed distinctive viral communities. Standardized MHC diversity at island sites exceeded that found at neutral microsatellites, and the representation of key functional supertypes was positively correlated with the abundance of specific viruses in the environment (Frog virus 3 and Ambystoma tigrinum virus). These results indicate that pathogen-driven diversifying selection can play an important role in maintaining functionally important MHC variation following island isolation, highlighting the importance of considering functionally important genetic variation and host-pathogen associations in conservation planning and management. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Tolerance of fungal infection in European water frogs exposed to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis after experimental reduction of innate immune defenses

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    Woodhams Douglas C

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While emerging diseases are affecting many populations of amphibians, some populations are resistant. Determining the relative contributions of factors influencing disease resistance is critical for effective conservation management. Innate immune defenses in amphibian skin are vital host factors against a number of emerging pathogens such as ranaviruses and the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Adult water frogs from Switzerland (Pelophylax esculentus and P. lessonae collected in the field with their natural microbiota intact were exposed to Bd after experimental reduction of microbiota, skin peptides, both, or neither to determine the relative contributions of these defenses. Results Naturally-acquired Bd infections were detected in 10/51 P. lessonae and 4/19 P. esculentus, but no disease outbreaks or population declines have been detected at this site. Thus, this population was immunologically primed, and disease resistant. No mortality occurred during the 64 day experiment. Forty percent of initially uninfected frogs became sub-clinically infected upon experimental exposure to Bd. Reduction of both skin peptide and microbiota immune defenses caused frogs to gain less mass when exposed to Bd than frogs in other treatments. Microbiota-reduced frogs increased peptide production upon Bd infection. Ranavirus was undetectable in all but two frogs that appeared healthy in the field, but died within a week under laboratory conditions. Virus was detectable in both toe-clips and internal organs. Conclusion Intact skin microbiota reduced immune activation and can minimize subclinical costs of infection. Tolerance of Bd or ranavirus infection may differ with ecological conditions.

  3. Swabbing often fails to detect amphibian Chytridiomycosis under conditions of low infection load.

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    Jaehyub Shin

    Full Text Available The pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (denoted Bd, causes large-scale epizootics in naïve amphibian populations. Intervention strategies to rapidly respond to Bd incursions require sensitive and accurate diagnostic methods. Chytridiomycosis usually is assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR amplification of amphibian skin swabs. Results based on this method, however, sometimes yield inconsistent results on infection status and inaccurate scores of infection intensity. In Asia and other regions where amphibians typically bear low Bd loads, swab results are least reliable. We developed a Bd-sampling method that collects zoospores released by infected subjects into an aquatic medium. Bd DNA is extracted by filters and amplified by nested PCR. Using laboratory colonies and field populations of Bombina orientalis, we compare results with those obtained on the same subjects by qPCR of DNA extracted from swabs. Many subjects, despite being diagnosed as Bd-negative by conventional methods, released Bd zoospores into collection containers and thus must be considered infected. Infection loads determined from filtered water were at least 1000 times higher than those estimated from swabs. Subjects significantly varied in infection load, as they intermittently released zoospores, over a 5-day period. Thus, the method might be used to compare the infectivity of individuals and study the periodicity of zoospore release. Sampling methods based on water filtration can dramatically increase the capacity to accurately diagnose chytridiomycosis and contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between Bd and its hosts.

  4. Swabbing often fails to detect amphibian Chytridiomycosis under conditions of low infection load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jaehyub; Bataille, Arnaud; Kosch, Tiffany A; Waldman, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (denoted Bd), causes large-scale epizootics in naïve amphibian populations. Intervention strategies to rapidly respond to Bd incursions require sensitive and accurate diagnostic methods. Chytridiomycosis usually is assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification of amphibian skin swabs. Results based on this method, however, sometimes yield inconsistent results on infection status and inaccurate scores of infection intensity. In Asia and other regions where amphibians typically bear low Bd loads, swab results are least reliable. We developed a Bd-sampling method that collects zoospores released by infected subjects into an aquatic medium. Bd DNA is extracted by filters and amplified by nested PCR. Using laboratory colonies and field populations of Bombina orientalis, we compare results with those obtained on the same subjects by qPCR of DNA extracted from swabs. Many subjects, despite being diagnosed as Bd-negative by conventional methods, released Bd zoospores into collection containers and thus must be considered infected. Infection loads determined from filtered water were at least 1000 times higher than those estimated from swabs. Subjects significantly varied in infection load, as they intermittently released zoospores, over a 5-day period. Thus, the method might be used to compare the infectivity of individuals and study the periodicity of zoospore release. Sampling methods based on water filtration can dramatically increase the capacity to accurately diagnose chytridiomycosis and contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between Bd and its hosts.

  5. There is no evidence for a temporal link between pathogen arrival and frog extinctions in north-eastern Australia.

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    Ben L Phillips

    Full Text Available Pathogen spread can cause population declines and even species extinctions. Nonetheless, in the absence of tailored monitoring schemes, documenting pathogen spread can be difficult. In the case of worldwide amphibian declines the best present understanding is that the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has recently spread, causing amphibian declines and extinction in the process. However, good evidence demonstrating pathogen arrival followed by amphibian decline is rare, and analysis of putative evidence is often inadequate. Here we attempt to examine the relationship between Bd arrival and amphibian decline across north-eastern Australia, using sites where a wave-like pattern of amphibian decline was first noticed and at which intensive research has since been conducted. We develop an analytical framework that allows rigorous estimation of pathogen arrival date, which can then be used to test for a correlation between the time of pathogen arrival and amphibian decline across sites. Our results show that, with the current dataset, the earliest possible arrival date of Bd in north-eastern Australia is completely unresolved; Bd could have arrived immediately before sampling commenced or may have arrived thousands of years earlier, the present data simply cannot say. The currently available data are thus insufficient to assess the link between timing of pathogen arrival and population decline in this part of the world. This data insufficiency is surprising given that there have been decades of research on chytridiomycosis in Australia and that there is a general belief that the link between Bd arrival and population decline is well resolved in this region. The lack of data on Bd arrival currently acts as a major impediment to determining the role of environmental factors in driving the global amphibian declines, and should be a major focus of future research.

  6. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans: The North American response and a call for action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew J. Gray; James P. Lewis; Priya Nanjappa; Blake Klocke; Frank Pasmans; An Martel; Craig Stephen; Gabriela Parra Olea; Scott A. Smith; Allison Sacerdote-Velat; Michelle R. Christman; Jennifer M. Williams; Deanna H. Olson; Deborah A. Hogan

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is an emerging fungal pathogen that has caused recent die-offs of native salamanders in Europe and is known to be lethal to at least some North American species in laboratory trials [1]. Bsal appears to have originated in Asia, and may have been introduced by humans...

  7. Antiviral immunity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-11-01

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

  8. Sodium chloride inhibits the growth and infective capacity of the amphibian chytrid fungus and increases host survival rates.

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    Michelle Pirrie Stockwell

    Full Text Available The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a recently emerged pathogen that causes the infectious disease chytridiomycosis and has been implicated as a contributing factor in the global amphibian decline. Since its discovery, research has been focused on developing various methods of mitigating the impact of chytridiomycosis on amphibian hosts but little attention has been given to the role of antifungal agents that could be added to the host's environment. Sodium chloride is a known antifungal agent used routinely in the aquaculture industry and this study investigates its potential for use as a disease management tool in amphibian conservation. The effect of 0-5 ppt NaCl on the growth, motility and survival of the chytrid fungus when grown in culture media and its effect on the growth, infection load and survivorship of infected Peron's tree frogs (Litoria peronii in captivity, was investigated. The results reveal that these concentrations do not negatively affect the survival of the host or the pathogen. However, concentrations greater than 3 ppt significantly reduced the growth and motility of the chytrid fungus compared to 0 ppt. Concentrations of 1-4 ppt NaCl were also associated with significantly lower host infection loads while infected hosts exposed to 3 and 4 ppt NaCl were found to have significantly higher survival rates. These results support the potential for NaCl to be used as an environmentally distributed antifungal agent for the prevention of chytridiomycosis in susceptible amphibian hosts. However, further research is required to identify any negative effects of salt exposure on both target and non-target organisms prior to implementation.

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

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    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

  10. Citizen scientists monitor a deadly fungus threatening amphibian communities in northern coastal California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen L. Pope; Greta M. Wengert; Janet E. Foley; Donald T. Ashton; Richard G. Botzler

    2016-01-01

    Ecoclub youth and supervising family members conducted citizen science to assess regional prevalence and distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) among amphibians at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) and Redwood National and State Parks (Parks), Humboldt County, California, US, May 2013 through December...

  11. Are outbreaks of emerging pathogens correlated with construction of wetlands? Report 2 : amphibian breeding and disease outbreaks during 2014-2015 and possible correlates with environmental variables : research report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    A study of wetlands near the Intercounty Connector construction site (now a toll facility MD 200) in Maryland, : found that an emerging pathogen known as Ranavirus was having a significant impact on at least two species of : amphibians as well as...

  12. Host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics suggest high elevation refugia for boreal toads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, Brittany A.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Muths, Erin L.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P

    2018-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases are an increasingly common threat to wildlife. Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emerging infectious disease that has been linked to amphibian declines around the world. Few studies exist that explore amphibian-Bd dynamics at the landscape scale, limiting our ability to identify which factors are associated with variation in population susceptibility and to develop effective in situdisease management. Declines of boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) in the Southern Rocky Mountains are largely attributed to chytridiomycosis but variation exists in local extinction of boreal toads across this metapopulation. Using a large-scale historic dataset, we explored several potential factors influencing disease dynamics in the boreal toad-Bd system: geographic isolation of populations, amphibian community richness, elevational differences, and habitat permanence. We found evidence that boreal toad extinction risk was lowest at high elevations where temperatures may be sub-optimal for Bd growth and where small boreal toad populations may be below the threshold needed for efficient pathogen transmission. In addition, boreal toads were more likely to recolonize high elevation sites after local extinction, again suggesting that high elevations may provide refuge from disease for boreal toads. We illustrate a modeling framework that will be useful to natural resource managers striving to make decisions in amphibian-Bdsystems. Our data suggest that in the southern Rocky Mountains high elevation sites should be prioritized for conservation initiatives like reintroductions.

  13. Major histocompatibility complex variation and the evolution of resistance to amphibian chytridiomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Minjie; Waldman, Bruce

    2017-08-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been implicated in population declines and species extinctions of amphibians around the world. Susceptibility to the disease varies both within and among species, most likely attributable to heritable immunogenetic variation. Analyses of transcriptional expression in hosts following their infection by Bd reveal complex responses. Species resistant to Bd generally show evidence of stronger innate and adaptive immune system responses. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II genes of some susceptible species are up-regulated following host infection by Bd, but resistant species show no comparable changes in transcriptional expression. Bd-resistant species share similar pocket conformations within the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Among susceptible species, survivors of epizootics bear alleles encoding these conformations. Individuals with homozygous resistance alleles appear to benefit by enhanced resistance, especially in environmental conditions that promote pathogen virulence. Subjects that are repeatedly infected and subsequently cleared of Bd can develop an acquired immune response to the pathogen. Strong directional selection for MHC alleles that encode resistance to Bd may deplete genetic variation necessary to respond to other pathogens. Resistance to chytridiomycosis incurs life-history costs that require further study.

  14. Effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus and four insecticides on Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhez, Peter; Boone, Michelle D.; Fellers, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Chemical contamination may influence host-pathogen interactions, which has implications for amphibian population declines. We examined the effects of four insecticides alone or as a mixture on development and metamorphosis of Pacific Treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) in the presence or absence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]). Bd exposure had a negative impact on tadpole activity, survival to metamorphosis, time to metamorphosis, and time of tail absorption (with a marginally negative effect on mass at metamorphosis); however, no individuals tested positive for Bd at metamorphosis. The presence of sublethal concentrations of insecticides alone or in a mixture did not impact Pacific Treefrog activity as tadpoles, survival to metamorphosis, or time and size to metamorphosis. Insecticide exposure did not influence the effect of Bd exposure. Our study did not support our prediction that effects of Bd would be greater in the presence of expected environmental concentrations of insecticide(s), but it did show that Bd had negative effects on responses at metamorphosis that could reduce the quality of juveniles recruited into the population.

  15. Disease risk in temperate amphibian populations is higher at closed-canopy sites.

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    C Guilherme Becker

    Full Text Available Habitat loss and chytridiomycosis (a disease caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis - Bd are major drivers of amphibian declines worldwide. Habitat loss regulates host-pathogen interactions by altering biotic and abiotic factors directly linked to both host and pathogen fitness. Therefore, studies investigating the links between natural vegetation and chytridiomycosis require integrative approaches to control for the multitude of possible interactions of biological and environmental variables in spatial epidemiology. In this study, we quantified Bd infection dynamics across a gradient of natural vegetation and microclimates, looking for causal associations between vegetation cover, multiple microclimatic variables, and pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. To minimize the effects of host diversity in our analyses, we sampled amphibian populations in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, a region with relatively high single-host dominance. We sampled permanent ponds for anurans, focusing on populations of the habitat generalist frog Lithobates clamitans, and recorded various biotic and abiotic factors that potentially affect host-pathogen interactions: natural vegetation, canopy density, water temperature, and host population and community attributes. We screened for important explanatory variables of Bd infections and used path analyses to statistically test for the strength of cascading effects linking vegetation cover, microclimate, and Bd parameters. We found that canopy density, natural vegetation, and daily average water temperature were the best predictors of Bd. High canopy density resulted in lower water temperature, which in turn predicted higher Bd prevalence and infection intensity. Our results confirm that microclimatic shifts arising from changes in natural vegetation play an important role in Bd spatial epidemiology, with areas of closed canopy favoring Bd. Given increasing rates of anthropogenic

  16. Detection of spring viraemia of carp virus in imported amphibians reveals an unanticipated foreign animal disease threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Hon S.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Blehert, David

    2016-01-01

    Global translocation of plants and animals is a well-recognized mechanism for introduction of pathogens into new regions. To mitigate this risk, various tools such as preshipment health certificates, quarantines, screening for specific disease agents and outright bans have been implemented. However, such measures only target known infectious agents and their hosts and may fail to prevent translocation of even well-recognized pathogens if they are carried by novel host species. In a recent example, we screened an imported shipment of Chinese firebelly newts (Cynops orientalis) for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, an emergent fungal pathogen of salamanders. All animals tested negative for the fungus. However, a virus was cultured from internal organs from 7 of the 11 individual dead salamanders and from two pools of tissues from four additional dead animals. Sequencing of a portion of the glycoprotein gene from all viral isolates indicated 100% identity and that they were most closely related to spring viraemia of carp virus (SVCV). Subsequently, SVCV-specific PCR testing indicated the presence of virus in internal organs from each of the four animals previously pooled, and whole-genome sequencing of one of the viral isolates confirmed genomic arrangement characteristic of SVCV. SVCV is a rhabdovirus pathogen of cyprinid fish that is listed as notifiable to the Office International des Epizooties. This discovery reveals a novel route for potential spillover of this economically important pathogen as rhabdovirus has not previously been documented in amphibians.

  17. Unlikely remedy: fungicide clears infection from pathogenic fungus in larval southern leopard frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus.

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    Shane M Hanlon

    Full Text Available Amphibians are often exposed to a wide variety of perturbations. Two of these, pesticides and pathogens, are linked to declines in both amphibian health and population viability. Many studies have examined the separate effects of such perturbations; however, few have examined the effects of simultaneous exposure of both to amphibians. In this study, we exposed larval southern leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates sphenocephalus to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the fungicide thiophanate-methyl (TM at 0.6 mg/L under laboratory conditions. The experiment was continued until all larvae completed metamorphosis or died. Overall, TM facilitated increases in tadpole mass and length. Additionally, individuals exposed to both TM and Bd were heavier and larger, compared to all other treatments. TM also cleared Bd in infected larvae. We conclude that TM affects larval anurans to facilitate growth and development while clearing Bd infection. Our findings highlight the need for more research into multiple perturbations, specifically pesticides and disease, to further promote amphibian heath.

  18. [Chytridiomycosis in amphibians--first report in Europe].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutschmann, F; Berger, L; Zwart, P; Gaedicke, C

    2000-10-01

    Declining of amphibian populations is a worldwide phenomenon. A cutaneous mycosis as a cause of death in free-living amphibians as well as in captive ones due to an chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) was reported at first in 1998. This infections were reported hitherto from Australia, North, Central and South America. This is the first report on chytrid infections in captive anurans from Europe. Dendrobates auratus and D. pumilo imported from Costa Rica and P. vittatus imported from French Guayana died with chytridiomycosis within a week after arrival in Europe. Batrachocytrium was also found on captive bred frogs in Germany and Belgium. Clinical signs, diagnosis and conclusions for protecting free-living amphibian populations and captive frogs are discussed.

  19. Trophic dynamics in an aquatic community: interactions among primary producers, grazers, and a pathogenic fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Julia C; Scholz, Katharina I; Rohr, Jason R; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2015-05-01

    Free-living stages of parasites are consumed by a variety of predators, which might have important consequences for predators, parasites, and hosts. For example, zooplankton prey on the infectious stage of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen responsible for amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. Predation on parasites is predicted to influence community structure and function, and affect disease risk, but relatively few studies have explored its consequences empirically. We investigated interactions among Rana cascadae tadpoles, zooplankton, and Bd in a fully factorial experiment in outdoor mesocosms. We measured growth, development, survival, and infection of amphibians and took weekly measurements of the abundance of zooplankton, phytoplankton (suspended algae), and periphyton (attached algae). We hypothesized that zooplankton might have positive indirect effects on tadpoles by consuming Bd zoospores and by consuming phytoplankton, thus reducing the shading of a major tadpole resource, periphyton. We also hypothesized that zooplankton would have negative effects on tadpoles, mediated by competition for algal resources. Mixed-effects models, repeated-measures ANOVAs, and a structural equation model revealed that zooplankton significantly reduced phytoplankton but had no detectable effects on Bd or periphyton. Hence, the indirect positive effects of zooplankton on tadpoles were negligible when compared to the indirect negative effect mediated by competition for phytoplankton. We conclude that examination of host-pathogen dynamics within a community context may be necessary to elucidate complex community dynamics.

  20. Culture Media and Individual Hosts Affect the Recovery of Culturable Bacterial Diversity from Amphibian Skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Daniel; Walke, Jenifer B; Gajewski, Zachary; Becker, Matthew H; Swartwout, Meredith C; Belden, Lisa K

    2017-01-01

    One current challenge in microbial ecology is elucidating the functional roles of the large diversity of free-living and host-associated bacteria identified by culture-independent molecular methods. Importantly, the characterization of this immense bacterial diversity will likely require merging data from culture-independent approaches with work on bacterial isolates in culture. Amphibian skin bacterial communities have become a recent focus of work in host-associated microbial systems due to the potential role of these skin bacteria in host defense against the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which is associated with global amphibian population declines and extinctions. As there is evidence that some skin bacteria may inhibit growth of Bd and prevent infection in some cases, there is interest in using these bacteria as probiotic therapy for conservation of at-risk amphibians. In this study, we used skin swabs from American toads ( Anaxyrus americanus ) to: (1) assess the diversity and community structure of culturable amphibian skin bacteria grown on high and low nutrient culture media, (2) determine which culture media recover the highest proportion of the total skin bacterial community of individual toads relative to culture-independent data, and (3) assess whether the plated communities from the distinct media types vary in their ability to inhibit Bd growth in in-vitro assays. Overall, we found that culture media with low nutrient concentrations facilitated the growth of more diverse bacterial taxa and grew distinct communities relative to media with higher nutrient concentrations. Use of low nutrient media also resulted in culturing proportionally more of the bacterial diversity on individual toads relative to the overall community defined using culture-independent methods. However, while there were differences in diversity among media types, the variation among individual hosts was greater than variation among media types, suggesting

  1. Larval exposure to predator cues alters immune function and response to a fungal pathogen in post-metamorphic wood frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groner, Maya L; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie; Blaustein, Andrew R; Reinert, Laura K; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Bier, Mark E; Hempel, John; Relyea, Rick A

    2013-09-01

    For the past several decades, amphibian populations have been decreasing around the globe at an unprecedented rate. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen that causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, is contributing to amphibian declines. Natural and anthropogenic environmental factors are hypothesized to contribute to these declines by reducing the immunocompetence of amphibian hosts, making them more susceptible to infection. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) produced in the granular glands of a frog's skin are thought to be a key defense against Bd infection. These peptides may be a critical immune defense during metamorphosis because many acquired immune functions are suppressed during this time. To test if stressors alter AMP production and survival of frogs exposed to Bd, we exposed wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles to the presence or absence of dragonfly predator cues crossed with a single exposure to three nominal concentrations of the insecticide malathion (0, 10, or 100 parts per billion [ppb]). We then exposed a subset of post-metamorphic frogs to the presence or absence of Bd zoospores and measured frog survival. Although predator cues and malathion had no effect on survival or size at metamorphosis, predator cues increased the time to metamorphosis by 1.5 days and caused a trend of a 20% decrease in hydrophobic skin peptides. Despite this decrease in peptides determined shortly after metamorphosis, previous exposure to predator cues increased survival in both Bd-exposed and unexposed frogs several weeks after metamorphosis. These results suggest that exposing tadpoles to predator cues confers fitness benefits later in life.

  2. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis in nature

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. The Effect of Human Impact on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence in Taricha torosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, V.; Macario, E.; Tumey, C.

    2014-12-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is emerging as a major cause of the amphibian extinction. As amphibians serve an important role as indicator species in their ecosystem and play a vital role in the food chain, Bd will not only affect the amphibian population but also the health of the environment. Bd is an aquatic fungus that blocks the porous skin of amphibians which interrupts electrolyte, gas and water transfer. This imbalances the electrolyte system which causes cells and organs to malfunction, therefore killing the amphibian. While frogs are more common for Bd, it is not often found in newts. However, Dr. Vance Vredenburg recently found an outbreak of Bd in Taricha torosa in Marin Headlands, California. This location was used in the research as the sample site with most human impact and was expected to have the highest prevalence according to the proposed hypothesis that more human impact will correspond with a higher prevalence of Bd. Decreasing the level of human impact, Fairfield Osborn Preserve and Galbreath Preserve were picked as the other sample sites. After the samples went through qPCR, all of them came back negative for Bd. These results did not support the hypothesis, however, it contributed data to explaining the dynamics of Bd when combined with Dr. Vance Vredenburg's data from 2 months earlier. Within the two months, there was a huge difference in the prevalence of Bd as it dropped from 88% to 0%. This shows that Taricha torosa does in fact get Bd. However, it is rarely detected because Bd is fast-acting and has high mortality rates. Therefore, it is least likely for current nonspecific surveys to swab the newts during a short but lethal Bd outbreak.

  4. Treatment of urodelans based on temperature dependent infection dynamics of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blooi, M; Martel, A; Haesebrouck, F; Vercammen, F; Bonte, D; Pasmans, F

    2015-01-27

    The recently emerged chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans currently causes amphibian population declines. We hypothesized that temperature dictates infection dynamics of B. salamandrivorans, and that therefore heat treatment may be applied to clear animals from infection. We examined the impact of environmental temperature on B. salamandrivorans infection and disease dynamics in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Colonization of salamanders by B. salamandrivorans occurred at 15°C and 20°C but not at 25°C, with a significantly faster buildup of infection load and associated earlier mortality at 15°C. Exposing B. salamandrivorans infected salamanders to 25°C for 10 days resulted in complete clearance of infection and clinically cured all experimentally infected animals. This treatment protocol was validated in naturally infected wild fire salamanders. In conclusion, we show that B. salamandrivorans infection and disease dynamics are significantly dictated by environmental temperature, and that heat treatment is a viable option for clearing B. salamandrivorans infections.

  5. Are the adverse effects of stressors on amphibians mediated by their effects on stress hormones?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabor, Caitlin R; Knutie, Sarah A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Rohr, Jason R

    2018-02-01

    Adverse effects of anthropogenic changes on biodiversity might be mediated by their impacts on the stress response of organisms. To test this hypothesis, we crossed exposure to metyrapone, a synthesis inhibitor of the stress hormone corticosterone, with exposure to the herbicide atrazine and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) to assess whether the effects of these stressors on tadpoles and post-metamorphic frogs were mediated by corticosterone. Metyrapone countered atrazine- and Bd-induced corticosterone elevations. However, atrazine- and Bd-induced reductions in body size were not mediated by corticosterone because they persisted despite metyrapone exposure. Atrazine lowered Bd abundance without metyrapone but increased Bd abundance with metyrapone for tadpoles and frogs. In contrast, atrazine reduced tolerance of Bd infections because frogs exposed to atrazine as tadpoles had reduced growth with Bd compared to solvent controls; this effect was not countered by metyrapone. Our results suggest that the adverse effects of atrazine and Bd on amphibian growth, development, and tolerance of infection are not mediated primarily by corticosterone. A possible mechanism for these effects is energy lost from atrazine detoxification, defense against Bd, or repair from damage caused by atrazine and Bd. Additional studies are needed to evaluate how often the effects of anthropogenic stressors are mediated by stress hormones.

  6. Major histocompatibility complex selection dynamics in pathogen-infected túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosch, Tiffany A; Bataille, Arnaud; Didinger, Chelsea; Eimes, John A; Rodríguez-Brenes, Sofia; Ryan, Michael J; Waldman, Bruce

    2016-08-01

    Pathogen-driven selection can favour major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles that confer immunological resistance to specific diseases. However, strong directional selection should deplete genetic variation necessary for robust immune function in the absence of balancing selection or challenges presented by other pathogens. We examined selection dynamics at one MHC class II (MHC-II) locus across Panamanian populations of the túngara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus, infected by the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We compared MHC-II diversity in highland túngara frog populations, where amphibian communities have experienced declines owing to Bd, with those in the lowland region that have shown no evidence of decline. Highland region frogs had MHC variants that confer resistance to Bd. Variant fixation appeared to occur by directional selection rather than inbreeding, as overall genetic variation persisted in populations. In Bd-infected lowland sites, however, selective advantage may accrue to individuals with only one Bd-resistance allele, which were more frequent. Environmental conditions in lowlands should be less favourable for Bd infection, which may reduce selection for specific Bd resistance in hosts. Our results suggest that MHC selection dynamics fluctuate in túngara frog populations as a function of the favourability of habitat to pathogen spread and the vulnerability of hosts to infection. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Seasonal pattern of chytridiomycosis in common river frog ( Amietia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Environmental parameters such as temperature and rainfall influence the biology of amphibians and are likely to similarly influence the growth and prevalence of associated pathogens. Amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), causes an infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, in amphibians worldwide.

  8. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22163349

  9. 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.

  10. DNA Extraction Method Affects the Detection of a Fungal Pathogen in Formalin-Fixed Specimens Using qPCR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea J Adams

    Full Text Available Museum collections provide indispensable repositories for obtaining information about the historical presence of disease in wildlife populations. The pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd has played a significant role in global amphibian declines, and examining preserved specimens for Bd can improve our understanding of its emergence and spread. Quantitative PCR (qPCR enables Bd detection with minimal disturbance to amphibian skin and is significantly more sensitive to detecting Bd than histology; therefore, developing effective qPCR methodologies for detecting Bd DNA in formalin-fixed specimens can provide an efficient and effective approach to examining historical Bd emergence and prevalence. Techniques for detecting Bd in museum specimens have not been evaluated for their effectiveness in control specimens that mimic the conditions of animals most likely to be encountered in museums, including those with low pathogen loads. We used American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus of known infection status to evaluate the success of qPCR to detect Bd in formalin-fixed specimens after three years of ethanol storage. Our objectives were to compare the most commonly used DNA extraction method for Bd (PrepMan, PM to Macherey-Nagel DNA FFPE (MN, test optimizations for Bd detection with PM, and provide recommendations for maximizing Bd detection. We found that successful detection is relatively high (80-90% when Bd loads before formalin fixation are high, regardless of the extraction method used; however, at lower infection levels, detection probabilities were significantly reduced. The MN DNA extraction method increased Bd detection by as much as 50% at moderate infection levels. Our results indicate that, for animals characterized by lower pathogen loads (i.e., those most commonly encountered in museum collections, current methods may underestimate the proportion of Bd-infected amphibians. Those extracting DNA from

  11. DNA Extraction Method Affects the Detection of a Fungal Pathogen in Formalin-Fixed Specimens Using qPCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Andrea J; LaBonte, John P; Ball, Morgan L; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Toothman, Mary H; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2015-01-01

    Museum collections provide indispensable repositories for obtaining information about the historical presence of disease in wildlife populations. The pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has played a significant role in global amphibian declines, and examining preserved specimens for Bd can improve our understanding of its emergence and spread. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) enables Bd detection with minimal disturbance to amphibian skin and is significantly more sensitive to detecting Bd than histology; therefore, developing effective qPCR methodologies for detecting Bd DNA in formalin-fixed specimens can provide an efficient and effective approach to examining historical Bd emergence and prevalence. Techniques for detecting Bd in museum specimens have not been evaluated for their effectiveness in control specimens that mimic the conditions of animals most likely to be encountered in museums, including those with low pathogen loads. We used American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) of known infection status to evaluate the success of qPCR to detect Bd in formalin-fixed specimens after three years of ethanol storage. Our objectives were to compare the most commonly used DNA extraction method for Bd (PrepMan, PM) to Macherey-Nagel DNA FFPE (MN), test optimizations for Bd detection with PM, and provide recommendations for maximizing Bd detection. We found that successful detection is relatively high (80-90%) when Bd loads before formalin fixation are high, regardless of the extraction method used; however, at lower infection levels, detection probabilities were significantly reduced. The MN DNA extraction method increased Bd detection by as much as 50% at moderate infection levels. Our results indicate that, for animals characterized by lower pathogen loads (i.e., those most commonly encountered in museum collections), current methods may underestimate the proportion of Bd-infected amphibians. Those extracting DNA from archived museum

  12. Nothing a hot bath won't cure: infection rates of amphibian chytrid fungus correlate negatively with water temperature under natural field settings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Forrest

    Full Text Available Dramatic declines and extinctions of amphibian populations throughout the world have been associated with chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease caused by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. Previous studies indicated that Bd prevalence correlates with cooler temperatures in the field, and laboratory experiments have demonstrated that Bd ceases growth at temperatures above 28°C. Here we investigate how small-scale variations in water temperature correlate with Bd prevalence in the wild. We sampled 221 amphibians, including 201 lowland leopard frogs (Rana [Lithobates] yavapaiensis, from 12 sites in Arizona, USA, and tested them for Bd. Amphibians were encountered in microhabitats that exhibited a wide range of water temperatures (10-50°C, including several geothermal water sources. There was a strong inverse correlation between the water temperature in which lowland leopard frogs were captured and Bd prevalence, even after taking into account the influence of year, season, and host size. In locations where Bd was known to be present, the prevalence of Bd infections dropped from 75-100% in water 30°C. A strong inverse correlation between Bd infection status and water temperature was also observed within sites. Our findings suggest that microhabitats where water temperatures exceed 30°C provide lowland leopard frogs with significant protection from Bd, which could have important implications for disease dynamics, as well as management applications.There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them--Sylvia Plath, "The Bell Jar" (1963.

  13. Imperfect pathogen detection from non-invasive skin swabs biases disease inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Longo, Ana; Che-Castaldo, Christian; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Lips, Karen

    2018-01-01

    1. Conservation managers rely on accurate estimates of disease parameters, such as pathogen prevalence and infection intensity, to assess disease status of a host population. However, these disease metrics may be biased if low-level infection intensities are missed by sampling methods or laboratory diagnostic tests. These false negatives underestimate pathogen prevalence and overestimate mean infection intensity of infected individuals. 2. Our objectives were two-fold. First, we quantified false negative error rates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on non-invasive skin swabs collected from an amphibian community in El Copé, Panama. We swabbed amphibians twice in sequence, and we used a recently developed hierarchical Bayesian estimator to assess disease status of the population. Second, we developed a novel hierarchical Bayesian model to simultaneously account for imperfect pathogen detection from field sampling and laboratory diagnostic testing. We evaluated the performance of the model using simulations and varying sampling design to quantify the magnitude of bias in estimates of pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. 3. We show that Bd detection probability from skin swabs was related to host infection intensity, where Bd infections disease systems, particularly those with similar objectives, biology, and sampling decisions. 4. Uncertainty in pathogen detection is an inherent property of most sampling protocols and diagnostic tests, where the magnitude of bias depends on the study system, type of infection, and false negative error rates. Given that it may be difficult to know this information in advance, we advocate that the most cautious approach is to assume all errors are possible and to accommodate them by adjusting sampling designs. The modeling framework presented here improves the accuracy in estimating pathogen prevalence and infection intensity.

  14. Endoscopy in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2015-09-01

    Despite advances in exotic animal endoscopy, descriptions involving amphibians are scarce. Amphibian endoscopy shares some similarities with reptiles, especially in lizards. Selected procedures are discussed, including stomatoscopy, gastroscopy, coelioscopy, and biopsy of coelomic organs and lesions. This short overview provides the practitioner with pragmatic advice on how to conduct safe and effective endoscopic examinations in amphibians. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Perspectives on invasive amphibians in Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Rodriguez Forti

    Full Text Available Introduced species have the potential to become invasive and jeopardize entire ecosystems. The success of species establishing viable populations outside their original extent depends primarily on favorable climatic conditions in the invasive ranges. Species distribution modeling (SDM can thus be used to estimate potential habitat suitability for populations of invasive species. Here we review the status of six amphibian species with invasive populations in Brazil (four domestic species and two imported species. We (i modeled the current habitat suitability and future potential distribution of these six focal species, (ii reported on the disease status of Eleutherodactylus johnstonei and Phyllodytes luteolus, and (iii quantified the acoustic overlap of P. luteolus and Leptodactylus labyrinthicus with three co-occurring native species. Our models indicated that all six invasive species could potentially expand their ranges in Brazil within the next few decades. In addition, our SDMs predicted important expansions in available habitat for 2 out of 6 invasive species under future (2100 climatic conditions. We detected high acoustic niche overlap between invasive and native amphibian species, underscoring that acoustic interference might reduce mating success in local frogs. Despite the American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus being recognized as a potential reservoir for the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd in Brazil, we did not detect Bd in the recently introduced population of E. johnstonei and P. luteolus in the State of São Paulo. We emphasize that the number of invasive amphibian species in Brazil is increasing exponentially, highlighting the urgent need to monitor and control these populations and decrease potential impacts on the locally biodiverse wildlife.

  16. 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.

  17. Recent Emergence of a Chytrid Fungal Pathogen in California Cascades Frogs (Rana cascadae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De León, Marina E; Vredenburg, Vance T; Piovia-Scott, Jonah

    2017-03-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with global amphibian declines, but it is often difficult to discern the relative importance of Bd as a causal agent in declines that have already occurred. Retrospective analyses of museum specimens have allowed researchers to associate the timing of Bd arrival with the timing of past amphibian declines. Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae) have experienced dramatic declines in northern California, but it is not clear whether the onset of these declines corresponds to the arrival of Bd. We used quantitative real-time PCR assays of samples collected from museum specimens to determine historical Bd prevalence in the northern California range of Cascades frogs. We detected Bd in 13 of 364 (3.5%) Cascades frog specimens collected between 1907 and 2003, with the first positive result from 1978. A Bayesian analysis suggested that Bd arrived in the region between 1973 and 1978, which corresponds well with the first observations of declines in the 1980s.

  18. Diseases of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Densmore, Christine L; Green, David Earl

    2007-01-01

    The development and refinement of amphibian medicine comprise an ongoing science that reflects the unique life history of these animals and our growing knowledge of amphibian diseases. Amphibians are notoriously fastidious in terms of captive care requirements, and the majority of diseases of amphibians maintained in captivity will relate directly or indirectly to husbandry and management. Investigators have described many infectious and noninfectious diseases that occur among various species of captive and wild amphibians, and there is considerable overlap in the diseases of captive versus free-ranging populations. In this article, some of the more commonly reported infectious and noninfectious diseases as well as their etiological agents and causative factors are reviewed. Some of the more common amphibian diseases with bacterial etiologies include bacterial dermatosepticemia or "red leg syndrome," flavobacteriosis, mycobacteriosis, and chlamydiosis. The most common viral diseases of amphibians are caused by the ranaviruses, which have an impact on many species of anurans and caudates. Mycotic and mycotic-like organisms cause a number of diseases among amphibians, including chytridiomycosis, zygomycoses, chromomycoses, saprolegniasis, and ichthyophoniasis. Protozoan parasites of amphibians include a variety of amoeba, ciliates, flagellates, and sporozoans Common metazoan parasites include various myxozoans, helminths (particularly trematodes and nematodes), and arthropods. Commonly encountered noninfectious disease etiologies for amphibians include neoplasia, absolute or specific nutritional deficiencies or overloads, chemical toxicities, and inadequate husbandry or environmental management.

  19. Sex Reversal in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flament, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians have been widely used to study developmental biology due to the fact that embryo development takes place independently of the maternal organism and that observations and experimental approaches are easy. Some amphibians like Xenopus became model organisms in this field. In the first part of this article, the differentiation of the gonads in amphibians and the mechanisms governing this process are reviewed. In the second part, the state of the art about sex reversal, which can be induced by steroid hormones in general and by temperature in some species, is presented. Also information about pollutants found in the environment that could interfere with the development of the amphibian reproductive apparatus or with their reproductive physiology is given. Such compounds could play a part in the amphibian decline, since in the wild, many amphibians are endangered species. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Climate change and amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

    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 i...

  1. Surgery in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian surgery has been especially described in research. Since the last decade, interest for captive amphibians has increased, so have the indications for surgical intervention. Clinicians should not hesitate to advocate such manipulations. Amphibian surgeries have no overwhelming obstacles. These patients heal well and tolerate blood loss more than higher vertebrates. Most procedures described in reptiles (mostly lizards) can be undertaken in most amphibians if equipment can be matched to the patients' size. In general, the most difficult aspect would be the provision of adequate anesthesia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Spatial variation in risk and consequence of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans introduction in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Adams, Michael J.; White, C. LeAnn; Campbell Grant, Evan H.

    2016-01-01

    A newly identified fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), is responsible for mass mortality events and severe population declines in European salamanders. The eastern USA has the highest diversity of salamanders in the world and the introduction of this pathogen is likely to be devastating. Although data are inevitably limited for new pathogens, disease-risk assessments use best available data to inform management decisions. Using characteristics of Bsal ecology, spatial data on imports and pet trade establishments, and salamander species diversity, we identify high-risk areas with both a high likelihood of introduction and severe consequences for local salamanders. We predict that the Pacific coast, southern Appalachian Mountains and mid-Atlantic regions will have the highest relative risk from Bsal. Management of invasive pathogens becomes difficult once they are established in wildlife populations; therefore, import restrictions to limit pathogen introduction and early detection through surveillance of high-risk areas are priorities for preventing the next crisis for North American salamanders.

  3. The development of a spatially-explicit, individual-based, disease model for frogs and the chytrid fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background / Question / Methods The fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (BD), has been associated with amphibian population declines and even extinctions worldwide. Transmission of the fungus between amphibian hosts occurs via motile zoospores, which are produced on...

  4. Imperfect pathogen detection from non-invasive skin swabs biases disease inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Longo, Ana; Che-Castaldo, Christian; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Lips, Karen

    2018-01-01

    1. Conservation managers rely on accurate estimates of disease parameters, such as pathogen prevalence and infection intensity, to assess disease status of a host population. However, these disease metrics may be biased if low-level infection intensities are missed by sampling methods or laboratory diagnostic tests. These false negatives underestimate pathogen prevalence and overestimate mean infection intensity of infected individuals. 2. Our objectives were two-fold. First, we quantified false negative error rates of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on non-invasive skin swabs collected from an amphibian community in El Copé, Panama. We swabbed amphibians twice in sequence, and we used a recently developed hierarchical Bayesian estimator to assess disease status of the population. Second, we developed a novel hierarchical Bayesian model to simultaneously account for imperfect pathogen detection from field sampling and laboratory diagnostic testing. We evaluated the performance of the model using simulations and varying sampling design to quantify the magnitude of bias in estimates of pathogen prevalence and infection intensity. 3. We show that Bd detection probability from skin swabs was related to host infection intensity, where Bd infections < 10 zoospores have < 95% probability of being detected. If imperfect Bd detection was not considered, then Bd prevalence was underestimated by as much as 16%. In the Bd-amphibian system, this indicates a need to correct for imperfect pathogen detection caused by skin swabs in persisting host communities with low-level infections. More generally, our results have implications for study designs in other disease systems, particularly those with similar objectives, biology, and sampling decisions. 4. Uncertainty in pathogen detection is an inherent property of most sampling protocols and diagnostic tests, where the magnitude of bias depends on the study system, type of infection, and false negative error rates. Given that it may

  5. Widespread Elevational Occurrence of Antifungal Bacteria in Andean Amphibians Decimated by Disease: A Complex Role for Skin Symbionts in Defense Against Chytridiomycosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Catenazzi

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious disease is a growing threat to global health, and recent discoveries reveal that the microbiota dwelling on and within hosts can play an important role in health and disease. To understand the capacity of skin bacteria to protect amphibian hosts from the fungal disease chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, we isolated 192 bacterial morphotypes from the skin of 28 host species of frogs (families Bufonidae, Centrolenidae, Hemiphractidae, Hylidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae, and Telmatobiidae collected from the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes (540–3,865 m a.s.l. in the Kosñipata Valley near Manu National Park, a site where we previously documented the collapse of montane frog communities following chytridiomycosis epizootics. We obtained isolates through agar culture from skin swabs of wild frogs, and identified bacterial isolates by comparing 16S rRNA sequences against the GenBank database using BLAST. We identified 178 bacterial strains of 38 genera, including 59 bacterial species not previously reported from any amphibian host. The most common bacterial isolates were species of Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Chryseobacterium, Comamonas, Sphingobacterium, and Stenotrophomonas. We assayed the anti-fungal abilities of 133 bacterial isolates from 26 frog species. To test whether cutaneous bacteria might inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen, we used a local Bd strain isolated from the mouthparts of stream-dwelling tadpoles (Hypsiboas gladiator, Hylidae. We quantified Bd-inhibition in vitro with co-culture assays. We found 20 bacterial isolates that inhibited Bd growth, including three isolates not previously known for such inhibitory abilities. Anti-Bd isolates occurred on aquatic and terrestrial breeding frogs across a wide range of elevations (560–3,695 m a.s.l.. The inhibitory ability of anti-Bd isolates varied considerably. The proportion of anti-Bd isolates was lowest at mid-elevations (6

  6. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a), raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this finding with a significant management response, the accuracy and context of the data warrant cautious review. Re-examination of a 10-year dataset together with results from more recent surveillance (Kolby et al. 2015) does not yet demonstrate widespread Bd presence. Detection of Bd at "positive" locations in Madagascar has been inconsistent for unknown reasons. Whether Bd is established in Madagascar (i.e. populations are self-sustaining) or instead requires continued introduction to persist also remains uncertain. The deployment of emergency conservation rescue initiatives is expected to target areas where the distribution of Bd and the risk of chytridiomycosis endangering amphibians is believed to overlap. Thus, erroneous description of Bd presence would misdirect limited conservation resources. Standardized surveillance and confirmatory surveys are now imperative to reliably characterize the distribution, potential spread, virulence and overall risk of Bd to amphibians in Madagascar.

  7. Reproductive Medicine in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2017-05-01

    Reproduction of amphibians includes ovulation, spermiation, fertilization, oviposition, larval stage and development, and metamorphosis. A problem at any stage could lead to reproductive failure. To stimulate reproduction, environmental conditions must be arranged to simulate changes in natural habits. Reproductive life history is well documented in amphibians; a thorough knowledge of this subject will aid the practitioner in diagnosis and treatment. Technologies for artificial reproduction are developing rapidly, and some protocols may be transferable to privately kept or endangered species. Reproductive tract disorders are rarely described; no bacterial or viral diseases are known that specifically target the amphibian reproductive system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. amphibian_biomarker_data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Amphibian metabolite data used in Snyder, M.N., Henderson, W.M., Glinski, D.G., Purucker, S. T., 2017. Biomarker analysis of american toad (Anaxyrus americanus) and...

  10. Using a Bayesian network to clarify areas requiring research in a host-pathogen system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bower, D S; Mengersen, K; Alford, R A; Schwarzkopf, L

    2017-12-01

    Bayesian network analyses can be used to interactively change the strength of effect of variables in a model to explore complex relationships in new ways. In doing so, they allow one to identify influential nodes that are not well studied empirically so that future research can be prioritized. We identified relationships in host and pathogen biology to examine disease-driven declines of amphibians associated with amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). We constructed a Bayesian network consisting of behavioral, genetic, physiological, and environmental variables that influence disease and used them to predict host population trends. We varied the impacts of specific variables in the model to reveal factors with the most influence on host population trend. The behavior of the nodes (the way in which the variables probabilistically responded to changes in states of the parents, which are the nodes or variables that directly influenced them in the graphical model) was consistent with published results. The frog population had a 49% probability of decline when all states were set at their original values, and this probability increased when body temperatures were cold, the immune system was not suppressing infection, and the ambient environment was conducive to growth of B. dendrobatidis. These findings suggest the construction of our model reflected the complex relationships characteristic of host-pathogen interactions. Changes to climatic variables alone did not strongly influence the probability of population decline, which suggests that climate interacts with other factors such as the capacity of the frog immune system to suppress disease. Changes to the adaptive immune system and disease reservoirs had a large effect on the population trend, but there was little empirical information available for model construction. Our model inputs can be used as a base to examine other systems, and our results show that such analyses are useful tools for

  11. Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in three species of wild frogs on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forzán, M J; Vanderstichel, R; Hogan, N S; Teather, K; Wood, J

    2010-09-02

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has resulted in the decline or extinction of approximately 200 frog species worldwide. It has been reported throughout much of North America, but its presence on Prince Edward Island (PEI), on the eastern coast of Canada, was unknown. To determine the presence and prevalence of Bd on PEI, skin swabs were collected from 115 frogs from 18 separate sites across the province during the summer of 2009. The swabs were tested through single round end-point PCR for the presence of Bd DNA. Thirty-one frogs were positive, including 25/93 (27%) green frogs Lithobates (Rana) clamitans, 5/20 (25%) northern leopard frogs L. (R.) pipiens, and 1/2 (50%) wood frogs L. sylvaticus (formerly R. sylvatica); 12 of the 18 (67%) sites had at least 1 positive frog. The overall prevalence of Bd infection was estimated at 26.9% (7.2-46.7%, 95% CI). Prevalence amongst green frogs and leopard frogs was similar, but green frogs had a stronger PCR signal when compared to leopard frogs, regardless of age (p frogs, juveniles were more frequently positive than adults (p = 0.001). Green frogs may be the most reliable species to sample when looking for Bd in eastern North America. The 1 wood frog positive for Bd was found dead from chytridiomycosis; none of the other frogs that were positive for Bd by PCR showed any obvious signs of illness. Further monitoring will be required to determine what effect Bd infection has on amphibian population health on PEI.

  12. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Dall'Acqua Coutinho

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57% and 18/107 (17% animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1% and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27. The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations.

  13. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-06-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations.

  14. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. PMID:26273273

  15. Diseases of amphibian eggs and embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.; Majumdar, S.K.; Huffman, J.E.; Brenner, F.J.; Panah, A.I.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians generally are prolific egg producers. In tropical and semi-tropical regions, deposition of eggs may occur year-round or may coincide with rainy seasons, while in temperate regions, deposition of eggs usually occurs immediately after emergence from hibernation. Numbers of eggs produced by each species may vary from a few dozen to thousands. Accordingly, some eggs may be infertile and wastage of embryos is to be expected. Fertility, viability and decomposition of eggs and embryos must be considered before it is assumed that diseases are present. An important consideration in the evaluation of egg masses is the fact that some will contain infertile and non-viable eggs. These infertile and nonviable eggs will undergo decomposition and they may appear similar to eggs that are infected by a pathogen. Evaluation of egg masses and embryos for the presence of disease may require repeated observations in a given breeding season as well as continued monitoring of egg masses during their growth and development and over successive breeding seasons. Amphibian eggs rarely are subjected to a comprehensive health (diagnostic) examination; hence, there is scant literature on the diseases of this life stage. Indeed, the eggs of some North American amphibians have yet to be described. Much basic physiology and normal biomedical baseline data on amphibian eggs is lacking. For example, it is known that the aquatic eggs of some species of shrimp quickly are coated by a protective and commensal bacterium that effectively impedes invasion of the eggs by other environmental organisms and potential pathogens. In the absence of this bacterium, shrimp eggs are rapidly killed by other bacteria and fungi (Green, 2001). The possibility that amphibian eggs also have important symbiotic or commensal bacteria needs to be investigated. Furthermore, the quantity and types of chemicals in the normal gelatinous capsules of amphibian eggs have scarcely been examined. Abnormalities of the

  16. Adaptive colouration in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudh, Andreas; Qvarnström, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, i.e. salamanders, frogs and caecilians show a wide range of bright colours in combination with contrasting patterns. There is variation among species, populations and also within species and populations. Furthermore, individuals often change colours during developmental stages or in response to environmental factors. This extraordinary variation means that there are excellent opportunities to test hypotheses of the adaptive significance of colours using amphibian species as models. We review the present view of functions of colouration in amphibians with the main focus on relatively unexplored topics. Variation in colouration has been found to play a role in thermoregulation, UV protection, predator avoidance and sexual signalling. However, many proposed cases of adaptive functions of colouration in amphibians remain virtually scientifically unexplored and surprisingly few genes influencing pigmentation or patterning have been detected. We would like to especially encourage more studies that take advantage of recent developments in measurement of visual properties of several possible signalling receivers (e.g. predators, competitors or mates). Future investigations on interactions between behaviour, ecology and vision have the potential to challenge our current view of the adaptive function of colouration in amphibians. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Amphibians of Olympic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2000-01-01

    Amphibians evolved from fishes about 360 million years ago and were the first vertebrates adapted to life on land. The word amphibian means "double life." It refers to the life history of many amphibians, which spend part of their life in water and part on land. There are three major groups of amphibians: salamanders, frogs, and toads, and caecilians. Salamanders, frogs, and toads can be found in Olympic National Park (ONP), but caecilians live only in tropical regions. Many amphibians are generalist predators, eating almost any prey they can fit into their mouths.

  18. 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.

  19. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Project Lifescape 8. Amphibians

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 7. Project Lifescape - Amphibians. R J Ranjit Daniels. Classroom Volume 5 Issue 7 July 2000 pp 71-85 ... Author Affiliations. R J Ranjit Daniels1. Hon. Secretary Chennai Snake Park Trust Rajbhavan Post Chennai 600 022, India.

  1. West Africa - a safe haven for frogs? A sub-continental assessment of the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Penner

    Full Text Available A putative driver of global amphibian decline is the panzootic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. While Bd has been documented across continental Africa, its distribution in West Africa remains ambiguous. We tested 793 West African amphibians (one caecilian and 61 anuran species for the presence of Bd. The samples originated from seven West African countries - Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone - and were collected from a variety of habitats, ranging from lowland rainforests to montane forests, montane grasslands to humid and dry lowland savannahs. The species investigated comprised various life-history strategies, but we focused particularly on aquatic and riparian species. We used diagnostic PCR to screen 656 specimen swabs and histology to analyse 137 specimen toe tips. All samples tested negative for Bd, including a widespread habitat generalist Hoplobatrachus occipitalis which is intensively traded on the West African food market and thus could be a potential dispersal agent for Bd. Continental fine-grained (30 arc seconds environmental niche models suggest that Bd should have a broad distribution across West Africa that includes most of the regions and habitats that we surveyed. The surprising apparent absence of Bd in West Africa indicates that the Dahomey Gap may have acted as a natural barrier. Herein we highlight the importance of this Bd-free region of the African continent - especially for the long-term conservation of several threatened species depending on fast flowing forest streams (Conraua alleni ("Vulnerable" and Petropedetes natator ("Near Threatened" as well as the "Critically Endangered" viviparous toad endemic to the montane grasslands of Mount Nimba (Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis.

  2. Amphibian tachykinin precursor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jianxu; Liu, Tongguang; Xu, Xueqing; Wang, Xu; Wu, Min; Yang, Hailong; Lai, Ren

    2006-12-01

    The precursor of amphibian tachykinin has not been found although more than 30 tachykinins have been isolated from amphibians since 1964. In this report, two tachykinin-like peptides are identified from the skin secretions of the frog, Odorrana grahami. Their amino acid sequences are DDTEDLANKFIGLM-NH(2) (named tachykinin OG1) and DDASDRAKKFYGLM-NH(2) that is the same with ranamargarin found in Rana margaretae, respectively, with a conserved FXGLM-NH(2) C-terminal consensus motif. By cDNA cloning, their precursors were screened from the skin cDNA library of O. grahami. The precursors are composed of 61 amino acid (aa) residues including a signal peptide followed by an acidic spacer peptide and one copy of mature tachykinin-like peptide. Their overall structure is different from structures of other tachykinin precursors such as human protachykinin 1 precursor containing 143 aa including one copy of substance P (SP) and neurokinin A (NKA), and ascidian tachykinin 1 precursor containing 164 aa including two copies of tachykinin-like peptides. The current results demonstrate that the biosynthesis mode of tachykinins in amphibians is different from other animals.

  3. Field Surveys of Amphibian Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodman, Robert

    2000-01-01

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

  4. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N.; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Usin...

  5. 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 salamanders 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 matter 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 population 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 primarily to overharvest due to unregulated supply of species such as the northern leopard frog (Lithobates 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 protected landscapes, making it clear that amphibian population declines were a “global phenomenon.” In response to these reports, in 1991, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force to better understand the scale and scope of global amphibian declines. Unfortunately, the absence of long-term monitoring data and targeted studies made it difficult for the task force to compile information.Today, according to AmphibiaWeb.org, there are 7,342 amphibian species in the world — double the number since the first alerts of declines — making the situation

  6. 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.

  7. Surviving chytridiomycosis: differential anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis activity in bacterial isolates from three lowland species of Atelopus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra V Flechas

    Full Text Available In the Neotropics, almost every species of the stream-dwelling harlequin toads (genus Atelopus have experienced catastrophic declines. The persistence of lowland species of Atelopus could be explained by the lower growth rate of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd at temperatures above 25 °C. We tested the complementary hypothesis that the toads' skin bacterial microbiota acts as a protective barrier against the pathogen, perhaps delaying or impeding the symptomatic phase of chytridiomycosis. We isolated 148 cultivable bacterial strains from three lowland Atelopus species and quantified the anti-Bd activity through antagonism assays. Twenty-six percent (38 strains representing 12 species of the bacteria inhibited Bd growth and just two of them were shared among the toad species sampled in different localities. Interestingly, the strongest anti-Bd activity was measured in bacteria isolated from A. elegans, the only species that tested positive for the pathogen. The cutaneous bacterial microbiota is thus likely a fitness-enhancing trait that may (adaptation or not (exaptation have appeared because of natural selection mediated by chytridiomycosis. Our findings reveal bacterial strains for development of local probiotic treatments against chytridiomycosis and also shed light on the mechanisms behind the frog-bacteria-pathogen interaction.

  8. Chytrid fungus infections in laboratory and introducedXenopus laevispopulations: assessing the risks for U.K. native amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinsley, Richard C; Coxhead, Peter G; Stott, Lucy C; Tinsley, Matthew C; Piccinni, Maya Z; Guille, Matthew J

    2015-04-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) is notorious amongst current conservation biology challenges, responsible for mass mortality and extinction of amphibian species. World trade in amphibians is implicated in global dissemination. Exports of South African Xenopus laevis have led to establishment of this invasive species on four continents. Bd naturally infects this host in Africa and now occurs in several introduced populations. However, no previous studies have investigated transfer of infection into co-occurring native amphibian faunas. A survey of 27 U.K. institutions maintaining X . laevis for research showed that most laboratories have low-level infection, a risk for native species if animals are released into the wild. RT-PCR assays showed Bd in two introduced U.K. populations of X . laevis , in Wales and Lincolnshire. Laboratory and field studies demonstrated that infection levels increase with stress, especially low temperature. In the U.K., native amphibians may be exposed to intense transmission in spring when they enter ponds to spawn alongside X . laevis that have cold-elevated Bd infections. Exposure to cross-infection has probably been recurrent since the introduction of X . laevis , >20 years in Lincolnshire and 50 years in Wales. These sites provide an important test for assessing the impact of X . laevis on Bd spread. However, RT-PCR assays on 174 native amphibians ( Bufo , Rana , Lissotriton and Triturus spp.), sympatric with the Bd -infected introduced populations, showed no foci of self-sustaining Bd transmission associated with X . laevis . The abundance of these native amphibians suggested no significant negative population-level effect after the decades of co-occurrence.

  9. 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.

  10. Chemosignals, hormones, and amphibian reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodley, Sarah

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Amphibians are often thought of as relatively simple animals especially when compared to mammals. Yet the chemosignaling systems used by amphibians are varied and complex. Amphibian chemosignals are particularly important in reproduction, in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Chemosignaling is most evident in salamanders and newts, but increasing evidence indicates that chemical communication facilitates reproduction in frogs and toads as well. Reproductive hormones shape the production, dissemination, detection, and responsiveness to chemosignals. A large variety of chemosignals have been identified, ranging from simple, invariant chemosignals to complex, variable blends of chemosignals. Although some chemosignals elicit straightforward responses, others have relatively subtle effects. Review of amphibian chemosignaling reveals a number of issues to be resolved, including: 1) the significance of the complex, individually variable blends of courtship chemosignals found in some salamanders, 2) the behavioral and/or physiological functions of chemosignals found in anuran "breeding glands", 3) the ligands for amphibian V2Rs, especially V2Rs expressed in the main olfactory epithelium, and 4) the mechanism whereby transdermal delivery of chemosignals influences behavior. To date, only a handful of the more than 7000 species of amphibians has been examined. Further study of amphibians should provide additional insight to the role of chemosignals in reproduction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Triassic amphibian from Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, P J; Baillie, R J; Colbert, E H

    1968-08-02

    A fossil bone fragment-the first record of tetrapod life from Antarctica-was found near Graphite Peak in the upper Beardmore Glacier area (85 degrees 3.3'S; 172 degrees 19'E). The fragment was embedded in a pebbly quartzose sandstone, probably of fluvial origin, in the lower part of the Triassic Fremouw Formation (as yet undefined), which contains Dicroidium in the upper part. The fossil horizon is only 76 meters, stratigraphically, above the Glossopteris-bearing Buckley Formation, a coal-bearing sequence of Permian age. The bone fragment is the back portion of a left mandibular ramus of a labyrinthodont amphibian. This identification is based on the characteristic labyrinthodont external surface sculpturing, with indications of "mucous grooves," as well as on other osteological features.

  12. Reptiles and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Perrow, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Summary – We reviewed all the peer-reviewed scientific publications we could find on the known and potential effects of wind farm development, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning on reptiles and amphibians (collectively herpetofauna) worldwide. Both groups are declining globally due to a multitude of threats including energy development. Effect studies were limited to the long-term research by the authors on Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise ecology and behavior at single operational wind farm in California, US and an analysis of the effects of wind farm installation on species richness of vertebrates including reptiles and amphibians in northwestern Portugal. Research on Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise found few demonstrable differences in biological parameters between populations in the wind farm and those in more natural habitats. High reproductive output is due to the regional climate and not to the presence or operation of the wind farm. Site operations have resulted in death and injury to a small number of adult tortoises and over the long-term tortoises now appear to avoid the areas of greatest turbine concentration. Research in Portugal using models and simulations based on empirical data show that vertebrate species richness (including herpetofauna) decreased by almost 20% after the installation of only two large monopole turbines per 250 x 250 m plot. Knowledge of the known responses of herpetofauna to various disturbances allows identification of potential impacts from construction material acquisition in offsite areas, mortality and stress due to impacts of roads and related infrastructure, destruction and modification of habitat, habitat fragmentation and barriers to gene flow, noise, vibration, electromagnetic field generation, heat from buried high voltage transmission lines, alteration of local and regional climate, predator attraction, and increased risk of fire. Research on herpetofauna lags far behind what is needed and, in particular, before

  13. North American amphibians: Distribution and diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Potential interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality and adjacent land cover in amphibian habitats in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, William A.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    To investigate interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality, and adjacent land cover, we collected samples of water, sediment, and frog tissue from 21 sites in 7 States in the United States (US) representing a variety of amphibian habitats. All samples were analyzed for > 90 pesticides and pesticide degradates, and water and frogs were screened for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) using molecular methods. Pesticides and pesticide degradates were detected frequently in frog breeding habitats (water and sediment) as well as in frog tissue. Fungicides occurred more frequently in water, sediment, and tissue than was expected based upon their limited use relative to herbicides or insecticides. Pesticide occurrence in water or sediment was not a strong predictor of occurrence in tissue, but pesticide concentrations in tissue were correlated positively to agricultural and urban land, and negatively to forested land in 2-km buffers around the sites. Bd was detected in water at 45% of sites, and on 34% of swabbed frogs. Bd detections in water were not associated with differences in land use around sites, but sites with detections had colder water. Frogs that tested positive for Bd were associated with sites that had higher total fungicide concentrations in water and sediment, but lower insecticide concentrations in sediments relative to frogs that were Bd negative. Bd concentrations on frog swabs were positively correlated to dissolved organic carbon, and total nitrogen and phosphorus, and negatively correlated to pH and water temperature.Data were collected from a range of locations and amphibian habitats and represent some of the first field-collected information aimed at understanding the interactions between pesticides, land use, and amphibian disease. These interactions are of particular interest to conservation efforts as many amphibians live in altered habitats and may depend on wetlands embedded in these landscapes to

  15. Cool temperatures reduce antifungal activity of symbiotic bacteria of threatened amphibians--implications for disease management and patterns of decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua H Daskin

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians' skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus requires knowledge of how environmental conditions affect their anti-Bd activity. For example, Bd-driven amphibian declines have often occurred at temperatures below Bd's optimum range. It is possible these declines occurred due to reduced anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts at cool temperatures. Better understanding of the effects of temperature on chytridiomycosis development could also improve risk evaluation for amphibian populations yet to encounter Bd. We characterized, at a range of temperatures approximating natural seasonal variation, the anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts from the skins of three species of rainforest tree frogs (Litoria nannotis, Litoria rheocola, and Litoria serrata. All three species declined during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have subsequently recovered to differing extents. We collected anti-Bd bacterial symbionts from frogs and cultured the bacteria at constant temperatures from 8 °C to 33 °C. Using a spectrophotometric assay, we monitored Bd growth in cell-free supernatants (CFSs from each temperature treatment. CFSs from 11 of 24 bacteria showed reduced anti-Bd activity in vitro when they were produced at cool temperatures similar to those encountered by the host species during population declines. Reduced anti-Bd activity of metabolites produced at low temperatures may, therefore, partially explain the association between Bd-driven declines and cool temperatures. We show that to

  16. Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , in Wild Populations of the Lake Titicaca Frog, Telmatobius culeus, in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenguel, Raul A; Elias, Roberto K; Weaver, Thomas J; Reading, Richard P

    2016-10-01

    The Lake Titicaca frog (Telmatobius culeus) is critically endangered, primarily from overexploitation. However, additional threats, such as chytrid fungus ( Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ), are poorly studied. We found moderate levels of chytrid infection using quantitative PCR. Our results enhance our understanding of chytrid tolerance to high pH and low water temperature.

  17. Clinical pathology of amphibians: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forzán, María J; Heatley, Jill; Russell, Karen E; Horney, Barbara

    2017-03-01

    Amphibian declines and extinctions have worsened in the last 2 decades. Partly because one of the main causes of the declines is infectious disease, veterinary professionals have increasingly become involved in amphibian research, captive husbandry, and management. Health evaluation of amphibians, free-living or captive, can benefit from employing the tools of clinical pathology, something that is commonly used in veterinary medicine of other vertebrates. The present review compiles what is known of amphibian clinical pathology emphasizing knowledge that may assist with the interpretation of laboratory results, provides diagnostic recommendations for common amphibian diseases, and includes RIs for a few amphibian species estimated based on peer-reviewed studies. We hope to encourage the incorporation of clinical pathology in amphibian practice and research, and to highlight the importance of applying veterinary medicine principles in furthering our knowledge of amphibian pathophysiology. © 2017 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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.

  20. A model for the interaction of frog population dynamics with Batrachochytrium dendrobaties, Janthinobacterium lividium and temperature and its implication for chytridiomycosis management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackleh, Azmy S.; Carter, Jacoby; Chellamuthu, Vinodh K.; Ma, Baoling

    2016-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that poses a serious threat to frog populations worldwide. Several studies have shown that inoculation of bacterial species Janthinobacterium lividum (Jl) can mitigate the impact of the disease. However, there are many questions regarding this interaction. A mathematical model of a frog population infected with chytridiomycosis is developed to investigate how the inoculation of Jl could reduce the impact of Bd disease on frogs. The model also illustrates the important role of temperature in disease dynamics. The model simulation results suggest possible control strategies for Jl to limit the impact of Bd in various scenarios. However, a better knowledge of Jl life cycle is needed to fully understand the interaction of Jl, Bd, temperature and frogs.

  1. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus’s egg?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muijsers Mariska

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC of 0.5-1.0 μg/ml for florfenicol and 8.0 μg/ml for the sulfonamides. Trimethoprim was not capable of inhibiting growth but, combined with sulfonamides, reduced the time to visible growth inhibition by the sulfonamides. Growth inhibition of B. dendrobatidis was not observed after exposure to clindamycin, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, paromomycin, polymyxin E and tylosin. Cultures of sporangia and zoospores of B. dendrobatidis strains JEL423 and IA042 were killed completely after 14 days of exposure to 100 μg/ml florfenicol or 16 μg/ml trimethoprim combined with 80 μg/ml sulfadiazine. These concentrations were, however, not capable of efficiently killing zoospores within 4 days after exposure as assessed using flow cytometry. Florfenicol concentrations remained stable in a bathing solution during a ten day period. Exposure of Discoglossus scovazzi tadpoles for ten days to 100 μg/ml but not to 10 μg florfenicol /ml water resulted in toxicity. In an in vivo trial, post metamorphic Alytes muletensis, experimentally inoculated with B. dendrobatidis, were treated topically with a solution containing 10 μg/ml of florfenicol during 14 days. Although a significant reduction of the B. dendrobatidis load was obtained, none of the treated animals cleared the infection. Conclusions We thus conclude that, despite marked anti B. dendrobatidis activity in vitro, the florfenicol treatment used is not capable of eliminating B

  2. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus's egg?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muijsers, Mariska; Martel, An; Van Rooij, Pascale; Baert, Kris; Vercauteren, Griet; Ducatelle, Richard; De Backer, Patrick; Vercammen, Francis; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2012-09-25

    The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 0.5-1.0 μg/ml for florfenicol and 8.0 μg/ml for the sulfonamides. Trimethoprim was not capable of inhibiting growth but, combined with sulfonamides, reduced the time to visible growth inhibition by the sulfonamides. Growth inhibition of B. dendrobatidis was not observed after exposure to clindamycin, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, paromomycin, polymyxin E and tylosin. Cultures of sporangia and zoospores of B. dendrobatidis strains JEL423 and IA042 were killed completely after 14 days of exposure to 100 μg/ml florfenicol or 16 μg/ml trimethoprim combined with 80 μg/ml sulfadiazine. These concentrations were, however, not capable of efficiently killing zoospores within 4 days after exposure as assessed using flow cytometry. Florfenicol concentrations remained stable in a bathing solution during a ten day period. Exposure of Discoglossus scovazzi tadpoles for ten days to 100 μg/ml but not to 10 μg florfenicol /ml water resulted in toxicity. In an in vivo trial, post metamorphic Alytes muletensis, experimentally inoculated with B. dendrobatidis, were treated topically with a solution containing 10 μg/ml of florfenicol during 14 days. Although a significant reduction of the B. dendrobatidis load was obtained, none of the treated animals cleared the infection. We thus conclude that, despite marked anti B. dendrobatidis activity in vitro, the florfenicol treatment used is not capable of eliminating B. dendrobatidis infections from amphibians.

  3. Antibacterial therapeutics for the treatment of chytrid infection in amphibians: Columbus’s egg?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides were active in vitro against cultures of five Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis strains containing sporangia and zoospores, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 0.5-1.0 μg/ml for florfenicol and 8.0 μg/ml for the sulfonamides. Trimethoprim was not capable of inhibiting growth but, combined with sulfonamides, reduced the time to visible growth inhibition by the sulfonamides. Growth inhibition of B. dendrobatidis was not observed after exposure to clindamycin, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, paromomycin, polymyxin E and tylosin. Cultures of sporangia and zoospores of B. dendrobatidis strains JEL423 and IA042 were killed completely after 14 days of exposure to 100 μg/ml florfenicol or 16 μg/ml trimethoprim combined with 80 μg/ml sulfadiazine. These concentrations were, however, not capable of efficiently killing zoospores within 4 days after exposure as assessed using flow cytometry. Florfenicol concentrations remained stable in a bathing solution during a ten day period. Exposure of Discoglossus scovazzi tadpoles for ten days to 100 μg/ml but not to 10 μg florfenicol /ml water resulted in toxicity. In an in vivo trial, post metamorphic Alytes muletensis, experimentally inoculated with B. dendrobatidis, were treated topically with a solution containing 10 μg/ml of florfenicol during 14 days. Although a significant reduction of the B. dendrobatidis load was obtained, none of the treated animals cleared the infection. Conclusions We thus conclude that, despite marked anti B. dendrobatidis activity in vitro, the florfenicol treatment used is not capable of eliminating B. dendrobatidis infections

  4. Climate forcing of an emerging pathogenic fungus across a montane multi-host community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, Frances C; Halder, Julia B; Daniel, Olivia; Bielby, Jon; Semenov, Mikhail A; Jombart, Thibaut; Loyau, Adeline; Schmeller, Dirk S; Cunningham, Andrew A; Rowcliffe, Marcus; Garner, Trenton W J; Bosch, Jaime; Fisher, Matthew C

    2016-12-05

    Changes in the timings of seasonality as a result of anthropogenic climate change are predicted to occur over the coming decades. While this is expected to have widespread impacts on the dynamics of infectious disease through environmental forcing, empirical data are lacking. Here, we investigated whether seasonality, specifically the timing of spring ice-thaw, affected susceptibility to infection by the emerging pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) across a montane community of amphibians that are suffering declines and extirpations as a consequence of this infection. We found a robust temporal association between the timing of the spring thaw and Bd infection in two host species, where we show that an early onset of spring forced high prevalences of infection. A third highly susceptible species (the midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans) maintained a high prevalence of infection independent of time of spring thaw. Our data show that perennially overwintering midwife toad larvae may act as a year-round reservoir of infection with variation in time of spring thaw determining the extent to which infection spills over into sympatric species. We used future temperature projections based on global climate models to demonstrate that the timing of spring thaw in this region will advance markedly by the 2050s, indicating that climate change will further force the severity of infection. Our findings on the effect of annual variability on multi-host infection dynamics show that the community-level impact of fungal infectious disease on biodiversity will need to be re-evaluated in the face of climate change.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'. © 2016 The Authors.

  5. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  6. 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.

  7. Small Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce Rickel

    2005-01-01

    This chapter focuses on small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that inhabit the grasslands within the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service. The chapter is not intended to be an all inclusive list of species, but rather to address the species that play important roles in grassland ecosystems and that often are associated with the management of grasslands....

  8. Amphibian (Xenopus sp.) iodothyronine deiodinase ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The U.S. EPA-MED amphibian thyroid group is currently screening chemicals for inhibition of human iodothyronine deiodinase activity as components of the thyroid system important in human development. Amphibians are a bellwether taxonomic group to gauge toxicity of chemicals in the environment. Amphibian thyroid function is not only important in development but also metamorphosis. Xenopus sp. have been used extensively as model organisms and are well characterized genetically. We propose to screen a list of chemicals (selected from the human DIO screening results) to test for inhibition of Xenopus deiodinases. Large quantities of the enzymes will be produced using an adenovirus system. Our preliminary results show that there may be catalytic differences between human and Xenopus deiodinases. The Twin Ports Early Career Scientists is a new group formed within the Duluth-Superior scientific community. This presentation will provide a basic introduction to my research and our mission at EPA, and help to establish networking and collaboration relationships across disciplines and institutions.

  9. Impending conservation crisis for Southeast Asian amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, Jodi; Brown, Rafe; Bain, Raoul; Kusrini, Mirza; Inger, Robert; Stuart, Bryan; Wogan, Guin; Thy, Neang; Chan-ard, Tanya; Trung, Cao Tien; Diesmos, Arvin; Iskandar, Djoko T.; Lau, Michael; Ming, Leong Tzi; Makchai, Sunchai; Truong, Nguyen Quang; Phimmachak, Somphouthone

    2010-01-01

    With an understudied amphibian fauna, the highest deforestation rate on the planet and high harvesting pressures, Southeast Asian amphibians are facing a conservation crisis. Owing to the overriding threat of habitat loss, the most critical conservation action required is the identification and strict protection of habitat assessed as having high amphibian species diversity and/or representing distinctive regional amphibian faunas. Long-term population monitoring, enhanced survey efforts, collection of basic biological and ecological information, continued taxonomic research and evaluation of the impact of commercial trade for food, medicine and pets are also needed. Strong involvement of regional stakeholders, students and professionals is essential to accomplish these actions. PMID:20007165

  10. 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....

  11. 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. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  12. Concurrent ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in captive frogs (Phyllobates and Dendrobates species), The Netherlands, 2012: a first report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kik, Marja; Stege, Marisca; Boonyarittichaikij, Roschong; van Asten, Alphons

    2012-11-01

    A ranavirus infection with concurrent Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and mortality in captive Phyllobates and Dendrobates species is reported. Greyish skin with hepato- and reno-megaly were evident. Microscopically, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was present in the stratum corneum of the hyperkeratotic skin. Intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were present in erythrocytes and multiple organs. All samples examined tested positive using PCR for the major capsid protein (MCP) gene of ranavirus and the ITS-1-5.8S region of B. dendrobatidis. The sequence obtained showed a 99% identity with the deposited sequence of the MCP gene of the common midwife toad virus (CMTV). This is the first report of mortality in captivity in poison dart frogs caused by a ranavirus, CMTV or like virus, and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of pond salinization on survival rate of amphibian hosts infected with the chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockwell, Michelle Pirrie; Storrie, Lachlan James; Pollard, Carla Jean; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael Joseph

    2015-04-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of amphibian populations worldwide, but management options are limited. Recent studies show that sodium chloride (NaCl) has fungicidal properties that reduce the mortality rates of infected hosts in captivity. We investigated whether similar results can be obtained by adding salt to water bodies in the field. We increased the salinity of 8 water bodies to 2 or 4 ppt and left an additional 4 water bodies with close to 0 ppt and monitored salinity for 18 months. Captively bred tadpoles of green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) were released into each water body and their development, levels of B. dendrobatidis infection, and survival were monitored at 1, 4, and 12 months. The effect of salt on the abundance of nontarget organisms was also investigated in before and after style analyses. Salinities remained constant over time with little intervention. Hosts in water bodies with 4 ppt salt had a significantly lower prevalence of chytrid infection and higher survival, following metamorphosis, than hosts in 0 ppt salt. Tadpoles in the 4 ppt group were smaller in length after 1 month in the release site than those in the 0 and 2 ppt groups, but after metamorphosis body size in all water bodies was similar . In water bodies with 4 ppt salt, the abundance of dwarf tree frogs (Litoria fallax), dragonfly larvae, and damselfly larvae was lower than in water bodies with 0 and 2 ppt salt, which could have knock-on effects for community structure. Based on our results, salt may be an effective field-based B. dendrobatidis mitigation tool for lentic amphibians that could contribute to the conservation of numerous susceptible species. However, as in all conservation efforts, these benefits need to be weighed against negative effects on both target and nontarget organisms. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Urban amphibian assemblages as metacommunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parris, Kirsten M

    2006-05-01

    1. Urban ecosystems are expanding throughout the world, and urban ecology is attracting increasing research interest. Some authors have questioned the value of existing ecological theories for understanding the processes and consequences of urbanization. 2. In order to assess the applicability of metacommunity theory to urban systems, I evaluated three assumptions that underlie the theory - the effect of patch area, the effect of patch isolation, and species-environment relations - using data on assemblages of pond-breeding amphibians in the Greater Melbourne area of Australia. I also assessed the relative impact of habitat fragmentation, habitat isolation, and changes to habitat quality on these assemblages. 3. Poisson regression modelling provided support for an important increase in species richness with patch area (pond size) and a decrease in species richness with increasing patch isolation, as measured by surrounding road cover. Holding all other variables constant, species richness was predicted to be 2.8-5.5 times higher at the largest pond than at the smallest, while the most isolated pond was predicted to have 12-19% of the species richness of the least isolated pond. Thus, the data were consistent with the first two assumptions of metacommunity theory evaluated. 4. The quality of habitat at a pond was also important, with a predicted 44-56% decrease in the number of species detected at ponds with a surrounding vertical wall compared with those with a gently sloping bank. This demonstrates that environmental differences between habitat patches were also influencing amphibian assemblages, providing support for the species-sorting and/or mass-effect perspectives of metacommunity theory. 5. Without management intervention, urbanization may lead to a reduction in the number of amphibian species persisting in urban ponds, particularly where increasing isolation of ponds by roads and associated infrastructure reduces the probability of re-colonization following

  15. Amphibian decline in Yellowstone National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debra A. Patla; Charles R. Peterson; Paul Stephen Corn

    2009-01-01

    We conduct long-term amphibian monitoring in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) (1) and read McMenamin et al.'s article (2) with interest. This study documents decline in the extent of seasonal wetlands in the Lamar Valley of YNP during extended drought, but the conclusion, widely reported in the media, of "severe declines in 4 once-common amphibian species,...

  16. 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 behaviour of the parasites were studied after the termination of hibernation. Twelve species of parasites were found. Six of them, Polystoma integerrimum, Pleurogenes claviger (Trematoda), Rhabdias bufonis, Oswaldocruzia filiformis, Cosmocerca ornata and Oxysomatium brevicauda- tum (Nematoda), have...... not previously been reported from Sweden. The late Prof. O. Nybelin's unpublished records of parasites found in Swedish amphibians are also given....

  17. Marginal Bayesian nonparametric model for time to disease arrival of threatened amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Haiming; Hanson, Timothy; Knapp, Roland

    2015-12-01

    The global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused the extinction of hundreds of amphibian species worldwide. It has become increasingly important to be able to precisely predict time to Bd arrival in a population. The data analyzed herein present a unique challenge in terms of modeling because there is a strong spatial component to Bd arrival time and the traditional proportional hazards assumption is grossly violated. To address these concerns, we develop a novel marginal Bayesian nonparametric survival model for spatially correlated right-censored data. This class of models assumes that the logarithm of survival times marginally follow a mixture of normal densities with a linear-dependent Dirichlet process prior as the random mixing measure, and their joint distribution is induced by a Gaussian copula model with a spatial correlation structure. To invert high-dimensional spatial correlation matrices, we adopt a full-scale approximation that can capture both large- and small-scale spatial dependence. An efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm with delayed rejection is proposed for posterior computation, and an R package spBayesSurv is provided to fit the model. This approach is first evaluated through simulations, then applied to threatened frog populations in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. © 2015, The International Biometric Society.

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fasola, E.; Ribeiro, R.; Lopes, I.

    2015-01-01

    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. - Highlights: • Effects of environmental stressors on the genetic diversity of natural populations of amphibians have usually been underestimated. • Environmental pollution may reduce the genetic diversity of exposed amphibian populations. • Genetic erosion can lead to reduced fitness and lack of adaptability to a changing environment. - Contaminant-driven genetic erosion is a major threat to population viability in amphibians

  20. The state of amphibians in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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...

  1. Bioaccumulation of trace elements in omnivorous amphibian larvae: Implications for amphibian health and contaminant transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jason M. Unrine; William A. Hopkins; Christopher S. Romanek; Brian P. Jackson [University of Georgia, Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

    2007-09-15

    Despite the influence that amphibians have on the flow of energy and nutrients in ecological systems, the role that amphibians play in transporting contaminants through food webs has received very little attention. This study was undertaken to investigate bioaccumulation of trace elements in amphibians relative to other small aquatic organisms in a contaminated wetland. We collected bullfrog larvae (Rana catesbeiana) along with three other species of small vertebrates and four species of invertebrates from a site contaminated with a wide array of trace elements and analyzed them for trace element concentrations and stable nitrogen and carbon isotope composition. We found that amphibian larvae accumulated the highest concentrations of most trace elements, possibly due to their feeding ecology. These results suggest that omnivorous amphibian larvae can serve as a critical link for trace element trophic transfer. Their propensity to accumulate trace elements may have important implications for amphibian health in contaminated environments and should be further investigated.

  2. Amphibian development in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröbisch, Nadia B; Olori, Jennifer C; Schoch, Rainer R; Witzmann, Florian

    2010-06-01

    Ontogenetic series of extinct taxa are extremely rare and when preserved often incomplete and difficult to interpret. However, the fossil record of amphibians includes a number of well-preserved ontogenetic sequences for temnospondyl and lepospondyl taxa, which have provided valuable information about the development of these extinct groups. Here we summarize the current knowledge on fossil ontogenies of amphibians, their potential and limitations for relationship assessments, and discuss the insights they have provided for our understanding of the anatomy, life history, and ecology of extinct amphibians. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blooi, M; Pasmans, F; Rouffaer, L; Haesebrouck, F; Vercammen, F; Martel, A

    2015-06-30

    Chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses a serious threat to urodelan diversity worldwide. Antimycotic treatment of this disease using protocols developed for the related fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), results in therapeutic failure. Here, we reveal that this therapeutic failure is partly due to different minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antimycotics against Bsal and Bd. In vitro growth inhibition of Bsal occurs after exposure to voriconazole, polymyxin E, itraconazole and terbinafine but not to florfenicol. Synergistic effects between polymyxin E and voriconazole or itraconazole significantly decreased the combined MICs necessary to inhibit Bsal growth. Topical treatment of infected fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra), with voriconazole or itraconazole alone (12.5 μg/ml and 0.6 μg/ml respectively) or in combination with polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) at an ambient temperature of 15 °C during 10 days decreased fungal loads but did not clear Bsal infections. However, topical treatment of Bsal infected animals with a combination of polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) and voriconazole (12.5 μg/ml) at an ambient temperature of 20 °C resulted in clearance of Bsal infections. This treatment protocol was validated in 12 fire salamanders infected with Bsal during a field outbreak and resulted in clearance of infection in all animals.

  4. Efficacy of chemical disinfectants for the containment of the salamander chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Van Rooij

    Full Text Available The recently emerged chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal causes European salamander declines. Proper hygiene protocols including disinfection procedures are crucial to prevent disease transmission. Here, the efficacy of chemical disinfectants in killing Bsal was evaluated. At all tested conditions, Biocidal®, Chloramine-T®, Dettol medical®, Disolol®, ethanol, F10®, Hibiscrub®, potassium permanganate, Safe4®, sodium hypochlorite, and Virkon S®, were effective at killing Bsal. Concentrations of 5% sodium chloride or lower, 0.01% peracetic acid and 0.001-1% copper sulphate were inactive against Bsal. None of the conditions tested for hydrogen peroxide affected Bsal viability, while it did kill Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. For Bsal, enzymatic breakdown of hydrogen peroxide by catalases and specific morphological features (clustering of sporangia, development of new sporangia within the original sporangium, were identified as fungal factors altering susceptibility to several of the disinfectants tested. Based on the in vitro results we recommend 1% Virkon S®, 4% sodium hypochlorite and 70% ethanol for disinfecting equipment in the field, lab or captive setting, with a minimal contact time of 5 minutes for 1% Virkon S® and 1 minute for the latter disinfectants. These conditions not only efficiently target Bsal, but also Bd and Ranavirus.

  5. 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. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Presence of the amphibian chytrid pathogen confirmed in Cameroon

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Baláž, V.; Kopecký, O.; Gvoždík, Václav

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 3 (2012), s. 191-194 ISSN 0268-0130 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : Afromontane * chytridiomycosis * Congolian lowland rainforests Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.081, year: 2012

  7. The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. [abstract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, J.

    1998-01-01

    The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program has been under development for the past three years. The monitoring strategy for NAAMP has five main prongs: terrestrial salamander surveys, calling surveys, aquatic surveys, western surveys, and atlassing. Of these five, calling surveys were selected as one of the first implementation priorities due to their friendliness to volunteers of varying knowledge levels, relative low cost, and the fact that several groups had already pioneered the techniques involved. While some states and provinces had implemented calling surveys prior to NAAMP, like WI and IL, most states and provinces had little or no history of state/provincewide amphibian monitoring. Thus, the majority of calling survey programs were initiated in the past two years. To assess the progress of this pilot phase, a program review was conducted on the status of the NAAMP calling survey program, and the results of that review will be presented at the meeting. Topics to be discussed include: who is doing what where, extent of route coverage, the continuing random route discussions, quality assurance, strengths and weaknesses of calling surveys, reliability of data, and directions for the future. In addition, a brief overview of the DISPro project will be included. DISPro is a new amphibian monitoring program in National Parks, funded by the Demonstration of Intensive Sites Program (DISPro) through the EPA and NPS. It will begin this year at Big Bend and Shenandoah National Parks. The purpose of the DISPro Amphibian Project will be to investigate relationships between environmental factors and stressors and the distribution, abundance, and health of amphibians in these National Parks. At each Park, amphibian long-term monitoring protocols will be tested, distributions and abundance of amphibians will be mapped, and field research experiments will be conducted to examine stressor effects on amphibians (e.g., ultraviolet radiation, contaminants, acidification).

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Stöhr, Anke C.; López-Bueno, Alberto; Blahak, Silvia; Caeiro, Maria F.; De Matos, António Pedro Alves; Martel, An; Alejo, Alí; Marschang, Rachel E.; Rosa, Gonçalo M.

    2015-01-01

    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 (M...

  10. The phylogeny of amphibian metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, John O

    2002-01-01

    Frogs have one of the most extreme metamorphoses among vertebrates. How did this metamorphosis evolve? By combining the methods previously proposed by Mabee and Humphries (1993) and Velhagen (1997), I develop a phylogenetic method suited for rigorous analysis of this question. In a preliminary analysis using 12 transformation sequence characters and 36 associated event sequence characters, all drawn from the osteology of the skull, the evolution of metamorphosis is traced on an assumed phylogeny. This phylogeny has lissamphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) monophyletic, with frogs the sister group of salamanders. Successive outgroups used are temnospondyls and discosauriscids, both of which are fossil groups for which ontogenetic data are available. In the reconstruction of character evolution, an unambiguous change (synapomorphy) along the branch leading to lissamphibians is a delay in the lengthening of the maxilla until metamorphosis, in accordance with my previous suggestion (Reiss, 1996). However, widening of the interpterygoid vacuity does not appear as a synapomophy of lissamphibians, due to variation in the character states in the outgroups. From a more theoretical perspective, the reconstructed evolution of amphibian metamorphosis involves examples of heterochrony, through the shift of ancestral premetamorphic events to the metamorphic period, caenogenesis, through the origin of new larval features, and terminal addition, through the origin of new adult features. Other changes don't readily fit these categories. This preliminary study provides evidence that metamorphic changes in frogs arose as further modifications of changes unique to lissamphibians, as well as a new method by which such questions can be examined.

  11. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord.

  12. 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

  13. Concurrent infection with ranavirus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and Aeromonas in a captive anuran colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Debra L; Rajeev, Sreekumari; Brookins, Milagros; Cook, Jeff; Whittington, Lisa; Baldwin, Charles A

    2008-09-01

    Four species (Dendrobates auratus, Phyllobates terribilis, Pyxicephalus adspersus, and Rhacophorus dennysi) of captive anurans with a clinical history of lethargy and inappetence were found dead and were submitted for necropsy. Gross lesions included irregular patches of sloughed skin and rare dermal ulcerations. Histologic findings included epidermal proliferation that was most pronounced on the digits and that included intracytoplasmic chytrid organisms. Bacteria were often associated with the epidermal lesions. Intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were observed in hepatocytes. Real-time polymerase chain reaction yielded positive results for both Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Bacterial culture of internal organs yielded Aeromonas hydrophila. This is the first report of concurrent infections in anurans by Ranavirus and Bd and A. hydrophila.

  14. Diversity of aquatic Pseudomonas species and their activity against the fish pathogenic oomycete Saprolegnia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Yiying; Rzeszutek, E.; van der Voort, M.; Wu, C.H.; Thoen, E.; Skaar, I.; Bulone, V.; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Raaijmakers, J.M.; De Bruijn, I.

    2015-01-01

    Emerging fungal and oomycete pathogens are increasingly threatening animals and plants globally. Amongst oomycetes, Saprolegnia species adversely affect wild and cultivated populations of amphibians and fish, leading to substantial reductions in biodiversity and food productivity. With the ban of

  15. Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1: Global Amphibians Presence Grids

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Global Amphibians Presence Grids of the Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1 is a reclassified version of the original grids of amphibian species distribution...

  16. Phylogeny, life history, and ecology contribute to differences in amphibian susceptibility to ranaviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoverman, Jason T; Gray, Matthew J; Haislip, Nathan A; Miller, Debra L

    2011-09-01

    Research that identifies the potential host range of generalist pathogens as well as variation in host susceptibility is critical for understanding and predicting the dynamics of infectious diseases within ecological communities. Ranaviruses have been linked to amphibian die-off events worldwide with the greatest number of reported mortality events occurring in the United States. While reports of ranavirus-associated mortality events continue to accumulate, few data exist comparing the relative susceptibility of different species. Using a series of laboratory exposure experiments and comparative phylogenetics, we compared the susceptibilities of 19 amphibian species from two salamander families and five anurans families for two ranavirus isolates: frog virus 3 (FV3) and an FV3-like isolate from an American bullfrog culture facility. We discovered that ranaviruses were capable of infecting 17 of the 19 larval amphibian species tested with mortality ranging from 0 to 100%. Phylogenetic comparative methods demonstrated that species within the anuran family Ranidae were generally more susceptible to ranavirus infection compared to species from the other five families. We also found that susceptibility to infection was associated with species that breed in semi-permanent ponds, develop rapidly as larvae, and have limited range sizes. Collectively, these results suggest that phylogeny, life history characteristics, and habitat associations of amphibians have the potential to impact susceptibility to ranaviruses.

  17. Efficacy of treatment and long-term follow-up of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis PCR-positive anurans following itraconazole bath treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georoff, Timothy A; Moore, Robert P; Rodriguez, Carlos; Pessier, Allan P; Newton, Alisa L; McAloose, Denise; Calle, Paul P

    2013-06-01

    All anuran specimens in the Wildlife Conservation Society's collections testing positive for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) were treated with itraconazole and then studied after treatment to assess the long-term effects of itraconazole and the drug's effectiveness in eliminating Bd carriers. Twenty-four individuals and eight colonies of 11 different species (75 total specimens) tested positive for Bd via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on multicollection survey. All positive individuals and colonies were treated with a 0.01% itraconazole bath solution and retested for Bd via one of two PCR methodologies within 14 days of treatment completion, and all were negative for Bd. A total of 64 animals received secondary follow-up PCR testing at the time of death, 6-8 mo, or 12-15 mo post-treatment. Fourteen animals (14/64, 21.9%) were PCR positive for Bd on second follow-up. The highest percentage positive at second recheck were green-and-black poison dart frogs (Dendrobates auratus; 5/5 specimens, 100%), followed by red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas; 4/11, 36.4%), grey tree frogs (Hyla versicolor; 1/3, 33.3%), and green tree frogs (Hyla cinera; 3/11, 27.3%). Re-testing by PCR performed on 26/28 individuals that died during the study indicated 11/26 (42.3%) were positive (all via DNA extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded skin sections). However, there was no histologic evidence of chytridiomycosis in any of 27/28 individuals. The small number of deceased animals and effects of postmortem autolysis limited the ability to determine statistical trends in the pathology data, but none of the necropsied specimens showed evidence of itraconazole toxicity. Problems with itraconazole may be species dependent, and this report expands the list of species that can tolerate treatment. Although itraconazole is effective for clearance of most individuals infected with Bd, results of the study suggest that repeat itraconazole treatment and follow-up diagnostics may

  18. Bioaccumulation of trace elements in omnivorous amphibian larvae: Implications for amphibian health and contaminant transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unrine, Jason M.; Hopkins, William A.; Romanek, Christopher S.; Jackson, Brian P.

    2007-01-01

    Despite the influence that amphibians have on the flow of energy and nutrients in ecological systems, the role that amphibians play in transporting contaminants through food webs has received very little attention. This study was undertaken to investigate bioaccumulation of trace elements in amphibians relative to other small aquatic organisms in a contaminated wetland. We collected bullfrog larvae (Rana catesbeiana) along with three other species of small vertebrates and four species of invertebrates from a site contaminated with a wide array of trace elements and analyzed them for trace element concentrations and stable nitrogen and carbon isotope composition. We found that amphibian larvae accumulated the highest concentrations of most trace elements, possibly due to their feeding ecology. These results suggest that omnivorous amphibian larvae can serve as a critical link for trace element trophic transfer. Their propensity to accumulate trace elements may have important implications for amphibian health in contaminated environments and should be further investigated. - Omnivorous amphibian larvae can be efficient accumulators of trace elements

  19. Bioaccumulation of trace elements in omnivorous amphibian larvae: Implications for amphibian health and contaminant transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unrine, Jason M. [Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States)], E-mail: unrine@srel.edu; Hopkins, William A. [Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg VA (United States); Romanek, Christopher S. [Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States); Department of Geology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); Jackson, Brian P. [Department of Chemistry and Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH (United States)

    2007-09-15

    Despite the influence that amphibians have on the flow of energy and nutrients in ecological systems, the role that amphibians play in transporting contaminants through food webs has received very little attention. This study was undertaken to investigate bioaccumulation of trace elements in amphibians relative to other small aquatic organisms in a contaminated wetland. We collected bullfrog larvae (Rana catesbeiana) along with three other species of small vertebrates and four species of invertebrates from a site contaminated with a wide array of trace elements and analyzed them for trace element concentrations and stable nitrogen and carbon isotope composition. We found that amphibian larvae accumulated the highest concentrations of most trace elements, possibly due to their feeding ecology. These results suggest that omnivorous amphibian larvae can serve as a critical link for trace element trophic transfer. Their propensity to accumulate trace elements may have important implications for amphibian health in contaminated environments and should be further investigated. - Omnivorous amphibian larvae can be efficient accumulators of trace elements.

  20. Alien mink predation induces prolonged declines in archipelago amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Ahola, Markus; Nordström, Mikael; Banks, Peter B; Laanetu, Nikolai; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2006-01-01

    Amphibians are undergoing enigmatic global declines variously attributed to a complex web of anthropogenic forces. Alien predators pose a fundamental threat to biodiversity generally that is predicted to be most acute in island ecosystems. While amphibian eggs and tadpoles are vulnerable to aquatic predators, the effect of predators on adult, reproducing frogs, which most influence amphibian population processes, is unknown. Here, we report on the responses of amphibian populations in the out...

  1. 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. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...... processes such as diversification and dispersal have left strong signatures on contemporary species richness. Location  Global; equal-area grid cells of approximately 10,000 km2. Methods  We generated an amphibian global supertree (6111 species) and repeated analyses with the largest available molecular...

  4. Amphibians and wildfire in the U.S. Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake R. Hossack

    2006-01-01

    Recent evidence of amphibian declines along with outbreaks of large wildfires in western North American conifer forests has underscored our lack of knowledge about effects of fire on amphibians in these ecosystems. Understanding the connection between amphibian declines and wildfire is proving complex in some areas because the past century of fire suppression and other...

  5. Vulnerability of amphibians to climate change: implications for rangeland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen E. Bagne; Deborah M. Finch; Megan M. Friggens

    2011-01-01

    Many amphibian populations have declined drastically in recent years due to a large number of factors including the emerging threat of climate change (Wake 2007). Rangelands provide important habitat for amphibians. In addition to natural wetlands, stock tanks and other artificial water catchments provide habitat for many amphibian species (Euliss et al. 2004).

  6. Colloquium paper: are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, David B; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2008-08-12

    Many scientists argue that we are either entering or in the midst of the sixth great mass extinction. Intense human pressure, both direct and indirect, is having profound effects on natural environments. The amphibians--frogs, salamanders, and caecilians--may be the only major group currently at risk globally. A detailed worldwide assessment and subsequent updates show that one-third or more of the 6,300 species are threatened with extinction. This trend is likely to accelerate because most amphibians occur in the tropics and have small geographic ranges that make them susceptible to extinction. The increasing pressure from habitat destruction and climate change is likely to have major impacts on narrowly adapted and distributed species. We show that salamanders on tropical mountains are particularly at risk. A new and significant threat to amphibians is a virulent, emerging infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, which appears to be globally distributed, and its effects may be exacerbated by global warming. This disease, which is caused by a fungal pathogen and implicated in serious declines and extinctions of >200 species of amphibians, poses the greatest threat to biodiversity of any known disease. Our data for frogs in the Sierra Nevada of California show that the fungus is having a devastating impact on native species, already weakened by the effects of pollution and introduced predators. A general message from amphibians is that we may have little time to stave off a potential mass extinction.

  7. Relictual amphibians and old-growth forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    H.H. Welsh

    1990-01-01

    Terrestrial and aquatic herpetofauna were sampled by pitfall traps, time-constrained searches, and areaconstrained searches (stream sites only) over a three-year period to examine the importance of forest age to amphibians and reptiles. Fifty-four terrestrial and 39 aquatic sites in Douglas-fir-dominated, mixed evergreen forests were located in southwestern Oregon and...

  8. 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. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Amphibian distribution patterns in western Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuiderwijk, Annie

    1980-01-01

    Mechanisms controlling the distribution of amphibians in western Europe have been studied in France where related species, isolated from each other at least during the last glacial period, are now sympatric. Occurrences and biotope preferences of the various species were investigated in several

  10. Amphibian Population Sensitivity to Environmental and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anticipating chronic effects of contaminant exposure on amphibian species is complicated both by toxicological and ecological uncertainty. Data for both chemical exposures and amphibian vital rates, including altered growth, are sparse. Developmental plasticity in amphibians further complicates evaluation of chemical impacts as metamorphosis is also influenced by other biotic and abiotic stressors, such as temperature, hydroperiod, predation, and conspecific density. Determining the effect of delayed tadpole development on survival through metamorphosis and subsequent recruitment must include possible effects of pond drying accelerating metamorphosis near the end of the larval stage. This model considers the combined influence of delayed onset of metamorphosis in a cohort as well as accelerated metamorphosis toward the end of the hydroperiod and determines the net influence of counteracting forces on tadpole development and survival. Amphibian populations with greater initial density dependence have less capacity for developmental plasticity and are therefore more vulnerable to delayed development and reduced hydroperiod. The consequential reduction in larval survival has a relatively greater impact on species with a shorter lifespan, allowing for fewer breeding seasons during which to successfully produce offspring. In response to risk assessment approaches that consider only survival and reproductive endpoints in population evaluation, we calculate conta

  11. Sampling methods for terrestrial amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul Stephen Corn; R. Bruce. Bury

    1990-01-01

    Methods described for sampling amphibians and reptiles in Douglas-fir forests in the Pacific Northwest include pitfall trapping, time-constrained collecting, and surveys of coarse woody debris. The herpetofauna of this region differ in breeding and nonbreeding habitats and vagility, so that no single technique is sufficient for a community study. A combination of...

  12. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Chytridiomycosis and seasonal mortality of tropical stream-associated frogs 15 years after introduction of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillott, Andrea D; Grogan, Laura F; Cashins, Scott D; McDonald, Keith R; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F

    2013-10-01

    Assessing the effects of diseases on wildlife populations can be difficult in the absence of observed mortalities, but it is crucial for threat assessment and conservation. We performed an intensive capture-mark-recapture study across seasons and years to investigate the effect of chytridiomycosis on demographics in 2 populations of the threatened common mist frog (Litoria rheocola) in the lowland wet tropics of Queensland, Australia. Infection prevalence was the best predictor for apparent survival probability in adult males and varied widely with season (0-65%). Infection prevalence was highest in winter months when monthly survival probabilities were low (approximately 70%). Populations at both sites exhibited very low annual survival probabilities (12-15%) but high recruitment (71-91%), which resulted in population growth rates that fluctuated seasonally. Our results suggest that even in the absence of observed mortalities and continued declines, and despite host-pathogen co-existence for multiple host generations over almost 2 decades, chytridiomycosis continues to have substantial seasonally fluctuating population-level effects on amphibian survival, which necessitates increased recruitment for population persistence. Similarly infected populations may thus be under continued threat from chytridiomycosis which may render them vulnerable to other threatening processes, particularly those affecting recruitment success. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stöhr, Anke C; López-Bueno, Alberto; Blahak, Silvia; Caeiro, Maria F; Rosa, Gonçalo M; Alves de Matos, António Pedro; Martel, An; Alejo, Alí; Marschang, Rachel E

    2015-01-01

    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 range of

  16. 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."

  17. Early action to address an emerging wildlife disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Harris, M. Camille; Grear, Daniel A.

    2017-02-23

    A deadly fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) that affects amphibian skin was discovered during a die-off of European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) in 2014. This pathogen has the potential to worsen already severe worldwide amphibian declines. Bsal is a close relative to another fungal disease known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Many scientists consider Bd to be the greatest threat to amphibian biodiversity of any disease because it affects a large number of species and has the unusual ability to drive species and populations to extinction.Although not yet detected in the United States, the emergence of Bsal could threaten the salamander population, which is the most diverse in the world. The spread of Bsal likely will lead to more State and federally listed threatened or endangered amphibian species, and associated economic effects.Because of the concern expressed by resource management agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has made Bsal and similar pathogens a priority for research.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Speciation and zoogeography of amphibian in Sundaland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nia Kurniawan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Sundaland is an interesting area to be explored based on its geological history, topography, and climate. Sundaland consists of Penisular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java which experienced some emergence and submergence process in the past. During 1981-2015, most of research in Sundaland found that amphibian family in Sundaland was dominated by Bufonidae, Ranidae, Microhylidae, Megophrydae, Rachophoridae, and Dicroglossidae which experienced lot of speciation in its history. Among of 4 major islands in Sundaland, Borneo has the highest number of species diversity, then Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Java. During those years, Sumatra and Java got least concern by researcher. Therefore, it is suggested for further study to explore more in Sumatra and Java. Keywords: Sundaland, amphibian, speciation, zoogeography.

  1. Current knowledge of ghrelin in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2017-01-01

    We are exploring physiological importance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates. This review summarizes current knowledge of the ghrelin system in amphibians. Our study on ghrelin precursor in various amphibians revealed that the third amino acid with acyl modification has changed to threonine (Thr-3) instead of serine (Ser-3) only in the genus, Rana. Functional analyses of the ghrelin receptor in three species of amphibians, Japanese fire belly newt, American bullfrog and Japanese tree frog revealed that ghrelin and GHS-R1a agonists increase intracellular Ca 2+ concentration in HEK293 cells expressing each receptor, and that ligand selectivity of ghrelin with Ser-3 and Thr-3 that expected to see in the bullfrog receptor was not found in the two frog receptors, but in the newt receptor. The brain, gastrointestinal tract, kidney and gonad highly express GHS-R1a mRNA. In frogs and newt, fasting did not increase GHS-R1a mRNA expression in the brain, but in the stomach. However, intraperitoneal (IP) injection of ghrelin did not affect food intake. A dehydration treatment increased GHS-R1a mRNA expression in the brain, stomach and ventral skin in the tree frog. However, intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of ghrelin did not affect water absorption. Ghrelin did not influence gastrointestinal motility in in vitro studies using smooth muscle strips of the bullfrog and newt in vitro. These results suggest that the ghrelin system is present in various amphibians, but little is known about the physiological functions except hypophyseal hormone secretion.

  2. Amphibian Engineers in the Southwest Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-03-08

    kids and provide some quality extended family time. Thanks to Majors Dan Huff, Jason Merchant, Don Kim, and Erick Buckner for giving me honest feedback...successions of Marine victories. These naval force actions inspired movies, television shows, books , and numerous studies. From Pearl Harbor to Midway...Press, Blue Jacket Books , 2001), 177. 33 Office of the Chief Engineer, Amphibian Engineer Operations, 57; Geoffrey Perret, Old Soldiers Never Die: The

  3. Amphibians and reptiles of South Ossetia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris S. Tuniyev

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available For the first time we have summarised the results of the study of batraho- and herpetofauna of the Republic of South Ossetia. We present an Annotated List of species as authentically living in the region, as well as ever mentioned for it in literature, field notebooks, museum collections and our own expeditions in South Ossetia. The batrachofauna of the Republic of South Ossetia counts nine species and the herpetofauna 19 species. It provides a complete inventory of all finds (65 localities. A number of confirmed species have been assigned for the first time in scientific literature for the territory of South Ossetia: Emys orbicularis, Darevskia mixta, Natrix megalocephala, Hierophis schmidti, Pelias dinniki, P. kaznakovi. We detected the morphological specificity of the South Ossetia' populations of Darevskia praticola, D. brauneri and D. caucasica. The Assessment of conservation status has been evaluated for all forms of amphibians and reptiles in the region. According to its results, five amphibian species and ten reptile species are recommended for inclusion into the Red Data Book of the Republic of South Ossetia. The central problem of environmental activities in the Region is the lack of a network of different rank protected areas covering all natural zones and altitudinal belts. The South Ossetian State Nature Reserve is the single protected area of South Ossetia, which provides protection only for three endangered species of amphibians and three species of reptiles.

  4. 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.

  5. Amphibian molecular ecology and how it has informed conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2015-10-01

    Molecular ecology has become one of the key tools in the modern conservationist's kit. Here we review three areas where molecular ecology has been applied to amphibian conservation: genes on landscapes, within-population processes, and genes that matter. We summarize relevant analytical methods, recent important studies from the amphibian literature, and conservation implications for each section. Finally, we include five in-depth examples of how molecular ecology has been successfully applied to specific amphibian systems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Amphibian Population Sensitivity to Environmental and Anthropogenic Impacts on Larval Development and Survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anticipating chronic effects of contaminant exposure on amphibian species is complicated both by toxicological and ecological uncertainty. Data for both chemical exposures and amphibian vital rates, including altered growth, are sparse. Developmental plasticity in amphibians fu...

  7. 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...

  8. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Jing; Wang, Kai

    2016-01-18

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org.

  9. Analgesia in Amphibians: Preclinical Studies and Clinical Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2010-01-01

    SYNOPSIS Preclinical studies of analgesia in amphibians or recommendations for clinical use of analgesics in amphibian species are extremely limited. This article briefly reviews the issues surrounding the use of analgesics in amphibians starting with common definitions of pain and analgesia when applied to non-human animals. Nociceptive and endogenous opioid systems in amphibians are reviewed and results of preclinical research on opioid and non-opioid analgesics summarized. Recommended opioid and non-opioid analgesics are summarized and practical recommendations made for their clinical use. PMID:21074701

  10. 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.

  11. Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard W R Retallick

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of numerous frog species worldwide. In Queensland, Australia, it has been proposed as the cause of the decline or apparent extinction of at least 14 high-elevation rainforest frog species. One of these, Taudactylus eungellensis, disappeared from rainforest streams in Eungella National Park in 1985-1986, but a few remnant populations were subsequently discovered. Here, we report the analysis of B. dendrobatidis infections in toe tips of T. eungellensis and sympatric species collected in a mark-recapture study between 1994 and 1998. This longitudinal study of the fungus in individually marked frogs sheds new light on the effect of this threatening infectious process in field, as distinct from laboratory, conditions. We found a seasonal peak of infection in the cooler months, with no evidence of interannual variation. The overall prevalence of infection was 18% in T. eungellensis and 28% in Litoria wilcoxii/jungguy, a sympatric frog that appeared not to decline in 1985-1986. No infection was found in any of the other sympatric species. Most importantly, we found no consistent evidence of lower survival in T. eungellensis that were infected at the time of first capture, compared with uninfected individuals. These results refute the hypothesis that remnant populations of T. eungellensis recovered after a B. dendrobatidis epidemic because the pathogen had disappeared. They show that populations of T. eungellensis now persist with stable, endemic infections of B. dendrobatidis.

  12. Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retallick, Richard W R; McCallum, Hamish; Speare, Rick

    2004-11-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of numerous frog species worldwide. In Queensland, Australia, it has been proposed as the cause of the decline or apparent extinction of at least 14 high-elevation rainforest frog species. One of these, Taudactylus eungellensis, disappeared from rainforest streams in Eungella National Park in 1985-1986, but a few remnant populations were subsequently discovered. Here, we report the analysis of B. dendrobatidis infections in toe tips of T. eungellensis and sympatric species collected in a mark-recapture study between 1994 and 1998. This longitudinal study of the fungus in individually marked frogs sheds new light on the effect of this threatening infectious process in field, as distinct from laboratory, conditions. We found a seasonal peak of infection in the cooler months, with no evidence of interannual variation. The overall prevalence of infection was 18% in T. eungellensis and 28% in Litoria wilcoxii/jungguy, a sympatric frog that appeared not to decline in 1985-1986. No infection was found in any of the other sympatric species. Most importantly, we found no consistent evidence of lower survival in T. eungellensis that were infected at the time of first capture, compared with uninfected individuals. These results refute the hypothesis that remnant populations of T. eungellensis recovered after a B. dendrobatidis epidemic because the pathogen had disappeared. They show that populations of T. eungellensis now persist with stable, endemic infections of B. dendrobatidis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma) were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia). None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA), and outer membrane protein A (ompA) were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93), 40.9% (38/93), and 23.7% (22/93) of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL) and major outer membrane protein (omp-1) were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93) and 2.2% (2/93) of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known and

  14. 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. PMID:24260103

  15. 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.

  16. Are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, David B.; Vredenburg, Vance T.

    2008-01-01

    Many scientists argue that we are either entering or in the midst of the sixth great mass extinction. Intense human pressure, both direct and indirect, is having profound effects on natural environments. The amphibians—frogs, salamanders, and caecilians—may be the only major group currently at risk globally. A detailed worldwide assessment and subsequent updates show that one-third or more of the 6,300 species are threatened with extinction. This trend is likely to accelerate because most amphibians occur in the tropics and have small geographic ranges that make them susceptible to extinction. The increasing pressure from habitat destruction and climate change is likely to have major impacts on narrowly adapted and distributed species. We show that salamanders on tropical mountains are particularly at risk. A new and significant threat to amphibians is a virulent, emerging infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, which appears to be globally distributed, and its effects may be exacerbated by global warming. This disease, which is caused by a fungal pathogen and implicated in serious declines and extinctions of >200 species of amphibians, poses the greatest threat to biodiversity of any known disease. Our data for frogs in the Sierra Nevada of California show that the fungus is having a devastating impact on native species, already weakened by the effects of pollution and introduced predators. A general message from amphibians is that we may have little time to stave off a potential mass extinction. PMID:18695221

  17. Exciting new discovery for the chytrid mystery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-02-24

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , is thought to affect over 500 amphibian species worldwide. But, as Georgina Mills explains, new research has now shed light on what could make some individuals more susceptible. British Veterinary Association.

  18. Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lips, Karen R

    2016-12-05

    Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians that affects over 700 species on all continents where amphibians occur. The amphibian-chytridiomycosis system is complex, and the response of any amphibian species to chytrid depends on many aspects of the ecology and evolutionary history of the amphibian, the genotype and phenotype of the fungus, and how the biological and physical environment can mediate that interaction. Impacts of chytridiomycosis on amphibians are varied; some species have been driven extinct, populations of others have declined severely, whereas still others have not obviously declined. Understanding patterns and mechanisms of amphibian responses to chytrids is critical for conservation and management. Robust estimates of population numbers are needed to identify species at risk, prioritize taxa for conservation actions, design management strategies for managing populations and species, and to develop effective measures to reduce impacts of chytrids on amphibians.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. 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…

  20. Helminth parasites of amphibians from a rainforest reserve in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Contrary to the earlier assumption that monogeneans in Nigeria were preferentially parasites of amphibians in drier environments such as the savanna, this study has shown that these parasites also infect amphibians in highly humid environments such as the rainforest. Monogeneans recorded included Metapolystoma ...

  1. Effectiveness of amphibians as biodiversity surrogates in pond conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilg, Christiane; Oertli, Beat

    2017-04-01

    Amphibian decline has led to worldwide conservation efforts, including the identification and designation of sites for their protection. These sites could also play an important role in the conservation of other freshwater taxa. In 89 ponds in Switzerland, we assessed the effectiveness of amphibians as a surrogate for 4 taxonomic groups that occur in the same freshwater ecosystems as amphibians: dragonflies, aquatic beetles, aquatic gastropods, and aquatic plants. The ponds were all of high value for amphibian conservation. Cross-taxon correlations were tested for species richness and conservation value, and Mantel tests were used to investigate community congruence. Species richness, conservation value, and community composition of amphibians were weakly congruent with these measures for the other taxonomic groups. Paired comparisons for the 5 groups considered showed that for each metric, amphibians had the lowest degree of congruence. Our results imply that site designation for amphibian conservation will not necessarily provide protection for freshwater biodiversity as a whole. To provide adequate protection for freshwater species, we recommend other taxonomic groups be considered in addition to amphibians in the prioritization and site designation process. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. A conservation assessment of the amphibians and reptiles of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We surveyed the lowland rainforest of the Forêt d'Ambre Special Reserve in north Madagascar for amphibians and reptiles. We recorded a total of 20 amphibian and 39 reptile species via opportunistic searching and pitfall trapping in the first published survey to focus on this area. Consequently most of the species

  5. Amphibian diversity in Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kenya: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We present the first annotated amphibian checklist of Shimba Hills National Reserve (SHNR). The list comprises of 30 currently known amphibians (28 anurans and two caecilians), which includes 11 families and 15 genera. In addition, individual records per species, distribution in the reserve and brief remarks about the ...

  6. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

    Lucky me to have had the chance of enjoying the barely audible sound of calling spadefoot toads on warm spring nights! Right at the breakthrough of spring they arrive at the breeding ponds, by the time when the air becomes heavy with the promising fragrances of spring and early summer. Lucky me...... 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of road salt on larval amphibian susceptibility to parasitism through behavior and immunocompetence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milotic, Dino; Milotic, Marin; Koprivnikar, Janet

    2017-08-01

    Large quantities of road salts are used for de-icing in temperate climates but often leach into aquatic ecosystems where they can cause harm to inhabitants, including reduced growth and survival. However, the implications of road salt exposure for aquatic animal susceptibility to pathogens and parasites have not yet been examined even though infectious diseases can significantly contribute to wildlife population declines. Through a field survey, we found a range of NaCl concentrations (50-560mg/L) in ponds known to contain larval amphibians, with lower levels found in sites close to gravel- rather than hard-surfaced roads. We then investigated how chronic exposure to environmentally-realistic levels of road salt (up to 1140mg/L) affected susceptibility to infection by trematode parasites (helminths) in larval stages of two amphibian species (Lithobates sylvaticus - wood frogs, and L. pipiens - northern leopard frogs) by considering effects on host anti-parasite behavior and white blood cell profiles. Wood frogs exposed to road salt had higher parasite loads, and also exhibited reduced anti-parasite behavior in these conditions. In contrast, infection intensity in northern leopard frogs had a non-monotonic response to road salts even though lymphocytes were only elevated at the highest concentration. Our results indicate the potential for chronic road salt exposure to affect larval amphibian susceptibility to pathogenic parasites through alterations of behavior and immunocompetence, with further studies needed at higher concentrations, as well as that of road salts on free-living parasite infectious stages. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick J B Isaac

    Full Text Available The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  11. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  12. Phylogenetically-Informed Priorities for Amphibian Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Nick J. B.; Redding, David W.; Meredith, Helen M.; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species’ threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species’ phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our ‘top 100‘ list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history. PMID:22952807

  13. Occurrence of pesticides in water and sediment collected from amphibian habitats located throughout the United States, 2009-10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smalling, Kelly L.; Orlando, James L.; Calhoun, Daniel; Battaglin, William A.; Kuivila, Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    Water and bed-sediment samples were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2009 and 2010 from 11 sites within California and 18 sites total in Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, and Oregon, and were analyzed for a suite of pesticides by the USGS. Water samples and bed-sediment samples were collected from perennial or seasonal ponds located in amphibian habitats in conjunction with research conducted by the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative and the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. Sites selected for this study in three of the states (California, Colorado, and Orgeon) have no direct pesticide application and are considered undeveloped and remote. Sites selected in Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, and Maine were in close proximity to either agricultural or suburban areas. Water and sediment samples were collected once in 2009 during amphibian breeding seasons. In 2010, water samples were collected twice. The first sampling event coincided with the beginning of the frog breeding season for the species of interest, and the second event occurred 10-12 weeks later when pesticides were being applied to the surrounding areas. Additionally, water was collected during each sampling event to measure dissolved organic carbon, nutrients, and the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has been linked to amphibian declines worldwide. Bed-sediment samples were collected once during the beginning of the frog breeding season, when the amphibians are thought to be most at risk to pesticides. Results of this study are reported for the following two geographic scales: (1) for a national scale, by using data from the 29 sites that were sampled from seven states, and (2) for California, by using data from the 11 sampled sites in that state. Water samples were analyzed for 96 pesticides by using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A total of 24 pesticides were detected in one or more of the 54 water samples, including 7 fungicides, 10

  14. 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.

  15. 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. 

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1: Global Amphibians Original Grids

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Global Amphibians Original Grids of the Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1 are converted 1- kilometer grid cell data available in the Geographic Coordinate...

  20. South African red data book - Reptiles and Amphibians

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mclachlan, GR

    1978-02-01

    Full Text Available Data sheets are provided for 46 threatened South African reptiles and amphibians, two being endangered (leatherback turtle, geometric tortoise) ten vulnerable (loggerhead turtle, Nile crocodile, veld monitor, water monitor, giant girdled lizard...

  1. Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1: Global Amphibians Family Richness Grids

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Global Amphibians Family Richness Grids of the Gridded Species Distribution, Version 1 are aggregations of the presence grids data at the family level. They are...

  2. Ambient UV-B radiation causes deformities in amphibian embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, A.R.; Kiesecker, J.M.; Chivers, D.P.; Anthony, R.G.

    1997-01-01

    There has been a great deal of recent attention on the suspected increase in amphibian deformities. However, most reports of amphibian deformities have been anecdotal, and no experiments in the field under natural conditions have been performed to investigate this phenomenon. Under laboratory conditions, a variety of agents can induce deformities in amphibians. We investigated one of these agents, UV-B radiation, in field experiments, as a cause for amphibian deformities. We monitored hatching success and development in long-toed salamanders under UV-B shields and in regimes that allowed UV-B radiation. Embryos under UV-B shields had a significantly higher hatching rate and fewer deformities, and developed more quickly than those exposed to UV-B. Deformities may contribute directly to embryo mortality, and they may affect an individual's subsequent survival after hatching.

  3. Book review: Reptiles and amphibians: Self-assessment color review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, David E.

    2017-01-01

    No abstract available.Book information: Reptiles and Amphibians: Self-Assessment Color Review. 2nd Edition. By Fredric L. Frye. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida USA. 2015. 252 pp. ISBN 9781482257601.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  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 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 biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management.

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    San Mauro, D.; Vences, M.; Alcobendas, M.; Zardoya, R.; Meyer, A.

    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,...

  10. Global patterns of diversification in the history of modern amphibians

    OpenAIRE

    Roelants, Kim; Gower, David J.; Wilkinson, Mark; Loader, Simon P.; Biju, S. D.; Guillaume, Karen; Moriau, Linde; Bossuyt, Franky

    2007-01-01

    The fossil record of modern amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) provides no evidence for major extinction or radiation episodes throughout most of the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. However, long-term gradual diversification is difficult to reconcile with the sensitivity of present-day amphibian faunas to rapid ecological changes and the incidence of similar environmental perturbations in the past that have been associated with high turnover rates in other land vertebrates. To provi...

  11. Non-invasive reproductive and stress endocrinology in amphibian conservation physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayan, E. J.

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive endocrinology utilizes non-invasive biological samples (such as faeces, urine, hair, aquatic media, and saliva) for the quantification of hormones in wildlife. Urinary-based enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and radio-immunoassay have enabled the rapid quantification of reproductive and stress hormones in amphibians (Anura: Amphibia). With minimal disturbance, these methods can be used to assess the ovarian and testicular endocrine functions as well as physiological stress in captive and free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine monitoring has therefore greatly advanced our knowledge of the functioning of the stress endocrine system (the hypothalamo–pituitary–interrenal axis) and the reproductive endocrine system (the hypothalamo–pituitary–gonadal axis) in the amphibian physiological stress response, reproductive ecology, health and welfare, and survival. Biological (physiological) validation is necessary for obtaining the excretory lag time of hormone metabolites. Urinary-based EIA for the major reproductive hormones, estradiol and progesterone in females and testosterone in males, can be used to track the reproductive hormone profiles in relationship to reproductive behaviour and environmental data in free-living anurans. Urinary-based corticosterone metabolite EIA can be used to assess the sublethal impacts of biological stressors (such as invasive species and pathogenic diseases) as well as anthropogenic induced environmental stressors (e.g. extreme temperatures) on free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine methods can also assist in the diagnosis of success or failure of captive breeding programmes by measuring the longitudinal patterns of changes in reproductive hormones and corticosterone within captive anurans and comparing the endocrine profiles with health records and reproductive behaviour. This review paper focuses on the reproductive and the stress endocrinology of anurans and demonstrates the uses of non-invasive endocrinology

  12. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloggett, John J

    2012-07-18

    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.

  13. Multiple stressor effects in relation to declining amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, Greg L.; Krest, Sherry K.; Sparling, Donald; Little, E.

    2003-01-01

    Original research discusses the protocols and approaches to studying the effects of multiple environmental stressors on amphibian populations and gives new perspectives on this complicated subject. This new publication integrates a variety of stressors that can act in concert and may ultimately cause a decline in amphibian populations.Sixteen peer-reviewed papers cover:Toxicity Assessment examines methods, which range from long-established laboratory approaches for evaluating adverse chemical effects to amphibians, to methods that link chemicals in surface waters, sediments, and soils with adverse effects observed among amphibians in the field.Field and Laboratory Studies illustrates studies in the evaluation of multiple stressor effects that may lead to declining amphibian populations. A range of laboratory and field studies of chemicals, such as herbicides, insecticides, chlorinated organic compounds, metals, and complex mixtures are also included.Causal Analysis demonstrates the range of tools currently available for evaluating "cause-effect" relationships between environmental stressors and declining amphibian populations.Audience: This new publication is a must-have for scientists and resource management professionals from diverse fields, including ecotoxicology, chemistry, ecology, field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource management.

  14. Value of artificial habitats for amphibian reproduction in altered landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Adrianne B; Snodgrass, Joel W

    2010-02-01

    Installation and maintenance of stormwater ponds to detain and treat runoff from impervious surfaces is a common method of stormwater control in developed areas. That these ponds capture pollutants, however, is of concern for wildlife species that use the ponds, particularly pond-breeding amphibians. To assess the relative contribution of stormwater ponds to the persistence of amphibian populations in suburban landscapes, we compared amphibian use of stormwater ponds and other available wetlands in suburban and forested watersheds. We surveyed three suburban and three primarily forested first-order watersheds to identify all potential wetlands that might serve as breeding sites for pond-breeding amphibians. We performed call, egg-mass, and larval surveys to measure breeding effort at each wetland in spring and summer 2007 and 2008. In suburban watersheds most (89%) of the wetlands that had breeding activity were either stormwater ponds or otherwise artificial. This pattern was also evident in the forested watersheds, where amphibians were primarily found breeding in wetlands created by past human activity. Late-stage larvae were found only in anthropogenic wetlands in all study areas because the remaining natural wetlands did not hold water long enough for larvae to complete development. Our results suggest that in urban and suburban landscapes with naturally low densities of wetlands, wetlands created by current or historic land uses may be as important to amphibian conservation as natural wetlands or pools and that management strategies directed at urban and suburban landscapes should recognize and incorporate human-created wetlands.

  15. Global patterns of diversification in the history of modern amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelants, Kim; Gower, David J; Wilkinson, Mark; Loader, Simon P; Biju, S D; Guillaume, Karen; Moriau, Linde; Bossuyt, Franky

    2007-01-16

    The fossil record of modern amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) provides no evidence for major extinction or radiation episodes throughout most of the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. However, long-term gradual diversification is difficult to reconcile with the sensitivity of present-day amphibian faunas to rapid ecological changes and the incidence of similar environmental perturbations in the past that have been associated with high turnover rates in other land vertebrates. To provide a comprehensive overview of the history of amphibian diversification, we constructed a phylogenetic timetree based on a multigene data set of 3.75 kb for 171 species. Our analyses reveal several episodes of accelerated amphibian diversification, which do not fit models of gradual lineage accumulation. Global turning points in the phylogenetic and ecological diversification occurred after the end-Permian mass extinction and in the late Cretaceous. Fluctuations in amphibian diversification show strong temporal correlation with turnover rates in amniotes and the rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Approximately 86% of modern frog species and >81% of salamander species descended from only five ancestral lineages that produced major radiations in the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. This proportionally late accumulation of extant lineage diversity contrasts with the long evolutionary history of amphibians but is in line with the Tertiary increase in fossil abundance toward the present.

  16. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly C. Bletz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Using amplicon-based sequencing, we evaluate how multiple host species traits and site factors affect host bacterial diversity and community structure. Madagascar is home to over 400 native frog species, all of which are endemic to the island; more than 100 different species are known to occur in sympatry within multiple rainforest sites. We intensively sampled frog skin bacterial communities, from over 800 amphibians from 89 species across 30 sites in Madagascar during three field visits, and found that skin bacterial communities differed strongly from those of the surrounding environment. Richness of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs and phylogenetic diversity differed among host ecomorphs, with arboreal frogs exhibiting lower richness and diversity than terrestrial and aquatic frogs. Host ecomorphology was the strongest factor influencing microbial community structure, with host phylogeny and site parameters (latitude and elevation explaining less but significant portions of the observed variation. Correlation analysis and topological congruency analyses revealed little to no phylosymbiosis for amphibian skin microbiota. Despite the observed geographic variation and low phylosymbiosis, we found particular OTUs that were differentially abundant between particular ecomorphs. For example, the genus Pigmentiphaga (Alcaligenaceae was significantly enriched on arboreal frogs, Methylotenera (Methylophilaceae was enriched on aquatic frogs, and Agrobacterium

  17. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N; McKenzie, Valerie J; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Using amplicon-based sequencing, we evaluate how multiple host species traits and site factors affect host bacterial diversity and community structure. Madagascar is home to over 400 native frog species, all of which are endemic to the island; more than 100 different species are known to occur in sympatry within multiple rainforest sites. We intensively sampled frog skin bacterial communities, from over 800 amphibians from 89 species across 30 sites in Madagascar during three field visits, and found that skin bacterial communities differed strongly from those of the surrounding environment. Richness of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and phylogenetic diversity differed among host ecomorphs, with arboreal frogs exhibiting lower richness and diversity than terrestrial and aquatic frogs. Host ecomorphology was the strongest factor influencing microbial community structure, with host phylogeny and site parameters (latitude and elevation) explaining less but significant portions of the observed variation. Correlation analysis and topological congruency analyses revealed little to no phylosymbiosis for amphibian skin microbiota. Despite the observed geographic variation and low phylosymbiosis, we found particular OTUs that were differentially abundant between particular ecomorphs. For example, the genus Pigmentiphaga (Alcaligenaceae) was significantly enriched on arboreal frogs, Methylotenera (Methylophilaceae) was enriched on aquatic frogs, and Agrobacterium (Rhizobiaceae

  18. Angiotensin II receptors in amphibian kidney

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tchernitchin, S.M.; Galli, S.M.; Raizada, M.

    1986-01-01

    The localization of Angiotensin II (Ang II) receptors in the Amphibia kidney was investigated by radioautography and binding studies. 125 I-Ang II was injected into the dorsal aorta of anesthetized toads, Calyptocephalella caudiverbera. The kidney excised 2 and 10 min after injection show intense labeling in the glomeruli and a lesser amount in the tubules. Ang II labeling was found in the proximal, distal and collecting tubules. The thin connecting segment (diluting segment) also shows a distinct labeling. Afferent and efferent arterioles and interstitial connective tissue do not show radioautographic granules above the background level. Ang II binding studies of glomerular and tubular membranes show that the binding of 125 I-Ang II is higher in the glomerular than in the tubular membranes with a Kd of 1.9 x 10 -9 M and 1.0 x 10 -9 M respectively. Their results show that angiotensin II receptors in the amphibian nephron are present in the glomeruli and tubular segments, supporting the hypothesis of the intrarenal action of Ang II in this group of vertebrates

  19. 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.

  20. Comparison of amphibian and mammalian thyroperoxidase ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thyroperoxidase (TPO) catalyzes the production of thyroid hormones in the vertebrate thyroid gland by oxidizing iodide (I- ) to produce iodinated tyrosines on thyroglobulin, and further coupling of specific mono- or di-iodinated tyrosines to generate the triiodo- and tetra-iodothyronine, precursors to thyroid hormone. This enzyme is a target for thyroid disrupting chemicals. TPO-inhibition by xenobiotics is a molecular initiating event that is known to perturb the thyroid axis by preventing synthesis of thyroid hormone. Previous work on TPO-inhibition has been focused on mammalian TPO; specifically, the rat and pig. A primary objective of this experiment was to directly measure TPO activity in a non-mammalian system, in this case a thyroid gland homogenate from Xenopus laevis; as well as compare chemical inhibition from past mammalian studies to the amphibian data generated. Thyroid glands obtained from X. laevis tadpoles at NF stages 58-60, were pooled and homogenized by sonication in phosphate buffer. This homogenate was then used to test 24 chemicals for inhibition of TPO as measured by conversion of Amplex UltraRed (AUR) substrate to its fluorescent product. The test chemicals were selected based upon previous results from rat in vitro TPO assays, and X. laevis in vitro and in vivo studies for thyroid disrupting endpoints, and included both positive and negative chemicals in these assays. An initial screening of the chemicals was done at a single high con

  1. Invasive amphibians in southern Africa: A review of invasion pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Measey

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Globally, invasive amphibians are known for their environmental and social impacts that range from poisoning of local fauna and human populations to direct predation on other amphibians. Although several countries on most continents have had multiple introductions of many species, southern Africa appears to have escaped allochthonous introductions. Instead, it has a small number of domestic exotic species that have rapidly expanded their ranges and established invasive populations within South Africa. Objectives & methods: We used the literature to provide a historical overview of dispersal by some of the world’s major invasive amphibians, give examples of species that are commonly moved as stowaways and discuss historical and current amphibian trade in the region. In addition, we give an overview of new South African legislation and how this is applied to amphibian invasions, as well as providing updates on the introduced populations of three domestic exotics: Hyperolius marmoratus, Sclerophrys gutturalis and Xenopus laevis. Results: We show that frogs are mainly moved around southern Africa through ‘jump’ dispersal, although there are a number of records of ‘cultivation’, ‘leading-edge’ and ‘extreme long-distance’ dispersal types. Important pathways include trade in fruit and vegetables, horticultural products and shipping containers. Conclusion: We suggest that southern Africa is becoming more vulnerable to amphibian invasions because of an increase in trade, agricultural and domestic impoundments as well as global climate change. Increasing propagule pressure suggests that preventing new introductions will become a key challenge for the future. Currently, trade in amphibians in the region is practically non-existent, suggesting potential for best practice to prevent importation of species with high invasion potential and to stop the spread of disease.

  2. Do effects of mercury in larval amphibians persist after metamorphosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Brian D; Willson, John D; Bergeron, Christine M; Hopkins, William A

    2012-01-01

    Despite widespread concern about the role of environmental contaminants in global amphibian declines, and evidence that post-metamorphic life stages contribute disproportionately to amphibian population dynamics, most studies in amphibian ecotoxicology focus on larval life stages. Studies that focus solely on early life stages may miss important effects of contaminant exposure, such as latent effects that manifest some time after previous exposure. Moreover, it is often assumed that effects observed in amphibian larvae will persist to affect survival or reproduction later in life. We used terrestrial enclosures to determine whether exposure to mercury (Hg) through maternal transfer and/or larval diet had any adverse effects in post-metamorphic American toads (Bufo americanus). We found a 5% difference in size at metamorphosis that was attributed to maternal Hg exposure persisted for 1 year in the terrestrial environment, resulting in a 7% difference at the conclusion of the study. Although patterns of survival differed among treatments through time, we found no overall difference in survival after 1 year. We also found no evidence of emergent latent effects in the terrestrial toads that could be attributed to earlier exposure. Our results indicate that adverse effects of maternal Hg exposure that were observed in larval amphibians may persist to affect later terrestrial life stages but that no novel adverse effects developed when animals were raised in a semi-natural environment. Moreover, we found no evidence of persistent effects of dietary Hg exposure in larvae, highlighting a need for greater focus on maternal effects in amphibian ecotoxicology. Finally, we suggest an increase in the use of longitudinal studies to better understand contaminant impacts to amphibian populations via effects in both aquatic and terrestrial life stages.

  3. 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. © 2015

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Mitogenomic perspectives on the origin and phylogeny of living amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng; Zhou, Hui; Chen, Yue-Qin; Liu, Yi-Fei; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2005-06-01

    Establishing the relationships among modern amphibians (lissamphibians) and their ancient relatives is necessary for our understanding of early tetrapod evolution. However, the phylogeny is still intractable because of the highly specialized anatomy and poor fossil record of lissamphibians. Paleobiologists are still not sure whether lissamphibians are monophyletic or polyphyletic, and which ancient group (temnospondyls or lepospondyls) is most closely related to them. In an attempt to address these problems, eight mitochondrial genomes of living amphibians were determined and compared with previously published amphibian sequences. A comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences yields a highly resolved tree congruent with the traditional hypotheses (Batrachia). By using a molecular clock-independent approach for inferring dating information from molecular phylogenies, we present here the first molecular timescale for lissamphibian evolution, which suggests that lissamphibians first emerged about 330 million years ago. By observing the fit between molecular and fossil times, we suggest that the temnospondyl-origin hypothesis for lissamphibians is more credible than other hypotheses. Moreover, under this timescale, the potential geographic origins of the main living amphibian groups are discussed: (i) advanced frogs (neobatrachians) may possess an Africa-India origin; (ii) salamanders may have originated in east Asia; (iii) the tropic forest of the Triassic Pangaea may be the place of origin for the ancient caecilians. An accurate phylogeny with divergence times can be also helpful to direct the search for "missing" fossils, and can benefit comparative studies of amphibian evolution.

  9. 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.

  10. 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). Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Nosocomial pathogens

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    remains an important problem in intensive care units. Hospital wards had been shown to act as reservoirs of pathogenic microorganisms associated with infection. To assess the prevalence of pathogenic organisms in the environment of the neonatal unit, 92 swabs were randomly collected from cots, incubators and various ...

  13. Ontogenetic development of vestibular reflexes in amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Straka

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Vestibulo-ocular reflexes ensure gaze stability during locomotion and passively induced head/body movements. In precocial vertebrates such as amphibians, vestibular reflexes are required very early at the onset of locomotor activity. While the formation of inner ears and the assembly of sensory-motor pathways is largely completed soon after hatching, angular and translational/tilt vestibulo-ocular reflexes (VOR display differential functional onsets and mature with different time courses. Otolith-derived eye movements appear immediately after hatching, whereas the appearance and progressive amelioration of semicircular canal-evoked eye movements is delayed and dependent on the acquisition of sufficiently large semicircular canal diameters. Moreover, semicircular canal functionality is also required to tune the initially omnidirectional otolith-derived VOR. The tuning is due to a reinforcement of those vestibulo-ocular connections that are co-activated by semicircular canal and otolith inputs during natural head/body motion. This suggests that molecular mechanisms initially guide the basic ontogenetic wiring, whereas semicircular canal-dependent activity is required to establish the spatio-temporal specificity of the reflex. While a robust VOR is activated during passive head/body movements, locomotor efference copies provide the major source for compensatory eye movements during tail- and limb-based swimming of larval and adult frogs. The integration of active/passive motion-related signals for gaze stabilization occurs in central vestibular neurons that are arranged as segmentally iterated functional groups along rhombomere 1-8. However, at variance with the topographic maps of most other sensory systems, the sensory-motor transformation of motion-related signals occurs in segmentally specific neuronal groups defined by the extraocular motor output targets.

  14. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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 sp...

  15. Post-epizootic salamander persistence in a disease-free refugium suggests poor dispersal ability of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Stegen, Gwij; Bogaerts, Sergé; Canessa, Stefano; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Janssen, Nico; Bosman, Wilbert; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An

    2018-02-28

    Lack of disease spill-over between adjacent populations has been associated with habitat fragmentation and the absence of population connectivity. We here present a case which describes the absence of the spill-over of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) between two connected subpopulations of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Based on neutrally evolving microsatellite loci, both subpopulations were shown to form a single genetic cluster, suggesting a shared origin and/or recent gene flow. Alpine newts (Ichthyosaura alpestris) and fire salamanders were found in the landscape matrix between the two sites, which are also connected by a stream and separated by no obvious physical barriers. Performing a laboratory trial using alpine newts, we confirmed that Bsal is unable to disperse autonomously. Vector-mediated dispersal may have been impeded by a combination of sub-optimal connectivity, limited dispersal ability of infected hosts and a lack of suitable dispersers following the rapid, Bsal-driven collapse of susceptible hosts at the source site. Although the exact cause remains unclear, the aggregate evidence suggests that Bsal may be a poorer disperser than previously hypothesized. The lack of Bsal dispersal between neighbouring salamander populations opens perspectives for disease management and stresses the necessity of implementing biosecurity measures preventing human-mediated spread.

  16. 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.

  17. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or their...

  18. Non-native fish introductions and the reversibility of amphibian declines in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roland A. Knapp

    2004-01-01

    Amphibians are declining worldwide for a variety of reasons, including habitat alteration, introduction of non-native species, disease, climate change, and environmental contaminants. Amphibians often play important roles in structuring ecosystems, and, as a result, amphibian population declines or extinctions are likely to affect other trophic levels (Matthews and...

  19. Efficacy of Three Funnel Traps for Capturing Amphibian Larvae in Seasonal Forest Ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard R. Buech; Leanna M. Egeland

    2002-01-01

    Among the many techniques that have been used to study amphibians, funnel traps are commonly recommended to determine species presence, breeding success, and relative abundance of amphibian larvae in aquatic habitats. Several authors have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of funnel traps for sampling amphibian larvae (Adams et al. 1997; Fronzuto and Verrell...

  20. Assessing Changes in Amphibian Population Dynamics Following Experimental Manipulations of Introduced Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen L. Pope

    2008-01-01

    Sport-fish introductions are now recognized as an important cause of amphibian decline, but few researchers have quantified the demographic responses of amphibians to current options in fisheries management designed to minimize effects on sensitive amphibians. Demographic analyses with mark–recapture data allow researchers to assess the relative importance of...

  1. Ontogenetic pattern change in amphibians: the case of Salamandra corsica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter Beukema

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Ontogenetic, post-metamorphic pattern development is a rarely studied topic in amphibian science. As there are indications that the pattern of Salamandra corsica might expand over time, digital image analyses were applied in order to measure several phenotypical variables which were related to the snout vent length. Results show a significant increase of patches which change to irregular shapes while SVL increases. Digital image analysis is identified as a suitable tool to explore pattern shape and change in general, while the documented pattern development in S. corsica might be one of the first quantified cases of post-metamorphic ontogenetic pattern change in amphibians.

  2. 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. PMID:22761833

  3. Occurrence of amphibians in northern California coastal dune drainages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, Brian J.; Kleeman, Patrick M.

    2017-01-01

    Many coastal dune ecosystems have been degraded by non-native dune vegetation, but these systems might still provide valuable habitat for some taxa, including amphibians. Because restoration of degraded dune systems is occurring and likely to continue, we examined the occurrence of amphibians in drainages associated with a coastal dune ecosystem degraded by invasive plants (European Beachgrass, Ammophila arenaria, and Iceplant, Carpobrotus edulis). We found that occupancy of 3 amphibian species (California Red-legged Frog, Rana draytonii; Sierran Treefrog, Hyliola sierra; and Rough-skinned Newt, Taricha granulosa) among 21 coastal-dune drainages was high, with most coastal-dune drainages occupied by all 3 species. Furthermore, reproduction of Sierran Treefrogs and California Red-legged Frogs was estimated to occur in approximately ½ and ⅓ of the drainages, respectively. The probability of occurrence of Rough-skinned Newts and pre-metamorphic life stages of both anurans decreased during the study, perhaps because of ongoing drought in California or precipitation-induced changes in phenology during the final year of the study. Maintaining structural cover and moist features during dune restoration will likely benefit native amphibian populations inhabiting coastal-dune ecosystems.

  4. Amphibians and land use in the Chihuahuan Desert border region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulette L. Ford; Deborah M. Finch

    1999-01-01

    The pressures of growing borderland populations, increased land use, and Increased water use are threatening amphibians in the Chihuahuan Desert border area. In this paper, we describe potential direct threats such as loss or contamination of aquatic habitats, and indirect threats such as the sublethal effects of pesticides on developing larvae and tadpoles. More...

  5. 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.

  6. Habitat relationships of amphibians and reptiles in California oak woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    William M. Block; Michael L. Morrison

    1998-01-01

    We used pitfall traps and time-constrained searches to sample amphibians and reptiles and to describe their habitats in oak woodlands at three areas in California. We captured 766 individuals representing 15 species during pitfall trapping and 333 animals representing 15 species during the time-constrained searches. A total of 19 species were sampled. Across all study...

  7. The montane forest associated amphibian species of the Taita Hills ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The group of forested mountains known as the Taita Hills are the northern-most montane blocks of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot. They are surrounded by the dry Tsavo plains. Until the present study no comprehensive survey of the amphibian fauna of Taita Hills covering the entire ...

  8. Parasitic infections of amphibians in the Pendjari Biosphere ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parasitic infections of amphibians in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin. ... Results obtained show the possible influence of land-use pattern on parasite distribution. For example, the ... Furthermore, this infection pattern may be indicative of an immunosuppressive effect of pesticides on the frogs of the Agricultural Zone.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sodhi, Navjot S; Bickford, David; Diesmos, Arvin C; Lee, Tien Ming; Koh, Lian Pin; Brook, Barry W; Sekercioglu, Cagan H; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2008-02-20

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, Sara J.; Russell, Ronald W.

    2009-01-01

    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 50 ) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. - Salt toxicity is presented as a mechanism affecting the distribution of amphibians and structure of amphibian communities in roadside wetlands

  12. Conformational Preferences of Amphibian Peptides Brevinin-Ya and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    NICO

    Conformational Preferences of Amphibian Peptides. Brevinin-Ya and Brevinin-Yb Explored Using. Molecular Dynamics. Parvesh Singh*. Department of Chemistry. Durban University of Technology, Durban 4000, South Africa. Received 31 July 2012, accepted 21 February 2013. ABSTRACT. The brevinin-1 family peptides ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Diversity, biogeography and global flows of alien amphibians and reptiles

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Capinha, C.; Seebens, H.; Cassey, P.; García-Díaz, P.; Lenzner, B.; Mang, T.; Moser, D.; Pyšek, Petr; Rödder, D.; Scalera, R.; Winter, M.; Dullinger, S.; Essl, F.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 11 (2017), s. 1313-1322 ISSN 1366-9516 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : amphibians and reptiles * invasions * global distribution Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 4.391, year: 2016

  16. A test of the substitution-habitat hypothesis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Galán, Pedro

    2017-12-08

    Most examples that support the substitution-habitat hypothesis (human-made habitats act as substitutes of original habitat) deal with birds and mammals. We tested this hypothesis in 14 amphibians by using percentage occupancy as a proxy of habitat quality (i.e., higher occupancy percentages indicate higher quality). We classified water body types as original habitat (no or little human influence) depending on anatomical, behavioral, or physiological adaptations of each amphibian species. Ten species had relatively high probabilities (0.16-0.28) of occurrence in original habitat, moderate probability of occurrence in substitution habitats (0.11-0.14), and low probability of occurrence in refuge habitats (0.05-0.08). Thus, the substitution-habitat hypothesis only partially applies to amphibians because the low occupancy of refuges could be due to the negligible human persecution of this group (indicating good conservation status). However, low occupancy of refuges could also be due to low tolerance of refuge conditions, which could have led to selective extinction or colonization problems due to poor dispersal capabilities. That original habitats had the highest probabilities of occupancy suggests amphibians have a good conservation status in the region. They also appeared highly adaptable to anthropogenic substitution habitats. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Testing the impact of miniaturization on phylogeny: Paleozoic dissorophoid amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröbisch, Nadia B; Schoch, Rainer R

    2009-06-01

    Among the diverse clade of Paleozoic dissorophoid amphibians, the small, terrestrial amphibamids and the neotenic branchiosaurids have frequently been suggested as possible antecedents of either all or some of the modern amphibian clades. Classically, amphibamids and branchiosaurids have been considered to represent distinct, but closely related clades within dissorophoids, but despite their importance for the controversial lissamphibian origins, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of small dissorophoids has thus far not been attempted. On the basis of an integrated data set, the relationships of amphibamids and branchiosaurids were analyzed using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. Both groups represent miniaturized forms and it was tested whether similar developmental pathways, associated with miniaturization, lead to an artificial close relationship of branchiosaurids and amphibamids. Moreover, the fit of the resulting tree topologies to the distribution of fossil taxa in the stratigraphic rock record was assessed as an additional source of information. The results show that characters associated with a miniaturized morphology are not responsible for the close clustering of branchiosaurids and amphibamids. Instead, all analyses invariably demonstrate a monophyletic clade of branchiosaurids highly nested within derived amphibamids, indicating that branchiosaurids represent a group of secondarily neotenic amphibamid dissorophoids. This understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of small dissorophoid amphibians provides a new framework for the discussion of their evolutionary history and the evolution of characters shared by branchiosaurids and/or amphibamids with modern amphibian taxa.

  20. Agrochemicals increase trematode infections in a declining amphibian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Raffel, Thomas R; Carrick, Hunter J; Halstead, Neal; Hoverman, Jason T; Johnson, Catherine M; Johnson, Lucinda B; Lieske, Camilla; Piwoni, Marvin D; Schoff, Patrick K; Beasley, Val R

    2008-10-30

    Global amphibian declines have often been attributed to disease, but ignorance of the relative importance and mode of action of potential drivers of infection has made it difficult to develop effective remediation. In a field study, here we show that the widely used herbicide, atrazine, was the best predictor (out of more than 240 plausible candidates) of the abundance of larval trematodes (parasitic flatworms) in the declining northern leopard frog Rana pipiens. The effects of atrazine were consistent across trematode taxa. The combination of atrazine and phosphate--principal agrochemicals in global corn and sorghum production--accounted for 74% of the variation in the abundance of these often debilitating larval trematodes (atrazine alone accounted for 51%). Analysis of field data supported a causal mechanism whereby both agrochemicals increase exposure and susceptibility to larval trematodes by augmenting snail intermediate hosts and suppressing amphibian immunity. A mesocosm experiment demonstrated that, relative to control tanks, atrazine tanks had immunosuppressed tadpoles, had significantly more attached algae and snails, and had tadpoles with elevated trematode loads, further supporting a causal relationship between atrazine and elevated trematode infections in amphibians. These results raise concerns about the role of atrazine and phosphate in amphibian declines, and illustrate the value of quantifying the relative importance of several possible drivers of disease risk while determining the mechanisms by which they facilitate disease emergence.

  1. Engineering a future for amphibians under a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen Parks; Deanna H. Olson

    2011-01-01

    Climate variation exacerbates threats to amphibians such as disease and habitat loss. Yet, by and large existing species- and land-management plans give little if any consideration to climate impacts. Moreover, many management actions that do address emerging climate patterns have yet to be evaluated for feasibility and effectiveness. To help address these needs,...

  2. Engineering a future for amphibians under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luke P. Shoo; Deanna H. Olson; Sarah K. McMenamin; Kris A. Murray; Monique VanSluys; Maureen A. Donnelly; Danial Stratford; Juhani Terhivuo; Andres Merino-Viteri; Sarah M. Herbert; Phillip J. Bishop; Paul Stephen Corn; Liz Dovey; Richard A. Griffiths; Katrin Lowe; Michael Mahony; Hamish McCallum; Jonathan D. Shuker; Clay Simpkins; Lee F. Skerratt; Stephen E. Williams; Jean-Marc. Hero

    2011-01-01

    Altered global climates in the 21st century pose serious threats for biological systems and practical actions are needed to mount a response for species at risk. We identify management actions from across the world and from diverse disciplines that are applicable to minimizing loss of amphibian biodiversity under climate change. Actions were...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Pathophysiology in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa during a chytridiomycosis outbreak.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie Voyles

    Full Text Available The disease chytridiomycosis is responsible for declines and extirpations of amphibians worldwide. Chytridiomycosis is caused by a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis that infects amphibian skin. Although we have a basic understanding of the pathophysiology from laboratory experiments, many mechanistic details remain unresolved and it is unknown if disease development is similar in wild amphibian populations. To gain a better understanding of chytridiomycosis pathophysiology in wild amphibian populations, we collected blood biochemistry measurements during an outbreak in mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. We found that pathogen load is associated with disruptions in fluid and electrolyte balance, yet is not associated with fluctuations acid-base balance. These findings enhance our knowledge of the pathophysiology of this disease and indicate that disease development is consistent across multiple species and in both laboratory and natural conditions. We recommend integrating an understanding of chytridiomycosis pathophysiology with mitigation practices to improve amphibian conservation.

  7. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parveen, B; Chew T H; Shamsir, M S; Ahmad, N

    2014-01-01

    The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or ''apps'' for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification

  8. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parveen, B.; H, Chew T.; Shamsir, M. S.; Ahmad, N.

    2014-02-01

    The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or "apps" for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification.

  9. Applied reproductive technologies and genetic resource banking for amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouba, Andrew J; Vance, Carrie K

    2009-01-01

    As amphibian populations continue to decline, both government and non-government organisations are establishing captive assurance colonies to secure populations deemed at risk of extinction if left in the wild. For the most part, little is known about the nutritional ecology, reproductive biology or husbandry needs of the animals placed into captive breeding programs. Because of this lack of knowledge, conservation biologists are currently facing the difficult task of maintaining and reproducing these species. Academic and zoo scientists are beginning to examine different technologies for maintaining the genetic diversity of founder populations brought out of the wild before the animals become extinct from rapidly spreading epizootic diseases. One such technology is genetic resource banking and applied reproductive technologies for species that are difficult to reproduce reliably in captivity. Significant advances have been made in the last decade for amphibian assisted reproduction including the use of exogenous hormones for induction of spermiation and ovulation, in vitro fertilisation, short-term cold storage of gametes and long-term cryopreservation of spermatozoa. These scientific breakthroughs for a select few species will no doubt serve as models for future assisted breeding protocols and the increasing number of amphibians requiring conservation intervention. However, the development of specialised assisted breeding protocols that can be applied to many different families of amphibians will likely require species-specific modifications considering their wide range of reproductive modes. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current state of knowledge in the area of assisted reproduction technologies and gene banking for the conservation of amphibians.

  10. Review and synthesis of the effects of climate change on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiming; Cohen, Jeremy M; Rohr, Jason R

    2013-06-01

    Considerable progress has been made in understanding the responses of amphibians to climate change, with successful research carried out on climate change-associated shifts in amphibian phenology, elevational distributions and amphibian-parasite interactions. We review and synthesize the literature on this topic, emphasizing acutely lethal, sublethal, indirect and positive effects of climate change on amphibians, and major research gaps. For instance, evidence is lacking on poleward shifts in amphibian distributions and on changes in body sizes and morphologies of amphibians in response to climate change. We have limited information on amphibian thermal tolerances, thermal preferences, dehydration breaths, opportunity costs of water conserving behaviors and actual temperature and moisture ranges amphibians experience. Even when much of this information is available, there remains little evidence that climate change is acutely lethal to amphibians. This suggests that if climate change is contributing to declines, it might be through effects that are not acutely lethal, indirect, or both, but evidence in support of this suggestion is necessary. In fact, evidence that climate change is directly contributing to amphibian declines is weak, partly because researchers have not often ruled out alternative hypotheses, such as chytrid fungus or climate-fungus interactions. Consequently, we recommend that amphibian-climate research shift from primarily inductive, correlational approach as to studies that evaluate alternative hypotheses for declines. This additional rigor will require interdisciplinary collaborations, estimates of costs and benefits of climate change to amphibian fitness and populations, and the integration of correlative field studies, experiments on 'model' amphibian species, and mathematical and functional, physiological models. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  11. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Sara J; Russell, Ronald W

    2009-01-01

    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(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.

  12. 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. [...

  13. 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.

  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. United States Marine Corps Assault Amphibian Vehicle Egress Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-01

    program, the Marine Corps have begun developing the Amphibious Combat Vehicle ( ACV ) to replace the 42-year-old Assault Amphibian Vehicle (AAV). Because...the ACV will not be fielded until 2022, the AAV is being modified to improve its survivability. Upgrades to the AAV will make it heavier and...rear cargo hatches had the best chance of survival. This thesis provides baseline results for future emergency egress studies on the AAV and the new ACV

  16. Demonstration and Certification of Amphibian Ecological Risk Assessment Protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    sediment protocol focused on evaluation of potential risks to early life stage frogs -- the northern leopard frog ( Rana pipiens) was selected as the...with recently hatched tadpoles ( Rana pipiens; Gosner Stages 17-20). Young tadpoles are placed in beakers containing sediment and overlying water (Figure...The most abundant amphibian species include bullfrog (R. catesbeiana ), green frog (R. clamitans), northern cricket frog (Acris crepitans), northern

  17. A survey of reptiles and amphibians on Kinmen Island, Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Heather V. Podlipny; Pei-Yu Tasi; D. Brent Burt; Hsiao-Wei Yuan

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the reptiles and amphibians of Kinmen Island, Taiwan. Until recently, Kinmen had been off-limits to outsiders. It wasn’t until the mid 1990’s that civilian travel was allowed to and from the island. We surveyed 8 sites from 19 May through 18 July 2005, using 15 m drift fences with collapsible funnel traps on the ends. We documented encounters with...

  18. Reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. Response of Reptiles and Amphibians to Repeated Fuel Reduction Treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlotte E. Matthews; Christopher E. Moorman; Cathryn H. Greenberg; Thomas A. Waldrop

    2010-01-01

    Recent use of prescribed fire and fire surrogates to reduce fuel hazards has spurred interest in their effects on wildlife. Studies of fire in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA) have documented few effects on reptiles and amphibians. However, these studies were conducted after only one fire and for only a short time (1–3 yr) after the fire. From mid-May to mid-...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rödder, Dennis; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan; Fisher, Matthew C.; Lötters, Stefan

    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...

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.).

  5. Phylogenic aspects of the amphibian dual olfactory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniguchi, Kazumi; Saito, Shouichiro; Oikawa, Toshihiro; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki

    2008-01-01

    The phylogenic significance of the subdivision of dual olfactory system is reviewed mainly on the basis of our findings by electron microscopy and lectin histochemistry in the three amphibian species. The dual olfactory system is present in common in these species and consists of the projection from the olfactory epithelium (OE) to the main olfactory bulb (MOB) and that from the vomeronasal epithelium (VNE) to the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). The phylogenic significance of subdivisions in the dual olfactory system in the amphibian must differently be interpreted. The subdivision of the MOB into its dorsal region (D-MOB) and ventral region (V-MOB) in Xenopus laevis must be attributed to the primitive features in their olfactory receptors. The middle cavity epithelium lining the middle cavity of this frog possesses both ciliated sensory cells and microvillous sensory cells, reminding the OE in fish. The subdivision of the AOB into the rostral (R-AOB) and caudal part (C-AOB) in Bufo japonicus formosus must be regarded as an advanced characteristic. The lack of subdivisions in both MOB and AOB in Cynops pyrrhogaster may reflect their phylogenic primitiveness. Since our lectin histochemistry to detect glycoconjugates expressed in the olfactory pathway reveals the subdivisions in the dual olfactory system in the amphibian, the glycoconjugates may deeply participate in the organization and function of olfactory pathways in phylogeny.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Mauro, Diego; Vences, Miguel; Alcobendas, Marina; Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    2005-05-01

    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, before the breakup of Pangaea, and soon after the divergence from lobe-finned fishes. The resulting new biogeographic scenario, age estimate, and the inferred rapid divergence of the three lissamphibian orders may account for the lack of fossils that represent plausible ancestors or immediate sister taxa of all three orders and the heretofore paradoxical distribution of some amphibian fossil taxa. Furthermore, the ancient and rapid radiation of the three lissamphibian orders likely explains why branch lengths connecting their early nodes are particularly short, thus rendering phylogenetic inference of implicated relationships especially difficult.

  7. Oviduct structure and function and reproductive modes in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, M H; Dickie, R

    The structure and function of the oviducts of members of the three Orders of the Class Amphibia (Anura, frogs and toads; Urodela, salamanders and newts; Gymnophiona, caecilians) are well described for only a few species. Further, the majority of such descriptions relate only to temperate species that breed in water, lay their eggs there, and have free-living larvae, the presumed ancestral condition of oviparity. Many species of amphibians have derived reproductive modes. Such modes include breeding terrestrially and arboreally, making foam nests, parental transport of eggs and/or tadpoles, direct development (copulating on land, laying the eggs in terrestrial sites, fully metamorphosed juveniles hatching, obviating the free-living larval stage). Other derived modes are ovoviviparity (developing embryos retained in the oviducts, born at a diversity stages of development, no maternal nutrition in addition to yolk) and viviparity (oviductal retention of developing young, maternal nutrition after yolk is resorbed, young born as fully metamorphosed juveniles). The amphibian oviduct is regionally differentiated to secrete varying numbers of layers of material around each egg, which function in fertilization, etc.; it is responsive to endocrine output and environmental mediation during the reproductive cycle; and it maintains developing embryos in some members of all three orders, some with oviductal epithelial secretion of nutrients. However, little is known of the structure-function relationships of the oviduct in species with derived reproductive modes. A comparison of oviduct morphology, function, endocrinology, ecology and phylogeny in amphibians with diverse reproductive modes suggests a number of highly productive avenues of investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    obtained. Thyroxin (T3 and T4) analyses were performed by the Clinical Laboratory, college of Veterinary Medicine , Oklahoma State University, using a...Abstract Book: PTP083, p. 208. 28 Hayes, T.B. 2000. Endocrine Disruption in Amphibians. In: Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ed. D.W...Physiology. In: Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ed. D.W. Sparling, G. Linder and C.A. Bishop. SETAC Technical Publication Series. Pp. 71-110

  9. Perspectives from the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute: Amphibians and wilderness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen

    2001-01-01

    The decline of amphibian species has emerged as a major global conservation issue in the last decade. Last year, the Department of the Interior (DOI) initiated a major national initiative to detect trends in amphibian populations and research the causes of declines. The program, conducted principally by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), emphasizes lands managed by DOI, but collaboration with the Forest Service is encouraged to increase the scope of inference about population trends. Although amphibians are not usually the first group of animals that comes to mind when one thinks of wilderness, conservation of amphibian populations is clearly a wilderness issue.

  10. Foodborne pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Bintsis

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Foodborne pathogens are causing a great number of diseases with significant effects on human health and economy. The characteristics of the most common pathogenic bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium perfringens, Cronobacter sakazakii, Esherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Staphylococccus aureus, Vibrio spp. and Yersinia enterocolitica, viruses (Hepatitis A and Noroviruses and parasites (Cyclospora cayetanensis, Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spiralis, together with some important outbreaks, are reviewed. Food safety management systems based on to classical hazard-based approach has been proved to be inefficient, and risk-based food safety approach is now suggested from leading researchers and organizations. In this context, a food safety management system should be designed in a way to estimate the risks to human health from food consumption and to identify, select and implement mitigation strategies in order to control and reduce these risks. In addition, the application of suitable food safety education programs for all involved people in the production and consumption of foods is suggested.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  12. Acute oral toxicity of chemicals in terrestrial life stages of amphibians: Comparisons to birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Mark; Finnegan, Meaghean; Weltje, Lennart; Kosmala-Grzechnik, Sylwia; Gross, Melanie; Wheeler, James R

    2016-10-01

    Amphibians are currently the most threatened and rapidly declining group of vertebrates and this has raised concerns about their potential sensitivity and exposure to plant protection products and other chemicals. Current environmental risk assessment procedures rely on surrogate species (e.g. fish and birds) to cover the risk to aquatic and terrestrial life stages of amphibians, respectively. Whilst a recent meta-analysis has shown that in most cases amphibian aquatic life stages are less sensitive to chemicals than fish, little research has been conducted on the comparative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages. Therefore, in this paper we address the questions "What is the relative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages to acute chemical oral exposure when compared with mammals and birds?" and "Are there correlations between oral toxicity data for amphibians and data for mammals or birds?" Identifying a relationship between these data may help to avoid additional vertebrate testing. Acute oral amphibian toxicity data collected from the scientific literature and ecotoxicological databases were compared with toxicity data for mammals and birds. Toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages are generally sparse, as noted in previous reviews. Single-dose oral toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages were available for 26 chemicals and these were positively correlated with LD50 values for mammals, while no correlation was found for birds. Further, the data suggest that oral toxicity to terrestrial amphibian life stages is similar to or lower than that for mammals and birds, with a few exceptions. Thus, mammals or birds are considered adequate toxicity surrogates for use in the assessment of the oral exposure route in amphibians. However, there is a need for further data on a wider range of chemicals to explore the wider applicability of the current analyses and recommendations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Assessing the links among environmental contaminants, endocrinology, and parasites to understand amphibian declines in montane regions of Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Leary

    Full Text Available Amphibians inhabiting montane riparian zones in the Neotropics are particularly vulnerable to decline, but the reasons are poorly understood. Because environmental contaminants, endocrine disruption, and pathogens often figure prominently in amphibian declines it is imperative that we understand how these factors are potentially interrelated to affect montane populations. One possibility is that increased precipitation associated with global warming promotes the deposition of contaminants in montane regions. Increased exposure to contaminants, in turn, potentially elicits chronic elevations in circulating stress hormones that could contribute to montane population declines by compromising resistance to pathogens and/or production of sex steroids regulating reproduction. Here, we test this hypothesis by examining contaminant levels, stress and sex steroid levels, and nematode abundances in male drab treefrogs, Smilisca sordida, from lowland and montane populations in Costa Rica. We found no evidence that montane populations were more likely to possess contaminants (i.e., organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate pesticides or benzidine and chlorophenoxy herbicides than lowland populations. We also found no evidence of elevational differences in circulating levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, estradiol or progesterone. However, montane populations possessed lower androgen levels, hosted more nematode species, and had higher nematode abundances than lowland populations. Although these results suggested that nematodes contributed to lower androgens in montane populations, we were unable to detect a significant inverse relationship between nematode abundance and androgen level. Our results suggest that montane populations of this species are not at greater risk of exposure to contaminants or chronic stress, but implicate nematodes and compromised sex steroid levels as potential threats to montane populations.

  14. Assessing the links among environmental contaminants, endocrinology, and parasites to understand amphibian declines in montane regions of Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leary, Christopher J; Ralicki, Hannah F; Laurencio, David; Crocker-Buta, Sarah; Malone, John H

    2018-01-01

    Amphibians inhabiting montane riparian zones in the Neotropics are particularly vulnerable to decline, but the reasons are poorly understood. Because environmental contaminants, endocrine disruption, and pathogens often figure prominently in amphibian declines it is imperative that we understand how these factors are potentially interrelated to affect montane populations. One possibility is that increased precipitation associated with global warming promotes the deposition of contaminants in montane regions. Increased exposure to contaminants, in turn, potentially elicits chronic elevations in circulating stress hormones that could contribute to montane population declines by compromising resistance to pathogens and/or production of sex steroids regulating reproduction. Here, we test this hypothesis by examining contaminant levels, stress and sex steroid levels, and nematode abundances in male drab treefrogs, Smilisca sordida, from lowland and montane populations in Costa Rica. We found no evidence that montane populations were more likely to possess contaminants (i.e., organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate pesticides or benzidine and chlorophenoxy herbicides) than lowland populations. We also found no evidence of elevational differences in circulating levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, estradiol or progesterone. However, montane populations possessed lower androgen levels, hosted more nematode species, and had higher nematode abundances than lowland populations. Although these results suggested that nematodes contributed to lower androgens in montane populations, we were unable to detect a significant inverse relationship between nematode abundance and androgen level. Our results suggest that montane populations of this species are not at greater risk of exposure to contaminants or chronic stress, but implicate nematodes and compromised sex steroid levels as potential threats to montane populations.

  15. Novel Peptides from Skins of Amphibians Showed Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    Peptide agents are often considered as potential biomaterials for developing new drugs that can overcome the rising resistance of pathogenic micro-organisms to classic antibiotic treatments. One key source of peptide agents is amphibian skin, as they provide a great deal of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide (AMP) templates awaiting further exploitation and utilization. In this study, 12 novel AMPs from the skins of 3 ranid frogs, Rana limnocharis, R. exilispinosa, and Amolops afghanus, were identified using a 5' PCR primer. A total of 11 AMPs exhibited similarities with currently known AMP families, including brevinin-1, brevinin-2, esculentin-1, and nigrocin, besides, one AMP, named as Limnochariin, represented a novel AMP family. All 12 AMPs contain a C-terminus cyclic motif and most of them show obvious antimicrobial activities against 18 standard and clinically isolated strains of bacteria, including 4 Gram-positive bacteria, 11 Gram-negative bacteria, and 3 fungus. These findings provide helpful insight that will be useful in the design of anti-infective peptide agents. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  16. 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

  17. Practitioner and scientist perceptions of successful amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Helen M R; St John, Freya A V; Collen, Ben; Black, Simon A; Griffiths, Richard A

    2017-08-29

    Conservation requires successful outcomes. However, success is perceived in many different ways depending on the desired outcome. Through a questionnaire survey, we examined perceptions of success among 355 scientists and practitioners working on amphibian conservation from over 150 organizations in more than 50 countries. We also sought to identify how different types of conservation actions and respondent experience and background influenced perceptions. Respondents identified 4 types of success: species and habitat improvements (84% of respondents); effective program management (36%); outreach initiatives such as education and public engagement (25%); and the application of science-based conservation (15%). The most significant factor influencing overall perceived success was reducing threats. Capacity building was rated least important. Perceptions were influenced by experience, professional affiliation, involvement in conservation practice, and country of residence. More experienced practitioners associated success with improvements to species and habitats and less so with education and engagement initiatives. Although science-based conservation was rated as important, this factor declined in importance as the number of programs a respondent participated in increased, particularly among those from less economically developed countries. The ultimate measure of conservation success-population recovery-may be difficult to measure in many amphibians; difficult to relate to the conservation actions intended to drive it; and difficult to achieve within conventional funding time frames. The relaunched Amphibian Conservation Action Plan provides a framework for capturing lower level processes and outcomes, identifying gaps, and measuring progress. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Cryptic impacts of temperature variability on amphibian immune function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrell, Kimberly A; Quintero, Richard P; Murray, Suzan; Kleopfer, John D; Murphy, James B; Evans, Matthew J; Nissen, Bradley D; Gratwicke, Brian

    2013-11-15

    Ectothermic species living in temperate regions can experience rapid and potentially stressful changes in body temperature driven by abrupt weather changes. Yet, among amphibians, the physiological impacts of short-term temperature variation are largely unknown. Using an ex situ population of Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, an aquatic North American salamander, we tested the hypothesis that naturally occurring periods of temperature variation negatively impact amphibian health, either through direct effects on immune function or by increasing physiological stress. We exposed captive salamanders to repeated cycles of temperature fluctuations recorded in the population's natal stream and evaluated behavioral and physiological responses, including plasma complement activity (i.e. bacteria killing) against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Aeromonas hydrophila. The best-fit model (ΔAICc=0, wi=0.9992) revealed 70% greater P. aeruginosa killing after exposure to variable temperatures and no evidence of thermal acclimation. The same model predicted 50% increased E. coli killing, but had weaker support (ΔAICc=1.8, wi=0.2882). In contrast, plasma defenses were ineffective against A. hydrophila, and other health indicators (leukocyte ratios, growth rates and behavioral patterns) were maintained at baseline values. Our data suggest that amphibians can tolerate, and even benefit from, natural patterns of rapid warming/cooling. Specifically, temperature variation can elicit increased activity of the innate immune system. This immune response may be adaptive in an unpredictable environment, and is undetectable by conventional health indicators (and hence considered cryptic). Our findings highlight the need to consider naturalistic patterns of temperature variation when predicting species' susceptibility to climate change.

  19. Comparative transcriptome analyses reveal the genetic basis underlying the immune function of three amphibians' skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Wenqiao; Jiang, Yusong; Zhang, Meixia; Yang, Donglin; Chen, Zhongzhu; Sun, Hanchang; Lan, Xuelian; Yan, Fan; Xu, Jingming; Yuan, Wanan

    2017-01-01

    Skin as the first barrier against external invasions plays an essential role for the survival of amphibians on land. Understanding the genetic basis of skin function is significant in revealing the mechanisms underlying immunity of amphibians. In this study, we de novo sequenced and comparatively analyzed skin transcriptomes from three different amphibian species, Andrias davidianus, Bufo gargarizans, and Rana nigromaculata Hallowell. Functional classification of unigenes in each amphibian showed high accordance, with the most represented GO terms and KEGG pathways related to basic biological processes, such as binding and metabolism and immune system. As for the unigenes, GO and KEGG distributions of conserved orthologs in each species were similar, with the predominantly enriched pathways including RNA polymerase, nucleotide metabolism, and defense. The positively selected orthologs in each amphibian were also similar, which were primarily involved in stimulus response, cell metabolic, membrane, and catalytic activity. Furthermore, a total of 50 antimicrobial peptides from 26 different categories were identified in the three amphibians, and one of these showed high efficiency in inhibiting the growth of different bacteria. Our understanding of innate immune function of amphibian skin has increased basis on the immune-related unigenes, pathways, and antimicrobial peptides in amphibians.

  20. Amphibian (Xenopus sp.) iodothyronine deiodinase production for screening of thyroid-disrupting chemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    The U.S. EPA-MED amphibian thyroid group is currently screening chemicals for inhibition of human iodothyronine deiodinase activity as components of the thyroid system important in human development. Amphibians are a bellwether taxonomic group to gauge toxicity of chemicals in th...

  1. Amphibian malformations and body condition across an agricultural landscape of northwest Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Cecilia; Aráoz, Ezequiel

    2016-09-26

    Agricultural landscapes support large amphibian populations because they provide habitat for many species, although agriculture affects amphibians through various mechanisms. Pollution with agrochemicals is the major threat to amphibian populations after habitat loss, as chemicals alter the ecophysiology of amphibians, putting their health and survival at risk. We aimed to assess the effect of different environments, sites, width of forest buffers and sampling years on the health of amphibians, which was estimated through the prevalence of malformations and body condition. During 3 yr of pitfall trapping, we captured 4491 amphibians. The prevalence of malformations was higher in the croplands than in the forests, while the body condition was better within forests. The prevalence of malformations was higher in the narrower forest site than in the wider forest site. The prevalence of malformations and the body condition were higher in the third year. The prevalence of malformations differed by species. We found 11 types of malformation, which mainly affected limbs and were unilateral or bilaterally asymmetrical. Our results showed that the prevalence of malformations and body condition reflect different aspects of the health of amphibians and that forest individuals are healthier than those from croplands. The results also highlight the importance of spatial configuration besides the conservation of natural habitats to preserve healthy amphibians in agricultural landscapes. The types of malformation that we found suggest that agrochemicals could be an important cause of malformations.

  2. 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

  3. South African red data book - Reptiles and Amphibians

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Branch, WR

    1988-01-01

    Full Text Available o n of t h e CSIR ISBN 0 7988 1394 6 Author ' s address - T F W H a r r i s 24 Fernwood Avenue Newlands RONDEBOSCH 7700 !, . , , , 4 54b / Z -7 SOUTH AFRICAN RED DATA BOOK - REFTILES AND AMPHIBIANS Issued by the Foundation... DATA B001< - REPTJLES AND AMP!rIIBIANS PREFACE The National Programme for Ecosystem Research (NPER) is one of several national scientific programmes administered by the CSIR. This book is produced under the auspices of one of the sectional...

  4. [Spread of hemoparasites in reptiles and amphibians in Italy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricci, M

    1999-12-01

    Hemoparasites were harvested from 993 individuals belonging to 15 reptilian and 1 amphibian species, from various Italian localities. Hemogregarins were found in 10 reptilian species while a flagellate and microfilariae were found only in Tarentola mauritanica from Lampedusa. For each host species and place of origin the frequencies of hemogregarins are reported and discussed. Longitudinal studies with periodical thin smears were carried out on 5 Tarentola mauritanica, 4 Lacerta viridis, 26 Podarcis filfolensis, 10 Podarcis muralis, 38 Podarcis sicula, 8 Chalcides ocellatus. This material, whose study has not yet been completed, is made available by the author who strongly encourages further investigations on this subject.

  5. Garter snakes distributions in high elevation aquatic ecosystems: Is there a link with declining amphibian populations and nonnative trout introductions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.R. Matthews; R.A. Knapp; K.L. Pope

    2002-01-01

    ABSTRACT.—The dramatic amphibian population declines reported worldwide likely have important effects on their predators. In the Sierra Nevada, where amphibian declines are well documented and some are closely tied to the introduction of nonnative trout, the mountain garter snake, Thamnophis elegans elegans, preys predominately on amphibians. We surveyed 2103 high-...

  6. Validity of fish, birds and mammals as surrogates for amphibians and reptiles in pesticide toxicity assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Maia, Joao P; Egea-Serrano, Andrés; Lopes, Isabel

    2018-02-28

    Amphibians and reptiles are the two most endangered groups of vertebrates. Environmental pollution by pesticides is recognised as one of the major factors threatening populations of these groups. However, the effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles have been studied for few substances, which is partly related to the fact that these animals are not included in the mandatory toxicity testing conducted as part of environmental risk assessments of pesticides. Whether risks of pesticides to amphibians and reptiles are addressed by surrogate taxa used in risk assessment is currently under debate. In order to develop a scientifically sound and robust risk assessment scheme, information needs to be gathered to examine whether fish, birds and mammals are valid surrogates for amphibians and reptiles. We updated a systematic review of scientific literature that was recently published compiling toxicity data on amphibians and reptiles. The outcome of this review was analysed with the purposes to (1) compare endpoints from amphibians and reptiles with the available information from fish, birds and mammals, and (2) develop species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) for those substances tested in at least six amphibian species (no substances were found tested in at least six reptile species) to identify a candidate amphibian model species to be used as surrogate in risk assessment. A positive correlation was found between toxicity recorded on fish and amphibians, the former revealing, in general, to be more sensitive than the latter to waterborne pollutants. In the terrestrial environment, although birds and mammals were more sensitive than amphibians and reptiles to at least 60% of tested substances, just a few weak significant correlations were observed. As a general rule, homoeothermic vertebrates are not good surrogates for reptiles and terrestrial amphibians in pesticide risk assessment. However, some chemical-dependent trends were detected, with pyrethroids and

  7. 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

    2012-05-04

    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Uses and Doses of Local Anesthetics in Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatigny, Frederic; Kamunde, Collins; Creighton, Catherine M; Stevens, E Don

    2017-05-01

    Local anesthetics are an integral part of routine pain management in mammals, yet their use is relatively limited in fish, amphibians and reptiles. These animals frequently undergo potentially painful surgical procedures and therefore could possibly benefit from those drugs. Some recommendations are currently available in the literature concerning analgesic use in these animals. However the pharmacological properties, safety and often efficacy of local anesthetic drugs have not been investigated yet in fish, amphibians, or reptiles. This review compiled current information concerning the use of those agents in fish, reptiles and amphibians to help clinicians make an informed decision as to which dose and drug to use. The resulting literature search showed that the literature concerning use of local analgesics in fish and amphibians is very limited while the literature for reptiles is more extensive. We found few experimental studies evaluating the efficacy of local anesthetics. Further studies would provide additional information for developing guidelines to improve the welfare of fish, amphibians and reptiles.

  9. 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.

  10. Immune Evasion Strategies of Ranaviruses and Innate Immune Responses to These Emerging Pathogens

    OpenAIRE

    Grayfer, Leon; Andino, Francisco De Jesús; Chen, Guangchun; Chinchar, Gregory V.; Robert, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    Ranaviruses (RV, Iridoviridae) are large double-stranded DNA viruses that infect fish, amphibians and reptiles. For ecological and commercial reasons, considerable attention has been drawn to the increasing prevalence of ranaviral infections of wild populations and in aquacultural settings. Importantly, RVs appear to be capable of crossing species barriers of numerous poikilotherms, suggesting that these pathogens possess a broad host range and potent immune evasion mecha...

  11. 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. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Svistunov, S.A.; Mitashov, V.I.

    1986-01-01

    Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of 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

  13. Joint effects of resources and amphibians on pond ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowland, Freya E; Rawlings, Madelyn B; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2017-01-01

    Primary production can be controlled through bottom-up (e.g., resources) or top-down (e.g., predators) constraints. Two key bottom-up resources in small aquatic systems are light and nutrients, and forest canopy cover heavily influences these factors, whereas amphibian and invertebrate colonizers exert top-down pressure as grazers and predators. We designed our experiment to specifically manipulate two different top-down and bottom-up factors. We manipulated resources by altering light (low/high) and nutrient (low/high) availability; omnivores with the presence/absence of southern leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates sphenocephalus); and predators with the presence/absence of spotted salamander larvae (Ambystoma maculatum) in a full-factorial experiment conducted over 14 weeks. We observed that both bottom-up and top-down effects were important in predicting lower trophic level biomass. We found a significant top-down effect of salamanders on Daphnia, but tadpoles had the strongest overall effect on the food web, influencing phytoplankton (+), periphyton (-), and chironomids (-). None of our models were good predictors of phytoplankton biomass, but both shading and nutrient availability relatively equally boosted periphyton biomass. We also found large temporal differences in food-web dynamics. Our results underscore the need for more information into how ecosystem functioning could be altered by land use, amphibian extirpation, and climate change.

  14. 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. PMID:22511938

  15. Ranking ecological risks of multiple chemical stressors on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorenkova, Anastasia; Vonk, J Arie; Lenders, H J Rob; Creemers, Raymond C M; Breure, Anton M; Hendriks, A Jan

    2012-06-01

    Populations of amphibians have been declining worldwide since the late 1960s. Despite global concern, no studies have quantitatively assessed the major causes of this decline. In the present study, species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were developed to analyze the sensitivity of anurans for ammonium, nitrate, heavy metals (cadmium, copper), pesticides (18 compounds), and acidification (pH) based on laboratory toxicity data. Ecological risk (ER) was calculated as the probability that a measured environmental concentration of a particular stressor in habitats where anurans were observed would exceed the toxic effect concentrations derived from the species sensitivity distributions. The assessment of ER was used to rank the stressors according to their potential risk to anurans based on a case study of Dutch freshwater bodies. The derived ERs revealed that threats to populations of anurans decreased in the sequence of pH, copper, diazinon, ammonium, and endosulfan. Other stressors studied were of minor importance. The method of deriving ER by combining field observation data and laboratory data provides insight into potential threats to species in their habitats and can be used to prioritize stressors, which is necessary to achieve effective management in amphibian conservation. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  16. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. 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. PMID:24832668

  18. 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.

  19. Risk assessment considerations for plant protection products and terrestrial life-stages of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weltje, Lennart; Ufer, Andreas; Hamer, Mick; Sowig, Peter; Demmig, Sandra; Dechet, Friedrich

    2018-04-28

    Some amphibians occur in agricultural landscapes during certain periods of their life cycle and consequently might be exposed to plant protection products (PPPs). While the sensitivity of aquatic life-stages is considered to be covered by the standard assessment for aquatic organisms (especially fish), the situation is less clear for terrestrial amphibian life-stages. In this paper, considerations are presented on how a risk assessment for PPPs and terrestrial life-stages of amphibians could be conducted. It discusses available information concerning the toxicity of PPPs to terrestrial amphibians, and their potential exposure to PPPs in consideration of aspects of amphibian biology. The emphasis is on avoiding additional vertebrate testing as much as possible by using exposure-driven approaches and by making use of existing vertebrate toxicity data, where appropriate. Options for toxicity testing and risk assessment are presented in a flowchart as a tiered approach, progressing from a non-testing approach, to simple worst-case laboratory testing, to extended laboratory testing, to semi-field enclosure tests and ultimately to full-scale field testing and monitoring. Suggestions are made for triggers to progress to higher tiers. Also, mitigation options to reduce the potential for exposure of terrestrial life-stages of amphibians to PPPs, if a risk were identified, are discussed. Finally, remaining uncertainties and research needs are considered by proposing a way forward (road map) for generating additional information to inform terrestrial amphibian risk assessment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Emerging Pathogens Initiative (EPI)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Emerging Pathogens Initiative (EPI) database contains emerging pathogens information from the local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). The EPI software...

  2. Dynamics of radionuclide accumulation at amphibians and reptiles in the Poles'e state radioecological reserve

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Novitskij, R.V.

    1998-01-01

    It was studied the peculiarity of the radionuclide intake to organism of amphibians and reptiles in the Poles'e radioecological reserve in 1997. The radioactive contamination level of investigated area was from 15 to 40 Ci/km 2 . It was measured 38 samples (26 for amphibians and 12 for reptiles) from points with background gamma-irradiation from 35 to 800 micro R/h. For the last eleven years of investigation it was revealed the total tendency to reduction of level of gamma-radioactive accumulation in 18,8-42,6 times for amphibians and in 2,8-52,5 times for reptiles

  3. Amphibians and Reptiles of the state of Nuevo Le?n, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.; Cruz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a check list of the herpetofauna of Nuevo Le?n. We documented 132 species (23 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 30 families (11 amphibians, 19 reptiles) and 73 genera (17 amphibians, 56 reptiles). Only two species are endemic to Nuevo Le?n. Nuevo Le?n contains a relatively high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus . Overlap in the herpetofauna of Nuevo Le?n and states it borders is fairly extensive. Of 130 native species, 102 are considered species of Least C...

  4. Quaternary climate changes explain diversity among reptiles and amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    It is widely believed that contemporary climate determines large-scale patterns of species richness. An alternative view proposes that species richness reflects biotic responses to historic climate changes. These competing "contemporary climate" vs "historic climate" hypotheses have been vigorously...... debated without reaching consensus. Here, we test the proposition that European species richness of reptiles and amphibians is driven by climate changes in the Quaternary. We find that climate stability between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the present day is a better predictor of species richness...... than contemporary climate; and that the 0°C isotherm of the LGM delimits the distributions of narrow-ranging species, whereas the current 0°C isotherm limits the distributions of wide-ranging species. Our analyses contradict previous studies of large-scale species richness patterns and support the view...

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of two stressors on amphibian larval development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Karolina; Scott, David E; Tsyusko, Olga; Coughlin, Daniel P; Hinton, Thomas G

    2012-05-01

    In parallel with a renewed interest in nuclear power and its possible environmental impacts, a new environmental radiation protection system calls for environmental indicators of radiological stress. However, because environmental stressors seldom occur alone, this study investigated the combined effects of an ecological stressor (larval density) and an anthropogenic stressor (ionizing radiation) on amphibians. Scaphiopus holbrookii tadpoles reared at different larval densities were exposed to four low irradiation dose rates (0.13, 2.4, 21, and 222 mGy d(-1)) from (137)Cs during the sensitive period prior to and throughout metamorphosis. Body size at metamorphosis and development rate served as fitness correlates related to population dynamics. Results showed that increased larval density decreased body size but did not affect development rate. Low dose rate radiation had no impact on either endpoint. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Phylogenetic signals in the climatic niches of the world's amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2010-01-01

    The question of whether closely related species share similar ecological requirements has attracted increasing attention, because of its importance for understanding global diversity gradients and the impacts of climate change on species distributions. In fact, the assumption that related species...... in the realised climatic niches is explained on higher taxonomic levels, and whether the climatic niches of species within a given taxonomic group are more similar than between taxonomic groups. We found evidence for phylogenetic signals in realised climatic niches although the strength of the signal varied among...... amphibian orders and across biogeographical regions. To our knowledge, this is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis of the phylogenetic signal in species climatic niches for an entire clade across the world. Even though our results do not provide a strong test of the niche conservatism...

  8. Reptiles and Amphibians as Potential Reservoir Hosts of Chikungunya Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Hartwig, Airn E; Bowen, Richard A

    2018-03-01

    Chikungunya virus is an emerging arbovirus of significant human-health concern. Little is known about its sylvatic cycle, including whether ectothermic vertebrates are permissive to infection. In this study, individuals from ten species of reptiles and amphibians were inoculated with chikungunya virus and samples of blood were tested to characterize viremia and seroconversion. Viremia was not detected in cane toads, house geckos, or American alligators, but most of the green iguanas, red-eared sliders, ball and Burmese pythons, leopard frogs, Texas toads, and garter snakes developed viremia. Peak virus titers in serum of up to 4.5, 4.7, and 5.1 log 10 plaque-forming units per milliliter were observed for garter snakes, ball pythons, and Texas toads, respectively. These results add to those of other studies that have suggested a possible role for ectothermic vertebrates in the ecology of arbovirus maintenance and transmission in nature.

  9. Exotic Amphibians in the Pet Shops of Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping-Chun Lucy Hou

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Pet trade is an important mechanism for introducing alien species. We surveyed a total of 434 pet shops in major cities of Taiwan and found 49 species of alien amphibians belonging to 14 families and 31 genera. Two of the alien species, Rana catesbeiana and Kaloula pulchra, have established in the fields and the other three, Bufo marinus, Xenopus laevis, and Dendrobates auratus, have invasion records in other countries. There were 16 CITES Appendix II species. The most frequently displayed species were the horned frogs, eratophrys spp. And the most abundant species was the American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana. We urge the authority of Taiwan establishing regulations on pet trade and enforcing the wildlife conservation law to reduce the risks of alien species invasions.

  10. Arginine Vasotocin, the Social Neuropeptide of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Wilczynski

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Arginine vasotocin (AVT is the non-mammalian homolog of arginine vasopressin (AVP and, like vasopressin, serves as an important modulator of social behavior in addition to its peripheral functions related to osmoregulation, reproductive physiology, and stress hormone release. In amphibians and reptiles, the neuroanatomical organization of brain AVT cells and fibers broadly resembles that seen in mammals and other taxa. Both parvocellular and magnocellular AVT-containing neurons are present in multiple populations located mainly in the basal forebrain from the accumbens–amygdala area to the preoptic area and hypothalamus, from which originate widespread fiber connections spanning the brain with a particularly heavy innervation of areas associated with social behavior and decision-making. As for mammalian AVP, AVT is present in greater amounts in males in many brain areas, and its presence varies seasonally, with hormonal state, and in males with differing social status. AVT’s social influence is also conserved across herpetological taxa, with significant effects on social signaling and aggression, and, based on the very small number of studies investigating more complex social behaviors in amphibians and reptiles, AVT may also modulate parental care and social bonding when it is present in these vertebrates. Within this conserved pattern, however, both AVT anatomy and social behavior effects vary significantly across species. Accounting for this diversity represents a challenge to understanding the mechanisms by which AVT exerts its behavioral effects, as well are a potential tool for discerning the structure-function relationships underlying AVT’s many effects on behavior.

  11. Arginine Vasotocin, the Social Neuropeptide of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilczynski, Walter; Quispe, Maricel; Muñoz, Matías I.; Penna, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Arginine vasotocin (AVT) is the non-mammalian homolog of arginine vasopressin (AVP) and, like vasopressin, serves as an important modulator of social behavior in addition to its peripheral functions related to osmoregulation, reproductive physiology, and stress hormone release. In amphibians and reptiles, the neuroanatomical organization of brain AVT cells and fibers broadly resembles that seen in mammals and other taxa. Both parvocellular and magnocellular AVT-containing neurons are present in multiple populations located mainly in the basal forebrain from the accumbens–amygdala area to the preoptic area and hypothalamus, from which originate widespread fiber connections spanning the brain with a particularly heavy innervation of areas associated with social behavior and decision-making. As for mammalian AVP, AVT is present in greater amounts in males in many brain areas, and its presence varies seasonally, with hormonal state, and in males with differing social status. AVT’s social influence is also conserved across herpetological taxa, with significant effects on social signaling and aggression, and, based on the very small number of studies investigating more complex social behaviors in amphibians and reptiles, AVT may also modulate parental care and social bonding when it is present in these vertebrates. Within this conserved pattern, however, both AVT anatomy and social behavior effects vary significantly across species. Accounting for this diversity represents a challenge to understanding the mechanisms by which AVT exerts its behavioral effects, as well are a potential tool for discerning the structure-function relationships underlying AVT’s many effects on behavior. PMID:28824546

  12. 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. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Level of Synanthropy of the Amphibians and Reptiles from the City Of Plovdiv (Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivelin A. Mollov

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The current study determines the level of synanthropy of the amphibians and reptiles in the city of Plovdiv, based on Nuorteva’s Index of synanthropy, with slight modification, proposed here for the first time.

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R; Woolrich-Piña, Guillermo A; Cruz, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: 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 amphibians and reptiles in Central California. Vector polygons in this data set represent sea turtle...

  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. [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.

  20. Future of keeping pet reptiles and amphibians: animal welfare and public health perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warwick, C; Jessop, M; Arena, P; Pliny, A; Nicholas, E; Lambiris, A

    2017-10-28

    In a review summary on page 450, Pasmans and others discuss the future of keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets. Here, Clifford Warwick and others discuss the animal welfare and public health implications of exotic pet business. British Veterinary Association.

  1. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.; Woolrich-Piña, Guillermo A.; Cruz, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:28435388

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Egea-Serrano, A.; Oliva-Paterna, F. J.; Torralva, M.

    2006-01-01

    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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-07-01

    Total Organic Carbon USACHPPM United States Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine USEPA United States EPA Environmental...DoD partners Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic Division (NAVFAC LANT), U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine ...14a. Comparative Toxicology and Risk Assessment of Amphibians. In: Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles. D.W. Sparling, G. Linder, and C.A

  10. Physical habitat and its alteration: A common ground for exposure of amphibians to environmental stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Christine A.; Cunnington, David C.; Fellers, Gary M.; Gibbs, James P.; Pauli, Bruce D.; Rothermel, Betsie B.; Linder, Greg L.; Krest, Sherry K.; Sparling, Donald W.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians as a class of vertebrates have persisted for hundreds of millions of years (Stebbins and Cohen 1995), but they are currently threatened by a variety of stressors, many resulting from human-related alterations of the environment. Most species of amphibians live closely associated with moist environments throughout their life and have evolved specialized adaptations that conserve water and reduce desiccation (Stebbins and Cohen 1995; Henry 2000; Chapter 2A). Amphibians are ectotherms, so their body temperatures fluctuate with the local environment. Latitude, elevation, and habitat affect environmental temperature and have a strong influence on amphibian distributions. Despite these physiological and habitat constraints, the 4750 species of amphibians in the world today have exploited a wide variety of habitats that range from dry deserts to tropical rain forests and from sea level to elevations above 4000 m (McDairmid and Mitchell 2000).The direct loss of suitable habitat has had a profound effect on amphibian populations (Johnson 1992), as it has on nearly all species of wildlife. In the U.S., 53% of wetlands have been lost to human development in the last 200 years (Dahl 1990). Similar loss of wetlands has occurred throughout much of the world, especially in developing countries (Miller 1993). In many regions, deforestation has reduced or eliminated suitable terrestrial habitats, and this may prove to be the largest global threat to amphibian populations (Johnson 1992). Eight thousand years ago, forests covered approximately 40% of the world’s land (6 billion hectares), but by 1997, the world’s forests had been reduced to 3.5 billion hectares, a 42% loss worldwide (CIDA 2001). The effect of habitat loss is generally both obvious and predictable; with increasing restriction of suitable habitat, amphibian populations will probably not survive. The anthropogenic effects on the quality of the habitat that remains are often less obvious.

  11. [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.

  12. Geomorphology Drives Amphibian Beta Diversity in Atlantic Forest Lowlands of Southeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Luiz, Amom Mendes; Le?o-Pires, Thiago Augusto; Sawaya, Ricardo J.

    2016-01-01

    Beta diversity patterns are the outcome of multiple processes operating at different scales. Amphibian assemblages seem to be affected by contemporary climate and dispersal-based processes. However, historical processes involved in present patterns of beta diversity remain poorly understood. We assess and disentangle geomorphological, climatic and spatial drivers of amphibian beta diversity in coastal lowlands of the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that geomorph...

  13. Can we enhance amphibians? habitat restoration in the post-mining areas?

    OpenAIRE

    Klimaszewski, Krzysztof; Pacholik, Ewa; Snopek, Adam

    2015-01-01

    The study was aimed to evaluate the selected improvements of nature restoration in a depleted gravel pit. The study site consisted of four water reservoirs of different shapes and sizes, flooded after the gravel extraction ended. Ecological succession monitoring, conducted by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences students associated in the Student Scientific Association of Animal Sciences Faculty since the completion of mining, have focused on amphibians. A twofold approach upheld amphibian ...

  14. 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.

  15. Impact of forestry practices at a landscape scale on the dynamics of amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Elizabeth B; Patrick, David A; Gibbs, James P

    2015-12-01

    Forest loss is a primary cause of worldwide amphibian decline. Timber harvesting in the United States has caused dramatic changes in quality and extent of forest ecosystems, and intensive forest management still occurs. Although numerous studies have documented substantial reductions in amphibian densities related to timber harvest, subsequent extinctions are rare. To better understand the population dynamics that have allowed so many amphibian species to persist in the face of widespread forest disturbance, we developed spatially explicit metapopulation models for four forest-dependent amphibian species (Lithobates sylvaticus, Ambystoma opacum, A. talpoideum, and A. maculatum) that incorporated demographic and habitat selection data derived from experiments conducted as part of the Land Use Effects on Amphibian Populations Project (LEAP). We projected local and landscape-scale population persistence under 108 different forestry practice scenarios, varying treatment (partial cut, clear-cut with coarse woody debris [CWD] removed, and clearcut with CWD retained), cut patch size (1, 10, or 50 ha), total area cut (10, 20, or 30%), and initial amphibian population size (5, 50, or 500 adult females per local breeding population). Under these scenarios, landscape-scale extinction was highly unlikely, occurring in forestry practices.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abeje Kassie Teme

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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. A Novel Amphibian Tier 2 Testing Protocol: A 30-Week Exposure of Xenopus Tropicalis to the Antiandrogen Flutamide

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Knechtges, Paul L; Sprando, Robert L; Porter, Karen L; Brennan, Linda M; Miller, Mark F; Kumsher, David M; Dennis, William E; Brown, Charles C; Clegg Paul L. Knechtges. Robert L. Sprando. Karen L. Potter., Eric D

    2007-01-01

    ...) using validated test systems. Subsequently, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee recommended the development of a standardized amphibian assay for tier 2 testing of EDCs...

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Molecular evidence for the early history of living amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, A E; Hedges, S B

    1998-06-01

    The evolutionary relationships of the three orders of living amphibians (lissamphibians) has been difficult to resolve, partly because of their specialized morphologies. Traditionally, frogs and salamanders are considered to be closest relatives, and all three orders are thought to have arisen in the Paleozoic (>250 myr). Here, we present evidence from the DNA sequences of four mitochondrial genes (2.7 kilobases) that challenges the conventional hypothesis and supports a salamander-caecilian relationship. This, in light of the fossil record and distribution of the families, suggests a more recent (Mesozoic) origin for salamanders and caecilians directly linked to the initial breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea. We propose that this single geologic event isolated salamanders and archaeobatrachian frogs on the northern continents (Laurasia) and the caecilians and neobatrachian frogs on the southern continents (Gondwana). Among the neobatrachian frog families, molecular evidence supports a South American clade and an African clade, inferred here to be the result of mid-Cretaceous vicariance. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  5. Motor impairment and neuronal damage following hypothermia in tropical amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daló, Nelson L; Bracho, Gustavo A; Piña-Crespo, Juan C

    2007-02-01

    Although the induction of mild to moderate cerebral hypothermia in mammals can have neuroprotective activity, some deleterious effects have been described when inducing deep hypothermia during cooling of the brain. In the spinal cord, rapid deep cooling can induce seizure activity accompanied by release of the excitatory neurotransmitters, glutamate and aspartate. We used cold-sensitive tropical amphibians as a model to determine (a) the critical temperature inside the central nervous system necessary to induce seizures during rapid cooling; (b) the survival rate during slow deep cooling of the whole animal; and (c) whether deep cooling can cause neuronal cell damage. Seizures induced by deep rapid (or=30 min) deep cooling of the whole animal (12 h at 2-3 degrees C), around 70% of animals died. Spinal reflexes were enhanced when temperatures within the spinal cord reached between 9.0 degrees C and 11.6 degrees C. A fivefold increase in blood glucose level was observed during slow deep cooling. Recovery after slow deep cooling was accompanied by motor impairment and the main histological findings were condensation of the cytoplasm and nuclear pyknosis. Severe neuronal cell damage was characterized by swelling, vacuolated cytoplasm with distended neuronal bodies. These results indicate that deep cooling can easily induce neuronal cell damage in the central nervous system of cold-sensitive animals. They also warn us to the potential sequels associated with the use of deep brain cooling as a neuroprotective strategy.

  6. Role of cholinergic receptors in melanophore responses of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, A S; Peter, J; Ali, S A

    1995-01-01

    Responses of isolated skin melanophores of Rana tigerina and Bufo melanostictus to cholinergic drugs were studied using the Mean Melanophore Size Index assay to explore the nature and role of cellular receptors in melanophore regulation activity. Acetylcholine (Ach) in a concentration of 10(-7) to 6.4 x 10(-6) g/ml caused dispersion of the skin melanophores of R. tigerina and B. melanostictus. These effects were blocked by both atropine and hyoscine in a concentration of 8 x 10(-6) g/ml each. Eserine augmented the melanophore dispersal effects of Ach. This potentiation of the dispersal effect of Ach by eserine was also antagonised by hyoscine. Carbachol another specific cholinergic agonist significantly caused dispersion of the melanophores of both the amphibian species. The effects were also blocked by atropine and hyoscine. These data indicate that cholinergic receptors of muscarinic type are present on the melanophores of R. tigerina and B. melanostictus which mediate dispersion of integumental melanophores leading to darkening of the skin.

  7. Global Patterns of Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered Amphibians and Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Kamran; Armour-Marshall, Katrina; Baillie, Jonathan E. M.; Isaac, Nick J. B.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23691071

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Three retroviral sequences in amphibians are distinct from those in mammals and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tristem, M; Herniou, E; Summers, K; Cook, J

    1996-07-01

    We isolated and characterized three endogenous retroviral fragments from the dart-poison frog Dendrobates ventrimaculatus. These are the first retroviral sequences to be identified in amphibians, and consequently retroviruses have now been found in each of the five major vertebrate classes. Comparison of the amphibian retroviral fragments, termed DevI, DevII, and DevIII, with mammalian and avian isolates revealed significant differences between their nucleotide sequences. This suggested that they were only distantly related to the seven currently recognized retroviral genera. Additional analysis by phylogeny reconstruction showed that the amphibian retroviral fragments were approximately equally related to the Moloney leukemia-related viruses, the spumaviruses, and walleye dermal sarcoma virus. Hybridization experiments revealed that viruses closely related to DevI, DevII, and DevIII do not appear to be widespread in other vertebrates and that DevI, DevII, and DevIII are all present at high copy numbers within their amphibian hosts, typically at over 250 copies per genome. The viruses described here, along with two others which have recently been found in a fish and a reptile, indicate that there may be some major differences in the retroviruses harbored by different vertebrate classes. This suggests that further characterization of retroviruses of fish, reptiles, and amphibians will help in understanding the evolution of the whole retroviral family and may well lead to the discovery of retroviruses with novel biological properties.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather R. Cunningham

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Contradicting habitat type-extinction risk relationships between living and fossil amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietje, Melanie; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2017-05-01

    Trait analysis has become a crucial tool for assessing the extinction risk of species. While some extinction risk-trait relationships have been often identical between different living taxa, a temporal comparison of fossil taxa with related current taxa was rarely considered. However, we argue that it is important to know if extinction risk-trait relations are constant or changing over time. Herein we investigated the influence of habitat type on the persistence length of amphibian species. Living amphibians are regarded as the most threatened group of terrestrial vertebrates and thus of high interest to conservationists. Species from different habitat types show differences in extinction risk, i.e. species depending on flowing waters being more threatened than those breeding in stagnant sites. After assessing the quality of the available amphibian fossil data, we show that today's habitat type-extinction risk relationship is reversed compared to fossil amphibians, former taxa persisting longer when living in rivers and streams, thus suggesting a change of effect direction of this trait. Neither differences between amphibian orders nor environmentally caused preservation effects could explain this pattern. We argue this change to be most likely a result of anthropogenic influence, which turned a once favourable strategy into a disadvantage.

  15. Contradicting habitat type-extinction risk relationships between living and fossil amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietje, Melanie; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2017-05-01

    Trait analysis has become a crucial tool for assessing the extinction risk of species. While some extinction risk-trait relationships have been often identical between different living taxa, a temporal comparison of fossil taxa with related current taxa was rarely considered. However, we argue that it is important to know if extinction risk-trait relations are constant or changing over time. Herein we investigated the influence of habitat type on the persistence length of amphibian species. Living amphibians are regarded as the most threatened group of terrestrial vertebrates and thus of high interest to conservationists. Species from different habitat types show differences in extinction risk, i.e. species depending on flowing waters being more threatened than those breeding in stagnant sites. After assessing the quality of the available amphibian fossil data, we show that today's habitat type-extinction risk relationship is reversed compared to fossil amphibians, former taxa persisting longer when living in rivers and streams, thus suggesting a change of effect direction of this trait. Neither differences between amphibian orders nor environmentally caused preservation effects could explain this pattern. We argue this change to be most likely a result of anthropogenic influence, which turned a once favourable strategy into a disadvantage.

  16. Contradicting habitat type-extinction risk relationships between living and fossil amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2017-01-01

    Trait analysis has become a crucial tool for assessing the extinction risk of species. While some extinction risk-trait relationships have been often identical between different living taxa, a temporal comparison of fossil taxa with related current taxa was rarely considered. However, we argue that it is important to know if extinction risk-trait relations are constant or changing over time. Herein we investigated the influence of habitat type on the persistence length of amphibian species. Living amphibians are regarded as the most threatened group of terrestrial vertebrates and thus of high interest to conservationists. Species from different habitat types show differences in extinction risk, i.e. species depending on flowing waters being more threatened than those breeding in stagnant sites. After assessing the quality of the available amphibian fossil data, we show that today's habitat type-extinction risk relationship is reversed compared to fossil amphibians, former taxa persisting longer when living in rivers and streams, thus suggesting a change of effect direction of this trait. Neither differences between amphibian orders nor environmentally caused preservation effects could explain this pattern. We argue this change to be most likely a result of anthropogenic influence, which turned a once favourable strategy into a disadvantage. PMID:28573010

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas M. Doherty-Bone

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Simulated developmental and reproductive impacts on amphibian populations and implications for assessing long-term effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awkerman, Jill A; Raimondo, Sandy

    2018-03-01

    Fish endpoints measured in early life stage toxicity tests are often used as representative of larval amphibian sensitivity in Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). This application potentially overlooks the impact of developmental delays on amphibian metamorphosis, and thereby reduced survival, in amphibian populations constrained by habitat availability. Likewise, the effects of reduced productivity or altered sexual development as a result of chemical exposure are not presented in terms of lower population fecundity in these surrogate tests. Translating endpoints measured in toxicity tests to those that are more representative of amphibian ecology and population dynamics provides a means of identifying how developmental effects result in long-term impacts. Here we compare effects of developmental delay on metamorphosis success in six anuran species and simulate population-level impacts of subsequent reductions in larval survival as well as potential reductions in fecundity as a result of developmental impacts. We use deterministic matrix models to compare realistic combinations of amphibian demographic rates and relative impacts of reduced growth on larval survival and subsequently on population growth. Developmental delays are less detrimental in species with longer and less synchronous larval periods. All six species were most sensitive to changes in first-year survival, and damping ratios were generally a good indicator of resilience to perturbations in both larval survival and fecundity. Further identification of species and population-level vulnerabilities can improve the evaluation of sublethal effects in relevant context for ERA. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Ontogenetic Development of Vestibulo-Ocular Reflexes in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branoner, Francisco; Chagnaud, Boris P; Straka, Hans

    2016-01-01

    Vestibulo-ocular reflexes (VOR) ensure gaze stability during locomotion and passively induced head/body movements. In precocial vertebrates such as amphibians, vestibular reflexes are required very early at the onset of locomotor activity. While the formation of inner ears and the assembly of sensory-motor pathways is largely completed soon after hatching, angular and translational/tilt VOR display differential functional onsets and mature with different time courses. Otolith-derived eye movements appear immediately after hatching, whereas the appearance and progressive amelioration of semicircular canal-evoked eye movements is delayed and dependent on the acquisition of sufficiently large semicircular canal diameters. Moreover, semicircular canal functionality is also required to tune the initially omnidirectional otolith-derived VOR. The tuning is due to a reinforcement of those vestibulo-ocular connections that are co-activated by semicircular canal and otolith inputs during natural head/body motion. This suggests that molecular mechanisms initially guide the basic ontogenetic wiring, whereas semicircular canal-dependent activity is required to establish the spatio-temporal specificity of the reflex. While a robust VOR is activated during passive head/body movements, locomotor efference copies provide the major source for compensatory eye movements during tail- and limb-based swimming of larval and adult frogs. The integration of active/passive motion-related signals for gaze stabilization occurs in central vestibular neurons that are arranged as segmentally iterated functional groups along rhombomere 1-8. However, at variance with the topographic maps of most other sensory systems, the sensory-motor transformation of motion-related signals occurs in segmentally specific neuronal groups defined by the extraocular motor output targets.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Amphibian and reptile response to prescribed burning and thinning in pine-hardwood forests: pre-treatment results

    Science.gov (United States)

    William B. Sutton; Yong Wang; Callie J. Schweitzer

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of pretreatment data is essential to determine long-term effects of forest management on amphibians and reptiles. We present pre-treatment amphibian and reptile capture data from April 2005 to May 2006 for a long-term study on herpetofaunal response to prescribed burning and tree thinning in the William B. Bankhead National Forest, AL, United States....

  4. High amphibian diversity related to unexpected environmental values in a biogeographic transitional area in north-western Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Serrano, J.M.; Berlanga-Robles, C.A.; Ruiz-Luna, A.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibian diversity and distribution patterns in Sinaloa state (north-western Mexico) were assessed from the Global Amphibian Assessment database (GAA-2010). A geographic information system (GIS) was used to evaluate diversity based on distribution maps of 41 species, associated with environmental

  5. Saprolegniaceae identified on amphibian eggs throughout the Pacific Northwest, USA, by internal transcribed spacer sequences and phylogenetic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jill E. Petrisko; Christopher A. Pearl; David S. Pilliod; Peter P. Sheridan; Charles F. Williams; Charles R. Peterson; R. Bruce Bury

    2008-01-01

    We assessed the diversity and phylogeny of Saprolegniaceae on amphibian eggs from the Pacific Northwest, with particular focus on Saprolegnia ferax, a species implicated in high egg mortality. We identified isolates from eggs of six amphibians with the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and 5.8S gene regions and BLAST of the GenBank database. We...

  6. [Amphibians in Spanish popular medicine and the pharmacopoeia of Pliny and Dioscorides].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallejo, José Ramón; González, José Antonio

    2015-12-01

    This article presents a list of medical remedies based on the use of amphibians in Spanish popular medicine and in the classical world. It provides an overview of bibliography relative to folklore studies, ethnographic work and research on social or medical anthropology. It documents a total of 113 remedies and the use of nine species of amphibians, two from the family of caudates (urodeles) and seven anurans. Most of these remedies are based on the popular "preconception" about the influence of amphibians and healing by transmitting an illness to a living creature. The traditional use of certain threatened species is emphasized, an issue to bear in mind in decision-making in the field of conservation biology and environmental education.

  7. Long-term observation of amphibian populations inhabiting urban and forested areas in Yekaterinburg, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vershinin, Vladimir L.; Vershinina, Svetlana D.; Berzin, Dmitry L.; Zmeeva, Darya V.; Kinev, Alexander V.

    2015-05-01

    This article presents data derived from a 36 year-long uninterrupted observational study of amphibian populations living in the city and vicinity of Yekaterinburg, Russia. This area is inhabited by six amphibian species. Based on a degree of anthropogenic transformation, the urban territory is divided into five highly mosaic zones characterized by vegetation, temperature, and a distinctive water pollution profile. Population data is presented year-by-year for the number of animals, sex ratio, and species-specific fecundity including the number and quality of spawns for the following amphibian species: Salamandrella keyserligii, Rana arvalis, R. temporaria, Lissotriton vulgaris, and Pelophylax ridibundus. These data provide an excellent opportunity to assess an urban environment from an animal population-wide perspective, as well as revealing the forces driving animal adaptation to the anthropogenic transformation of habitats.

  8. Amphibians and Reptiles from Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco, province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurencio, D.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available A survey of the amphibians and reptiles of Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco (RNACB, Puntarenas, Costa Ricawas conducted from May to August 2003. Thirteen amphibian and 19 reptile species were found within the RNACBboundaries. Twenty-two of these species were not previously recorded from the lower Nicoya Peninsula and for seven,this locality represents the southernmost extension of their range. One additional amphibian and three reptile species areknown from the area based on literature review and examination of museum collections. However, interviews withlocals indicate that up to nine other reptile species could be present in the reserve. I observed all but one amphibianspecies at Laguna Balsitas and at least eight species utilize the lagoon for reproduction. The lagoon is also notable forits population of Kinosternon scorpioides. This study will provide a baseline for further research in the reserve.

  9. 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...

  10. Effects of chlorothalonil on development and growth of amphibian embryos and larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    Chlorothalonil is a broad spectrum fungicide widely used in agricultural and urban environments, yet little is known regarding its effects on amphibians. We examined effects of chlorothalonil on growth, malformations, and mortality in embryos and larvae of Xenopus laevis and Spea multiplicata, and assessed variation in sensitivity among aquatic organisms using a species sensitivity distribution (SSD). Chlorothalonil induced gut malformations in X. laevis embryos and inhibited growth. Tail degeneration was observed in larvae of both species and reduced tail length to total length ratios occurred at environmentally relevant concentrations (5.9 and 11.0 μg/L). The mechanism of tail degeneration is unclear, but alteration in the expression of genes involved in tail resorption is a hypothesized mechanism. Larval amphibians were more sensitive than invertebrates and fish. Based on our results and the range of reported environmental concentrations, chlorothalonil may pose a risk to larval amphibians in certain habitats and scenarios. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Amphibians in the Environmental Park Chico Mendes, Rio Branco – Acre, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathocley Mendes Venâncio

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2016v29n1p85 Acre’s amphibian fauna, although poorly known, is regarded as one of the most diversified. This study aimed to inventory the amphibian fauna in the Environmental Park Chico Mendes, a 57 ha forest fragment, located 7 km far from downtown Rio Branco. The study was conducted between August 2008 and July 2010, by using a visual and auditory search methodology. All tracks and temporary forest pools in the park were inventoried, where the individuals visualized or those using vocalization were registered. A total of 51 taxa were found, distributed into the orders: Anura, with 50 species, and Caudata, with 1 species. Amphibians in the park showed seasonality in reproduction, where the rainiest months were those with the highest number of species in reproductive activity.

  12. Land use explains the distribution of threatened New World amphibians better than climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brum, Fernanda Thiesen; Gonçalves, Larissa Oliveira; Cappelatti, Laura; Carlucci, Marcos Bergmann; Debastiani, Vanderlei Júlio; Salengue, Elisa Viana; dos Santos Seger, Guilherme Dubal; Both, Camila; Bernardo-Silva, Jorge Sebastião; Loyola, Rafael Dias; da Silva Duarte, Leandro

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated the direct and indirect influence of climate, land use, phylogenetic structure, species richness and endemism on the distribution of New World threatened amphibians. We used the WWF's New World ecoregions, the WWFs amphibian distributional data and the IUCN Red List Categories to obtain the number of threatened species per ecoregion. We analyzed three different scenarios urgent, moderate, and the most inclusive scenario. Using path analysis we evaluated the direct and indirect effects of climate, type of land use, phylogenetic structure, richness and endemism on the number of threatened amphibians in New World ecoregions. In all scenarios we found strong support for direct influences of endemism, the cover of villages and species richness on the number of threatened species in each ecoregion. The proportion of wild area had indirect effects in the moderate and the most inclusive scenario. Phylogenetic composition was important in determining the species richness and endemism in each ecoregion. Climate variables had complex and indirect effects on the number of threatened species. Land use has a more direct influence than climate in determining the distribution of New World threatened amphibians. Independently of the scenario analyzed, the main variables influencing the distribution of threatened amphibians were consistent, with endemism having the largest magnitude path coefficient. The importance of phylogenetic composition could indicate that some clades may be more threatened than others, and their presence increases the number of threatened species. Our results highlight the importance of man-made land transformation, which is a local variable, as a critical factor underlying the distribution of threatened amphibians at a biogeographic scale.

  13. 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.

  14. Phylogenetic analysis of algal symbionts associated with four North American amphibian egg masses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eunsoo; Lin, Yuan; Kerney, Ryan; Blumenberg, Lili; Bishop, Cory

    2014-01-01

    Egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum form an association with the green alga "Oophila amblystomatis" (Lambert ex Wille), which, in addition to growing within individual egg capsules, has recently been reported to invade embryonic tissues and cells. The binomial O. amblystomatis refers to the algae that occur in A. maculatum egg capsules, but it is unknown whether this population of symbionts constitutes one or several different algal taxa. Moreover, it is unknown whether egg masses across the geographic range of A. maculatum, or other amphibians, associate with one or multiple algal taxa. To address these questions, we conducted a phylogeographic study of algae sampled from egg capsules of A. maculatum, its allopatric congener A. gracile, and two frogs: Lithobates sylvatica and L. aurora. All of these North American amphibians form associations with algae in their egg capsules. We sampled algae from egg capsules of these four amphibians from localities across North America, established representative algal cultures, and amplified and sequenced a region of 18S rDNA for phylogenetic analysis. Our combined analysis shows that symbiotic algae found in egg masses of four North American amphibians are closely related to each other, and form a well-supported clade that also contains three strains of free-living chlamydomonads. We designate this group as the 'Oophila' clade, within which the symbiotic algae are further divided into four distinct subclades. Phylogenies of the host amphibians and their algal symbionts are only partially congruent, suggesting that host-switching and co-speciation both play roles in their associations. We also established conditions for isolating and rearing algal symbionts from amphibian egg capsules, which should facilitate further study of these egg mass specialist algae.

  15. 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.; Vrendenburg, Vance T.; 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.

  16. Phylogenetic analysis of algal symbionts associated with four North American amphibian egg masses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunsoo Kim

    Full Text Available Egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum form an association with the green alga "Oophila amblystomatis" (Lambert ex Wille, which, in addition to growing within individual egg capsules, has recently been reported to invade embryonic tissues and cells. The binomial O. amblystomatis refers to the algae that occur in A. maculatum egg capsules, but it is unknown whether this population of symbionts constitutes one or several different algal taxa. Moreover, it is unknown whether egg masses across the geographic range of A. maculatum, or other amphibians, associate with one or multiple algal taxa. To address these questions, we conducted a phylogeographic study of algae sampled from egg capsules of A. maculatum, its allopatric congener A. gracile, and two frogs: Lithobates sylvatica and L. aurora. All of these North American amphibians form associations with algae in their egg capsules. We sampled algae from egg capsules of these four amphibians from localities across North America, established representative algal cultures, and amplified and sequenced a region of 18S rDNA for phylogenetic analysis. Our combined analysis shows that symbiotic algae found in egg masses of four North American amphibians are closely related to each other, and form a well-supported clade that also contains three strains of free-living chlamydomonads. We designate this group as the 'Oophila' clade, within which the symbiotic algae are further divided into four distinct subclades. Phylogenies of the host amphibians and their algal symbionts are only partially congruent, suggesting that host-switching and co-speciation both play roles in their associations. We also established conditions for isolating and rearing algal symbionts from amphibian egg capsules, which should facilitate further study of these egg mass specialist algae.

  17. 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. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Meter, Robin J; Glinski, Donna A; Henderson, W Matthew; Garrison, A Wayne; Cyterski, Mike; Purucker, S Thomas

    2015-11-01

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation of pesticides through dermal contact is a primary route of exposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributing to widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticide transfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted label application rates, our study was designed to measure pesticide body burdens after two simulated exposure scenarios. We compared direct exposures, where amphibians were present when spraying occurred, to indirect exposures, where amphibians were exposed to soils after pesticide application. During summer 2012, we reared barking (Hyla gratiosa) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) through 60-90 days post-metamorphosis at a United States Environmental Protection Agency research laboratory. We tested exposure for 8 h to five pesticide active ingredients (imidacloprid, atrazine, triadimefon, fipronil, or pendimethalin) in glass aquaria lined with soil in the laboratory. We quantified total pesticide body burden and soil concentrations using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. All individuals in both treatments had measurable body burdens at the end of the study. A randomized block design analysis of variance (n = 18) showed that body burdens (p = 0.03) and bioconcentration factors (BCFs) (p = 0.01) were significantly greater in the direct overspray treatment relative to the indirect soil spray treatment for both species and tested pesticides. BCFs ranged from 0.1 to 1.16 and from 0.013 to 0.78 in the direct and indirect treatments, respectively. Our study shows dermal uptake for multiple pesticides from both direct spray and indirect soil exposures and provides empirical support for the degree to which terrestrial phase amphibians have higher body burdens after overspray pesticide exposure.

  19. Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI): A successful start to a national program in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin; Jung, Robin E.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Adams, Michael J.; Corn, P. Stephen; Dodd, C. Kenneth; Fellers, Gary M.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.; Walls, Susan C.; Fisher, Robert N.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Battaglin, William A.; Green, D. Earl

    2005-01-01

    Most research to assess amphibian declines has focused on local-scale projects on one or a few species. The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is a national program in the United States mandated by congressional directive and implemented by the U.S. Department of the Interior (specifically the U.S. Geological Survey, USGS). Program goals are to monitor changes in populations of amphibians across U.S. Department of the Interior lands and to address research questions related to amphibian declines using a hierarchical framework of base-, mid- and apex-level monitoring sites. ARMI is currently monitoring 83 amphibian species (29% of species in the U.S.) at mid- and apex-level areas. We chart the progress of this 5-year-old program and provide an example of mid-level monitoring from 1 of the 7 ARMI regions.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Preliminary data concerning the distribution of amphibian fauna in Suceava county (Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru STRUGARIU

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available The present study focused upon an area in which the herpetofauna had previously been very poorly studied and aimed to identify the species of amphibians from the research area and to establish distribution areas. In the 54 investigated localities 16 species of amphibians (Salamandra salamandra, Triturus vulgaris, Triturus cristatus, Triturus alpestris, Triturus montandoni, Pelobates fuscus, Bombina bombina, Bombina variegata, Hyla arborea, Bufo bufo, Bufo viridis, Rana dalmatina, Rana temporaria, Rana arvalis, Rana ridibunda & Rana lessonae and 2 hybrids (Bombina bombina X Bombina variegata & Rana kl. esculanta have been identified. Of these, the Bombina hybrids have been identified for the first time in the studied region.

  3. Death in the clouds: ranavirus associated mortality in assemblage of cloud forest amphibians in Nicaragua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tariq Stark

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian diseases are acknowledged as significant contributors to the decline and extinction of amphibian species. The main culprits currently considered are chytridiomycosis and Ranavirus. In Central America, highly endemic and geographical restricted terrestrial species may be at risk from these diseases. We collected 49 Agalychnis callidryas larvae, one Lithobates forrei and five unidentified larvae on the Nicaraguan Island Ometepe, all deceased, and skin samples were taken. The presence of Ranavirus was determined using PCR. Ranavirus was found involved in 41 of 55 tadpoles. Forty-one Agalychnis callidryas, one Lithobates forrei and another five unidentified anuran tadpoles.

  4. Can we enhance amphibians' habitat restoration in the post-mining areas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimaszewski, Krzysztof; Pacholik, Ewa; Snopek, Adam

    2016-09-01

    The study was aimed to evaluate the selected improvements of nature restoration in a depleted gravel pit. The study site consisted of four water reservoirs of different shapes and sizes, flooded after the gravel extraction ended. Ecological succession monitoring, conducted by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences students associated in the Student Scientific Association of Animal Sciences Faculty since the completion of mining, have focused on amphibians. A twofold approach upheld amphibian species population dynamics, as well as selected habitat elements. The restoration practices dedicated to habitat conditions enhancing have been proved to be definitely effective and useful for similar sites.

  5. Sequestered Alkaloid Defenses in the Dendrobatid Poison Frog Oophaga pumilio Provide Variable Protection from Microbial Pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovey, Kyle J; Seiter, Emily M; Johnson, Erin E; Saporito, Ralph A

    2018-02-10

    Most amphibians produce their own defensive chemicals; however, poison frogs sequester their alkaloid-based defenses from dietary arthropods. Alkaloids function as a defense against predators, and certain types appear to inhibit microbial growth. Alkaloid defenses vary considerably among populations of poison frogs, reflecting geographic differences in availability of dietary arthropods. Consequently, environmentally driven differences in frog defenses may have significant implications regarding their protection against pathogens. While natural alkaloid mixtures in dendrobatid poison frogs have recently been shown to inhibit growth of non-pathogenic microbes, no studies have examined the effectiveness of alkaloids against microbes that infect these frogs. Herein, we examined how alkaloid defenses in the dendrobatid poison frog, Oophaga pumilio, affect growth of the known anuran pathogens Aeromonas hydrophila and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Frogs were collected from five locations throughout Costa Rica that are known to vary in their alkaloid profiles. Alkaloids were isolated from individual skins, and extracts were assayed against both pathogens. Microbe subcultures were inoculated with extracted alkaloids to create dose-response curves. Subsequent spectrophotometry and cell counting assays were used to assess growth inhibition. GC-MS was used to characterize and quantify alkaloids in frog extracts, and our results suggest that variation in alkaloid defenses lead to differences in inhibition of these pathogens. The present study provides the first evidence that alkaloid variation in a dendrobatid poison frog is associated with differences in inhibition of anuran pathogens, and offers further support that alkaloid defenses in poison frogs confer protection against both pathogens and predators.

  6. Food-borne pathogens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niemand, J.G.

    1985-01-01

    The Salmonella scare reinforced the importance of never taking chances when it comes to controlling pathogens. The issue has been resolved by radurisation. The article deals with the various pathogens that can effect food and argues the case for radurisation in dealing with them. It also looks at some of the other food products that can be treated using this process

  7. Plant pathogen resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Jean T; Jung, Ho Won; Tschaplinski, Timothy

    2012-11-27

    Azelaic acid or its derivatives or analogs induce a robust and a speedier defense response against pathogens in plants. Azelaic acid treatment alone does not induce many of the known defense-related genes but activates a plant's defense signaling upon pathogen exposure.

  8. Potatoes, pathogens and pests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lazebnik, Jenny

    2017-01-01

    Currently, fungicides are necessary to protect potato crops against late blight, Phytophthora infestans, one of the world’s most damaging crop pathogens. The introgression of plant resistance genes from wild potato species targeted specifically to the late blight pathogen into

  9. Stream amphibians as metrics of ecosystem stress: a case study from California’s redwoods revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.; Adam K. Cummings; Garth R. Hodgson

    2017-01-01

    Highway construction of the Redwood National Park bypass resulted in a storm-driven accidental infusion of exposed sediments into pristine streams in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California in October 1989. We evaluated impacts of this ecosystem stress on three amphibians, larval tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei), coastal giant salamanders (

  10. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. 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...

  12. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. A preliminary assessment of the amphibians of the Fouta Djallon, Guinea, West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hillers, A.; Loua, N.-S.; Rödel, M.-O.

    2008-01-01

    We report on the amphibians of three sites in the Fouta Djallon highlands in central-northern Guinea. During our survey we recorded at least 25 frog species, including two first country records (Kassina fusca and Leptopelis bufonides) and one species new to science (Conraua sp.). Most of the

  16. The development of the action potential mechanism of amphibian neurons isolated in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzer, N C; Lamborghini, J E

    1976-05-01

    Nerve and muscle cells differentiated morphologically, in cultures of dissociated cells prepared from amphibian neural plate and underlying mesoderm (Xenopus laevis, Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 15). Cultures were grown in a defined medium containing sterile Steinberg's salt solution and 0.1% bovine serum albumin, and maintained for periods up to 5 days.

  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. 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.

  19. Biogeographical patterns derived from remote sensing variables: the amphibians and reptiles of the Iberian Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sillero, N.; Brito, J.C.; Skidmore, A.K.; Toxopeus, A.G.

    2009-01-01

    The biogeographic patterns in species density of herptiles were analysed in the Iberian Peninsula. Geoclimatic regions were identified using a PCA. Individual habitat suitability (HS) models for 23 amphibians and 35 reptiles at 10 x 10 km scale were calculated with ENFA, using 12 environmental

  20. 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...