WorldWideScience

Sample records for terrestrial amphibian life

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.; Gary M. Fellers; Amy J. Lind

    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...

  5. Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: an underestimated cause of global decline?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühl, Carsten A; Schmidt, Thomas; Pieper, Silvia; Alscher, Annika

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of animals in global decline, are present in agricultural landscapes characterized by agrochemical inputs. Effects of pesticides on terrestrial life stages of amphibians such as juvenile and adult frogs, toads and newts are little understood and a specific risk assessment for pesticide exposure, mandatory for other vertebrate groups, is currently not conducted. We studied the effects of seven pesticide products on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in an agricultural overspray scenario. Mortality ranged from 100% after one hour to 40% after seven days at the recommended label rate of currently registered products. The demonstrated toxicity is alarming and a large-scale negative effect of terrestrial pesticide exposure on amphibian populations seems likely. Terrestrial pesticide exposure might be underestimated as a driver of their decline calling for more attention in conservation efforts and the risk assessment procedures in place do not protect this vanishing animal group.

  6. Sampling methods for terrestrial amphibians and reptiles.

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    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...

  7. 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

  8. Advective and diffusive dermal processes for estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Historically, evaluation of pesticide risk to both amphibians and reptiles has been achieved by comparing ingestion and inhalat...

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Evaluation of an acute oral gavage method for assessment of pesticide toxicity in terrestrial amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Douglas J; Mathis, Michael B; Kee, Faith; Whatling, Paul; Clerkin, David; Staveley, Jane; Habig, Clifford

    2018-02-01

    Development of an acute oral toxicity test with a terrestrial-phase amphibian was considered necessary to remove the uncertainty within the field of agrochemical risk assessments. The bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) was selected for use as it is a representative of the family Ranidae and historically this species has been used as an amphibian test model species. Prior to definitive study, oral gavage methods were developed with fenthion and tetraethyl pyrophosphate. Dimethoate and malathion were subsequently tested with both male and female juvenile bullfrogs in comprehensive acute oral median lethal dose (LD50) studies. Juvenile bullfrogs were administered a single dose of the test article via oral gavage of a single gelatin capsule of dimethoate technical (dimethoate) or neat liquid Fyfanon ® Technical (synonym malathion), returned to their respective aquaria, and monitored for survival for 14 d. The primary endpoint was mortality, whereas behavioral responses, food consumption, body weight, and snout-vent length (SVL) were used to evaluate indications of sublethal toxicity (secondary endpoints). Acute oral LD50 values (95% fiducial interval) for dimethoate were 1459 (1176-1810, males) and 1528 (1275-1831, females), and for malathion they were 1829 (1480-2259, males) and 1672 (1280-2183, females) mg active substance/kg body weight, respectively. Based on the results of these studies, the methodology for the acute oral gavage administration of test items to terrestrial-phase amphibians was demonstrated as being a practical method of providing data for risk assessments. Environ Toxicol Chem 2018;37:436-450. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  12. Terrestrial Zone Exoplanets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Brenda

    2018-01-01

    One of the most exciting results from ALMA has been the detection of significant substructure within protoplanetary disks that can be linked to planet formation processes. For the first time, we are able to observe the process of assembly of material into larger bodies within such disks. It is not possible, however, for ALMA to probe the growth of planets in protoplanetary disks at small radii, i.e., in the terrestrial zone, where we expect rocky terrestrial planets to form. In this regime, the optical depths prohibit observation at the high frequencies observed by ALMA. To probe the effects of planet building processes and detect telltale gaps and signatures of planetary mass bodies at such small separations from the parent star, we require a facility of superior resolution and sensitivity at lower frequencies. The ngVLA is just such a facility. We will present the fundamental science that will be enabled by the ngVLA in protoplanetary disk structure and the formation of planets. In addition, we will discuss the potential for an ngVLA facility to detect the molecules that are the building blocks of life, reaching limits well beyond those reachable with the current generation of telescopes, and also to determine whether such planets will be habitable based on studies of the impact of stars on their nearest planetary neighbours.

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

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

    2014-04-01

    We analyze mitochondrial genomes to reconstruct a robust phylogenetic framework for caecilian amphibians and use this to investigate life-history evolution within the group. Our study comprises 45 caecilian mitochondrial genomes (19 of them newly reported), representing all families and 27 of 32 currently recognized genera, including some for which molecular data had never been reported. Support for all relationships in the inferred phylogenetic tree is high to maximal, and topology tests reject all investigated alternatives, indicating an exceptionally robust molecular phylogenetic framework of caecilian evolution consistent with current morphology-based supraspecific classification. We used the mitogenomic phylogenetic framework to infer ancestral character states and to assess correlation among three life-history traits (free-living larvae, viviparity, specialized pre-adult or vernal teeth), each of which occurs only in some caecilian species. Our results provide evidence that an ancestor of the Seychelles caecilians abandoned direct development and re-evolved a free-living larval stage. This study yields insights into the concurrent evolution of direct development and of vernal teeth in an ancestor of Teresomata that likely gave rise to skin-feeding (maternal dermatophagy) behavior and subsequently enabled evolution of viviparity, with skin feeding possibly a homologous precursor of oviduct feeding in viviparous caecilians. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. High efficiency, long life terrestrial solar panel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, T.; Khemthong, S.; Ling, R.; Olah, S.

    1977-01-01

    The design of a high efficiency, long life terrestrial module was completed. It utilized 256 rectangular, high efficiency solar cells to achieve high packing density and electrical output. Tooling for the fabrication of solar cells was in house and evaluation of the cell performance was begun. Based on the power output analysis, the goal of a 13% efficiency module was achievable.

  15. Bryophyte in the Beginning of Terrestrial Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Özcan ŞİMŞEK

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The beginning of life has been wondered by human beings since ancient ages. The widely accepted opinion is that life began in water and after that landed. In this process, the landing of plants and adapting to terrestrial life of plants are important stages. The last 20 years it’s been done many researches to find out the relationship of bryophytes and tracheophytes. The results of these researches revealed that in evolutionary development process bryophytes and tracheophytes are sister groups. Thesis about earliest land plants are bryophytes is widely accepted recent years. To understand evolutionary process and plants of today’s better, researches about bryophytes must increase.

  16. Terrestrial exposure and effects of Headline AMP(®) Fungicide on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusaac, J Patrick W; Mimbs, William H; Belden, Jason B; Smith, Loren M; McMurry, Scott T

    2015-08-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that a pyraclostrobin-containing fungicide (Headline(®) Fungicide--Headline(®) Fungicide and Headline AMP(®) Fungicide are registered trademarks of BASF) is toxic to amphibians at environmentally relevant concentrations. However, these studies were performed in a laboratory setting of a worst-case direct exposure in clean media. Interception of spray by the crop canopy and ground cover used by animals for security cover will influence exposure. Thus, risk to amphibians is unclear in an environmentally realistic field environment. We tested exposure and toxicity of Headline AMP(®) Fungicide to amphibians in multiple agricultural habitat scenarios (e.g., within treated crop vs. grassy areas adjacent to crop) and at two rates during routine aerial application. Specifically, we placed Woodhouse's toads (Bufo woodhousii) and Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) in enclosures located within treated and untreated corn (VT stage, approximate height = 3 m), and in the potential drift area (adjacent to treated corn) during aerial application of Headline AMP Fungicide at either 731 or 1052 ml/ha (70 and 100 % the maximum application rate in corn, respectively). Mean concentrations of pyraclostrobin measured at ground level were ≤19 % of nominal application rate in all areas. Overall, mean mortality of recovered individuals of both species was ≤15 %, and mortality within Headline AMP Fungicide-treated corn (where risk was anticipated to be highest) was <10 %. It is important to understand that application timing, interception by the crop canopy (which varies both within and between crop systems), and timing of amphibian presence in the crop field influences risk of exposure and effects; however, our results demonstrate that amphibians inhabiting VT stage corn during routine aerial application of Headline AMP Fungicide are at low risk for acute mortality, matching existing laboratory results from acute toxicity studies of

  17. Intermittent Astrophysical Radiation Sources and Terrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melott, Adrian

    2013-04-01

    Terrestrial life is exposed to a variety of radiation sources. Astrophysical observations suggest that strong excursions in cosmic ray flux and spectral hardness are expected. Gamma-ray bursts and supernovae are expected to irradiate the atmosphere with keV to GeV photons at irregular intervals. Supernovae will produce large cosmic ray excursions, with time development varying with distance from the event. Large fluxes of keV to MeV protons from the Sun pose a strong threat to electromagnetic technology. The terrestrial record shows cosmogenic isotope excursions which are consistent with major solar proton events, and there are observations of G-stars suggesting that the rate of such events may be much higher than previously assumed. In addition there are unknown and unexplained astronomical transients which may indicate new classes of events. The Sun, supernovae, and gamma-ray bursts are all capable of producing lethal fluences, and some are expected on intervals of 10^8 years or so. The history of life on Earth is filled with mass extinctions at a variety of levels of intensity. Most are not understood. Astrophysical radiation may play a role, particularly from large increases in muon irradiation on the ground, and changes in atmospheric chemistry which deplete ozone, admitting increased solar UVB. UVB is strongly absorbed by DNA and proteins, and breaks the chemical bonds---it is a known carcinogen. High muon fluxes will also be damaging to such molecules, but experiments are needed to pin down the rate. Solar proton events which are not directly dangerous for the biota may nevertheless pose a major threat to modern electromagnetic technology through direct impact on satellites and magnetic induction of large currents in power grids, disabling transformers. We will look at the kind of events that are expected on timescales from human to geological, and their likely consequences.

  18. Adaptive responses to salinity stress across multiple life stages in anuran amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albecker, Molly A; McCoy, Michael W

    2017-01-01

    In many regions, freshwater wetlands are increasing in salinity at rates exceeding historic levels. Some freshwater organisms, like amphibians, may be able to adapt and persist in salt-contaminated wetlands by developing salt tolerance. Yet adaptive responses may be more challenging for organisms with complex life histories, because the same environmental stressor can require responses across different ontogenetic stages. Here we investigated responses to salinity in anuran amphibians: a common, freshwater taxon with a complex life cycle. We conducted a meta-analysis to define how the lethality of saltwater exposure changes across multiple life stages, surveyed wetlands in a coastal region experiencing progressive salinization for the presence of anurans, and used common garden experiments to investigate whether chronic salt exposure alters responses in three sequential life stages (reproductive, egg, and tadpole life stages) in Hyla cinerea , a species repeatedly observed in saline wetlands. Meta-analysis revealed differential vulnerability to salt stress across life stages with the egg stage as the most salt-sensitive. Field surveys revealed that 25% of the species known to occur in the focal region were detected in salt-intruded habitats. Remarkably, Hyla cinerea was found in large abundances in multiple wetlands with salinity concentrations 450% higher than the tadpole-stage LC 50 . Common garden experiments showed that coastal (chronically salt exposed) populations of H. cinerea lay more eggs, have higher hatching success, and greater tadpole survival in higher salinities compared to inland (salt naïve) populations. Collectively, our data suggest that some species of anuran amphibians have divergent and adaptive responses to salt exposure across populations and across different life stages. We propose that anuran amphibians may be a novel and amenable natural model system for empirical explorations of adaptive responses to environmental change.

  19. 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.

  20. Carotenoids and amphibians: effects on life history and susceptibility to the infectious pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cothran, Rickey D; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Murray, Cindy; French, Beverly J; Bradley, Paul W; Urbina, Jenny; Blaustein, Andrew R; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-01-01

    Carotenoids are considered beneficial nutrients because they provide increased immune capacity. Although carotenoid research has been conducted in many vertebrates, little research has been done in amphibians, a group that is experiencing global population declines from numerous causes, including disease. We raised two amphibian species through metamorphosis on three carotenoid diets to quantify the effects on life-history traits and post-metamorphic susceptibility to a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Bd). Increased carotenoids had no effect on survival to metamorphosis in gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor) but caused lower survival to metamorphosis in wood frogs [Lithobates sylvaticus (Rana sylvatica)]. Increased carotenoids caused both species to experience slower development and growth. When exposed to Bd after metamorphosis, wood frogs experienced high mortality, and the carotenoid diets had no mitigating effects. Gray treefrogs were less susceptible to Bd, which prevented an assessment of whether carotenoids could mitigate the effects of Bd. Moreover, carotenoids had no effect on pathogen load. As one of only a few studies examining the effects of carotenoids on amphibians and the first to examine potential interactions with Bd, our results suggest that carotenoids do not always serve amphibians in the many positive ways that have become the paradigm in other vertebrates.

  1. Buffer-Mediated Effects of Clearcutting on In-Pool Amphibian Productivity: Can Aquatic Processes Compensate for Terrestrial Habitat Disturbance?

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    Jessica S. Veysey Powell

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural resource extraction and wildlife conservation are often perceived as incompatible. For wetland-dependent amphibians, forested buffers may mitigate timber-harvest impacts, but little empirical research has focused on buffers around lentic habitats. We conducted a landscape experiment to examine how spotted salamander and wood frog reproductive output (i.e., eggmass and metamorph production respond to clearcutting mediated by buffers of different widths (i.e., uncut, 30 m buffer, 100 m buffer at ephemeral pools in an industrial forest. We found complex interactions between buffer treatment and reproductive output, which were strongly mediated by hydroperiod. Overall, reproductive output was most sensitive at 30 m-buffer pools and for salamanders, but responses diverged across productivity metrics even within these categories. Notably, for both cut treatments over time, while salamander eggmass abundance decreased, metamorph productivity (i.e., snout-vent length [SVL] and abundance tended to increase. For example, average metamorph SVLs were predicted to lengthen between 0.2 and 0.4 mm per year post-cut. Additionally, typical relationships between reproductive output and hydroperiod (as indicated by the reference treatment were disrupted for both species in both cut treatments. For example, long-hydroperiod pools produced more salamander metamorphs than short-hydroperiod pools in both the reference and 30 m-buffer treatments, but the rate of increase was lower in the 30 m-buffer treatment such that a long-hydroperiod pool in the reference treatment was predicted to produce, on average, 24 more metamorphs than a similar pool in the 30 m-buffer treatment. From a conservation perspective, our results highlight the importance of evaluating both terrestrial and aquatic responses to terrestrial habitat disturbance, since responses may be reinforcing (i.e., exert similarly positive or negative effects, with the potential for amplification in the

  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. Modeling habitat split: landscape and life history traits determine amphibian extinction thresholds.

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    Carlos Roberto Fonseca

    Full Text Available Habitat split is a major force behind the worldwide decline of amphibian populations, causing community change in richness and species composition. In fragmented landscapes, natural remnants, the terrestrial habitat of the adults, are frequently separated from streams, the aquatic habitat of the larvae. An important question is how this landscape configuration affects population levels and if it can drive species to extinction locally. Here, we put forward the first theoretical model on habitat split which is particularly concerned on how split distance - the distance between the two required habitats - affects population size and persistence in isolated fragments. Our diffusive model shows that habitat split alone is able to generate extinction thresholds. Fragments occurring between the aquatic habitat and a given critical split distance are expected to hold viable populations, while fragments located farther away are expected to be unoccupied. Species with higher reproductive success and higher diffusion rate of post-metamorphic youngs are expected to have farther critical split distances. Furthermore, the model indicates that negative effects of habitat split are poorly compensated by positive effects of fragment size. The habitat split model improves our understanding about spatially structured populations and has relevant implications for landscape design for conservation. It puts on a firm theoretical basis the relation between habitat split and the decline of amphibian populations.

  4. Modeling habitat split: landscape and life history traits determine amphibian extinction thresholds.

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    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Coutinho, Renato M; Azevedo, Franciane; Berbert, Juliana M; Corso, Gilberto; Kraenkel, Roberto A

    2013-01-01

    Habitat split is a major force behind the worldwide decline of amphibian populations, causing community change in richness and species composition. In fragmented landscapes, natural remnants, the terrestrial habitat of the adults, are frequently separated from streams, the aquatic habitat of the larvae. An important question is how this landscape configuration affects population levels and if it can drive species to extinction locally. Here, we put forward the first theoretical model on habitat split which is particularly concerned on how split distance - the distance between the two required habitats - affects population size and persistence in isolated fragments. Our diffusive model shows that habitat split alone is able to generate extinction thresholds. Fragments occurring between the aquatic habitat and a given critical split distance are expected to hold viable populations, while fragments located farther away are expected to be unoccupied. Species with higher reproductive success and higher diffusion rate of post-metamorphic youngs are expected to have farther critical split distances. Furthermore, the model indicates that negative effects of habitat split are poorly compensated by positive effects of fragment size. The habitat split model improves our understanding about spatially structured populations and has relevant implications for landscape design for conservation. It puts on a firm theoretical basis the relation between habitat split and the decline of amphibian populations.

  5. Origin and evolution of life on terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, A; Horneck, G; Cockell, C S; Bérces, A; Belisheva, N K; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Liseau, Réne; Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The ultimate goal of terrestrial planet-finding missions is not only to discover terrestrial exoplanets inside the habitable zone (HZ) of their host stars but also to address the major question as to whether life may have evolved on a habitable Earth-like exoplanet outside our Solar System. We note that the chemical evolution that finally led to the origin of life on Earth must be studied if we hope to understand the principles of how life might evolve on other terrestrial planets in the Universe. This is not just an anthropocentric point of view: the basic ingredients of terrestrial life, that is, reduced carbon-based molecules and liquid H(2)O, have very specific properties. We discuss the origin of life from the chemical evolution of its precursors to the earliest life-forms and the biological implications of the stellar radiation and energetic particle environments. Likewise, the study of the biological evolution that has generated the various life-forms on Earth provides clues toward the understanding of the interconnectedness of life with its environment.

  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. Life history tactics shape amphibians' demographic responses to the North Atlantic Oscillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayuela, Hugo; Joly, Pierre; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Pichenot, Julian; Bonnaire, Eric; Priol, Pauline; Peyronel, Olivier; Laville, Mathias; Besnard, Aurélien

    2017-11-01

    Over the last three decades, climate abnormalities have been reported to be involved in biodiversity decline by affecting population dynamics. A growing number of studies have shown that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) influences the demographic parameters of a wide range of plant and animal taxa in different ways. Life history theory could help to understand these different demographic responses to the NAO. Indeed, theory states that the impact of weather variation on a species' demographic traits should depend on its position along the fast-slow continuum. In particular, it is expected that NAO would have a higher impact on recruitment than on adult survival in slow species, while the opposite pattern is expected occur in fast species. To test these predictions, we used long-term capture-recapture datasets (more than 15,000 individuals marked from 1965 to 2015) on different surveyed populations of three amphibian species in Western Europe: Triturus cristatus, Bombina variegata, and Salamandra salamandra. Despite substantial intraspecific variation, our study revealed that these three species differ in their position on a slow-fast gradient of pace of life. Our results also suggest that the differences in life history tactics influence amphibian responses to NAO fluctuations: Adult survival was most affected by the NAO in the species with the fastest pace of life (T. cristatus), whereas recruitment was most impacted in species with a slower pace of life (B. variegata and S. salamandra). In the context of climate change, our findings suggest that the capacity of organisms to deal with future changes in NAO values could be closely linked to their position on the fast-slow continuum. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. [Extrasolar terrestrial planets and possibility of extraterrestrial life].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ida, Shigeru

    2003-12-01

    Recent development of research on extrasolar planets are reviewed. About 120 extrasolar Jupiter-mass planets have been discovered through the observation of Doppler shift in the light of their host stars that is caused by acceleration due to planet orbital motions. Although the extrasolar planets so far observed may be limited to gas giant planets and their orbits differ from those of giant planets in our Solar system (Jupiter and Saturn), the theoretically predicted probability of existence of extrasolar terrestrial planets that can have liquid water ocean on their surface is comparable to that of detectable gas giant planets. Based on the number of extrasolar gas giants detected so far, about 100 life-sustainable planets may exist within a range of 200 light years. Indirect observation of extrasolar terrestrial planets would be done with space telescopes within several years and direct one may be done within 20 years. The latter can detect biomarkers on these planets as well.

  11. Early-life disruption of amphibian microbiota decreases later-life resistance to parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutie, Sarah A; Wilkinson, Christina L; Kohl, Kevin D; Rohr, Jason R

    2017-07-20

    Changes in the early-life microbiota of hosts might affect infectious disease risk throughout life, if such disruptions during formative times alter immune system development. Here, we test whether an early-life disruption of host-associated microbiota affects later-life resistance to infections by manipulating the microbiota of tadpoles and challenging them with parasitic gut worms as adults. We find that tadpole bacterial diversity is negatively correlated with parasite establishment in adult frogs: adult frogs that had reduced bacterial diversity as tadpoles have three times more worms than adults without their microbiota manipulated as tadpoles. In contrast, adult bacterial diversity during parasite exposure is not correlated with parasite establishment in adult frogs. Thus, in this experimental setup, an early-life disruption of the microbiota has lasting reductions on host resistance to infections, which is possibly mediated by its effects on immune system development. Our results support the idea that preventing early-life disruption of host-associated microbiota might confer protection against diseases later in life.Early-life microbiota alterations can affect infection susceptibility later in life, in animal models. Here, Knutie et al. show that manipulating the microbiota of tadpoles leads to increased susceptibility to parasitic infection in adult frogs, in the absence of substantial changes in the adults' microbiota.

  12. Biogeochemical signals from deep microbial life in terrestrial crust.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yohey Suzuki

    Full Text Available In contrast to the deep subseafloor biosphere, a volumetrically vast and stable habitat for microbial life in the terrestrial crust remains poorly explored. For the long-term sustainability of a crustal biome, high-energy fluxes derived from hydrothermal circulation and water radiolysis in uranium-enriched rocks are seemingly essential. However, the crustal habitability depending on a low supply of energy is unknown. We present multi-isotopic evidence of microbially mediated sulfate reduction in a granitic aquifer, a representative of the terrestrial crust habitat. Deep meteoric groundwater was collected from underground boreholes drilled into Cretaceous Toki granite (central Japan. A large sulfur isotopic fractionation of 20-60‰ diagnostic to microbial sulfate reduction is associated with the investigated groundwater containing sulfate below 0.2 mM. In contrast, a small carbon isotopic fractionation (<30‰ is not indicative of methanogenesis. Except for 2011, the concentrations of H2 ranged mostly from 1 to 5 nM, which is also consistent with an aquifer where a terminal electron accepting process is dominantly controlled by ongoing sulfate reduction. High isotopic ratios of mantle-derived 3He relative to radiogenic 4He in groundwater and the flux of H2 along adjacent faults suggest that, in addition to low concentrations of organic matter (<70 µM, H2 from deeper sources might partly fuel metabolic activities. Our results demonstrate that the deep biosphere in the terrestrial crust is metabolically active and playing a crucial role in the formation of reducing groundwater even under low-energy fluxes.

  13. Cosmic rays and terrestrial life: A brief review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atri, Dimitra; Melott, Adrian L.

    2014-01-01

    “The investigation into the possible effects of cosmic rays on living organisms will also offer great interest.” - Victor F. Hess, Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1936 High-energy radiation bursts are commonplace in our Universe. From nearby solar flares to distant gamma ray bursts, a variety of physical processes accelerate charged particles to a wide range of energies, which subsequently reach the Earth. Such particles contribute to a number of physical processes occurring in the Earth system. A large fraction of the energy of charged particles gets deposited in the atmosphere, ionizing it, causing changes in its chemistry and affecting the global electric circuit. Remaining secondary particles contribute to the background dose of cosmic rays on the surface and parts of the subsurface region. Life has evolved over the past ∼3 billion years in presence of this background radiation, which itself has varied considerably during the period [1-3]. As demonstrated by the Miller-Urey experiment, lightning plays a very important role in the formation of complex organic molecules, which are the building blocks of more complex structures forming life. There is growing evidence of increase in the lightning rate with increasing flux of charged particles. Is there a connection between enhanced rate of cosmic rays and the origin of life? Cosmic ray secondaries are also known to damage DNA and cause mutations, leading to cancer and other diseases. It is now possible to compute radiation doses from secondary particles, in particular muons and neutrons. Have the variations in cosmic ray flux affected the evolution of life on earth? We describe the mechanisms of cosmic rays affecting terrestrial life and review the potential implications of the variation of high-energy astrophysical radiation on the history of life on earth.

  14. Amphibian Metamorphosis: A Sensitive Life Stage to Chemical and Non-chemical Stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibian metamorphosis is a dynamic period of post-embryonic development which transforms the larval anuran into the juvenile. The body structure is remodeled through a variety of processes which may be perturbed by exposure to chemicals as well as other environmental stressors....

  15. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Fast life history traits promote invasion success in amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, William L; Street, Sally E; Capellini, Isabella

    2017-02-01

    Competing theoretical models make different predictions on which life history strategies facilitate growth of small populations. While 'fast' strategies allow for rapid increase in population size and limit vulnerability to stochastic events, 'slow' strategies and bet-hedging may reduce variance in vital rates in response to stochasticity. We test these predictions using biological invasions since founder alien populations start small, compiling the largest dataset yet of global herpetological introductions and life history traits. Using state-of-the-art phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that successful invaders have fast traits, such as large and frequent clutches, at both establishment and spread stages. These results, together with recent findings in mammals and plants, support 'fast advantage' models and the importance of high potential population growth rate. Conversely, successful alien birds are bet-hedgers. We propose that transient population dynamics and differences in longevity and behavioural flexibility can help reconcile apparently contrasting results across terrestrial vertebrate classes. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Carlos Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Haddad, Célio Fernando Baptista; Batista, Rômulo Fernandes; Prado, Paulo Inácio

    2007-12-14

    The worldwide decline in amphibians has been attributed to several causes, especially habitat loss and disease. We identified a further factor, namely "habitat split"-defined as human-induced disconnection between habitats used by different life history stages of a species-which forces forest-associated amphibians with aquatic larvae to make risky breeding migrations between suitable aquatic and terrestrial habitats. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, we found that habitat split negatively affects the richness of species with aquatic larvae but not the richness of species with terrestrial development (the latter can complete their life cycle inside forest remnants). This mechanism helps to explain why species with aquatic larvae have the highest incidence of population decline. These findings reinforce the need for the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation.

  18. Climate change and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species

  19. Climate change and amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Dry creek long-term watershed study: buffer zone performance as viable amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke L. Talley; Thomas L. Crisman

    2006-01-01

    As bioindicators, amphibians typically require both terrestrial and aquatic habitats to complete their life cycles. Pre- timber-harvest monitoring (December 2002 through September 2003) of salamander and frog (Hylidae) populations was conducted in four watersheds of Decatur County, GA. Post- timber-harvest monitoring (December 2003 through September...

  1. 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.

  2. Combined exposure to ambient UVB radiation and nitrite negatively affects survival of amphibian early life stages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macias, Guadalupe; Marco, Adolfo; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2007-01-01

    Many aquatic species are sensitive to ambient levels of ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) and chemical fertilizers. However, recent studies indicate that the interaction among multiple stressors acting simultaneously could be contributing to the population declines of some animal species. Therefore, we tested the potential synergistic effects between ambient levels of UVB and a contaminant, sodium nitrite in the larvae of two amphibian species, the common European toad Bufo bufo and the Iberian green frog Rana perezi. We studied R. perezi from both mountain and coastal populations to examine if populations of the same species varied in their response to stressors in different habitats. Both species were sensitive to the two stressors acting alone, but the interaction between the two stressors caused a multiplicative impact on tadpole survival. For B. bufo, the combination of UVB and nitrite was up to seven times more lethal than mortality for each stressor alone. In a coastal wetland, the combination of UVB and nitrite was four times more toxic for R. perezi than the sum of the effect on mortality for each stressor alone. One mg/L of nitrite killed half the population of R. perezi at Gredos Mountains at day 10 in the absence of UVB. In the presence of UVB, 50% of the tadpoles from the same experiment died at day 7. Similar toxic response were found for R. perezi in two highly contrasted environments suggesting this synergistic interaction can be a widespread phenomenon. The interaction of excess chemical fertilizers and manure with ambient UVB radiation could be contributing to the global decline of some amphibian species. We suggest that potential exposure to UVB radiation be accounted for when assessing water quality criteria regarding nitrite pollution

  3. Combined exposure to ambient UVB radiation and nitrite negatively affects survival of amphibian early life stages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macias, Guadalupe [Donana Biological Station, CSIC, Spanish Council for Scientific Research. P.O. Box 1056, Sevilla 41013 (Spain); Marco, Adolfo [Donana Biological Station, CSIC, Spanish Council for Scientific Research. P.O. Box 1056, Sevilla 41013 (Spain)], E-mail: amarco@ebd.csic.es; Blaustein, Andrew R. [Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331 (United States)

    2007-10-15

    Many aquatic species are sensitive to ambient levels of ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) and chemical fertilizers. However, recent studies indicate that the interaction among multiple stressors acting simultaneously could be contributing to the population declines of some animal species. Therefore, we tested the potential synergistic effects between ambient levels of UVB and a contaminant, sodium nitrite in the larvae of two amphibian species, the common European toad Bufo bufo and the Iberian green frog Rana perezi. We studied R. perezi from both mountain and coastal populations to examine if populations of the same species varied in their response to stressors in different habitats. Both species were sensitive to the two stressors acting alone, but the interaction between the two stressors caused a multiplicative impact on tadpole survival. For B. bufo, the combination of UVB and nitrite was up to seven times more lethal than mortality for each stressor alone. In a coastal wetland, the combination of UVB and nitrite was four times more toxic for R. perezi than the sum of the effect on mortality for each stressor alone. One mg/L of nitrite killed half the population of R. perezi at Gredos Mountains at day 10 in the absence of UVB. In the presence of UVB, 50% of the tadpoles from the same experiment died at day 7. Similar toxic response were found for R. perezi in two highly contrasted environments suggesting this synergistic interaction can be a widespread phenomenon. The interaction of excess chemical fertilizers and manure with ambient UVB radiation could be contributing to the global decline of some amphibian species. We suggest that potential exposure to UVB radiation be accounted for when assessing water quality criteria regarding nitrite pollution.

  4. 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.

  5. Hypoxia tolerance in reptiles, amphibians, and fishes: life with variable oxygen availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickler, Philip E; Buck, Leslie T

    2007-01-01

    The ability of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles to survive extremes of oxygen availability derives from a core triad of adaptations: profound metabolic suppression, tolerance of ionic and pH disturbances, and mechanisms for avoiding free-radical injury during reoxygenation. For long-term anoxic survival, enhanced storage of glycogen in critical tissues is also necessary. The diversity of body morphologies and habitats and the utilization of dormancy have resulted in a broad array of adaptations to hypoxia in lower vertebrates. For example, the most anoxia-tolerant vertebrates, painted turtles and crucian carp, meet the challenge of variable oxygen in fundamentally different ways: Turtles undergo near-suspended animation, whereas carp remain active and responsive in the absence of oxygen. Although the mechanisms of survival in both of these cases include large stores of glycogen and drastically decreased metabolism, other mechanisms, such as regulation of ion channels in excitable membranes, are apparently divergent. Common themes in the regulatory adjustments to hypoxia involve control of metabolism and ion channel conductance by protein phosphorylation. Tolerance of decreased energy charge and accumulating anaerobic end products as well as enhanced antioxidant defenses and regenerative capacities are also key to hypoxia survival in lower vertebrates.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stark, T.; Laurijssens, C.; Weterings, M.J.A.; Spitzen-van der Sluis, A.; Martel, A.; Pasmans, F.

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. The terrestrial evolution of metabolism and life - by the numbers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Kelly, Gregory C

    2009-08-27

    Allometric scaling relating body mass to metabolic rate by an exponent of the former (Kleiber's Law), commonly known as quarter-power scaling (QPS), is controversial for claims made on its behalf, especially that of its universality for all life. As originally formulated, Kleiber was based upon the study of heat; metabolic rate is quantified in watts (or calories per unit time). Techniques and technology for metabolic energy measurement have been refined but the math has not. QPS is susceptible to increasing deviations from theoretical predictions to data, suggesting that there is no single, universal exponent relevant to all of life. QPS's major proponents continue to fail to make good on hints of the power of the equation for understanding aging. ESSENTIALIST-DEDUCTIVIST VIEW: If the equation includes a term for efficiency in the exponent, thereby ruling out thermogenesis as part of metabolism, its heuristic power is greatly amplified, and testable deductive inferences are generated. If metabolic rate is measured in watts and metabolic efficiency is a redox-coupling ratio, then the equation is essentially about the energy storage capacity of organic molecules. The equation is entirely about the essentials of all life: water, salt, organic molecules, and energy. The water and salt provide an electrochemical salt bridge for the transmission of energy into and through the organic components. The equation, when graphed, treats the organic structure as battery-like, and relates its recharge rate and electrical properties to its longevity. The equation models the longevity-extending effects of caloric restriction, and shows where those effects wane. It models the immortality of some types of cells, and supports the argument for the origin of life being at submarine volcanic vents and black smokers. It clarifies how early life had to change to survive drifting to the surface, and what drove mutations in its ascent. It does not deal with cause and effect; it deals with

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Filling the BINs of life: Report of an amphibian and reptile survey of the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, with DNA barcode data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel G; Lee, Justin L; Miller, Aryeh H; Chand, Mia; Thura, Myint Kyaw; Zug, George R

    2018-01-01

    Despite threats of species extinctions, taxonomic crises, and technological advances in genomics and natural history database informatics, we are still distant from cataloguing all of the species of life on earth. Amphibians and reptiles are no exceptions; in fact new species are described nearly every day and many species face possible extinction. The number of described species continues to climb as new areas of the world are explored and as species complexes are examined more thoroughly. The use of DNA barcoding provides a mechanism for rapidly estimating the number of species at a given site and has the potential to record all of the species of life on Earth. Though DNA barcoding has its caveats, it can be useful to estimate the number of species in a more systematic and efficient manner, to be followed in combination with more traditional, morphology-based identifications and species descriptions. Herein, we report the results of a voucher-based herpetological expedition to the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, enhanced with DNA barcode data. Our main surveys took place in the currently proposed Tanintharyi National Park. We combine our results with photographs and observational data from the Chaung-nauk-pyan forest reserve. Additionally, we provide the first checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region, with species based on the literature and museum. Amphibians, anurans in particular, are one of the most poorly known groups of vertebrates in terms of taxonomy and the number of known species, particularly in Southeast Asia. Our rapid-assessment program combined with DNA barcoding and use of Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) of voucher specimens reveals the depth of taxonomic diversity in the southern Tanintharyi herpetofauna even though only a third of the potential amphibians and reptiles were seen. A total of 51 putative species (one caecilian, 25 frogs, 13 lizards, 10 snakes, and two turtles) were detected, several of which represent potentially

  11. Filling the BINs of life: Report of an amphibian and reptile survey of the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, with DNA barcode data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel G.; Lee, Justin L.; Miller, Aryeh H.; Chand, Mia; Thura, Myint Kyaw; Zug, George R.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Despite threats of species extinctions, taxonomic crises, and technological advances in genomics and natural history database informatics, we are still distant from cataloguing all of the species of life on earth. Amphibians and reptiles are no exceptions; in fact new species are described nearly every day and many species face possible extinction. The number of described species continues to climb as new areas of the world are explored and as species complexes are examined more thoroughly. The use of DNA barcoding provides a mechanism for rapidly estimating the number of species at a given site and has the potential to record all of the species of life on Earth. Though DNA barcoding has its caveats, it can be useful to estimate the number of species in a more systematic and efficient manner, to be followed in combination with more traditional, morphology-based identifications and species descriptions. Herein, we report the results of a voucher-based herpetological expedition to the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, enhanced with DNA barcode data. Our main surveys took place in the currently proposed Tanintharyi National Park. We combine our results with photographs and observational data from the Chaung-nauk-pyan forest reserve. Additionally, we provide the first checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region, with species based on the literature and museum. Amphibians, anurans in particular, are one of the most poorly known groups of vertebrates in terms of taxonomy and the number of known species, particularly in Southeast Asia. Our rapid-assessment program combined with DNA barcoding and use of Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) of voucher specimens reveals the depth of taxonomic diversity in the southern Tanintharyi herpetofauna even though only a third of the potential amphibians and reptiles were seen. A total of 51 putative species (one caecilian, 25 frogs, 13 lizards, 10 snakes, and two turtles) were detected, several of which represent

  12. Radionuclide biological half-life values for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beresford, N.A.; Beaugelin-Seiller, K.; Burgos, J.; Cujic, M.; Fesenko, S.; Kryshev, A.; Pachal, N.; Real, A.; Su, B.S.; Tagami, K.; Vives i Batlle, J.; Vives-Lynch, S.; Wells, C.; Wood, M.D.

    2015-01-01

    The equilibrium concentration ratio is typically the parameter used to estimate organism activity concentrations within wildlife dose assessment tools. Whilst this is assumed to be fit for purpose, there are scenarios such as accidental or irregular, fluctuating, releases from licensed facilities when this might not be the case. In such circumstances, the concentration ratio approach may under- or over-estimate radiation exposure depending upon the time since the release. To carrying out assessments for such releases, a dynamic approach is needed. The simplest and most practical option is representing the uptake and turnover processes by first-order kinetics, for which organism- and element-specific biological half-life data are required. In this paper we describe the development of a freely available international database of radionuclide biological half-life values. The database includes 1907 entries for terrestrial, freshwater, riparian and marine organisms. Biological half-life values are reported for 52 elements across a range of wildlife groups (marine = 9, freshwater = 10, terrestrial = 7 and riparian = 3 groups). Potential applications and limitations of the database are discussed. - Highlights: • 1907 biological half-life values have been collated for wildlife species. • Data cover 52 elements. • 27 marine, freshwater, riparian and terrestrial organisms are included.

  13. Do pioneers have r-selected traits? Life history patterns among colonizing terrestrial gastropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtsson, J; Baur, B

    1993-05-01

    We examine whether pioneer species of terrestrial gastropods (snails and slugs) possess particular life history traits commonly associated with r-selection, using data on gastropod colonization in four areas in north-west Europe (the Kvarken and Tvärminne archipelagos in the Baltic, polder woods in IJsselmeer, and a rehabilitated quarry near Maastricht). Data on age at first reproduction, longevity, clutch size, egg size and lifetime fecundity were gathered from the literature. In order to control for potentially confounding effects of body size on life history traits, we compared the residuals from the allometric relations between life history traits and body size for pioneers and non-pioneers. In snails, all life history traits examined were related to body size. In slugs, all traits except age at first reproduction scaled with body size. Body sizes did not differ between pioneers and non-pioneers in any area. In all four areas, there were no significant differences between pioneers and non-pioneers in any of the life history traits examined, after body size had been taken into account. This indicates that pioneer terrestrial gastropods generally cannot be regarded as r-selected. Pioneer species may possess any of several life history strategies, and the combinations of traits shown by them may have little in common with the r-K selection concept.

  14. Species-and stage-specific differences in trace element tissue concentrations in amphibians: implications for the disposal of coal-combustion wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roe, John H.; Hopkins, William A.; Jackson, Brian P.

    2005-01-01

    Information on species-and stage-specific patterns of contaminant accumulation is generally lacking for amphibians, yet such information could provide valuable knowledge on how amphibians interact with contaminants. We assessed concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, and Zn in whole bodies of larval, recently metamorphosed, and adult life stages in Bufo terrestris and Rana sphenocephala from a site that currently receives coal combustion waste (CCW) discharge, a site where CCW was formerly discharged that has undergone natural attenuation for 30 years, and a nearby reference site. For the majority of elements (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn), concentrations were highest in larvae, but Se and Sr concentrations remained elevated in later life stages, likely because these elements are S and Ca analogs, respectively, and are thus retained throughout structural changes during metamorphosis. Element concentrations were generally higher in B. terrestris than in R. sphenocephala. Concentrations of As, Se, and Sr were up to 11-35 times higher in metamorphs emigrating from CCW-polluted wetlands compared to unpolluted wetlands, suggesting metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to nearby uncontaminated terrestrial habitats. In addition, anurans utilizing naturally revegetated sites up to 30 years after CCW disposal ceases are exposed to trace elements, although to a lesser degree than sites where CCW is currently discharged. - Results suggest that metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to non-contaminated habitats

  15. Species-and stage-specific differences in trace element tissue concentrations in amphibians: implications for the disposal of coal-combustion wastes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roe, John H. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States); Hopkins, William A. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States)]. E-mail: hopkins@srel.edu; Jackson, Brian P. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P.O. Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802 (United States)

    2005-07-15

    Information on species-and stage-specific patterns of contaminant accumulation is generally lacking for amphibians, yet such information could provide valuable knowledge on how amphibians interact with contaminants. We assessed concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, and Zn in whole bodies of larval, recently metamorphosed, and adult life stages in Bufo terrestris and Rana sphenocephala from a site that currently receives coal combustion waste (CCW) discharge, a site where CCW was formerly discharged that has undergone natural attenuation for 30 years, and a nearby reference site. For the majority of elements (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn), concentrations were highest in larvae, but Se and Sr concentrations remained elevated in later life stages, likely because these elements are S and Ca analogs, respectively, and are thus retained throughout structural changes during metamorphosis. Element concentrations were generally higher in B. terrestris than in R. sphenocephala. Concentrations of As, Se, and Sr were up to 11-35 times higher in metamorphs emigrating from CCW-polluted wetlands compared to unpolluted wetlands, suggesting metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to nearby uncontaminated terrestrial habitats. In addition, anurans utilizing naturally revegetated sites up to 30 years after CCW disposal ceases are exposed to trace elements, although to a lesser degree than sites where CCW is currently discharged. - Results suggest that metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to non-contaminated habitats.

  16. Spatial and temporal variability across life's hierarchies in the terrestrial Antarctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chown, Steven L; Convey, Peter

    2007-12-29

    Antarctica and its surrounding islands lie at one extreme of global variation in diversity. Typically, these regions are characterized as being species poor and having simple food webs. Here, we show that terrestrial systems in the region are nonetheless characterized by substantial spatial and temporal variations at virtually all of the levels of the genealogical and ecological hierarchies which have been thoroughly investigated. Spatial variation at the individual and population levels has been documented in a variety of genetic studies, and in mosses it appears that UV-B radiation might be responsible for within-clump mutagenesis. At the species level, modern molecular methods have revealed considerable endemism of the Antarctic biota, questioning ideas that small organisms are likely to be ubiquitous and the taxa to which they belong species poor. At the biogeographic level, much of the relatively small ice-free area of Antarctica remains unsurveyed making analyses difficult. Nonetheless, it is clear that a major biogeographic discontinuity separates the Antarctic Peninsula and continental Antarctica, here named the 'Gressitt Line'. Across the Southern Ocean islands, patterns are clearer, and energy availability is an important correlate of indigenous and exotic species richness, while human visitor numbers explain much of the variation in the latter too. Temporal variation at the individual level has much to do with phenotypic plasticity, and considerable life-history and physiological plasticity seems to be a characteristic of Antarctic terrestrial species. Environmental unpredictability is an important driver of this trait and has significantly influenced life histories across the region and probably throughout much of the temperate Southern Hemisphere. Rapid climate change-related alterations in the range and abundance of several Antarctic and sub-Antarctic populations have taken place over the past several decades. In many sub-Antarctic locations, these

  17. 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).

  18. Comment on "Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannatella, David C

    2008-05-16

    Becker et al. (Reports, 14 December 2007, p. 1775) reported that forest amphibians with terrestrial development are less susceptible to the effects of habitat degradation than those with aquatic larvae. However, analysis with more appropriate statistical methods suggests there is no evidence for a difference between aquatic-reproducing and terrestrial-reproducing species.

  19. Uptake and transformation of arsenic during the vegetative life stage of terrestrial fungi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nearing, Michelle M.; Koch, Iris; Reimer, Kenneth J.

    2015-01-01

    Many species of terrestrial fungi produce fruiting bodies that contain high proportions of arsenobetaine (AB), an arsenic compound of no known toxicity. It is unknown whether fungi produce or accumulate AB from the surrounding environment. The present study targets the vegetative life stage (mycelium) of fungi, to examine the role of this stage in arsenic transformations and potential formation of AB. The mycelia of three different fungi species were cultured axenically and exposed to AB, arsenate (As(V)) and dimethylarsinoyl acetic acid for 60 days. Agaricus bisporus was additionally exposed to hypothesized precursors for AB and the exposure time to As(V) and dimethlyarsinic acid was also extended to 120 days. The mycelia of all fungi species accumulated all arsenic compounds with two species accumulating significantly more AB than other compounds. Few biotransformations were observed in these experiments indicating that it is unlikely that the mycelium of the fungus is responsible for biosynthesizing AB. - Highlights: • Mycelia of terrestrial fungi were exposed to arsenobetaine (AB) and potential precursors. • Mycelium may be selectively accumulating AB and transporting it to fruiting bodies. • Mycelium did not biosynthesize AB. - Mycelia of edible mushrooms preferentially accumulate arsenobetaine but do not biosynthesize this non-toxic arsenical

  20. To eat or not to eat: ontogeny of hypothalamic feeding controls and a role for leptin in modulating life-history transition in amphibian tadpoles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Melissa Cui; Hu, Caroline; Pelletier, Chris; Denver, Robert J

    2018-03-28

    Many animal life histories entail changing feeding ecology, but the molecular bases for these transitions are poorly understood. The amphibian tadpole is typically a growth and dispersal life-history stage. Tadpoles are primarily herbivorous, and they capitalize on growth opportunities to reach a minimum body size to initiate metamorphosis. During metamorphic climax, feeding declines, at which time the gastrointestinal (GI) tract remodels to accommodate the carnivorous diet of the adult frog. Here we show that anorexigenic hypothalamic feeding controls are absent in the tadpole, but develop during metamorphosis concurrent with the production of the satiety signal leptin. Before metamorphosis there is a large increase in leptin mRNA in fat tissue. Leptin receptor mRNA increased during metamorphosis in the preoptic area/hypothalamus, the key brain region involved with the control of food intake and metabolism. This corresponded with an increase in functional leptin receptor, as evidenced by induction of socs3 mRNA and phosphorylated STAT3 immunoreactivity, and suppression of feeding behaviour after injection of recombinant frog leptin. Furthermore, we found that immunoneutralization of leptin in tadpoles at metamorphic climax caused them to resume feeding. The absence of negative regulation of food intake in the tadpole allows the animal to maximize growth prior to metamorphosis. Maturation of leptin-responsive neural circuits suppresses feeding during metamorphosis to facilitate remodelling of the GI tract. © 2018 The Author(s).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Species- and stage-specific differences in trace element tissue concentrations in amphibians: implications for the disposal of coal-combustion wastes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roe, J.H.; Hopkins, W.A.; Jackson, B.P. [University of Georgia, Aiken, SC (US)

    2005-07-01

    Information on species- and stage-specific patterns of contaminant accumulation is generally lacking for amphibians, yet such information could provide valuable knowledge on how amphibians interact with contaminants. We assessed concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se, Sr, and Zn in whole bodies of larval, recently metamorphosed, and adult life stages in Bufo terrestris and Rana sphenocephala from a site that currently receives coal combustion waste (CCW) discharge, a site where CCW was formerly discharged that has undergone natural attenuation for 30 years, and a nearby reference site. For the majority of elements (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn), concentrations were highest in larvae, but Se and Sr concentrations remained elevated in later life stages, likely because these elements are S and Ca analogs, respectively, and are thus retained throughout structural changes during metamorphosis. Element concentrations were generally higher in B. terrestris than in R. sphenocephala. Concentrations of As, Se, and Sr were up to 11-35 times higher in metamorphs emigrating from CCW-polluted wetlands compared to unpolluted wetlands, suggesting metamorphosed amphibians can transport trace elements from aquatic disposal basins to nearby uncontaminated terrestrial habitats. In addition, anurans utilizing naturally revegetated sites up to 30 years after CCW disposal ceases are exposed to trace elements, although to a lesser degree than sites where CCW is currently discharged.

  4. Stochastic population dynamics in populations of western terrestrial garter snakes with divergent life histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David A; Clark, William R; Arnold, Stevan J; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2011-08-01

    Comparative evaluations of population dynamics in species with temporal and spatial variation in life-history traits are rare because they require long-term demographic time series from multiple populations. We present such an analysis using demographic data collected during the interval 1978-1996 for six populations of western terrestrial garter snakes (Thamnophis elegans) from two evolutionarily divergent ecotypes. Three replicate populations from a slow-living ecotype, found in mountain meadows of northeastern California, were characterized by individuals that develop slowly, mature late, reproduce infrequently with small reproductive effort, and live longer than individuals of three populations of a fast-living ecotype found at lakeshore locales. We constructed matrix population models for each of the populations based on 8-13 years of data per population and analyzed both deterministic dynamics based on mean annual vital rates and stochastic dynamics incorporating annual variation in vital rates. (1) Contributions of highly variable vital rates to fitness (lambda(s)) were buffered against the negative effects of stochastic variation, and this relationship was consistent with differences between the meadow (M-slow) and lakeshore (L-fast) ecotypes. (2) Annual variation in the proportion of gravid females had the greatest negative effect among all vital rates on lambda(s). The magnitude of variation in the proportion of gravid females and its effect on lambda(s) was greater in M-slow than L-fast populations. (3) Variation in the proportion of gravid females, in turn, depended on annual variation in prey availability, and its effect on lambda(s) was 4 23 times greater in M-slow than L-fast populations. In addition to differences in stochastic dynamics between ecotypes, we also found higher mean mortality rates across all age classes in the L-fast populations. Our results suggest that both deterministic and stochastic selective forces have affected the evolution of

  5. 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.

  6. Iberian Pyrite Belt Subsurface Life (IPBSL), a drilling project in a geochemical Mars terrestrial analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amils, R.; Fernández-Remolar, D. C.; Parro, V.; Manfredi, J. A.; Timmis, K.; Oggerin, M.; Sánchez-Román, M.; López, F. J.; Fernández, J. P.; Omoregie, E.; Gómez-Ortiz, D.; Briones, C.; Gómez, F.; García, M.; Rodríguez, N.; Sanz, J. L.

    2012-09-01

    Iberian Pyrite Belt Subsurface Life (IPBSL) is a drilling project specifically designed to characterize the subsurface ecosystems operating in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), in the area of Peña de Hierro, and responsible of the extreme acidic conditions existing in the Rio Tinto basin [1]. Rio Tinto is considered a good geochemical terrestrial analogue of Mars [2, 3]. A dedicated geophysical characterization of the area selected two drilling sites (4) due to the possible existence of water with high ionic content (low resistivity). Two wells have been drilled in the selected area, BH11 and BH10, of depths of 340 and 620 meters respectively, with recovery of cores and generation of samples in anaerobic and sterile conditions. Preliminary results showed an important alteration of mineral structures associated with the presence of water, with production of expected products from the bacterial oxidation of pyrite (sulfates and ferric iron). Ion chromatography of water soluble compounds from uncontaminated samples showed the existence of putative electron donors (ferrous iron, nitrite in addition of the metal sulfides), electron acceptors (sulfate, nitrate, ferric iron) as well as variable concentration of metabolic organic acids (mainly acetate, formate, propionate and oxalate), which are strong signals of the presence of active subsurface ecosystem associated to the high sulfidic mineral content of the IPB. The system is driven by oxidants that appear to be provided by the rock matrix, only groundwater is needed to launch microbial metabolism. The geological, geomicrobiological and molecular biology analysis which are under way, should allow the characterization of this ecosystem of paramount interest in the design of an astrobiological underground Mars exploration mission in the near future.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stark, K. [Stockholm University (Sweden)

    2014-07-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Steven M; Bell, Kristen E; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2007-05-15

    Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these "enigmatic" declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by approximately 75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks.

  10. An effective hierarchical model for the biomolecular covalent bond: an approach integrating artificial chemistry and an actual terrestrial life system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oohashi, Tsutomu; Ueno, Osamu; Maekawa, Tadao; Kawai, Norie; Nishina, Emi; Honda, Manabu

    2009-01-01

    Under the AChem paradigm and the programmed self-decomposition (PSD) model, we propose a hierarchical model for the biomolecular covalent bond (HBCB model). This model assumes that terrestrial organisms arrange their biomolecules in a hierarchical structure according to the energy strength of their covalent bonds. It also assumes that they have evolutionarily selected the PSD mechanism of turning biological polymers (BPs) into biological monomers (BMs) as an efficient biomolecular recycling strategy We have examined the validity and effectiveness of the HBCB model by coordinating two complementary approaches: biological experiments using existent terrestrial life, and simulation experiments using an AChem system. Biological experiments have shown that terrestrial life possesses a PSD mechanism as an endergonic, genetically regulated process and that hydrolysis, which decomposes a BP into BMs, is one of the main processes of such a mechanism. In simulation experiments, we compared different virtual self-decomposition processes. The virtual species in which the self-decomposition process mainly involved covalent bond cleavage from a BP to BMs showed evolutionary superiority over other species in which the self-decomposition process involved cleavage from BP to classes lower than BM. These converging findings strongly support the existence of PSD and the validity and effectiveness of the HBCB model.

  11. Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, T. J.; Okeefe, J. D.

    1982-01-01

    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. It is speculated that minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents would be 300-400 meters, and that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas, and strip and silt-over virtually all vegetation. As a result the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed. This could in turn cause extinction of large terrestrial animals.

  12. 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.

  13. Spatial and temporal variability across life's hierarchies in the terrestrial Antarctic

    OpenAIRE

    Chown, Steven L; Convey, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Antarctica and its surrounding islands lie at one extreme of global variation in diversity. Typically, these regions are characterized as being species poor and having simple food webs. Here, we show that terrestrial systems in the region are nonetheless characterized by substantial spatial and temporal variations at virtually all of the levels of the genealogical and ecological hierarchies which have been thoroughly investigated. Spatial variation at the individual and population levels has ...

  14. Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, V. S.; Lustig-Yaeger, J.; Lincowski, A.; Arney, G. N.; Robinson, T. D.; Schwieterman, E. W.; Deming, L. D.; Tovar, G.

    2017-11-01

    We will provide an overview of the measurements, techniques, and upcoming missions required to characterize terrestrial planet environments and evolution, and search for signs of habitability and life.

  15. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines Van Bocxlaer

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

  16. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Although they are frequently lumped together, reptiles and amphibians belong to two very different zoological groups. Nevertheless, one fact is clear: while numerous reptile and amphibian species on Earth are in decline, others have taken advantage of trade or human movements to become established in new lands, adopting different, and sometimes unusual, strategies. The authors have taken a few examples from these two zoological groups that illustrate the majority of cases. A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health.

  17. 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…

  18. Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahrens, T.J.; O'Keefe, J.D.

    1983-01-01

    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet at 30 km/sec demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. In the gravity field of the earth some 10 to 30 times the impactor mass of water is launched on trajectories which would take it to altitudes of 10 km or higher. This ejecta launched on trajectories which can achieve stratospheric heights is 10 1 to 10 2 projectile masses, similar to that resulting from impact of objects on an ocean-free silicate half-space (continent). Ejecta composed of impactor material, launched on trajectories which would carry it to stratospheric heights, matches the fraction (10 -2 to 10 -1 ) of bolide (extraterrestrial) material found in the platinum-metal-rich Cretaceous-Tertiary and Eocene-Oligocene boundary layers. Oceanic impact results in giant tsunamis initially having amplitudes of approx. 4 km, representing the solitary waterwave stability limit in the deep ocean, and containing 10 -2 to 10 -1 of the energy of the impact. Using the constraint of no observed turbidities in marine sediments in the Cretaceous-Tertiary and Eocene-Oligocene boundary materials (calculated maximum water-sediment interface particle velocity approx. 10 0 m/sec) implies a maximum impactor energy of approx. 10 28 to approx. 10 29 erg corresponding to a maximum diameter for a silicate impactor of approx. 2 km (at 11 km/sec). Minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents corresponding to impacts of this energy are 300-400 m. We speculate that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas. As a result, the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed, which could have caused extinction of large terrestrial animals

  19. A Place to Call Home: Amphibian Use of Created and Restored Wetlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald J. Brown

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Loss and degradation of wetland habitats are major contributing factors to the global decline of amphibians. Creation and restoration of wetlands could be a valuable tool for increasing local amphibian species richness and abundance. We synthesized the peer-reviewed literature addressing amphibian use of created and restored wetlands, focusing on aquatic habitat, upland habitat, and wetland connectivity and configuration. Amphibian species richness or abundance at created and restored wetlands was either similar to or greater than reference wetlands in 89% of studies. Use of created and restored wetlands by individual species was driven by aquatic and terrestrial habitat preferences, as well as ability to disperse from source wetlands. We conclude that creating and restoring wetlands can be valuable tools for amphibian conservation. However, the ecological needs and preferences of target species must be considered to maximize the potential for successful colonization and long-term persistence.

  20. The conceptual design of a hybrid life support system based on the evaluation and comparison of terrestrial testbeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czupalla, M.; Horneck, G.; Blome, H. J.

    This report summarizes a trade study of different options of a bioregenerative Life Support System (LSS) and a subsequent conceptual design of a hybrid LSS. The evaluation was based mainly on the terrestrial testbed projects MELISSA (ESA) and BIOS (Russia). In addition, some methods suggested by the Advanced Life Support Project (NASA) were considered. Computer models, including mass flows were established for each of the systems with the goal of closing system loops to the extent possible. In order to cope with the differences in the supported crew size and provided nutrition, all systems were scaled for supporting a crew of six for a 780 day Mars mission (180 days transport to Mars; 600 days surface period) as given in the NASA Design Reference Mission Scenario [Hoffman, S.J., Kaplan, D.L. Human exploration of Mars: the Reference Mission of the NASA Mars Exploratory Study, 1997]. All models were scaled to provide the same daily allowances, as of calories, to the crew. Equivalent System Mass (ESM) analysis was used to compare the investigated system models against each other. Following the comparison of the terrestrial systems, the system specific subsystem options for Food Supply, Solid Waste Processing, Water Management and Atmosphere Revitalization were evaluated in a separate trade study. The best subsystem technologies from the trade study were integrated into an overall design solution based on mass flow relationships. The optimized LSS is mainly a bioregenerative system, complemented by a few physico-chemical elements, with a total ESM of 18,088 kg, which is about 4 times higher than that of a pure physico-chemical LSS, as designed in an earlier study.

  1. 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

  2. The terrestrial evolution of metabolism and life – by the numbers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O'Kelly Gregory C

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Allometric scaling relating body mass to metabolic rate by an exponent of the former (Kleiber's Law, commonly known as quarter-power scaling (QPS, is controversial for claims made on its behalf, especially that of its universality for all life. As originally formulated, Kleiber was based upon the study of heat; metabolic rate is quantified in watts (or calories per unit time. Techniques and technology for metabolic energy measurement have been refined but the math has not. QPS is susceptible to increasing deviations from theoretical predictions to data, suggesting that there is no single, universal exponent relevant to all of life. QPS's major proponents continue to fail to make good on hints of the power of the equation for understanding aging. Essentialist-deductivist view If the equation includes a term for efficiency in the exponent, thereby ruling out thermogenesis as part of metabolism, its heuristic power is greatly amplified, and testable deductive inferences are generated. If metabolic rate is measured in watts and metabolic efficiency is a redox-coupling ratio, then the equation is essentially about the energy storage capacity of organic molecules. The equation is entirely about the essentials of all life: water, salt, organic molecules, and energy. The water and salt provide an electrochemical salt bridge for the transmission of energy into and through the organic components. The equation, when graphed, treats the organic structure as battery-like, and relates its recharge rate and electrical properties to its longevity. Conclusion The equation models the longevity-extending effects of caloric restriction, and shows where those effects wane. It models the immortality of some types of cells, and supports the argument for the origin of life being at submarine volcanic vents and black smokers. It clarifies how early life had to change to survive drifting to the surface, and what drove mutations in its ascent. It does

  3. Radioactive contamination of amphibian in the Chernobyl zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bondar'kov, M.D.; Gashchak, S.P.; Goryanaya, Yu.A.

    2002-01-01

    In result of our investigations there was found out, that though there are great variations of accumulation indices of 90 Sr and 137 Cs, there are certain species differences between amphibians. Basing on general ideas, it can be caused by features of nutrition, behavior and ecology of the species. Terrestrial forms accumulate 137 Cs more than water one, and toads have more high indices of 90 Sr accumulation than frogs. It can been expected, that larvae stages of the terrestrial amphibians, due to water living, will have lower parameters of the radionuclide accumulation, than individuals came on dry land. They also must have and more low variation coefficient of TF values. However, it demands to be checked

  4. 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

  5. Relationship Between Landscape Character, UV Exposure, and Amphibian Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

    Widespread reports of amphibian declines have been considered a warning of large-scale environmental degradation, yet the reasons for these declines remain unclear. This study suggests that exposure to ultraviolet radiation may act as an environmental stressor that affects population breeding success or susceptibility to disease. Ultraviolet radiation is attenuated by dissolved and particulate compounds in water, which may be of either terrestrial or aquatic origin. UV attenuation by dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is primarily due to compounds in the fulvic acid fraction, which originate in soil environments. These terrestrially-derived fulvic acids are transported to during hydrologic flushing events such as snowmelt and episodic precipitation and play an important role in controlling UV exposure in surface waters. As part of a previously published project, amphibian surveys were conducted at seventeen sites in Rocky Mountain National Park both during, and subsequent to, a three-year drought (1988 - 1990). During this period, ten sites lost one amphibian species, while only one site gained a previously unreported species. One possible explanation for these localized species losses is increased exposure to UV radiation, mediated by reduced terrestrial DOC inputs during dry periods. Several subsequent years of water chemistry data showed that the sites with documented species losses were characterized by a range of DOC concentrations, but tended to have a greater proportion of terrestrial DOC than sites that did not undergo species loss. This suggests that terrestrial inputs exert a strong control on DOC concentrations that may influence species success. We used physical environmental factors to develop a classification scheme for these sites. There are many physical factors that can influence terrestrial DOC inputs, including landscape position, geomorphology, soil type, and watershed vegetation. In addition, we considered the possible effects on internal aquatic

  6. The terrestrial evolution of metabolism and life – by the numbers

    OpenAIRE

    O'Kelly Gregory C

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Allometric scaling relating body mass to metabolic rate by an exponent of the former (Kleiber's Law), commonly known as quarter-power scaling (QPS), is controversial for claims made on its behalf, especially that of its universality for all life. As originally formulated, Kleiber was based upon the study of heat; metabolic rate is quantified in watts (or calories per unit time). Techniques and technology for metabolic energy measurement have been refined but the math has n...

  7. Life history comparison of two terrestrial isopods in relation to habitat specialization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quadros, Aline Ferreira; Caubet, Yves; Araujo, Paula Beatriz

    2009-03-01

    For many animal species, there is a relationship between life history strategies, as predicted by the r- K-selection theory, degree of habitat specialization and response to habitat alteration and loss. Here we compare two sympatric woodlice species with contrasting patterns of habitat use and geographical distribution. We predict that Atlantoscia floridana (Philosciidae), considered a habitat generalist, would exhibit the r-selected traits, whereas Balloniscus glaber (Balloniscidae), considered a habitat specialist, should have the K-selected traits. We analyzed several life history traits as well as life and fecundity tables using 715 and 842 females of A. floridana and B. glaber, respectively, from populations living in syntopy in southern Brazil. As predicted, most evaluated traits allow A. floridana to be considered an r-strategist and B. glaber a K-strategist: A. floridana showed a shorter lifetime, faster development, earlier reproduction, a smaller parental investment, higher net reproductive rate ( R0), a higher growth rate ( r) and a shorter generation time ( T) in comparison to B. glaber. A. floridana seems to be a successful colonizer with a high reproductive output. These characteristics explain its local abundance, commonness and wide geographical distribution. On the contrary, B. glaber has a restricted geographical distribution that is mainly associated with Atlantic forest fragments, a biome threatened by deforestation and replacement by monocultures. Its narrow distribution combined with the K-selected traits may confer to this species an increased extinction risk.

  8. [Jaws of amphibians and reptiles].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanimoto, Masahiro

    2005-04-01

    Big jaws of amphibians and reptiles are mainly treated in this article. In amphibians enlarged skulls are for the big jaw in contrast with human's skulls for the brain. For example, famous fossils of Homo diluvii testis are ones of salamanders in fact. In reptiles, mosasaur jaws and teeth and their ecology are introduced for instance.

  9. Evolution of the terrestrial atmosphere and its relationship to sediments and life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Junge, C

    1981-05-01

    The formation of the atmosphere - together with that of the oceans and sediments - was determined by three important processes: the loss of noble gases and volatiles in the solar nebula, the enrichment of these substances at the Earth's surface by exhalation from the Earth's mantle, and finally the formation of the hydrosphere, enabled by - in contrast to our neighboring planets - a suitable distance from the sun. In this way the development of the atmospheric gases N/sub 2/, H/sub 2/O and CO/sub 2/ was largely fixed. Oxygen, on the other hand, appeared late in the atmosphere. It originated from biological photosynthesis which apparently developed rather early in the Earth's history but lead at first only to oxidation of iron and sulfur. The subsequently occurring accumulation of free oxygen in the atmosphere resulted in interesting interrelations with the development of life.

  10. Sulfate- and Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria as Terrestrial Analogs for Microbial Life on Jupiter's Satellite Io

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Observations from the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft have revealed Jupiter's moon Io to be the most volcanically active body of our Solar System. The Galileo Near Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (NIMS) detected extensive deposits of sulfur compounds, elemental sulfur and SO2 frost on the surface of Io. There are extreme temperature variations on Io's surface, ranging from -130 C to over 2000 C at the Pillan Patera volcanic vent. The active volcanoes, fumaroles, calderas, and lava lakes and vast sulfur deposits on this frozen moon indicate that analogs of sulfur- and sulfate-reducing bacteria might inhabit Io. Hence Io may have great significance to Astrobiology. Earth's life forms that depend on sulfur respiration are members of two domains: Bacteria and Archaea. Two basic links of the biogeochemical sulfur cycle of Earth have been studied: 1) the sulfur oxidizing process (occurring at aerobic conditions) and 2) the process of sulfur-reduction to hydrogen sulfide (anaerobic conditions). Sulfate-reducing bacteria (StRB) and sulfur-reducing bacteria (SrRB) are responsible for anaerobic reducing processes. At the present time the systematics of StRB include over 112 species distributed into 35 genera of Bacteria and Archaea. Moderately thermophilic and mesophilic SrRB belong to the Bacteria. The hyperthermophilic SrRB predominately belong to the domain Archaea and are included in the genera: Pyrodictium, Thermoproteus, Pyrobaculum, Thermophilum, Desulfurococcus, and Thermodiscus. The StRB and SrRB use a wide spectrum of substrates as electron donors for lithotrophic and heterotrophic type nutrition. The electron acceptors for the StRB include: sulfate, thiosulfate, sulfite, sulfur, arsenate, dithionite, tetrathionate, sulfur monoxide, iron, nitrite, selenite, fumarate, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and chlorine-containing phenol compounds. The Sulfate- and Sulfur-reducing bacteria are widely distributed in anaerobic ecosystems, including extreme environments like hot springs

  11. T-HERPS Version 1.0 User's Guide for Risk to Amphibians and Reptiles from Pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    T-HERPS estimates dietary exposure and risk to terrestrial-phase amphibians and reptiles from pesticide use. Currently approved for assessing exposure and risk to the California red-legged frog and terrestrial-phase herptiles with similar dietary behavior

  12. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. A stockpile of ova in the grass frog Rana temporaria is established once for the life span. Do ovaries in amphibians and in mammals follow the same evolutionary strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogielska, Maria; Kotusz, Agnieszka; Augustyńska, Renata; Ihnatowicz, Jerzy; Paśko, Łukasz

    2013-04-01

    Most anuran amphibians produce high numbers of eggs during several consecutive breeding seasons. The question is still open whether oocytes are formed anew as a result of oogonial proliferation after each spawning or the definitive pool of oocytes is established during the juvenile period and is sufficient for the whole reproductive life span of a female. Our quantitative studies show that primary oogonia in adult female frogs can proliferate, but they fail to differentiate further and do not enter meiosis, and thereby there is no supplementation of new generations of oocytes after each spawning. Ovaries of one-year-old grass frogs contain (median) 53,447 diplotene oocytes, in two-years-old frogs this number decreased to 33,583 and eventually reached 25,679 in virgin mature females. More than 50% decrease in the total oocyte number was accompanied by massive degeneration (atresia) of oocytes. The final number of oocytes in a female forms a stock for 11-12 breeding seasons and exceeds the number of eggs produced during the potential reproductive life span of this species. The phylogenetic context of oocyte recruitment modes in the major clades of vertebrates is discussed in respect to their ability to replenish the stock (a renewable stock in ovaries named "open" vs. a non-renewable stock in ovaries named "closed"). Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. 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.

  15. Fish kidney cells show higher tolerance to hyperosmolality than amphibian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lang Gui

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In contrast to fish, amphibians inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. To better understand osmoregulation in fish and amphibian, we have investigated the morphological changes in kidney cells to osmotic stress. To address this, kidney cell line isolated from the freshwater grass carp (CIK and Chinese giant salamander (GSK were challenged to different mediums with distinct osmotic pressures (100, 300 and 700 mOsm. Morphological alterations of the fish and amphibian cells were compared by optical and electron microscopy. Following hyposmotic treatment (100 mOsm, both CIK and GSK cells became unhealthy and show condensed chromatin, swollen mitochondria and cytoplasmic vacuole. Meanwhile, after hyperosmotic treatment (700 mOsm, shrunken CIK cells with multipolar shape, pale or lightly stained cytoplasm, condensed chromatin, vacuoles and swollen mitochondria were detected. GSK cells were seriously damaged and most were completely lysed. The results suggest that fish kidney cells show a higher degree of tolerance to hyperosmoticity by comparing to amphibians and provide novel insights on the osmoregulatory capacity and adaptability of kidney cells between the two animal groups.

  16. 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

  17. A half-century of terrestrial analog studies: From craters on the Moon to searching for life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Léveillé, Richard

    2010-03-01

    Terrestrial analogs to the Moon and Mars have been used to advance knowledge in planetary science for over a half-century. They are useful in studies of comparative geology of the terrestrial planets and rocky moons, in astronaut training and testing of exploration technologies, and in developing hypotheses and exploration strategies in astrobiology. In fact, the use of terrestrial analogs can be traced back to the origins of comparative geology and astrobiology, and to the early phases of the Apollo astronaut program. Terrestrial analog studies feature prominently throughout the history of both NASA and the USGS' Astrogeology Research Program. In light of current international plans for a return missions to the Moon, and eventually to send sample return and manned missions to Mars, as well as the recent creation of various analog research and development programs, this historical perspective is timely.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Amphibian population genetics in agricultural landscapes: does viniculture drive the population structuring of the European common frog (Rana temporaria?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick P. Lenhardt

    2017-07-01

    , inhibiting genetic exchange and causing genetic differentiation of pond populations in agricultural areas. In viniculture, pesticides could be a driving factor for the observed genetic impoverishment, since pesticides are more frequently applied than any other management measure and can be highly toxic for terrestrial life stages of amphibians.

  1. 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,...

  2. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  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. Super-long Anabiosis of Ancient Microorganisms in Ice and Terrestrial Models for Development of Methods to Search for Life on Mars, Europa and other Planetary Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abyzov, S. S.; Duxbury, N. S.; Bobin, N. E.; Fukuchi, M.; Hoover, R. B.; Kanda, H.; Mitskevich, I. N.; Mulyukin, A. L.; Naganuma, T.; Poglazova, M. N.; hide

    2007-01-01

    Successful missions to Mars, Europe and other bodies of the Solar system have created a prerequisite to search for extraterrestrial life. The first attempts of microbial life detection on the Martian surface by the Viking landed missions gave no biological results. Microbiological investigations of the Martian subsurface ground ice layers seem to be more promising. It is well substantiated to consider the Antarctic ice sheet and the Antarctic and Arctic permafrost as terrestrial analogues of Martian habitats. The results of our long-standing microbiological studies of the Antarctic ice would provide the basis for detection of viable microbial cells on Mars. Our microbiological investigations of the deepest and thus most ancient strata of the Antarctic ice sheet for the first time gave evidence for the natural phenomenon of long-term anabiosis (preservation of viability and vitality for millennia years). A combination of classical microbiological methods, epifluorescence microscopy, SEM, TEM, molecular diagnostics, radioisotope labeling and other techniques made it possible for us to obtain convincing proof of the presence of pro- and eukaryotes in the Antarctic ice sheet. In this communication, we will review and discuss some critical issues related to the detection of viable microorganisms in cold terrestrial environments with regard to future searches for microbial life and/or its biological signatures on extraterrestrial objects.

  5. Taiwan's industrial heavy metal pollution threatens terrestrial biota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hsu, M.J.; Selvaraj, K.; Agoramoorthy, G.

    2006-01-01

    The bioconcentration levels of essential (Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, and Zn) and non-essential (As, Cd, Hg, Pb, and Sn) elements have been investigated in different terrestrial biota such as fungi, plant, earthworm, snail, crab, insect, amphibian, lizard, snake, and bat including the associated soil, to investigate the ecosystem health status in Kenting National Park, Taiwan. High bioconcentrations of Cd, Hg, and Sn in snail, earthworm, crab, lizard, snake, and bat indicated a contaminated terrestrial ecosystem. High concentrations of Cd, Hg, and Sn in plant species, effective bioaccumulation of Cd by earthworm, snail, crab and bat, as well as very high levels of Hg found in invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles revealed a strong influence from industrial pollution on the biotic community. This study for the first time presents data on the impact of heavy metal pollution on various terrestrial organisms in Taiwan. - Metal effects occur at any terrestrial levels in Taiwan

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

    Use of glyphosate-based herbicides is increasing worldwide. The authors review the available data related to potential impacts of these herbicides on amphibians and conduct a qualitative meta-analysis. Because little is known about environmental concentrations of glyphosate in amphibian habitats and virtually nothing is known about environmental concentrations of the substances added to the herbicide formulations that mainly contribute to adverse effects, glyphosate levels can only be seen as approximations for contamination with glyphosate-based herbicides. The impact on amphibians depends on the herbicide formulation, with different sensitivity of taxa and life stages. Effects on development of larvae apparently are the most sensitive endpoints to study. As with other contaminants, costressors mainly increase adverse effects. If and how glyphosate-based herbicides and other pesticides contribute to amphibian decline is not answerable yet due to missing data on how natural populations are affected. Amphibian risk assessment can only be conducted case-specifically, with consideration of the particular herbicide formulation. The authors recommend better monitoring of both amphibian populations and contamination of habitats with glyphosate-based herbicides, not just glyphosate, and suggest including amphibians in standardized test batteries to study at least dermal administration. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  11. 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.

  12. Can myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-08-22

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. A combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts is able to improve sexual quality of life in patient with premature ejaculation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansalone, Salvatore; Russo, Giorgio Ivan; Mondaini, Nicola; Cantiello, Francesco; Antonini, Gabriele; Cai, Tommaso

    2016-10-05

    The management of patient affected by premature ejaculation (PE) is nowadays not highly satisfactory. Here, we aimed to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of a combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts in order to improve sexual quality of life in patients with premature ejaculation. All patients attending to 5 urological centers from January 2015 to March 2015, due to premature ejaculation were enrolled in this study. At the enrolment visit, all subjects underwent self-administered IIEF-5, Male Sexual Health Questionnaire-Ejaculation Disorder (MSHQEjD), PEDT and IELTS (calculated as mean from that perceived by partner and that perceived by patient) and underwent urological visit and laboratory examinations. All patients received one tablet per day of a combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts for 3 months (Group A). After 3 months all patients underwent follow-up visit with the same investigations that have been carried out in the enrolment visit. The results were compared with a cohort of patients enrolled in the same period in another urological center and considered as a control group (Group B). All patients in the control group underwent counseling and sexual behavioral treatment without any pharmacological compound. At the follow-up analysis, significant changes in terms of IELT in the Group A (mean difference: 31.90; p < 0.05) at 3 months and versus Group B at the intergroup analysis (mean difference: 30.30; p < 0.05) were reported. In the group A, significant differences from baseline to last follow- up were observed relative to IIEF-5 (mean difference: 1.04; p < 0.05), PEDT (mean difference: -2.57; p < 0.05) and FSH (mean difference: -16.46; p < 0.05). In conclusion, patients affected by PE may significantly benefit from oral therapy with a combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts in terms of

  16. Female sexual arousal in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilczynski, Walter; Lynch, Kathleen S

    2011-05-01

    Rather than being a static, species specific trait, reproductive behavior in female amphibians is variable within an individual during the breeding season when females are capable of reproductive activity. Changes in receptivity coincide with changes in circulating estrogen. Estrogen is highest at the point when females are ready to choose a male and lay eggs. At this time female receptivity (her probability of responding to a male vocal signal) is highest and her selectivity among conspecific calls (measured by her probability of responding to a degraded or otherwise usually unattractive male signal) is lowest. These changes occur even though females retain the ability to discriminate different acoustic characteristics of various conspecific calls. After releasing her eggs, female amphibians quickly become less receptive and more choosy in terms of their responses to male sexual advertisement signals. Male vocal signals stimulate both behavior and estrogen changes in amphibian females making mating more probable. The changes in female reproductive behavior are the same as those generally accepted as indicative of a change in female sexual arousal leading to copulation. They are situationally triggered, gated by interactions with males, and decline with the consummation of sexual reproduction with a chosen male. The changes can be triggered by either internal physiological state or by the presence of stimuli presented by males, and the same stimuli change both behavior and physiological (endocrine) state in such a way as to make acceptance of a male more likely. Thus amphibian females demonstrate many of the same general characteristics of changing female sexual state that in mammals indicate sexual arousal. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Amphibian Engineers in the Southwest Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-03-08

    too dangerous. The 1st Engineer Amphibian Brigade was relegated to truck duty in England instead of preparing for the cross-channel invasion.21 Before...and dumps through the swamp.93 91 Office of the Chief Engineer , Amphibian Engineer ...inland, whereas the DUKW (and LVT) could drive direct from ship to dump site. 116 Office of the Chief Engineer , Amphibian Engineer Operations, 320-21

  19. Altered Reproductive Function and Amphibian Declines

    OpenAIRE

    Gallipeau, Sherrie

    2014-01-01

    Agrochemical exposure is one of the factors that contributes to worldwide amphibian declines. Most studies that examine agrochemicals and amphibian declines focus on toxicity. However, declines are more likely caused by the sub-lethal effects of agrochemical exposure. Past emphases on the lethal effects of agrochemical exposure have overshadowed the contribution of decreased recruitment in amphibian declines. Additionally, studies that examine agrochemicals and reproductive function tend to f...

  20. Polyphenism in social insects: insights from a transcriptome-wide analysis of gene expression in the life stages of the key pollinator, Bombus terrestris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colgan Thomas J

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding polyphenism, the ability of a single genome to express multiple morphologically and behaviourally distinct phenotypes, is an important goal for evolutionary and developmental biology. Polyphenism has been key to the evolution of the Hymenoptera, and particularly the social Hymenoptera where the genome of a single species regulates distinct larval stages, sexual dimorphism and physical castes within the female sex. Transcriptomic analyses of social Hymenoptera will therefore provide unique insights into how changes in gene expression underlie such complexity. Here we describe gene expression in individual specimens of the pre-adult stages, sexes and castes of the key pollinator, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Results cDNA was prepared from mRNA from five life cycle stages (one larva, one pupa, one male, one gyne and two workers and a total of 1,610,742 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were generated using Roche 454 technology, substantially increasing the sequence data available for this important species. Overlapping ESTs were assembled into 36,354 B. terrestris putative transcripts, and functionally annotated. A preliminary assessment of differences in gene expression across non-replicated specimens from the pre-adult stages, castes and sexes was performed using R-STAT analysis. Individual samples from the life cycle stages of the bumblebee differed in the expression of a wide array of genes, including genes involved in amino acid storage, metabolism, immunity and olfaction. Conclusions Detailed analyses of immune and olfaction gene expression across phenotypes demonstrated how transcriptomic analyses can inform our understanding of processes central to the biology of B. terrestris and the social Hymenoptera in general. For example, examination of immunity-related genes identified high conservation of important immunity pathway components across individual specimens from the life cycle stages while

  1. Polyphenism in social insects: Insights from a transcriptome-wide analysis of gene expression in the life stages of the key pollinator, Bombus terrestris

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Colgan, Thomas J

    2011-12-20

    Abstract Background Understanding polyphenism, the ability of a single genome to express multiple morphologically and behaviourally distinct phenotypes, is an important goal for evolutionary and developmental biology. Polyphenism has been key to the evolution of the Hymenoptera, and particularly the social Hymenoptera where the genome of a single species regulates distinct larval stages, sexual dimorphism and physical castes within the female sex. Transcriptomic analyses of social Hymenoptera will therefore provide unique insights into how changes in gene expression underlie such complexity. Here we describe gene expression in individual specimens of the pre-adult stages, sexes and castes of the key pollinator, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Results cDNA was prepared from mRNA from five life cycle stages (one larva, one pupa, one male, one gyne and two workers) and a total of 1,610,742 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated using Roche 454 technology, substantially increasing the sequence data available for this important species. Overlapping ESTs were assembled into 36,354 B. terrestris putative transcripts, and functionally annotated. A preliminary assessment of differences in gene expression across non-replicated specimens from the pre-adult stages, castes and sexes was performed using R-STAT analysis. Individual samples from the life cycle stages of the bumblebee differed in the expression of a wide array of genes, including genes involved in amino acid storage, metabolism, immunity and olfaction. Conclusions Detailed analyses of immune and olfaction gene expression across phenotypes demonstrated how transcriptomic analyses can inform our understanding of processes central to the biology of B. terrestris and the social Hymenoptera in general. For example, examination of immunity-related genes identified high conservation of important immunity pathway components across individual specimens from the life cycle stages while olfactory

  2. 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

    2010-06-23

    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.

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.; Arcone, S.; Arvidson, R. W.; Baker, V.; Barlow, N. G.; Beaty, D.; Bell, M. S.; Blankenship, D. D.; Bridges, N.; Briggs, G.; Bulmer, M.; Carsey, F.; Clifford, S. M.; Craddock, R. A.; Dickerson, P. W.; Duxbury, N.; Galford, G. L.; Garvin, J.; Grant, J.; Green, J. R.; Gregg, T. K. P.; Guinness, E.; Hansen, V. L.; Hecht, M. H.; Holt, J.; Howard, A.; Keszthelyi, L. P.; Lee, P.; Lanagan, P. D.; Lentz, R. C. F.; Leverington, D. W.; Marinangeli, L.; Moersch, J. E.; Morris-Smith, P. A.; Mouginis-Mark, P.; Olhoeft, G. R.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Reilly, J. F., II; Rice, J. W., Jr.; Robinson, C. A.; Sheridan, M.; Snook, K.; Thomson, B. J.; Watson, K.; Williams, K.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2002-08-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of Martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the Mars Exploration Payload Assessment Group science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel has considered the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  6. Chironomidae bloodworms larvae as aquatic amphibian food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fard, Mojdeh Sharifian; Pasmans, Frank; Adriaensen, Connie; Laing, Gijs Du; Janssens, Geert Paul Jules; Martel, An

    2014-01-01

    Different species of chironomids larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae) so-called bloodworms are widely distributed in the sediments of all types of freshwater habitats and considered as an important food source for amphibians. In our study, three species of Chironomidae (Baeotendipes noctivagus, Benthalia dissidens, and Chironomus riparius) were identified in 23 samples of larvae from Belgium, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine provided by a distributor in Belgium. We evaluated the suitability of these samples as amphibian food based on four different aspects: the likelihood of amphibian pathogens spreading, risk of heavy metal accumulation in amphibians, nutritive value, and risk of spreading of zoonotic bacteria (Salmonella, Campylobacter, and ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae). We found neither zoonotic bacteria nor the amphibian pathogens Ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in these samples. Our data showed that among the five heavy metals tested (Hg, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Zn), the excess level of Pb in two samples and low content of Zn in four samples implicated potential risk of Pb accumulation and Zn inadequacy. Proximate nutritional analysis revealed that, chironomidae larvae are consistently high in protein but more variable in lipid content. Accordingly, variations in the lipid: protein ratio can affect the amount and pathway of energy supply to the amphibians. Our study indicated although environmentally-collected chironomids larvae may not be vectors of specific pathogens, they can be associated with nutritional imbalances and may also result in Pb bioaccumulation and Zn inadequacy in amphibians. Chironomidae larvae may thus not be recommended as single diet item for amphibians. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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....

  8. Gene Expression Dynamics in Major Endocrine Regulatory Pathways along the Transition from Solitary to Social Life in a Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Jedlička

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the social evolution leading to insect eusociality requires, among other, a detailed insight into endocrine regulatory mechanisms that have been co-opted from solitary ancestors to play new roles in the complex life histories of eusocial species. Bumblebees represent well-suited models of a relatively primitive social organization standing on the mid-way to highly advanced eusociality and their queens undergo both, a solitary and a social phase, separated by winter diapause.In the present paper, we characterize the gene expression levels of major endocrine regulatory pathways across tissues, sexes, and life-stages of the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, with special emphasis on critical stages of the queen’s transition from solitary to social life. We focused on fundamental genes of three pathways: (1 Forkhead box protein O and insulin/insulin-like signaling, (2 Juvenile hormone signaling, and (3 Adipokinetic hormone signaling. Virgin queens were distinguished by higher expression of forkhead box protein O and downregulated insulin-like peptides and juvenile hormone (JH signaling, indicated by low expression of methyl farnesoate epoxidase (MFE and transcription factor Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1. Diapausing queens showed the expected downregulation of JH signaling in terms of low MFE and vitellogenin (Vg expressions, but an unexpectedly high expression of Kr-h1. By contrast, reproducing queens revealed an upregulation of MFE and Vg together with insulin signaling. Surprisingly, the insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1 turned out to be a queen-specific hormone. Workers exhibited an expression pattern of MFE and Vg similar to that of reproducing queens. Males were characterized by high Kr-h1 expression and low Vg level. The tissue comparison unveiled an unexpected resemblance between the fat body and hypopharyngeal glands across all investigated genes, sexes, and life stages.

  9. A combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts is able to improve sexual quality of life in patient with premature ejaculation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Sansalone

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The management of patient affected by premature ejaculation (PE is nowadays not highly satisfactory. Here, we aimed to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of a combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts in order to improve sexual quality of life in patients with premature ejaculation. Materials and methods: All patients attending to 5 urological centers from January 2015 to March 2015, due to premature ejaculation were enrolled in this study. At the enrolment visit, all subjects underwent self-administered IIEF-5, Male Sexual Health Questionnaire-Ejaculation Disorder (MSHQEjD, PEDT and IELTS (calculated as mean from that perceived by partner and that perceived by patient and underwent urological visit and laboratory examinations. All patients received one tablet per day of a combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts for 3 months (Group A. After 3 months all patients underwent follow-up visit with the same investigations that have been carried out in the enrolment visit. The results were compared with a cohort of patients enrolled in the same period in another urological center and considered as a control group (Group B. All patients in the control group underwent counseling and sexual behavioral treatment without any pharmacological compound. Results: At the follow-up analysis, significant changes in terms of IELT in the Group A (mean difference: 31.90; p < 0.05 at 3 months and versus Group B at the intergroup analysis (mean difference: 30.30; p < 0.05 were reported. In the group A, significant differences from baseline to last follow- up were observed relative to IIEF-5 (mean difference: 1.04; p < 0.05, PEDT (mean difference: -2.57; p < 0.05 and FSH (mean difference: -16.46; p < 0.05. Conclusion: In conclusion, patients affected by PE may significantly benefit from oral therapy with a combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana

  10. Life cycle stage and water depth affect flooding-induced adventitious root formation in the terrestrial species Solanum dulcamara.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Visser, Eric J W; de Kroon, Hans; Huber, Heidrun

    2015-08-01

    Flooding can occur at any stage of the life cycle of a plant, but often adaptive responses of plants are only studied at a single developmental stage. It may be anticipated that juvenile plants may respond differently from mature plants, as the amount of stored resources may differ and morphological changes can be constrained. Moreover, different water depths may require different strategies to cope with the flooding stress, the expression of which may also depend on developmental stage. This study investigated whether flooding-induced adventitious root formation and plant growth were affected by flooding depth in Solanum dulcamara plants at different developmental stages. Juvenile plants without pre-formed adventitious root primordia and mature plants with primordia were subjected to shallow flooding or deep flooding for 5 weeks. Plant growth and the timing of adventitious root formation were monitored during the flooding treatments. Adventitious root formation in response to shallow flooding was significantly constrained in juvenile S. dulcamara plants compared with mature plants, and was delayed by deep flooding compared with shallow flooding. Complete submergence suppressed adventitious root formation until up to 2 weeks after shoots restored contact with the atmosphere. Independent of developmental stage, a strong positive correlation was found between adventitious root formation and total biomass accumulation during shallow flooding. The potential to deploy an escape strategy (i.e. adventitious root formation) may change throughout a plant's life cycle, and is largely dependent on flooding depth. Adaptive responses at a given stage of the life cycle thus do not necessarily predict how the plant responds to flooding in another growth stage. As variation in adventitious root formation also correlates with finally attained biomass, this variation may form the basis for variation in resistance to shallow flooding among plants. © The Author 2015. Published by

  11. UV-B Radiation Contributes to Amphibian Population Declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew

    2007-05-01

    UV-B (280-315 nm) radiation is the most significant biologically damaging radiation at the terrestrial surface. At the organismal level, UV-B radiation can slow growth rates, cause immune dysfunction and result in sublethal damage. UV-B radiation can lead to mutations and cell death. Over evolutionary time, UV radiation has been an important stressor on living organisms. Natural events, including impacts from comets and asteroids, volcanic activity, supernova explosions and solar flares, can cause large-scale ozone depletion with accompanying increases in UV radiation. However, these natural events are transient. Moreover, the amount of ozone damage due to natural events depends upon a number of variables, including the magnitude of the event. This is different from modern-day human-induced production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chemicals that deplete stratospheric ozone continuously, resulting in long-term increases in UV-B radiation at the surface of the earth. We will briefly review the effects of UV-B exposure in one group of aquatic organisms_amphibians. UV-B has been implicated as a possible factor contributing to global declines and range reductions in amphibian populations.

  12. Terrestrial magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pande, D.C.; Agarwal, D.C.

    1982-01-01

    This paper presents a review about terrestrial magnetosphere. During the last few years considerable investigation have been carried out about the properties of Solar Wind and its interaction with planetary magnetic fields. It is therefore of high importance to accumulate all the investigations in a comprehensive form. The paper reviews the property of earth's magnetosphere, magnetosheath, magneto pause, polar cusps, bow shook and plasma sheath. (author)

  13. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole.

  14. Hindlimb musculature of the largest living rodent Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Caviomorpha): Adaptations to semiaquatic and terrestrial styles of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Esponda, César M; Candela, Adriana M

    2016-03-01

    The caviomorph species Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Cavioidea), or capybara, is the largest living rodent. This species is widely distributed, from northern South America to Uruguay and eastern Argentina, inhabiting in a wide variety of densely vegetated lowlands habitats in the proximity of water. Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris not only runs with agility, like other members of the Cavioidea, but it can also swim and dive easily. For these reasons, it has been classified as a cursorial as well as semiaquatic species. However, comprehensive anatomical descriptions of the osteology and myology of the capybara are not available in the literature and analyses on its swimming abilities are still required. We hypothesize that some of the characters of the hindlimb of H. hydrochaeris could reveal a unique morphological arrangement associated with swimming abilities. In this study, an anatomical description of the hindlimb musculature of H. hydrochaeris, and a discussion of the possible functional significance of the main muscles is provided. In addition, we explore the evolution of some myological and osteological characters of the capybara in the context of the cavioids. We concluded that most of the muscular and osteological features of the hindlimb of H. hydrochaeris are neither adaptations to a specialized cursoriality, nor major modifications for an aquatic mode of life. Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris share several features with other cavioids, being a generalized cursorial species in the context of this clade. However, it shows some adaptations of the hindlimb for enhancing propulsion through water, of which the most notable seems to be the shortening of the leg, short tendons of most muscles of the leg, and a well-developed soleus muscle. These adaptations to a semiaquatic mode of life could have been acquired during the most recent evolutionary history of the hydrochoerids. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. Chytridiomycosis: a global threat to amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. Hydrothermal simulation experiments as a tool for studies of the origin of life on Earth and other terrestrial planets: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Nils G; Andersson, Eva

    2005-08-01

    life on Earth and probably also to the other terrestrial planets.

  18. Parallels in amphibian and bat declines from pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskew, Evan A; Todd, Brian D

    2013-03-01

    Pathogenic fungi have substantial effects on global biodiversity, and 2 emerging pathogenic species-the chytridiomycete Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and the ascomycete Geomyces destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats-are implicated in the widespread decline of their vertebrate hosts. We synthesized current knowledge for chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome regarding disease emergence, environmental reservoirs, life history characteristics of the host, and host-pathogen interactions. We found striking similarities between these aspects of chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome, and the research that we review and propose should help guide management of future emerging fungal diseases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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,...

  20. 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.

  1. Taiwan's industrial heavy metal pollution threatens terrestrial biota

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hsu, M.J. [Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan (China); Selvaraj, K. [Institute of Marine Geology and Chemistry, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan (China); Agoramoorthy, G. [Department of Pharmacy, Tajen University, Yanpu, Pingtung 907, Taiwan (China)]. E-mail: agoram@mail.tajen.edu.tw

    2006-09-15

    The bioconcentration levels of essential (Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, and Zn) and non-essential (As, Cd, Hg, Pb, and Sn) elements have been investigated in different terrestrial biota such as fungi, plant, earthworm, snail, crab, insect, amphibian, lizard, snake, and bat including the associated soil, to investigate the ecosystem health status in Kenting National Park, Taiwan. High bioconcentrations of Cd, Hg, and Sn in snail, earthworm, crab, lizard, snake, and bat indicated a contaminated terrestrial ecosystem. High concentrations of Cd, Hg, and Sn in plant species, effective bioaccumulation of Cd by earthworm, snail, crab and bat, as well as very high levels of Hg found in invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles revealed a strong influence from industrial pollution on the biotic community. This study for the first time presents data on the impact of heavy metal pollution on various terrestrial organisms in Taiwan. - Metal effects occur at any terrestrial levels in Taiwan.

  2. Toward a List of Molecules as Potential Biosignature Gases for the Search for Life on Exoplanets and Applications to Terrestrial Biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, S; Bains, W; Petkowski, J J

    2016-06-01

    Thousands of exoplanets are known to orbit nearby stars. Plans for the next generation of space-based and ground-based telescopes are fueling the anticipation that a precious few habitable planets can be identified in the coming decade. Even more highly anticipated is the chance to find signs of life on these habitable planets by way of biosignature gases. But which gases should we search for? Although a few biosignature gases are prominent in Earth's atmospheric spectrum (O2, CH4, N2O), others have been considered as being produced at or able to accumulate to higher levels on exo-Earths (e.g., dimethyl sulfide and CH3Cl). Life on Earth produces thousands of different gases (although most in very small quantities). Some might be produced and/or accumulate in an exo-Earth atmosphere to high levels, depending on the exo-Earth ecology and surface and atmospheric chemistry. To maximize our chances of recognizing biosignature gases, we promote the concept that all stable and potentially volatile molecules should initially be considered as viable biosignature gases. We present a new approach to the subject of biosignature gases by systematically constructing lists of volatile molecules in different categories. An exhaustive list up to six non-H atoms is presented, totaling about 14,000 molecules. About 2500 of these are CNOPSH compounds. An approach for extending the list to larger molecules is described. We further show that about one-fourth of CNOPSH molecules (again, up to N = 6 non-H atoms) are known to be produced by life on Earth. The list can be used to study classes of chemicals that might be potential biosignature gases, considering their accumulation and possible false positives on exoplanets with atmospheres and surface environments different from Earth's. The list can also be used for terrestrial biochemistry applications, some examples of which are provided. We provide an online community usage database to serve as a registry for volatile molecules

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Quintero

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintero, Esther; Thessen, Anne E; Arias-Caballero, Paulina; Ayala-Orozco, Bárbara

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Stoichiometry and Life-History Interact to Determine the Magnitude of Cross-Ecosystem Element and Biomass Fluxes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas M. Luhring

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystems are linked through the transfer of materials and energy. Studies examining material fluxes across habitat boundaries frequently quantify unidirectional flows of nutrients and energy. However, material fluxes can be multidirectional, and we lack a conceptual framework to describe how their quantity and stoichiometry influence the net transfer of individual elements between ecosystems. Here we develop a zero net transfer isocline (ZNTI framework that integrates the relative mass and stoichiometry of fluxes into and out of an ecosystem. We then use case studies with amphibians and salmon to elucidate how life history, ontogenetic shifts in stoichiometry, and trophic interactions shape relative fluxes of nutrients between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Because they increase in both size and Ca content from ova to metamorphs, amphibian life histories strongly bias them toward net Ca export into the terrestrial environment. Because amphibian biomass, C, P, and Ca ZNTIs do not overlap, there is no value of survivorship where the net flux of biomass, C, P, and Ca are simultaneously balanced between terrestrial and aquatic habitats. The degree of iteroparity and semelparity in salmon strongly affects both the magnitude of net biomass and P flux between riverine and marine environments. While the net direction of biomass flux generally remains strongly biased toward import into the riverine system, net P flux can reach net export into the marine environment because of increasing adult breeding survival leading to reduced mass and %P of what they deposit in rivers (e.g., ova vs. whole carcasses. These examples highlight how ontogenetic shifts in body size and stoichiometry result in asymmetric fluxes of elements and biomass that can lead to simultaneous net imports and exports of different elements within the same system. Furthermore, they demonstrate how changes in life-history characteristics and stage-specific survivorship can lead to

  7. 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.

  8. Introduced Terrestrial Species Richness

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted current distributions of all introduced mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. These data...

  9. 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...

  10. Terrestrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems

  11. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio; Smith, Geoffrey

    2015-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The herpetofauna of Hidalgo consists of a total of 175 species: 54 amphibians (14 salamanders and 40 anurans); and 121 reptiles (one crocodile, five turtles, 36 lizards, 79 snakes). These taxa represent 32 families (12 amphibian families, 20 reptile families) and 87 genera (24 amphibian genera, 63 reptile genera). Two of these species are non-native species (Hemidactylus frenatus Duméril and Bibron, 1836 a...

  12. Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Amphibian Populations

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  13. Differential host susceptibility to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an emerging amphibian pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.L. Searle; S.S. Gervasi; J. Hua; J.I. Hammond; R.A. Relyea; D.H. Olson; A.R. Blaustein

    2011-01-01

    The amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has received considerable attention due to its role in amphibian population declines worldwide. Although many amphibian species appear to be affected by Bd, there is little information on species-specific differences in susceptibility to this pathogen. We used a comparative...

  14. 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).

  15. Possibilties of using amphibians and reptiles to indicate environmental pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petrov, V.S.; Sharygin, S.A.

    1981-01-01

    Data on the presence of certain toxic elements in organisms of amphibians and reptiles are reported. Differences in chemical composition of organisms of amphibians and reptiles living in wild biotopes and in settlements are shown. Analysis of microelement concentration in organisms of amphibians and reptiles can be used to detect pollution in urban areas.

  16. Amphibians of the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Euliss, Ned H.; Lannoo, Michael J.; Mushet, David M.; Mac, M.J.; Opler, P.A.; Puckett Haecker, C. E.; Doran, P.D.

    1998-01-01

    No cry of alarm has been sounded over the fate of amphibian populations in the northern grasslands of North America, yet huge percentages of prairie wetland habitat have been lost, and the destruction continues. Scarcely 30% of the original mixedgrass prairie remains in Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota (See Table 1 in this chapter). If amphibian populations haven’t declined, why haven’t they? Or, have we simply failed to notice? Amphibians in the northern grasslands evolved in a boom-or-bust environment: species that were unable to survive droughts lasting for years died out long before humans were around to count them. Species we find today are expert at seizing the rare, wet moment to rebuild their populations in preparation for the next dry season. When numbers can change so rapidly, who can say if a species is rare or common? A lot depends on when you look.

  17. Global patterns of amphibian phylogenetic diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritz, Susanne; Rahbek, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    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...... 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...

  18. Life in the fluvial hinterland of the late Sarmatian Sea (middle Miocene): a rare terrestrial fossil site in the Styrian Basin (Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doubrawa, Monika; Gross, Martin; Harzhauser, Mathias

    2018-02-01

    This paper describes the section and fossil content of a former gravel pit in the Eastern Styrian Basin (SE Austria), which exposes sediments of a fluvial system, ranging from within channel to overbank environments. A predominately terrestrial gastropod fauna of 15 species so far, was recovered from a palaeosol formed in a moist and vegetated, floodplain or abandoned channel. Up-section, a shallow freshwater pond/lake developed within the floodplain, settled by fishes, molluscs and ostracods. By integrating regional geological and biostratigraphical data derived from the terrestrial gastropod fauna as well as from the other recovered biota, these strata are of late middle Miocene (late Sarmatian s.str.) age. Hence, this fossil site provides a rare insight into the terrestrial habitats in the hinterland of the Sarmatian Sea and their biota, which are otherwise barely known in Central Europe.

  19. Emerging Ranaviral Infectious Diseases and Amphibian Decline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Robert

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases caused by ranaviruses (RV, family Iridoviridae not only affect wild amphibian populations but also agriculture and international animal trade. Although, the prevalence of RV infections and die offs has markedly increased over the last decade, it is still unclear whether these viruses are direct causal agents of extinction or rather are the resulting (secondary consequences of weakened health of amphibian populations leading to increased susceptibility to viral pathogens. In either case, it is important to understand the critical role of host immune defense in controlling RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission; this is the focus of this review.

  20. Common procedures in reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Navarre, Byron J S

    2006-05-01

    Reptiles and amphibians continue to be popular as pets in the United States and throughout the world. It therefore behooves veterinarians interested in caring for these exotic species to continually gather knowledge concerning both their proper husbandry and the conditions that require medical and/or surgical intervention. This article covers husbandry, physical examination, and clinical and diagnostic techniques in an effort to present guidelines for the evaluation of the reptile or amphibian patient. Gathering clinical data will aid veterinarians in arriving at the proper diagnosis,increasing the chances of success with treatment protocols, and educating the clients in proper nutrition and husbandry for their pets.

  1. The state of amphibians in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Sleep in amphibians and reptiles: a review and a preliminary analysis of evolutionary patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libourel, Paul-Antoine; Herrel, Anthony

    2016-08-01

    Despite the ubiquitous nature of sleep, its functions remain a mystery. In an attempt to address this, many researchers have studied behavioural and electrophysiological phenomena associated with sleep in a diversity of animals. The great majority of vertebrates and invertebrates display a phase of immobility that could be considered as a sort of sleep. Terrestrial mammals and birds, both homeotherms, show two sleep states with distinct behavioural and electrophysiological features. However, whether these features have evolved independently in each clade or were inherited from a common ancestor remains unknown. Unfortunately, amphibians and reptiles, key taxa in understanding the evolution of sleep given their position at the base of the tetrapod and amniote tree, respectively, remain poorly studied in the context of sleep. This review presents an overview of what is known about sleep in amphibians and reptiles and uses the existing data to provide a preliminary analysis of the evolution of behavioural and electrophysiological features of sleep in amphibians and reptiles. We also discuss the problems associated with analysing existing data, as well as the difficulty in inferring homologies of sleep stages based on limited data in the context of an essentially mammalian-centric definition of sleep. Finally, we highlight the importance of developing comparative approaches to sleep research that may benefit from the great diversity of species with different ecologies and morphologies in order to understand the evolution and functions of sleep. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  3. 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.

  4. Changes in the morphology and ultrastructure in the Dufour's gland during the life cycle of the Bumble bee queen, Bombus terrestris L.(Hymenoptera: Bombini)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abdalla, Fábio Camargo; Velthuis, Hayo; Cruz-Landim, Carminda da; Duchateau, Marie José

    1999-01-01

    The Dufour's gland is found closely associated with the sting apparatus of all female hymenopterans, playing multiple roles among bees. In some species of Bombus the gland may be involved in production of nestmate recognition pheromones, but in B. terrestris its function is not certain yet. The

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric W. Stitt; Theresa M. Mau-Crimmins; Don E. Swann

    2005-01-01

    We examined patterns of species richness for amphibians and reptiles in Arizona and evaluated patterns in species distribution between ecoregions based on species range size. In Arizona, the Sonoran Desert has the highest herpetofauna diversity, and the southern ecoregions are more similar than other regions. There appear to be distinct low- and mid-elevational...

  10. 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.

  11. Amphibians from Liberia and the Gold Coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parker, H.W.

    1936-01-01

    Thanks to the courtesy of Drs. Boschma and Brongersma the author has been privileged to examine a large series of West African amphibians from the collections of the Royal Museum of Natural History in Leiden. Of the comparatively easily accessible parts of Africa, Liberia is probably the least

  12. TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION AS PREDICTORS OF SPECIES RICHNESS IN NORTHERN ANDEAN AMPHIBIANS FROM COLOMBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ortiz-Yusty Carlos Eduardo

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Our objective was to explore the spatial distribution patterns of amphibian speciesrichness in Antioquia, as model for the tropical Andes, and determine how annualmean temperature, annual precipitation, and elevation range influence it. We alsobriefly compare local and global regression models for estimating the relationbetween environmental variables and species richness. Distribution maps for 223amphibian species and environmental variables were generalized onto grid mapsof 752 blocks each covering the entire Department of Antioquia. We explored therelationship between species richness and environment using two global regressionmodels (the Ordinary Least Squares “OLS” and Generalized Linear Squares“GLS” models and one local model (the Geographically Weighted Regression“GWR” model. We found a significant relationship between species richness andenvironmental variables (GLS r2: 0.869; GRW r2: 0.929. The GLS model efficientlyincorporated the spatial autocorrelation effect and handled spatial dependencein the regression error terms while the GWR model showed the best fit (r2 andbalance between number of parameters and fit (AICc. GWR parameters show widevariation within the study area, indicating that relationship between species richnessand climate is spatially complex. Temperature was the most important variablein the GLS and GWR models, and altitude range the least significant. The strongrelationship between environment and amphibian richness is possibly due to lifehistory traits of amphibians, such as ectothermy and water dependency to completethe life cycle

  13. Microcosm investigations of stormwater pond sediment toxicity to embryonic and larval amphibians: Variation in sensitivity among species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Snodgrass, Joel W. [Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252 (United States)], E-mail: jsnodgrass@towson.edu; Casey, Ryan E. [Department of Chemistry, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252 (United States); Joseph, Debra; Simon, Judith A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252 (United States)

    2008-07-15

    Stormwater ponds have become common features of modern development and often represent significant amounts of open space in urbanized areas. Although stormwater ponds may provide habitat for wildlife, factors responsible for producing variation in wildlife use of ponds have received limited attention. To investigate the role of variation in species tolerances of pollutants in structuring pond-breeding amphibian assemblages, we exposed species tolerant (Bufo americanus) and not tolerant (Rana sylvatica) of urbanization to pond sediments in laboratory microcosms. Pond microcosms had elevated sediment metal levels and chloride water concentrations. Among R. sylvatica embryos, exposure to pond sediments resulted in 100% mortality. In contrast, B. americanus embryos and larvae experienced only sublethal effects (i.e., reduced size at metamorphosis) due to pond sediment exposure. Our results suggest variation in pollutant tolerance among early developmental stages of amphibians may act in concert with terrestrial habitat availability to structure amphibian assemblages associated with stormwater ponds. - Variation among species in sensitivity to pollutants can influence stormwater pond amphibian assemblages.

  14. Effects of road mortality and mitigation measures on amphibian populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beebee, Trevor J C

    2013-08-01

    Road mortality is a widely recognized but rarely quantified threat to the viability of amphibian populations. The global extent of the problem is substantial and factors affecting the number of animals killed on highways include life-history traits and landscape features. Secondary effects include genetic isolation due to roads acting as barriers to migration. Long-term effects of roads on population dynamics are often severe and mitigation methods include volunteer rescues and under-road tunnels. Despite the development of methods that reduce road kill in specific locations, especially under-road tunnels and culverts, there is scant evidence that such measures will protect populations over the long term. There also seems little likelihood that funding will be forthcoming to ameliorate the problem at the scale necessary to prevent further population declines. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Does nitrate deposition following astrophysical ionizing radiation events pose an additional threat to amphibians?

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas, Brian C.; Honeyman, Michelle D.

    2008-01-01

    It is known that amphibians are especially susceptible to the combination of heightened UVB radiation and increased nitrate concentrations. Various astrophysical events have been suggested as sources of ionizing radiation that could pose a threat to life on Earth, through destruction of the ozone layer and subsequent increase in UVB, followed by deposition of nitrate. In this study, we investigate whether the nitrate deposition following an ionizing event is sufficiently large to cause an add...

  16. Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate Change on Amphibian Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie S. Gervasi

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available 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. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

    is the result of my three year PhD study at the National Environmental Research Institute, Kalø, and University of Copenhagen. Funded by NERI, the Danish Research Academy, and the Danish Road Directorate, it has dealt mainly with the effects of traffic and roads on amphibian populations. The Spadefoot toad...... of Spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus Laur.) II The effect of road kills on amphibian populations III Simulating viability of a Spadefoot toad (P. fuscus) metapopulation in a landscape fragmented by a road The manuscripts are preceded by a synopsis which sums up the work and puts it into a broader perspective......, Johan Elmberg, Andreas Seiler, and Per Sjögren-Gulve, for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for science with me. Constructive ideas, different approaches, and elaborate discussions are crucial parts of any scientific process: I thank Lenore Fahrig for dedicated and original teaching and discussions...

  18. Speciation and zoogeography of amphibian in Sundaland

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    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.

  19. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  20. 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.

  1. Diversity, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles from the San Vito Region, southwestern Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesus; Mendoza-Quijano, Fernando; Bolaños, Federico; Cháves, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2008-06-01

    We present an inventory of the amphibians and reptiles of the San Vito de Coto Brus region, including the Las Cruces Biological Station, in southern Costa Rica, which is the result of a survey of the herpetofauna occurring in mountain forest fragments, pastures, coffee plantations, and other disturbed areas. We found 67 species, included 26 species of amphibians and of 41 of reptiles. We describe the distribution patterns of the community on the basis of the life zones, elevation, fragmentation, and degree of anthropogenic impact. We also provide some nouvelle data on the systematics of some select taxa, their geographical ranges, microhabitats, activity, and other relevant ecological and natural history features. Finally, we comment on the present conservation status of the herpetofauna in the region. Previous literature and collection records indicate a higher number of species occurring in this area, which suggests that some declines have occurred, especially of amphibians, in last decades.

  2. Amphibians and reptiles of South Ossetia

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-03

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Predictors of breeding site occupancy by amphibians in montane landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groff, Luke A.; Loftin, Cynthia S.; Calhoun, Aram J.K.

    2017-01-01

    Ecological relationships and processes vary across species’ geographic distributions, life stages and spatial, and temporal scales. Montane landscapes are characterized by low wetland densities, rugged topographies, and cold climates. Consequently, aquatic-dependent and low-vagility ectothermic species (e.g., pool-breeding amphibians) may exhibit unique ecological associations in montane landscapes. We evaluated the relative importance of breeding- and landscape-scale features associated with spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) wetland occupancy in Maine's Upper Montane-Alpine Zone ecoregion, and we determined whether models performed better when the inclusive landscape-scale covariates were estimated with topography-weighted or circular buffers. We surveyed 135 potential breeding sites during May 2013–June 2014 and evaluated environmental relationships with multi-season implicit dynamics occupancy models. Breeding site occupancy by both species was influenced solely by breeding-scale habitat features. Spotted salamander occupancy probabilities increased with previous or current beaver (Castor canadensis) presence, and models generally were better supported when the inclusive landscape-scale covariates were estimated with topography-weighted rather than circular buffers. Wood frog occupancy probabilities increased with site area and percent shallows, but neither buffer type was better supported than the other. Model rank order and support varied between buffer types, but model inferences did not. Our results suggest pool-breeding amphibian conservation in montane Maine include measures to maintain beaver populations and large wetlands with proportionally large areas of shallows ≤1-m deep. Inconsistencies between our study and previous studies substantiate the value of region-specific research for augmenting species’ conservation management plans and suggest the application of out-of-region inferences may promote

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host–pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host–pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian–host–parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine–immune interactions, disease and climate change. PMID:22566676

  9. Heterogeneous responses of temperate-zone amphibian populations to climate change complicates conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin L.; Chambert, Thierry A.; Schmidt, B. R.; Miller, D. A. W.; Hossack, Blake R.; Joly, P.; Grolet, O.; Green, D. M.; Pilliod, David S.; Cheylan, M.; Fisher, Robert N.; McCaffery, R. M.; Adams, M. J.; Palen, W. J.; Arntzen, J. W.; Garwood, J.; Fellers, Gary M.; Thirion, J. M.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Besnard, A.

    2017-01-01

    The pervasive and unabated nature of global amphibian declines suggests common demographic responses to a given driver, and quantification of major drivers and responses could inform broad-scale conservation actions. We explored the influence of climate on demographic parameters (i.e., changes in the probabilities of survival and recruitment) using 31 datasets from temperate zone amphibian populations (North America and Europe) with more than a decade of observations each. There was evidence for an influence of climate on population demographic rates, but the direction and magnitude of responses to climate drivers was highly variable among taxa and among populations within taxa. These results reveal that climate drivers interact with variation in life-history traits and population-specific attributes resulting in a diversity of responses. This heterogeneity complicates the identification of conservation ‘rules of thumb’ for these taxa, and supports the notion of local focus as the most effective approach to overcome global-scale conservation challenges.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Effects of experimental canopy manipulation on amphibian egg deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zachary I. Felix; Yong Wang; Callie J. Schweitzer

    2010-01-01

    Although effects of forest management on amphibians are relatively well studied, few studies have examined how these practices affect egg deposition by adults, which can impact population recruitment. We quantified the effects of 4 canopy tree-retention treatments on amphibian oviposition patterns in clusters of 60-L aquatic mesocosms located in each treatment. We also...

  16. 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.

  17. Sampling methods for amphibians in streams in the Pacific Northwest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Bruce Bury; Paul Stephen. Corn

    1991-01-01

    Methods describing how to sample aquatic and semiaquatic amphibians in small streams and headwater habitats in the Pacific Northwest are presented. We developed a technique that samples 10-meter stretches of selected streams, which was adequate to detect presence or absence of amphibian species and provided sample sizes statistically sufficient to compare abundance of...

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. Estrogens can disrupt amphibian mating behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frauke Hoffmann

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

  1. 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.

  2. Ion transport by the amphibian primary ureter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møbjerg, Nadja

    2008-01-01

    putative ion transport mechanisms in the primary ureter of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Primary ureters isolated from axolotl larvae were perfused in vitro and single cells were impaled across the basal cell membrane with glass microelectrodes. In 42 cells the membrane potential......+] steps from 3 to 20 mmol/l and a hyperpolarization of Vm upon lowering [Na+] from 102 to 2 mmol/l, indicating the presence of luminal K+ and Na+ conductances. This study provides the first functional data on the vertebrate primary ureter. The data show that the primary ureter of axolotl larvae...

  3. Alien species recorded in the United Arab Emirates: an initial list of terrestrial and freshwater species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pritpal Soorae

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Little is documented on the alien terrestrial and freshwater species in the United Arab Emirates. To address this, an assessment of terrestrial and freshwater alien species was conducted using various techniques such as a questionnaire, fieldwork data, networking with relevant people, and a detailed literature review. The results of the initial assessment show that there are 146 alien species recorded in the following seven major taxonomic groups: invertebrates 49 species, freshwater fish five species, amphibian one species, reptiles six species, birds 71 species, mammals six species and plants eight species. To inform decision makers a full list of the 146 species identified in this assessment is presented. 

  4. Does terrestrial epidemiology apply to marine systems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCallum, Hamish I.; Kuris, Armand M.; Harvell, C. Drew; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Smith, Garriet W.; Porter, James

    2004-01-01

    Most of epidemiological theory has been developed for terrestrial systems, but the significance of disease in the ocean is now being recognized. However, the extent to which terrestrial epidemiology can be directly transferred to marine systems is uncertain. Many broad types of disease-causing organism occur both on land and in the sea, and it is clear that some emergent disease problems in marine environments are caused by pathogens moving from terrestrial to marine systems. However, marine systems are qualitatively different from terrestrial environments, and these differences affect the application of modelling and management approaches that have been developed for terrestrial systems. Phyla and body plans are more diverse in marine environments and marine organisms have different life histories and probably different disease transmission modes than many of their terrestrial counterparts. Marine populations are typically more open than terrestrial ones, with the potential for long-distance dispersal of larvae. Potentially, this might enable unusually rapid propagation of epidemics in marine systems, and there are several examples of this. Taken together, these differences will require the development of new approaches to modelling and control of infectious disease in the ocean.

  5. A new parameterization for integrated population models to document amphibian reintroductions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Adam; Pearl, Christopher A; Adams, Michael J; Peterson, James T

    2017-09-01

    Managers are increasingly implementing reintroduction programs as part of a global effort to alleviate amphibian declines. Given uncertainty in factors affecting populations and a need to make recurring decisions to achieve objectives, adaptive management is a useful component of these efforts. A major impediment to the estimation of demographic rates often used to parameterize and refine decision-support models is that life-stage-specific monitoring data are frequently sparse for amphibians. We developed a new parameterization for integrated population models to match the ecology of amphibians and capitalize on relatively inexpensive monitoring data to document amphibian reintroductions. We evaluate the capability of this model by fitting it to Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) monitoring data collected from 2007 to 2014 following their reintroduction within the Klamath Basin, Oregon, USA. The number of egg masses encountered and the estimated adult and metamorph abundances generally increased following reintroduction. We found that survival probability from egg to metamorph ranged from 0.01 in 2008 to 0.09 in 2009 and was not related to minimum spring temperatures, metamorph survival probability ranged from 0.13 in 2010-2011 to 0.86 in 2012-2013 and was positively related to mean monthly temperatures (logit-scale slope = 2.37), adult survival probability was lower for founders (0.40) than individuals recruited after reintroduction (0.56), and the mean number of egg masses per adult female was 0.74. Our study is the first to test hypotheses concerning Oregon spotted frog egg-to-metamorph and metamorph-to-adult transition probabilities in the wild and document their response at multiple life stages following reintroduction. Furthermore, we provide an example to illustrate how the structure of our integrated population model serves as a useful foundation for amphibian decision-support models within adaptive management programs. The integration of multiple, but

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Ovarian control and monitoring in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calatayud, N E; Stoops, M; Durrant, B S

    2018-03-15

    Amphibian evolution spans over 350 million years, consequently this taxonomic group displays a wide, complex array of physiological adaptations and their diverse modes of reproduction are a prime example. Reproduction can be affected by taxonomy, geographic and altitudinal distribution, and environmental factors. With some exceptions, amphibians can be categorized into discontinuous (strictly seasonal) and continuous breeders. Temperature and its close association with other proximate and genetic factors control reproduction via a tight relationship with circadian rhythms which drive genetic and hormonal responses to the environment. In recent times, the relationship of proximate factors and reproduction has directly or indirectly lead to the decline of this taxonomic group. Conservationists are tackling the rapid loss of species through a wide range of approaches including captive rescue. However, there is still much to be learned about the mechanisms of reproductive control and its requirements in order to fabricate species-appropriate captive environments that address a variety of reproductive strategies. As with other taxonomic groups, assisted reproductive technologies and other reproductive monitoring tools such as ultrasound, hormone analysis and body condition indices can assist conservationists in optimizing captive husbandry and breeding. In this review we discuss some of the mechanisms of ovarian control and the different tools being used to monitor female reproduction. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Pilot Inventory of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, 1990-1997

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenoff-Irving, M.; Howell, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    The United States Geological Survey Golden Gate Field Station conducted a baseline inventory of terrestrial vertebrates within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, California between 1990 and 1997. We established 456 permanent study plots in 6 major park habitats, including grassland, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, coastal wetland, broad-leaved evergreen forest, and needle-leaved evergreen forest. We tested multiple inventory methods, including live traps, track plate stations, and artificial cover boards, across all years and habitats. In most years, sampling occurred in 3?4 primary sampling sessions between July and September. In 1994, additional sampling occurred in February and May in conjunction with an assessment of Hantavirus exposure in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Overall, we detected 32 mammal, 14 reptile, and 6 amphibian species during 25,222 trap-nights of effort. The deer mouse?the most abundant species detected--accounted for 67% of total captures. We detected the Federal Endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) at one coastal wetland plot in 1992. This project represents the first phase in the development of a comprehensive terrestrial vertebrate inventory and monitoring program for GGNRA. This report summarizes data on relative abundance, frequency of occurrence, distribution across habitat types, and trap success for terrestrial vertebrates detected during this 7-year effort. It includes comprehensive descriptions of the inventory methods and sampling strategies employed during this survey and is intended to help guide the park in the implementation of future longterm ecological monitoring programs.

  12. Smart Moves: Effects of Relative Brain Size on Establishment Success of Invasive Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiel, Joshua J.; Tingley, Reid; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Brain size relative to body size varies considerably among animals, but the ecological consequences of that variation remain poorly understood. Plausibly, larger brains confer increased behavioural flexibility, and an ability to respond to novel challenges. In keeping with that hypothesis, successful invasive species of birds and mammals that flourish after translocation to a new area tend to have larger brains than do unsuccessful invaders. We found the same pattern in ectothermic terrestrial vertebrates. Brain size relative to body size was larger in species of amphibians and reptiles reported to be successful invaders, compared to species that failed to thrive after translocation to new sites. This pattern was found in six of seven global biogeographic realms; the exception (where relatively larger brains did not facilitate invasion success) was Australasia. Establishment success was also higher in amphibian and reptile families with larger relative brain sizes. Future work could usefully explore whether invasion success is differentially associated with enlargement of specific parts of the brain (as predicted by the functional role of the forebrain in promoting behavioural flexibility), or with a general size increase (suggesting that invasion success is facilitated by enhanced perceptual and motor skills, as well as cognitive ability). PMID:21494328

  13. Smart moves: effects of relative brain size on establishment success of invasive amphibians and reptiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua J Amiel

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Brain size relative to body size varies considerably among animals, but the ecological consequences of that variation remain poorly understood. Plausibly, larger brains confer increased behavioural flexibility, and an ability to respond to novel challenges. In keeping with that hypothesis, successful invasive species of birds and mammals that flourish after translocation to a new area tend to have larger brains than do unsuccessful invaders. We found the same pattern in ectothermic terrestrial vertebrates. Brain size relative to body size was larger in species of amphibians and reptiles reported to be successful invaders, compared to species that failed to thrive after translocation to new sites. This pattern was found in six of seven global biogeographic realms; the exception (where relatively larger brains did not facilitate invasion success was Australasia. Establishment success was also higher in amphibian and reptile families with larger relative brain sizes. Future work could usefully explore whether invasion success is differentially associated with enlargement of specific parts of the brain (as predicted by the functional role of the forebrain in promoting behavioural flexibility, or with a general size increase (suggesting that invasion success is facilitated by enhanced perceptual and motor skills, as well as cognitive ability.

  14. Smart moves: effects of relative brain size on establishment success of invasive amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiel, Joshua J; Tingley, Reid; Shine, Richard

    2011-04-06

    Brain size relative to body size varies considerably among animals, but the ecological consequences of that variation remain poorly understood. Plausibly, larger brains confer increased behavioural flexibility, and an ability to respond to novel challenges. In keeping with that hypothesis, successful invasive species of birds and mammals that flourish after translocation to a new area tend to have larger brains than do unsuccessful invaders. We found the same pattern in ectothermic terrestrial vertebrates. Brain size relative to body size was larger in species of amphibians and reptiles reported to be successful invaders, compared to species that failed to thrive after translocation to new sites. This pattern was found in six of seven global biogeographic realms; the exception (where relatively larger brains did not facilitate invasion success) was Australasia. Establishment success was also higher in amphibian and reptile families with larger relative brain sizes. Future work could usefully explore whether invasion success is differentially associated with enlargement of specific parts of the brain (as predicted by the functional role of the forebrain in promoting behavioural flexibility), or with a general size increase (suggesting that invasion success is facilitated by enhanced perceptual and motor skills, as well as cognitive ability).

  15. Progress report on amphibians, reptiles and mammals at the Los Medanos site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1981-01-01

    Baseline amphibian, reptilian and mammalian studies have been conducted by Dr. A.L. Gennaro of Eastern New Mexico University at the Los Medanos site since August 1975. These studies include habitat preferences of amphibians; weekly captures of lizards for stomach content analysis; densities of lizards on a 1 ha study grid; collections of lagomorphs (rabbits and hares) and small mammals from 1/4 section areas for reproduction and feeding ecology studies; densities of rodents on a 90 m by 90 m grid; movements and home range studies of rodents on a 20 ha grid; and densities of lagomorphs. Monthly samples of lagomorphs and rodents were collected during a six-month period in 1979-1980 for reproduction and feeding ecology studies. Additionally, terrestrial vertebrate species were noted at the site during a 12-month period and their numbers and habitats recorded. A total of 3104 mammalian specimens and several plant specimens was obtained during the course of these studies. The entire specimen collection was curated and systematically organized by Eastern New Mexico University's Natural History Museum

  16. Thermal biology mediates responses of amphibians and reptiles to habitat modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowakowski, A Justin; Watling, James I; Thompson, Michelle E; Brusch, George A; Catenazzi, Alessandro; Whitfield, Steven M; Kurz, David J; Suárez-Mayorga, Ángela; Aponte-Gutiérrez, Andrés; Donnelly, Maureen A; Todd, Brian D

    2018-03-01

    Human activities often replace native forests with warmer, modified habitats that represent novel thermal environments for biodiversity. Reducing biodiversity loss hinges upon identifying which species are most sensitive to the environmental conditions that result from habitat modification. Drawing on case studies and a meta-analysis, we examined whether observed and modelled thermal traits, including heat tolerances, variation in body temperatures, and evaporative water loss, explained variation in sensitivity of ectotherms to habitat modification. Low heat tolerances of lizards and amphibians and high evaporative water loss of amphibians were associated with increased sensitivity to habitat modification, often explaining more variation than non-thermal traits. Heat tolerances alone explained 24-66% (mean = 38%) of the variation in species responses, and these trends were largely consistent across geographic locations and spatial scales. As habitat modification alters local microclimates, the thermal biology of species will likely play a key role in the reassembly of terrestrial communities. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  17. V. Terrestrial vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Pearson; Deborah Finch

    2011-01-01

    Within the Interior West, terrestrial vertebrates do not represent a large number of invasive species relative to invasive weeds, aquatic vertebrates, and invertebrates. However, several invasive terrestrial vertebrate species do cause substantial economic and ecological damage in the U.S. and in this region (Pimental 2000, 2007; Bergman and others 2002; Finch and...

  18. Extinction debt as a driver of amphibian declines: An example with imperiled flatwoods salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiltsch, Raymond D; Walls, Susan; Barichivich, William J.; O'Donnell, Katherine

    2017-01-01

    A comprehensive view of population declines and their underlying causes is necessary to reverse species loss. Historically, in many cases, a narrow view may have allowed species declines to continue, virtually undetected, for long periods of time (perhaps even decades). We suggest that extinction debt is likely responsible for numerous (perhaps most) amphibian declines and that this perspective should be incorporated into the structure of amphibian research and management. Extinction debt, originally proposed to explain changes in species richness following environmental disturbance, also may refer to the proportion of populations of an individual species that is expected to eventually be lost because of habitat change. A conservation framework to address extinction debt focuses research on threats at the individual, population, and metapopulation levels. This approach will help enhance, restore, and protect specific processes and habitats at the proper scale by directing management to the most vulnerable level and stage of a species. We illustrate this approach using Flatwoods Salamanders, Ambystoma cingulatumand Ambystoma bishopi, which occurred historically throughout the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States but have experienced a greater than 85% loss of populations in recent years. Reversal of these losses is possible only if conservation and recovery efforts encompass individual, population, and metapopulation levels. We illustrate our framework by outlining actions that could be taken at each of these levels to help guide conservation and management of amphibians with complex life cycles and provide options for how to prioritize conservation actions in the face of logistical and budgetary shortfalls.

  19. Communal egg-laying in reptiles and amphibians: evolutionary patterns and hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doody, J Sean; Freedberg, Steve; Keogh, J Scott

    2009-09-01

    Communal egg-laying is widespread among animals, occurring in insects, mollusks, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds, just to name a few. While some benefits of communal egg-laying may be pervasive (e.g., it saves time and energy and may ensure the survival of mothers and their offspring), the remarkable diversity in the life histories of the animals that exhibit this behavior presents a great challenge to discovering any general explanation. Reptiles and amphibians offer ideal systems for investigating communal egg-laying because they generally lack parental care--a simplification that brings nest site choice behavior into sharp focus. We exhaustively reviewed the published literature for data on communal egg-laying in reptiles and amphibians. Our analysis demonstrates that the behavior is much more common than previously recognized (occurring in 481 spp.), especially among lizards (N = 255 spp.), where the behavior has evolved multiple times. Our conceptual review strongly suggests that different forces may be driving the evolution and maintenance of communal egg-laying in different taxa. Using a game theory approach, we demonstrate how a stable equilibrium may occur between solitary and communal layers, thus allowing both strategies to co-exist in some populations, and we discuss factors that may influence these proportions. We conclude by outlining future research directions for determining the proximate and ultimate causes of communal egg-laying.

  20. A Quantitative Climate-Match Score for Risk-Assessment Screening of Reptile and Amphibian Introductions

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wilgen, Nicola J.; Roura-Pascual, Núria; Richardson, David M.

    2009-09-01

    Assessing climatic suitability provides a good preliminary estimate of the invasive potential of a species to inform risk assessment. We examined two approaches for bioclimatic modeling for 67 reptile and amphibian species introduced to California and Florida. First, we modeled the worldwide distribution of the biomes found in the introduced range to highlight similar areas worldwide from which invaders might arise. Second, we modeled potentially suitable environments for species based on climatic factors in their native ranges, using three sources of distribution data. Performance of the three datasets and both approaches were compared for each species. Climate match was positively correlated with species establishment success (maximum predicted suitability in the introduced range was more strongly correlated with establishment success than mean suitability). Data assembled from the Global Amphibian Assessment through NatureServe provided the most accurate models for amphibians, while ecoregion data compiled by the World Wide Fund for Nature yielded models which described reptile climatic suitability better than available point-locality data. We present three methods of assigning a climate-match score for use in risk assessment using both the mean and maximum climatic suitabilities. Managers may choose to use different methods depending on the stringency of the assessment and the available data, facilitating higher resolution and accuracy for herpetofaunal risk assessment. Climate-matching has inherent limitations and other factors pertaining to ecological interactions and life-history traits must also be considered for thorough risk assessment.

  1. Integrated field and laboratory tests to evaluate effects of metals-impacted wetlands on amphibians: A case study from Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, G.; ,

    2003-01-01

    Mining activities frequently impact wildlife habitats, and a wide range of habitats may require evaluations of the linkages between wildlife and environmental stressors common to mining activities (e.g., physical alteration of habitat, releases of chemicals such as metals and other inorganic constituents as part of the mining operation). Wetlands, for example, are frequently impacted by mining activities. Within an ecological assessment for a wetland, toxicity evaluations for representative species may be advantageous to the site evaluation, since these species could be exposed to complex chemical mixtures potentially released from the site. Amphibian species common to these transition zones between terrestrial and aquatic habitats are one key biological indicator of exposure, and integrated approaches which involve both field and laboratory methods focused on amphibians are critical to the assessment process. The laboratory and field evaluations of a wetland in western Montana illustrates the integrated approach to risk assessment and causal analysis. Here, amphibians were used to evaluate the potential toxicity associated with heavy metal-laden sediments deposited in a reservoir. Field and laboratory methods were applied to a toxicity assessment for metals characteristic of mine tailings to reduce potential "lab to field" extrapolation errors and provide adaptive management programs with critical site-specific information targeted on remediation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    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’. PMID:28080989

  4. Native Terrestrial Animal Species Richness

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted current distributions of all native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies in the Middle-Atlantic region. The data are...

  5. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linder, G.; Krest, S.K.; Sparkling, D.W. (eds.)

    2003-07-01

    Environmental effects of stressors on amphibians have received increased attention but little is known about the effects of these stressors on amphibian populations. The workshop addressed this issue. The proceedings contain 15 chapters, two of which mention effects of coal combustion wastes. These are: Chapter 4: Chemical stressors, by J.H. Burkhart, J.R. Bidwell, D.J. Fort, S.R. Sheffield, and Chapter 8E: Anthropogenic activities producing sink habitats for amphibians in the local landscape: a case study of lethal and sublethal effects of coal combustion residues in the aquatic environment by C.L. Rose and W.A. Hopkins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-10

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

  9. An Expert-Based Assessment Model for Evaluating Habitat Suitability of Pond-Breeding Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-Ruoh Juang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Farm ponds are important habitats for amphibians, birds, and other wildlife. In Taiwan, artificial ponds were originally created on farmlands for irrigation purposes and the needs of the domestic water supply. Although pond creation is a typical farming practice, it also provides habitats for pond-breeding amphibians. Thus, it is essential to understand the current status of habitats and their vulnerability regarding urgent conservation needs for target species. Günther’s frog (Hylarana guentheri, a pond-breeding amphibian, has a high sensitivity towards surrounding environmental changes, and can be used as an indicator species to assess habitat suitability. The purpose of this study is to establish a systematic framework to assess the habitat suitability of pond-breeding amphibians by using Günther’s frog as a pilot-study species. First, we collected frog survey data from Chiayi, Taiwan, from winter 2013 to spring 2015, and investigated the present status of the environmental conditions around the ponds. Next, expert questionnaires and the fuzzy Delphi method were applied to establish the hierarchical evaluation criteria regarding the habitat suitability assessment. Four indicators: the aquatic environments of farm ponds; the terrestrial environments around ponds; landscape connectivity; and the conservation perceptions of the residents, were determined as first-layer factors in the assessment criteria, while ten other indicators were defined as second-layer factors. Based on the established assessment criteria, we performed in situ habitat suitability evaluations on 69 selected sites and surveyed the perceptions of the residents using questionnaires. Results revealed that 19% of locations were rich in frog species with a high habitat suitability. However, 67% of locations showed signs of habitat degradation, which may imply a higher need in practicing habitat improvement or restoration. The Kappa value was 0.6061, which indicated a high

  10. Heinrich event 4 characterized by terrestrial proxies in southwestern Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. López-García

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Heinrich event 4 (H4 is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred between 39 and 40 Ka. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H4 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestrial proxies for characterizing the H4 event, using the small-vertebrate assemblage (comprising small mammals, squamates and amphibians from Terrassa Riera dels Canyars, an archaeo-palaeontological deposit located on the seaboard of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. This assemblage shows that the H4 event is characterized in northeastern Iberia by harsher and drier terrestrial conditions than today. Our results were compared with other proxies such as pollen, charcoal, phytolith, avifauna and large-mammal data available for this site, as well as with the general H4 event fluctuations and with other sites where H4 and the previous and subsequent Heinrich events (H5 and H3 have been detected in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that the terrestrial proxies follow the same patterns as the climatic and environmental conditions detected by the deep-sea cores at the Iberian margins.

  11. 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...

  12. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P 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.

  13. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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 ...

  19. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Linking animals aloft with the terrestrial landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buler, Jeffrey J.; Barrow, Wylie; Boone, Matthew; Dawson, Deanna K.; Diehl, Robert H.; Moore, Frank R.; Randall, Lori A.; Schreckengost, Timothy; Smolinsky, Jaclyn A.

    2018-01-01

    Despite using the aerosphere for many facets of their life, most flying animals (i.e., birds, bats, some insects) are still bound to terrestrial habitats for resting, feeding, and reproduction. Comprehensive broad-scale observations by weather surveillance radars of animals as they leave terrestrial habitats for migration or feeding flights can be used to map their terrestrial distributions either as point locations (e.g., communal roosts) or as continuous surface layers (e.g., animal densities in habitats across a landscape). We discuss some of the technical challenges to reducing measurement biases related to how radars sample the aerosphere and the flight behavior of animals. We highlight a recently developed methodological approach that precisely and quantitatively links the horizontal spatial structure of birds aloft to their terrestrial distributions and provides novel insights into avian ecology and conservation across broad landscapes. Specifically, we present case studies that (1) elucidate how migrating birds contend with crossing ecological barriers and extreme weather events, (2) identify important stopover areas and habitat use patterns of birds along their migration routes, and (3) assess waterfowl response to wetland habitat management and restoration. These studies aid our understanding of how anthropogenic modification of the terrestrial landscape (e.g., urbanization, habitat management), natural geographic features, and weather (e.g., hurricanes) can affect the terrestrial distributions of flying animals.

  2. Introduced Terrestrial Species (Future)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted future potential distributions of terrestrial plants, animals, and pathogens non-native to the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are...

  3. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  4. 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,...

  5. 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.

  6. Demonstration and Certification of Amphibian Ecological Risk Assessment Protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    pools observed on site persist through the breeding season and long enough for the larvae to metamorphose, suitable amphibian breeding habitat exists in...frog (R. palustris): vocalizations • Fairy shrimp (Eubranchipus sp.): dip net • Isopoda: dip net • Unknown water beetle (Coleoptera): dip net...oxygen-lacking) conditions that favor the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation)) to amphibians. This test procedure uses larvae of the

  7. Threats from climate change to terrestrial vertebrate hotspots in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiorano, Luigi; Amori, Giovanni; Capula, Massimo; Falcucci, Alessandra; Masi, Monica; Montemaggiori, Alessandro; Pottier, Julien; Psomas, Achilleas; Rondinini, Carlo; Russo, Danilo; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Boitani, Luigi; Guisan, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21(st) century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran's I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Environmental status of the Lake Michigan region. Volume 16. Amphibians and reptiles of the Lake Michigan drainage basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pentecost, E.D.; Vogt, R.C.

    1976-07-01

    The focus of this report is on regional distribution of the herpetofauna of the Lake Michigan Drainage Basin. The introduction includes a brief discussion of plant communities and their associated herpetofauna, and the importance of hibernacula and migration routes. Some aspects of the status, distribution, habitat, and life history of the amphibians and reptiles of the Basin are described in an annotated checklist. Special attention is given to uncommon and endangered species. Species range is shown on distribution maps.

  11. Environmental status of the Lake Michigan region. Volume 16. Amphibians and reptiles of the Lake Michigan drainage basin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pentecost, E.D.; Vogt, R.C.

    1976-07-01

    The focus of this report is on regional distribution of the herpetofauna of the Lake Michigan Drainage Basin. The introduction includes a brief discussion of plant communities and their associated herpetofauna, and the importance of hibernacula and migration routes. Some aspects of the status, distribution, habitat, and life history of the amphibians and reptiles of the Basin are described in an annotated checklist. Special attention is given to uncommon and endangered species. Species range is shown on distribution maps

  12. Terrestrial atmosphere, water and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coradini M.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Primitive life, defined as a chemical system capable to transfer its molecular information via self-replication and also capable to evolve, originated about 4 billion years ago from the processing of organic molecules by liquid water. Terrestrial atmosphere played a key role in the process by allowing the permanent presence of liquid water and by participating in the production of carbon-based molecules. Water molecules exhibit specific properties mainly due to a dense network of hydrogen bonds. The carbon-based molecules were either home made in the atmosphere and/or in submarine hydrothermal systems or delivered by meteorites and micrometeorites. The search for possible places beyond the earth where the trilogy atmosphere/water/life could exist is the main objective of astrobiology. Within the Solar System, exploration missions are dedicated to Mars, Europa, Titan and the icy bodies. The discovery of several hundreds of extrasolar planets opens the quest to the whole Milky Way.

  13. Hydroperiod and cattle use associated with lower recruitment in an r-selected amphibian with a declining population trend in the Klamath Mountains, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esther M. Cole; Rosemary Hartman; Malcolm P. North

    2016-01-01

    Recent population declines in amphibians associated with mortality in early life stages highlight the need for a better understanding of the environmental factors related to successful survival to metamorphosis. In our study, we closely examine the relative importance of environmental factors to three stages of recruitment for Cascade frogs (Rana cascadae...

  14. Kant's wager. Kant's strong belief in extra-terrestrial life, the history of this question and its challenge for theology today

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losch, Andreas

    2016-10-01

    Kant was not the first in whom the 'starry heavens' above us inspired awe and wonder. For Kant, who was firmly convinced of the existence of inhabitants of other worlds, these heavens were inhabited. He is certain that 'If it were possible to settle by any sort of experience whether there are inhabitants of at least some of the planets that we see, I might well bet everything that I have on it. Hence I say that it is not merely an opinion but a strong belief (on the correctness of which I would wager many advantages in life) that there are also inhabitants of other worlds.' In this statement by Kant in no less a work than the Critique of Pure Reason one can, on the one hand, recognize a reflection of Kant's earlier convictions and expositions, on the other hand, the context of the citation and the contemporary background are, of course, relevant. Following the example of Kant, this paper investigates the meaning of such reflections about inhabitants of alien worlds, which due to advances in planetary astronomy are today again on the agenda. Consideration of this subject also represents a challenge for theology.

  15. 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...

  16. Alga Ecklonia bicyclis, Tribulus terrestris, and Glucosamine Oligosaccharide Improve Erectile Function, Sexual Quality of Life, and Ejaculation Function in Patients with Moderate Mild-Moderate Erectile Dysfunction: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Single-Blinded Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansalone, Salvatore; Leonardi, Rosario; Antonini, Gabriele; Vitarelli, Antonio; Vespasiani, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of oral therapy with alga Ecklonia bicyclis, Tribulus terrestris, and glucosamine oligosaccharide (Tradamix TX1000) in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED) at 3 months of follow-up. From January 2013 to September 2013, 177 patients diagnosed with mild-moderate ED (IIEF-EF < 26) were enrolled in this multicenter, single-blinded, placebo-controlled study and randomized in Group A (Tradamix, n = 87) and Group B (placebo, n = 90). Penile color Doppler ultrasound measures, IIEF-15 questionnaire, male sexual health questionnaire-ejaculation disorder (MSHQ-EjD), and sexual quality of life (SQoL-M) were collected. We observed significant changes of the IIEF-15 in Group A (mean difference: 11.54; P < 0.05) at 3 months versus Group B (P < 0.05). PSV (P < 0.05), IIEF-intercourse satisfaction (P < 0.05), IIEF-orgasmic function (mean P < 0.05), IIEF-sexual desire (P < 0.05), IIEF-overall satisfaction (P < 0.05), MSHQ-EjD (mean difference: 1.21; P < 0.05), and SQoL-M (mean difference: 10.2; P < 0.05) were significantly changed in Group A versus baseline and Group B. Patients with moderate arterial dysfunction showed significant increase of PSV (P < 0.05), IIEF-EF (P < 0.05), MSHQ-EjD (P < 0.05), and SQoL-M (P < 0.05) in Group A. Therapy with Tradamix improves erectile and ejaculation function and sexual quality of life in patients with mild-moderate ED and in particular for those with moderate arterial dysfunction. PMID:25136552

  17. Alga Ecklonia bicyclis, Tribulus terrestris, and Glucosamine Oligosaccharide Improve Erectile Function, Sexual Quality of Life, and Ejaculation Function in Patients with Moderate Mild-Moderate Erectile Dysfunction: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Single-Blinded Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Sansalone

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of oral therapy with alga Ecklonia bicyclis, Tribulus terrestris, and glucosamine oligosaccharide (Tradamix TX1000 in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED at 3 months of follow-up. From January 2013 to September 2013, 177 patients diagnosed with mild-moderate ED (IIEF-EF < 26 were enrolled in this multicenter, single-blinded, placebo-controlled study and randomized in Group A (Tradamix, n=87 and Group B (placebo, n=90. Penile color Doppler ultrasound measures, IIEF-15 questionnaire, male sexual health questionnaire-ejaculation disorder (MSHQ-EjD, and sexual quality of life (SQoL-M were collected. We observed significant changes of the IIEF-15 in Group A (mean difference: 11.54; P<0.05 at 3 months versus Group B (P<0.05. PSV (P<0.05, IIEF-intercourse satisfaction (P<0.05, IIEF-orgasmic function (mean P<0.05, IIEF-sexual desire (P<0.05, IIEF-overall satisfaction (P<0.05, MSHQ-EjD (mean difference: 1.21; P<0.05, and SQoL-M (mean difference: 10.2; P<0.05 were significantly changed in Group A versus baseline and Group B. Patients with moderate arterial dysfunction showed significant increase of PSV (P<0.05, IIEF-EF (P<0.05, MSHQ-EjD (P<0.05, and SQoL-M (P<0.05 in Group A. Therapy with Tradamix improves erectile and ejaculation function and sexual quality of life in patients with mild-moderate ED and in particular for those with moderate arterial dysfunction.

  18. Alga Ecklonia bicyclis, Tribulus terrestris, and glucosamine oligosaccharide improve erectile function, sexual quality of life, and ejaculation function in patients with moderate mild-moderate erectile dysfunction: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansalone, Salvatore; Leonardi, Rosario; Antonini, Gabriele; Vitarelli, Antonio; Vespasiani, Giuseppe; Basic, Dragoslav; Morgia, Giuseppe; Cimino, Sebastiano; Russo, Giorgio Ivan

    2014-01-01

    We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of oral therapy with alga Ecklonia bicyclis, Tribulus terrestris, and glucosamine oligosaccharide (Tradamix TX1000) in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED) at 3 months of follow-up. From January 2013 to September 2013, 177 patients diagnosed with mild-moderate ED (IIEF-EF < 26) were enrolled in this multicenter, single-blinded, placebo-controlled study and randomized in Group A (Tradamix, n = 87) and Group B (placebo, n = 90). Penile color Doppler ultrasound measures, IIEF-15 questionnaire, male sexual health questionnaire-ejaculation disorder (MSHQ-EjD), and sexual quality of life (SQoL-M) were collected. We observed significant changes of the IIEF-15 in Group A (mean difference: 11.54; P < 0.05) at 3 months versus Group B (P < 0.05). PSV (P < 0.05), IIEF-intercourse satisfaction (P < 0.05), IIEF-orgasmic function (mean P < 0.05), IIEF-sexual desire (P < 0.05), IIEF-overall satisfaction (P < 0.05), MSHQ-EjD (mean difference: 1.21; P < 0.05), and SQoL-M (mean difference: 10.2; P < 0.05) were significantly changed in Group A versus baseline and Group B. Patients with moderate arterial dysfunction showed significant increase of PSV (P < 0.05), IIEF-EF (P < 0.05), MSHQ-EjD (P < 0.05), and SQoL-M (P < 0.05) in Group A. Therapy with Tradamix improves erectile and ejaculation function and sexual quality of life in patients with mild-moderate ED and in particular for those with moderate arterial dysfunction.

  19. Historical amphibian declines and extinctions in Brazil linked to chytridiomycosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C Guilherme; Toledo, Luís Felipe

    2017-02-08

    The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis ( Bd ) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd 's global emergence , further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd -screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd -infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979-1987). We also found that clusters of Bd -positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. Historical amphibian declines and extinctions in Brazil linked to chytridiomycosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Tamilie; Becker, C. Guilherme

    2017-01-01

    The recent increase in emerging fungal diseases is causing unprecedented threats to biodiversity. The origin of spread of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a matter of continued debate. To date, the historical amphibian declines in Brazil could not be attributed to chytridiomycosis; the high diversity of hosts coupled with the presence of several Bd lineages predating the reported declines raised the hypothesis that a hypervirulent Bd genotype spread from Brazil to other continents causing the recent global amphibian crisis. We tested for a spatio-temporal overlap between Bd and areas of historical amphibian population declines and extinctions in Brazil. A spatio-temporal convergence between Bd and declines would support the hypothesis that Brazilian amphibians were not adapted to Bd prior to the reported declines, thus weakening the hypothesis that Brazil was the global origin of Bd emergence. Alternatively, a lack of spatio-temporal association between Bd and frog declines would indicate an evolution of host resistance in Brazilian frogs predating Bd's global emergence, further supporting Brazil as the potential origin of the Bd panzootic. Here, we Bd-screened over 30 000 museum-preserved tadpoles collected in Brazil between 1930 and 2015 and overlaid spatio-temporal Bd data with areas of historical amphibian declines. We detected an increase in the proportion of Bd-infected tadpoles during the peak of amphibian declines (1979–1987). We also found that clusters of Bd-positive samples spatio-temporally overlapped with most records of amphibian declines in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Our findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally. PMID:28179514

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  4. Terrestrial and extraterrestrial fullerenes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heymann, D.; Jenneskens, L.W.; Jehlicka, J; Koper, C.; Vlietstra, E. [Rice Univ, Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Earth Science

    2003-07-01

    This paper reviews reports of occurrences of fullerenes in circumstellar media, interstellar media, meteorites, interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), lunar rocks, hard terrestrial rocks from Shunga (Russia), Sudbury (Canada) and Mitov (Czech Republic), coal, terrestrial sediments from the Cretaceous-Tertiary-Boundary and Pennian-Triassic-Boundary, fulgurite, ink sticks, dinosaur eggs, and a tree char. The occurrences are discussed in the context of known and postulated processes of fullerene formation, including the suggestion that some natural fullerenes might have formed from biological (algal) remains.

  5. Variation in testosterone and corticosterone in amphibians and reptiles: relationships with latitude, elevation, and breeding season length.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eikenaar, Cas; Husak, Jerry; Escallón, Camilo; Moore, Ignacio T

    2012-11-01

    Latitudinal variation in life-history traits has been the focus of numerous investigations, but underlying hormonal mechanisms have received much less attention. Steroid hormones play a central role in vertebrate reproduction and may be associated with life-history trade-offs. Consequently, circulating concentrations of these hormones vary tremendously across vertebrates, yet interspecific geographic variation in male hormone concentrations has been studied in detail only in birds. We here report on such variation in amphibians and reptiles, confirming patterns observed in birds. Using phylogenetic comparative analyses, we found that in amphibians, but not in reptiles, testosterone and baseline corticosterone were positively related to latitude. Baseline corticosterone was negatively related to elevation in amphibians but not in reptiles. For both groups, testosterone concentrations were negatively related to breeding-season length. In addition, testosterone concentrations were positively correlated with baseline corticosterone in both groups. Our findings may best be explained by the hypothesis that shorter breeding seasons increase male-male competition, which may favor increased testosterone concentrations that modulate secondary sexual traits. Elevated energetic demands resulting from greater reproductive intensity may require higher baseline corticosterone. Thus, the positive relationship between testosterone and corticosterone in both groups suggests an energetic demand for testosterone-regulated behavior that is met with increased baseline glucocorticoid concentrations.

  6. 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.

  7. Amphibian recovery after a decrease in acidic precipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolmen, Dag; Finstad, Anders Gravbrøt; Skei, Jon Kristian

    2018-04-01

    We here report the first sign of amphibian recovery after a strong decline due to acidic precipitation over many decades and peaking around 1980-90. In 2010, the pH level of ponds and small lakes in two heavily acidified areas in southwestern Scandinavia (Aust-Agder and Østfold in Norway) had risen significantly at an (arithmetic) average of 0.14 since 1988-89. Parallel with the general rise in pH, amphibians (Rana temporaria, R. arvalis, Bufo bufo, Lissotriton vulgaris, and Triturus cristatus) had become significantly more common: the frequency of amphibian localities rose from 33% to 49% (n = 115), and the average number of amphibian species per locality had risen from 0.51 to 0.88. In two other (reference) areas, one with better buffering capacity (Telemark, n = 21) and the other with much less input of acidic precipitation (Nord-Trøndelag, n = 106), there were no significant changes in pH or amphibians.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    2010-05-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. A Place to Call Home: Amphibian Use of Created and Restored Wetlands

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Donald J.; Street, Garrett M.; Nairn, Robert W.; Forstner, Michael R. J.

    2012-01-01

    Loss and degradation of wetland habitats are major contributing factors to the global decline of amphibians. Creation and restoration of wetlands could be a valuable tool for increasing local amphibian species richness and abundance. We synthesized the peer-reviewed literature addressing amphibian use of created and restored wetlands, focusing on aquatic habitat, upland habitat, and wetland connectivity and configuration. Amphibian species richness or abundance at created and restored wetland...

  15. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

    The uneven historical development of terrestrial planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars - is probably due to the differences in their size, weight and rotational dynamics in association with the internal planet structure, their distance from the Sun, etc. A systematic study of extraterrestrial planets showed that the time span of internal activity was not the same for all bodies. It is assumed that the initial history of all terrestrial planets was marked with catastrophic events connected with the overall dynamic development of the solar system. In view of the fact that the cores of small terrestrial bodies cooled quicker, their geological development almost stagnated after two or three thousand million years. This is what probably happened to the Mercury and the Moon as well as the Mars. Therefore, traces of previous catastrophic events were preserved on the surface of the planets. On the other hand, the Earth is the most metamorphosed terrestrial planet and compared to the other planets appears to be atypical. Its biosphere is significantly developed as well as the other shell components, its hydrosphere and atmosphere, and its crust is considerably differentiated. (J.P.)

  16. Terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  17. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

    This report summarizes information on the distribution and movement of radionuclides in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems in north-west England with particular emphasis on inputs to, and outputs from ecosystems; on plant and soil aspects; and on radionuclides in fallout and in discharges by the nuclear industry. (author)

  18. Estimating Exposure of Terrestrial Wildlife to Contaminants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sample, B.E.

    1994-01-01

    This report presents a general model for exposure of terrestrial wildlife to contaminants (Sect. 2), methods for estimating parameters of the model (Sect. 3), species specific parameters for endpoint species on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) (Sect. 4), and a sample application (Sect. 5). Exposure can be defined as the coincidence in both space and time of a receptor and a stressor, such that the receptor and stressor come into contact and interact (Risk Assessment Forum 1992). In the context of ecological risk assessment, receptors include all endpoint species or communities identified for a site [see Suter (1989) and Suter et al. (1994) for discussions of ecological endpoints for waste sites]. In the context of waste site assessments, stressors are chemical contaminations, and the contact and interaction are uptake of the contaminant by the receptor. Without sufficient exposure of the receptor to the contaminants, there is no ecological risk. Unlike some other endpoint assemblages, terrestrial wildlife are significantly exposed to contaminants in multiple media. They may drink or swim in contaminated water, ingest contaminated food and soil, and breath contaminated air. In addition, because most wildlife are mobile, moving among and within habitats, exposure is not restricted to a single location. They may integrate contamination from several spatially discrete sources. Therefore, exposure models for terrestrial wildlife must include multiple media. This document provides models and parameters for estimating exposure of birds and mammals. Reptiles and amphibians are not considered because few data exist with which to assess exposure to these organisms. In addition, because toxicological data are scarce for both classes, evaluation of the significance of exposure estimates is problematic. However, the general exposure estimation procedure developed herein for birds and mammals is applicable to reptiles and amphibians. Exposure models must be appropriate to the

  19. 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.

  20. New distributional records of amphibians and reptiles from northern Oaxaca, México

    OpenAIRE

    González, Cynthia; Brenis, Ángel; Arrazola, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    During 2011 we performed a microregional inventory of amphibians and reptiles from the south-central region of the Papaloapan basin in northern Oaxaca. We recorded one amphibian species previously unknown in the state, and recorded range extensions for two additional amphibian and four reptile species. This increases the known herpetofauna of Oaxaca to 378 species.

  1. Does fire affect amphibians and reptiles in eastern U.S. oak forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochelle B. Renken

    2006-01-01

    Current information about the effect of fire on amphibians and reptiles in oak forests of the Eastern and Central United States is reviewed. Current data suggest that fire results in little direct mortality of amphibians and reptiles. Fire has no effect on overall amphibian abundance, diversity, and number of species in comparisons of burned and unburned plots, though...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Competency of reptiles and amphibians for eastern equine encephalitis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Gregory; Ottendorfer, Christy; Graham, Sean; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2011-09-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is endemic throughout most of the eastern United States. Although it is transmitted year round in Florida, transmission elsewhere is seasonal. The mechanism that enables EEEV to overwinter in seasonal foci remains obscure. In previous field studies, early season EEEV activity was detected in mosquito species that feed primarily upon ectothermic hosts, suggesting that reptiles and amphibians might represent overwintering reservoir hosts for EEEV. To determine if this might be possible, two commonly fed upon amphibian and reptile species were evaluated as hosts for the North American subtype I strain of EEEV. Neither amphibian species was a competent host. However, circulating viremias were detected in both reptile species examined. Hibernating infected garter snakes remained viremic after exiting hibernation. These data suggest that snakes may represent an overwintering host for North American EEEV.

  5. Pheromone communication in amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houck, Lynne D

    2009-01-01

    This selective review considers herpetological papers that feature the use of chemical cues, particularly pheromones involved in reproductive interactions between potential mates. Primary examples include garter snake females that attract males, lacertid lizards and the effects of their femoral gland secretions, aquatic male newts that chemically attract females, and terrestrial salamander males that chemically persuade a female to mate. Each case study spans a number of research approaches (molecular, biochemical, behavioral) and is related to sensory processing and the physiological effects of pheromone delivery. These and related studies show that natural pheromones can be identified, validated with behavioral tests, and incorporated in research on vomeronasal functional response.

  6. Can a Single Amphibian Species Be a Good Biodiversity Indicator?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sewell

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Although amphibians have been widely promoted as indicators of biodiversity and environmental change, rigorous tests are lacking. Here key indicator criteria are distilled from published papers, and a species that has been promoted as a bioindicator, the great crested newt, is tested against them. Although a link was established between the presence of great crested newts and aquatic plant diversity, this was not repeated with the diversity of macroinvertebrates. Equally, amphibians do not meet many of the published criteria of bioindicators. Our research suggests that a suite of indicators, rather than a single species, will usually be required.

  7. Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B

    2008-01-01

    Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given.

  8. Working group 4: Terrestrial

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    A working group at a Canada/USA symposium on climate change and the Arctic identified major concerns and issues related to terrestrial resources. The group examined the need for, and the means of, involving resource managers and users at local and territorial levels in the process of identifying and examining the impacts and consequences of climatic change. Climatic change will be important to the Arctic because of the magnitude of the change projected for northern latitudes; the apparent sensitivity of its terrestrial ecosystems, natural resources, and human support systems; and the dependence of the social, cultural, and economic welfare of Arctic communities, businesses, and industries on the health and quality of their environment. Impacts of climatic change on the physical, biological, and associated socio-economic environment are outlined. Gaps in knowledge needed to quantify these impacts are listed along with their relationships with resource management. Finally, potential actions for response and adaptation are presented

  9. Phytopharmacology of Tribulus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahid, M; Riaz, M; Talpur, M M A; Pirzada, T

    2016-01-01

    Tribulus terrestris is an annual herb which belongs to the Zygophyllaceae family. This plant has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases for hundreds of decades. The main active phytoconstituents of this plant include flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, lignin, amides, and glycosides. The plant parts have different pharmacological activities including aphrodisiac, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant potential. T. terrestris is most often used for infertility and loss of libido. It has potential application as immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, anthelmintic and anticarcinogenic activities. The aim of the present article is to create a database for further investigation of the phytopharmacological properties of this plant to promote research. This study will definitely help to confirm its traditional use along with its value-added utility, eventually leading to higher revenues from the plant.

  10. Terrestrial plant methane production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Bruhn, Dan; Møller, Ian M.

    We evaluate all experimental work published on the phenomenon of aerobic methane (CH4) generation in terrestrial plants. We conclude that the phenomenon is true. Four stimulating factors have been observed to induce aerobic plant CH4 production, i.e. cutting injuries, increasing temperature...... the aerobic methane emission in plants. Future work is needed for establishing the relative contribution of several proven potential CH4 precursors in plant material....

  11. Red List of amphibians and reptiles of the Wadden Sea area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fog, K.; Podloucky, R.; Dierking, U.; Stumpel, A. H. P.

    1996-10-01

    In the Wadden Sea, in total, 8 species of amphibians and 4 species of reptiles are threatened in at least one subregion. Of these, 7 species of amphibians and all 4 species of reptiles are threatened in the entire area and are therefore placed on the trilateral Red List. 1 species of the listed reptiles is (probably) extinct in the entire Wadden Sea area. The status of 1 species of amphibians is endangered, the status of (probably) 4 species of amphibians and 3 species of reptiles are vulnerable and of 2 species of amphibians susceptible.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Reduced itraconazole concentration and durations are successful in treating Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brannelly, Laura A

    2014-03-14

    Amphibians are experiencing the greatest decline of any vertebrate class and a leading cause of these declines is a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. Captive assurance colonies are important worldwide for threatened amphibian species and may be the only lifeline for those in critical threat of extinction. Maintaining disease free colonies is a priority of captive managers, yet safe and effective treatments for all species and across life stages have not been identified. The most widely used chemotherapeutic treatment is itraconazole, although the dosage commonly used can be harmful to some individuals and species. We performed a clinical treatment trial to assess whether a lower and safer but effective dose of itraconazole could be found to cure Bd infections. We found that by reducing the treatment concentration from 0.01-0.0025% and reducing the treatment duration from 11-6 days of 5 min baths, frogs could be cured of Bd infection with fewer side effects and less treatment-associated mortality.

  15. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  16. Streamside zone width and amphibian and reptile abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; James G. Dickson

    1990-01-01

    Many natural pine-hardwood stands in the southeastern United States are being converted to pine plantations with short rotations. This forest conversion alters vertebrate communities, particularly amphibians and reptiles (Bennett et al., 1980; Rakowitz, 1983). One practice in stand conversion to accommodate vertebrate species is the retention of strips of unharvested,...

  17. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    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...

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Factors contributing to amphibian road mortality in a wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijun GU, Qiang DAI, Qian WANG, Yuezhao WANG

    2011-12-01

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

  9. Effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pickering, Q.H.; Hunt, E.P.; Phipps, G.L.; Roush, T.H.; Smith, W.E.; Spehar, D.L.; Stephan, C.E.; Tanner, D.K.

    1983-01-01

    A literature review is presented dealing with studies on the effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians. The pollutants studied included acid mine drainage, PCBs, cadmium, lead, naphthalene, plutonium, in addition to several studies dealing with pH effects

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-17

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The montane forest associated amphibian species of the Taita Hills, Kenya. ... They are surrounded by the dry Tsavo plains. ... The biodiversity importance of the Taita Hills lies with the number of endemics per unit of area of remaining forest, ...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Effects of climate change on terrestrial animals [Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megan M. Friggens; Mary I. Williams; Karen E. Bagne; Tosha T. Wixom; Samuel A. Cushman

    2018-01-01

    The Intermountain Adaptation Partnership (IAP) region encompasses a high diversity of grassland, shrubland, and forest habitats across a broad range of elevational gradients, supporting high biodiversity in the interior western United States. Terrestrial species comprise a wide range of life forms, each expressing varying levels of habitat specialization and life...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Until the sun dies. [Book on origin of universe, life and intelligence on earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jastrow, R.

    1977-01-01

    This book gives a popular account of the forces that have shaped human beings into their present form and created the power of human intelligence, and considers the prospects for intelligent life on other planets in the solar system and elsewhere in the universe. The chain of events leading from the big bang to the origin of life on earth is reviewed together with the observations that established the expansion of the universe. Philosophical difficulties with the concept of a universe that has both a beginning and an end are pondered, steady-state cosmology is briefly explained, and the discovery of the relict microwave background is discussed. The formation of the solar system is recounted along with the scientific view of the origin of terrestrial life. Attention is given to the origin of cells and the evolution of oxygen-breathing life, multicelled creatures, armored animals, fishes, amphibians, early reptiles, dinosaurs, and mammals. The development of mammalian intelligence is traced from the early tree dwellers through monkeys, apes, ape men, humanoid tool makers, and primitive members of the genus Homo, to Homo sapiens. Possible evidence for the existence of life on Mars is evaluated together with prospects for communication or other contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, established the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) to address the need for coordinated and standardized monitoring of Arctic environments. The CBMP includes an international...... on developing and implementing long-term plans for monitoring the integrity of Arctic biomes: terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and coastal (under development) environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Expert Monitoring Group (CBMP-TEMG) has developed the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (CBMP......-Terrestrial Plan/the Plan) as the framework for coordinated, long-term Arctic terrestrial biodiversity monitoring. The goal of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long...

  4. Differential patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in relict amphibian populations following severe disease-associated declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Steven M; Alvarado, Gilbert; Abarca, Juan; Zumbado, Hector; Zuñiga, Ibrahim; Wainwright, Mark; Kerby, Jacob

    2017-09-20

    Global amphibian biodiversity has declined dramatically in the past 4 decades, and many amphibian species have declined to near extinction as a result of emergence of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). However, persistent or recovering populations of several amphibian species have recently been rediscovered, and such populations may illustrate how amphibian species that are highly susceptible to chytridiomycosis may survive in the presence of Bd. We conducted field surveys for Bd infection in 7 species of Costa Rican amphibians (all species that have declined to near extinction but for which isolated populations persist) to characterize infection profiles in highly Bd-susceptible amphibians post-decline. We found highly variable patterns in infection, with some species showing low prevalence (~10%) and low infection intensity and others showing high infection prevalence (>80%) and either low or high infection intensity. Across sites, infection rates were negatively associated with mean annual precipitation, and infection intensity across sites was negatively associated with mean average temperatures. Our results illustrate that even the most Bd-susceptible amphibians can persist in Bd-enzootic ecosystems, and that multiple ecological or evolutionary mechanisms likely exist for host-pathogen co-existence between Bd and the most Bd-susceptible amphibian species. Continued monitoring of these populations is necessary to evaluate population trends (continuing decline, stability, or population growth). These results should inform efforts to mitigate impacts of Bd on amphibians in the field.

  5. New and already known acanthocephalans from amphibians and reptiles in Vietnam, with keys to species of Pseudoacanthocephalus Petrochenko, 1956 (Echinorhynchidae) and Sphaerechinorhynchus Johnston and Deland, 1929 (Plagiorhynchidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Omar M; Ha, Ngyuen Van; Heckmann, Richard A

    2008-02-01

    Adults of 2 new species in 2 orders of acanthocephalans obtained from the intestines of terrestrial amphibians and reptiles collected between 1998 and 2004 in Vietnam are described here. Pseudoacanthocephalus nguyenthileae n. sp. (Palaeacnthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) was collected from 5 species of terrestrial amphibians: (1) the common Sunda toad Bufo melanostictus Schneider (Bufonidae); (2) Paa verucospinosa (Bourret); (3) Gunther's Amoy frog Rana guentheri Boulenger; (4) Taipei frog R. taipehensis Denburgh (Ranidae), and (5) the Burmese whipping frog Polypedates mutus (Smith) (Racophoridae); as well as from the Chinese cobra Naja atra Cantor (Reptilia: Elapidae) and house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus Dumeril and Bibron (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Sphaerechinorhynchus maximesospinus n. sp. (Plagiorhynchidae: Sphaerechinorhynchinae) was isolated from a king cobra Ophiophagus hannah (cantor) (Reptilia: Elapidae). Cystacanths of Porrorchis houdemeri (Joyeux and Baer, 1935) Schmidt and Kuntz, 1967 (Plagiorhynchidae: Porrorchinae) obtained from the mesenteries of banded krait Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider) (Reptilia: Elapidae), a paratenic host, are reported for the first time. Keys to the species of Pseudoacanthocephalus and Sphaerechinorhynchus are included. Characteristic features distinguishing the new species from related taxa include: P. nguyenthileae has 15-19 (usually 16-18) proboscis hook rows, each with 5-6 hooks that progressively increase in length and size posteriorly. The largest, intermediate, and smallest proboscis hooks of S. maximesospinus are the middle, anterior, and posterior hooks, respectively; the proboscis and neck are enclosed in a membrane. Morphometric characteristics of P. nguyenthileae show host-related variability.

  6. Terrestrial habitat mapping of the Oak Ridge Reservation: 1996 Summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Washington-Allen, R.A.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1996-09-01

    The US DOE is in the process of remediating historical contamination on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Two key components are ecological risk assessment and monitoring. In 1994 a strategy was developed and a specific program was initiated to implement the strategy for the terrestrial biota of the entire ORR. This document details results of the first task: development of a habitat map and habitat models for key species of interest. During the last 50 years ORR has been a relatively protected island of plant and animal habitats in a region of rapidly expanding urbanization. A preliminary biodiversity assessment of the ORR by the Nature Conservancy in 1995 noted 272 occurrences of significant plant and animal species and communities. Field surveys of threatened and endangered species show that the ORR contains 20 rare plant species, 4 of which are on the state list of endangered species. The rest are either on the state list of threatened species or listed as being of special concern. The ORR provides habitat for some 60 reptilian and amphibian species; more than 120 species of terrestrial birds; 32 species of waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds; and about 40 mammalian species. The ORR is both a refuge for rare species and a reservoir of recruitment for surrounding environments and wildlife management areas. Cedar barrens, river bluffs, and wetlands have been identified as the habitat for most rare vascular plant species on the ORR

  7. Evidence and mapping of extinction debts for global forest-dwelling reptiles, amphibians and mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Youhua; Peng, Shushi

    2017-03-01

    Evidence of extinction debts for the global distributions of forest-dwelling reptiles, mammals and amphibians was tested and the debt magnitude was estimated and mapped. By using different correlation tests and variable importance analysis, the results showed that spatial richness patterns for the three forest-dwelling terrestrial vertebrate groups had significant and stronger correlations with past forest cover area and other variables in the 1500 s, implying the evidence for extinction debts. Moreover, it was likely that the extinction debts have been partially paid, given that their global richness patterns were also significantly correlated with contemporary forest variables in the 2000 s (but the absolute magnitudes of the correlation coefficients were usually smaller than those calculated for historical forest variables). By utilizing species-area relationships, spatial extinction-debt magnitudes for the three vertebrate groups at the global scale were estimated and the hotspots of extinction debts were identified. These high-debt hotspots were generally situated in areas that did not spatially overlap with hotspots of species richness or high extinction-risk areas based on IUCN threatened status to a large extent. This spatial mismatch pattern suggested that necessary conservation efforts should be directed toward high-debt areas that are still overlooked.

  8. Contaminant exposure in terrestrial vertebrates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Philip N.; Cobb, George P.; Godard-Codding, Celine; Hoff, Dale; McMurry, Scott T.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Reynolds, Kevin D.

    2007-01-01

    Here we review mechanisms and factors influencing contaminant exposure among terrestrial vertebrate wildlife. There exists a complex mixture of biotic and abiotic factors that dictate potential for contaminant exposure among terrestrial and semi-terrestrial vertebrates. Chemical fate and transport in the environment determine contaminant bioaccessibility. Species-specific natural history characteristics and behavioral traits then play significant roles in the likelihood that exposure pathways, from source to receptor, are complete. Detailed knowledge of natural history traits of receptors considered in conjunction with the knowledge of contaminant behavior and distribution on a site are critical when assessing and quantifying exposure. We review limitations in our understanding of elements of exposure and the unique aspects of exposure associated with terrestrial and semi-terrestrial taxa. We provide insight on taxa-specific traits that contribute, or limit exposure to, transport phenomenon that influence exposure throughout terrestrial systems, novel contaminants, bioavailability, exposure data analysis, and uncertainty associated with exposure in wildlife risk assessments. Lastly, we identify areas related to exposure among terrestrial and semi-terrestrial organisms that warrant additional research. - Both biotic and abiotic factors determine chemical exposure for terrestrial vertebrates

  9. Mining-caused changes to habitat structure affect amphibian and reptile population ecology more than metal pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Kiyoshi; Lesbarrères, David; Watson, Glen; Litzgus, Jacqueline

    2015-12-01

    Emissions from smelting not only contaminate water and soil with metals, but also induce extensive forest dieback and changes in resource availability and microclimate. The relative effects of such co-occurring stressors are often unknown, but this information is imperative in developing targeted restoration strategies. We assessed the role and relative effects of structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and metal pollution caused by century-long smelting operations on amphibian and reptile communities by collecting environmental and time- and area-standardized multivariate abundance data along three spatially replicated impact gradients. Overall, species richness, diversity, and abundance declined progressively with increasing levels of metals (As, Cu, and Ni) and soil temperature (T(s)) and decreasing canopy cover, amount of coarse woody debris (CWD), and relative humidity (RH). The composite habitat variable (which included canopy cover, CWD, T(s), and RH) was more strongly associated with most response metrics than the composite metal variable (As, Cu, and Ni), and canopy cover alone explained 19-74% of the variance. Moreover, species that use terrestrial habitat for specific behaviors (e.g., hibernation, dispersal), especially forest-dependent species, were more severely affected than largely aquatic species. These results suggest that structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and concomitant changes in the resource availability and microclimate have stronger effects than metal pollution per se. Furthermore, much of the variation in response metrics was explained by the joint action of several environmental variables, implying synergistic effects (e.g., exacerbation of metal toxicity by elevated temperatures in sites with reduced canopy cover). We thus argue that the restoration of terrestrial habitat conditions is a key to successful recovery of herpetofauna communities in smelting-altered landscapes.

  10. Cadmium pollution and amphibians--Studies in tadpoles of Rana limnocharis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patar, Arabinda; Giri, Anirudha; Boro, Freeman; Bhuyan, Krishna; Singha, Utsab; Giri, Sarbani

    2016-02-01

    Cadmium is released into the environment in increasing amounts from different natural and anthropogenic activities contaminating the aquatic habitats. Amphibian tadpoles develop in water and hence are likely to be adversely affected by cadmium present in the aquatic environment. We have studied the toxic and genotoxic effects of CdCl2 on the tadpoles of Rana limnocharis. CdCl2 in the concentration range between 0.1 and 0.4 mg/L induced significant mortality in R. limnocharis tadpoles in a dose and time dependent manner. The 10-day LC50 which has more ecological relevance was far less than the 24-h LC50. Tadpoles exposed to CdCl2 metamorphosed at an early age possibly as a survival strategy to move out of the stressful environment. The body weight of the CdCl2 exposed animals at metamorphosis was lower compared to the control individuals which may affect survival and reproductive fitness in adult life. Besides, the average body length of the metamorphosed individuals in the CdCl2 exposed group was higher than the control group. CdCl2 was found to be genotoxic in micronucleus test and comet assay. The ambient concentration of Cd could reach up to 60 μg/L or more. Exposure to 18.5 μg/L of CdCl2 (1% of 24-h LC50) induced significant increase in DNA strand breaks as compared to the control. The present findings demonstrate that presence of cadmium in the aquatic environment can significantly alter the life history traits and cause DNA damage in amphibians and hence, could contribute towards their population decline. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Andoh

    Full Text Available 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

  13. Dry paths effectively reduce road mortality of small and medium-sized terrestrial vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemi, Milla; Jääskeläinen, Niina C; Nummi, Petri; Mäkelä, Tiina; Norrdahl, Kai

    2014-11-01

    Wildlife passages are widely used mitigation measures designed to reduce the adverse impacts of roads on animals. We investigated whether road kills of small and medium-sized terrestrial vertebrates can be reduced by constructing dry paths adjacent to streams that pass under road bridges. The study was carried out in southern Finland during the summer of 2008. We selected ten road bridges with dry paths and ten bridges without them, and an individual dry land reference site for each study bridge on the basis of landscape and traffic features. A total of 307 dead terrestrial vertebrates were identified during the ten-week study period. The presence of dry paths decreased the amount of road-killed terrestrial vertebrates (Poisson GLMM; p road-kills on mammals was not such clear. In the mammal model, a lack of dry paths increased the amount of carcasses (p = 0.001) whereas the number of casualties at dry path bridges was comparable with dry land reference sites. A direct comparison of the dead ratios suggests an average efficiency of 79% for the dry paths. When considering amphibians and mammals alone, the computed effectiveness was 88 and 70%, respectively. Our results demonstrate that dry paths under road bridges can effectively reduce road-kills of small and medium-sized terrestrial vertebrates, even without guiding fences. Dry paths seemed to especially benefit amphibians which are a threatened species group worldwide and known to suffer high traffic mortality. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Terrestrial Water Storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodell, M.; Chambers, D. P.; Famiglietti, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    During 2014 dryness continued in the Northern Hemisphere and relative wetness continued in the Southern Hemisphere (Fig. 2.21; Plate 2.1g). These largely canceled out such that the global land surface began and ended the year with a terrestrial water storage (TWS) anomaly slightly below 0 cm (equivalent height of water; Fig. 2.22). TWS is the sum of groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow, and ice. Groundwater responds more slowly to meteorological phenomena than the other components because the overlying soil acts as a low pass filter, but often it has a larger range of variability on multiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti 2001; Alley et al. 2002).In situ groundwater data are only archived and made and Tanzania. The rest of the continent experienced mixed to dry conditions. Significant reductions in TWS in Greenland, Antarctica, and southern coastal Alaska reflect ongoing ice sheet and glacier ablation, not groundwater depletion.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    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......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...... are also ecologically similar has often been made, although the prevalence of such a phylogenetic signal in ecological niches remains heavily debated. Here, we provide a global analysis of phylogenetic niche relatedness for the world's amphibians. In particular, we assess which proportion of the variance...

  17. 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.

  18. 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. [...

  19. Transitions between sex-determining systems in reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarre, Stephen D; Ezaz, Tariq; Georges, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    Important technological advances in genomics are driving a new understanding of the evolution of sex determination in vertebrates. In particular, comparative chromosome mapping in reptiles has shown an intriguing distribution of homology in sex chromosomes across reptile groups. When this new understanding is combined with the widespread distribution of genetic and temperature-dependent sex-determination mechanisms among reptiles, it is apparent that transitions between modes have occurred many times, as they have for amphibians (particularly between male and female heterogamety). It is also likely that thermosensitivity in sex determination is a key factor in those transitions in reptiles, and possibly in amphibians too. New models of sex determination involving temperature thresholds are providing the framework for the investigation of transitions and making possible key predictions about the homologies and sex-determination patterns expected among taxa in these groups. Molecular cytogenetics and other genomic approaches are essential to providing the fundamental material necessary to make advances in this field.

  20. Factors influencing the toxicity of Headline® fungicides to terrestrial stage toads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusaac, J Patrick W; Mimbs, William H; Belden, Jason B; Smith, Loren M; McMurry, Scott T

    2017-10-01

    Amphibians are susceptible to exposure from contaminants via multiple pathways. Pyraclostrobin fungicides have been shown to be toxic to terrestrial amphibians at environmentally relevant concentrations; however, these studies did not account for factors that may influence exposure and effects, such as fungicide formulation, age of the individual, exposure route, and physiological state of the individual. We examined Headline® and Headline AMP® fungicide toxicity to adult Anaxyrus cognatus and Anaxyrus woodhousii by direct overspray, as well as acute toxicity of Headline AMP to juvenile A. cognatus through direct overspray, previously exposed soils, and diet. We also assessed effects of hydration state on fungicide toxicity in juvenile A. cognatus and sublethal effects of fungicide exposure on prey-orientation ability of juvenile A. cognatus. Neither formulation of Headline caused mortality of adult A. cognatus and A. woodhousii at up to 5 times the maximum label rate in North American corn (1052 and 879 mL formulation/ha for Headline AMP and Headline fungicides, respectively, corresponding to 1.52 and 2.2 μg pyraclostrobin/cm 2 , respectively). Exposures of juvenile A. cognatus to Headline AMP via direct overspray and previously exposed soils (2 types) resulted in median lethal rate (LR50) values of 2.4, 3.34, and 3.61 μg pyraclostrobin/cm 2 , respectively. Dietary Headline AMP exposure was not toxic, prey-orientations were not influenced by exposure, and effects were similar between dehydrated and hydrated treatments (LR50 = 2.4 and 2.3 μg pyraclostrobin/cm 2 , respectively). These results, combined with exposure concentrations reported in previous studies, suggest that risk of acute mortality for amphibians in terrestrial environments is low and is dictated by body size and site-specific factors influencing exposure. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2679-2688. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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-...

  4. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Amphibians and reptiles of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, México, with new records

    OpenAIRE

    Colston, Timothy; Barão-Nóbrega, José António; Manders, Ryan; Lett, Alice; Wilmott, Jamie; Cameron, Gavin; Hunter, Sidony; Radage, Adam; Littlefair, Etienne; Williams, Robert; Lopez Cen, Antonio; Slater, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    We provide a list of amphibians and reptiles of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in the southern half of the Mexican Yucatan, in the state of Campeche. The study area was sampled through opportunistic, transect and pitfall trap surveys conducted for three successive years. These surveys resulted in a total of 2,359 amphibian and reptile encounters, belonging to 20 amphibian and 69 reptile species from 24 total families. We present herein the records for one snake, one chelonian and two salamand...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Thekkiniath, Jose; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; Kottapalli, Kameswara Rao; Pasham, Mithun R.; San Francisco, Susan; San Francisco, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3). Tadpoles may be...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Engineering a future for amphibians under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoo, L.P.; Olson, D.H.; Mcmenamin, S.K.; Murray, K.A.; Van Sluys, M.; Donnelly, M.A.; Stratford, D.; Terhivuo, J.; Merino-Viteri, A.; Herbert, S.M.; Bishop, P.J.; Corn, P.S.; Dovey, L.; Griffiths, R.A.; Lowe, K.; Mahony, M.; McCallum, H.; Shuker, J.D.; Simpkins, C.; Skerratt, L.F.; Williams, S.E.; Hero, J.-M.

    2011-01-01

    1. 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. 2. 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 grouped under three thematic areas of intervention: (i) installation of microclimate and microhabitat refuges; (ii) enhancement and restoration of breeding sites; and (iii) manipulation of hydroperiod or water levels at breeding sites. 3. Synthesis and applications. There are currently few meaningful management actions that will tangibly impact the pervasive threat of climate change on amphibians. A host of potentially useful but poorly tested actions could be incorporated into local or regional management plans, programmes and activities for amphibians. Examples include: installation of irrigation sprayers to manipulate water potentials at breeding sites; retention or supplementation of natural and artificial shelters (e.g. logs, cover boards) to reduce desiccation and thermal stress; manipulation of canopy cover over ponds to reduce water temperature; and, creation of hydrologoically diverse wetland habitats capable of supporting larval development under variable rainfall regimes. We encourage researchers and managers to design, test and scale up new initiatives to respond to this emerging crisis.

  12. Independent evolution of the sexes promotes amphibian diversification

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lisle, Stephen P.; Rowe, Locke

    2015-01-01

    Classic ecological theory predicts that the evolution of sexual dimorphism constrains diversification by limiting morphospace available for speciation. Alternatively, sexual selection may lead to the evolution of reproductive isolation and increased diversification. We test contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by examining the relationship between sexual dimorphism and diversification in amphibians. Our analysis shows that the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is associated with increased diversification and speciation, contrary to the ecological theory. Further, this result is unlikely to be explained by traditional sexual selection models because variation in amphibian SSD is unlikely to be driven entirely by sexual selection. We suggest that relaxing a central assumption of classic ecological models—that the sexes share a common adaptive landscape—leads to the alternative hypothesis that independent evolution of the sexes may promote diversification. Once the constraints of sexual conflict are relaxed, the sexes can explore morphospace that would otherwise be inaccessible. Consistent with this novel hypothesis, the evolution of SSD in amphibians is associated with reduced current extinction threat status, and an historical reduction in extinction rate. Our work reconciles conflicting predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory and illustrates that the ability of the sexes to evolve independently is associated with a spectacular vertebrate radiation. PMID:25694616

  13. 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.).

  14. Optimizing protection efforts for amphibian conservation in Mediterranean landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Muñoz, Enrique; Ceacero, Francisco; Carretero, Miguel A.; Pedrajas-Pulido, Luis; Parra, Gema; Guerrero, Francisco

    2013-05-01

    Amphibians epitomize the modern biodiversity crisis, and attract great attention from the scientific community since a complex puzzle of factors has influence on their disappearance. However, these factors are multiple and spatially variable, and declining in each locality is due to a particular combination of causes. This study shows a suitable statistical procedure to determine threats to amphibian species in medium size administrative areas. For our study case, ten biological and ecological variables feasible to affect the survival of 15 amphibian species were categorized and reduced through Principal Component Analysis. The principal components extracted were related to ecological plasticity, reproductive potential, and specificity of breeding habitats. Finally, the factor scores of species were joined in a presence-absence matrix that gives us information to identify where and why conservation management are requires. In summary, this methodology provides the necessary information to maximize benefits of conservation measures in small areas by identifying which ecological factors need management efforts and where should we focus them on.

  15. Interventions for reducing extinction risk in chytridiomycosis-threatened amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Ben C; Hunter, David A; Grogan, Laura F; Berger, Lee; Kolby, Jon E; McFadden, Michael S; Marantelli, Gerry; Skerratt, Lee F; Driscoll, Don A

    2014-10-01

    Wildlife diseases pose an increasing threat to biodiversity and are a major management challenge. A striking example of this threat is the emergence of chytridiomycosis. Despite diagnosis of chytridiomycosis as an important driver of global amphibian declines 15 years ago, researchers have yet to devise effective large-scale management responses other than biosecurity measures to mitigate disease spread and the establishment of disease-free captive assurance colonies prior to or during disease outbreaks. We examined the development of management actions that can be implemented after an epidemic in surviving populations. We developed a conceptual framework with clear interventions to guide experimental management and applied research so that further extinctions of amphibian species threatened by chytridiomycosis might be prevented. Within our framework, there are 2 management approaches: reducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis) in the environment or on amphibians and increasing the capacity of populations to persist despite increased mortality from disease. The latter approach emphasizes that mitigation does not necessarily need to focus on reducing disease-associated mortality. We propose promising management actions that can be implemented and tested based on current knowledge and that include habitat manipulation, antifungal treatments, animal translocation, bioaugmentation, head starting, and selection for resistance. Case studies where these strategies are being implemented will demonstrate their potential to save critically endangered species. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Salmonella diversity associated with wild reptiles and amphibians in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briones, Víctor; Téllez, Sonia; Goyache, Joaquín; Ballesteros, Cristina; del Pilar Lanzarot, María; Domínguez, Lucas; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F

    2004-08-01

    During the spring and summer of 2001, faeces from 166 wild reptiles (94 individuals) and amphibians (72 individuals) from 21 different species found in central Spain were examined for the presence of Salmonella. Thirty-nine reptiles (41.5%) yielded 48 Salmonella isolates, whereas all the amphibians examined were negative. Subspecies Salmonella enterica enterica (I) accounted for up to 50% of isolates. Fourteen isolates (29.2%) belonged to subspecies diarizonae (IIIb), six isolates (12.5%) to subspecies salamae (II), and four isolates (8.3%) to subspecies arizonae (IIIa). Twenty-seven different serotypes were identified. Serotypes Anatum (12.5%), Herzliya (8.3%), Abony, 18:l,v:z, 9,12:z29:1,5 and 38:z10:z53 (6.2%/each) were the most frequently isolated. A high percentage (39.6%) of isolates belonged to serotypes previously associated with environmental sources. Also, 37.5% of isolates belonged to serotypes which had been related to human cases of salmonellosis. From these data, it is concluded that wild reptiles, but apparently not amphibians, may represent an important reservoir of Salmonella in nature and have potential implications for public health.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Synergism between UV-B radiation and pathogen magnifies amphibian embryo mortality in nature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiesecker, J.M.; Blaustein, R.

    1995-01-01

    Previous research has shown that amphibians have differential sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. In some species, ambient levels of UV-B radiation cause embryonic mortality in nature. The detrimental effects of UV-B alone or with other agents may ultimately affect amphibians at the population level. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a synergistic effect between UV-B radiation and a pathogenic fungus in the field that increases the mortality of amphibian embryos compared with either factor alone. Studies investigating single factors for causes of amphibian egg mortality or population declines may not reveal the complex factors involved in declines

  20. Restored agricultural wetlands in Central Iowa: habitat quality and amphibian response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Rebecca A.; Pierce, Clay; Smalling, Kelly L.; Klaver, Robert W.; Vandever, Mark W.; Battaglin, William A.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape.

  1. Geology and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Fishbaugh, Kathryn E; Raulin, François; Marais, David J; Korablev, Oleg

    2007-01-01

    Given the fundamental importance of and universal interest in whether extraterrestrial life has developed or could eventually develop in our solar system and beyond, it is vital that an examination of planetary habitability goes beyond simple assumptions such as, "Where there is water, there is life." This book has resulted from a workshop at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland (5-9 September 2005) that brought together planetary geologists, geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, and biologists to discuss the multi-faceted problem of how the habitability of a planet co-evolves with the geology of the surface and interior, the atmosphere, and the magnetosphere. Each of the six chapters has been written by authors with a range of expertise so that each chapter is itself multi-disciplinary, comprehensive, and accessible to scientists in all disciplines. These chapters delve into what life needs to exist and ultimately to thrive, the early environments of the young terrestrial pl...

  2. Amphibian fertilization and development in microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Kenneth A.

    1993-01-01

    During the year before launch, female frogs will be tested every 3 months for the quantity and quality of eggs produced. Two weeks or more prior to launch, male and female frogs will be transported to the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). During the few weeks before launch, groups will be periodically tested for egg quality to assure that the frogs have adapted to the KSC laboratory environment. About 27 hours before launch, four females will be placed in a damp foam-lined box, called the Adult Frog Box (AFB), through which 100 cc/min of air wil be circulated. The AFB will be lowered into the Spacelab and loaded into the Frog Environmental Unit (FEU) during the final pre-launch preparations. A sperm suspension, for use in flight to fertilize the eggs, will also be prepared and loaded during the pre-launch period. The sperm suspension, together with a kit of syringes containing Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), will be stored in a refrigerator aboard the shuttle until needed in flight. On the first day of flight, the AFB will be transferred from the FEU to the General Purpose Work Station (GPWS), which is a type of glove box specially designed to allow the crew to use chemicals and biological materials during the flight without contaminating the shuttle/Spacelab environment. Inside the GPWS the four adult frogs will be injected with the HCG hormone and returned to the FEU. Approximately 16 hours after injection, ovulation should have taken place and 15 to 20 eggs from each frog will be placed on each of two egg baskets and covered with sperm for 10 minutes. The egg baskets are inserted into acrylic egg chambers and 50 ml of 'pond water' (20 percent strength Modified Ringers solution (is added. One of the chambers from each frog will be placed on a centrifuge within the FEU and rotated to simulate normal terrestrial gravity (1 g). The remaining chambers are incubated under microgravity conditions within the FEU. Forty minutes after fertilization, the four

  3. Anuran amphibians as comparative models for understanding extreme dehydration tolerance: a negative feedback lymphatic mechanism for blood volume regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillman, Stanley S

    2018-06-06

    Anurans are the most terrestrial order of amphibians. Couple the high driving forces for evaporative loss in terrestrial environments and their low resistance to evaporation, dehydration is an inevitable stress on their water balance. Anurans have the greatest tolerances for dehydration of any vertebrate group, some species can tolerate evaporative losses up to 45% of their standard body mass. Anurans have remarkable capacities to regulate blood volume with hemorrhage and dehydration compared to mammals. Stabilization of blood volume is central to extending dehydration tolerance, since it avoids both the hypovolemic and hyperviscosity stresses on cardiac output and its consequential effects on aerobic capacity. Anurans, in contrast to mammals, seem incapable of generating a sufficient pressure difference, either oncotically or via interstitial compliance, to move fluid from the interstitium into the capillaries. Couple this inability to generate a sufficient pressure difference for transvascular uptake to a circulatory system with high filtration coefficients and a high rate of plasma turnover is the consequence. The novel lymphatic system of anurans is critical to a remarkable capacity for blood volume regulation. This review summarizes what is known about the anatomical and physiological specializations which are involved in explaining differential blood volume regulation and dehydration tolerance involving a true centrally mediated negative feedback of lymphatic function involving baroreceptors as sensors and lymph hearts, AVT, pulmonary ventilation and specialized skeletal muscles as effectors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    results as they relate to such life-history traits as the susceptibility to initial mortality, the response to the altered postfire habitat, and shifts in the availability of potential prey. We foresee that a continued unnatural fire regime will result in a simplification of the southern California reptile and amphibian communities. ?? 2010 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  5. Threatened and Endangered Terrestrial Animal Species Richness

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted current distributions of all U.S. listed threatened and endangered mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians in the Middle-Atlantic...

  6. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade Garrett

    This work models the surface and internal temperatures for hypothetical terrestrial planets in situations involving extreme tidal heating. The feasibility of such planets is evaluated in terms of the orbital perturbations that may give rise to them, their required proximity to a hoststar, and the potential for the input tidal heating to cause significant partial melting of the mantle. Trapping terrestrial planets into 2:1 resonances with migrating Hot Jupiters is considered as a reasonable way for Earth-like worlds to both maintain high eccentricities and to move to short enough orbital periods (1-20 days) for extreme tidal heating to occur. Secular resonance and secular orbital perturbations may support moderate tidal heating at a low equilibrium eccentricity. At orbital periods below 10-30 days, with eccentricities from 0.01 to 0.1, tidal heat may greatly exceed radiogenic heat production. It is unlikely to exceed insolation, except when orbiting very low luminosity hosts, and thus will have limited surface temperature expression. Observations of such bodies many not be able to detect tidal surface enhancements given a few percent uncertainty in albedo, except on the nightside of spin synchronous airless objects. Otherwise detection may occur via spectral detection of hotspots or high volcanic gas concentrations including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. The most extreme cases may be able to produce magma oceans, or magma slush mantles with up to 40-60% melt fractions. Tides may alter the habitable zones for smaller red dwarf stars, but are generally detrimental. Multiple viscoelastic models, including the Maxwell, Voigt-Kelvin, Standard Anelastic Solid, and Burgers rheologies are explored and applied to objects such as Io and the super-Earth planet GJ 876d. The complex valued Love number for the Burgers rheology is derived and found to be a useful improvement when modeling the low temperature behavior of tidal bodies, particularly during low eccentricity

  7. Ecological transfer mechanisms - Terrestrial

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, W.E.; Raines, Gilbert E.; Bloom, S.G.; Levin, A.A.

    1969-01-01

    Radionuclides produced by nuclear excavation detonations and released to the environment may enter a variety of biogeochemical cycles and follow essentially the same transfer pathways as their stable-element counterparts. Estimation of potential internal radiation doses to individuals and/or populations living in or near fallout-contaminated areas requires analysis of the food-chain and other ecological pathways by which radionuclides released to the environment may be returned to man. A generalized materials transfer diagram, applicable to the forest, agricultural, freshwater and marine ecosystems providing food and water to the indigenous population of Panama and Colombia in regions that could be affected by nuclear excavation of a sea-level canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is presented. Transfer mechanisms effecting the movement of stable elements and radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems are discussed, and methods used to simulate these processes by means of mathematical models are described to show how intake values are calculated for different radionuclides in the major ecological pathways leading to man. These data provide a basis for estimating potential internal radiation doses for comparison with the radiation protection criteria established by recognized authorities; and this, in turn, provides a basis for recommending measures to insure the radiological safety of the nuclear operation plan. (author)

  8. Solar-terrestrial physics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, V.L.

    1977-01-01

    The Glossary is designed to be a technical dictionary that will provide solar workers of various specialties, students, other astronomers and theoreticians with concise information on the nature and the properties of phenomena of solar and solar-terrestrial physics. Each term, or group of related terms, is given a concise phenomenological and quantitative description, including the relationship to other phenomena and an interpretation in terms of physical processes. The references are intended to lead the non-specialist reader into the literature. This section deals with: geomagnetic field; coordinate systems; geomagnetic indices; Dst index; auroral electrojet index AE; daily, 27-day and semi-annual variations of geomagnetic field; micropulsation; geomagnetic storms; storm sudden commencement (SSC) or sudden commencement (SC); initial phase; ring current; sudden impulses; ionosphere; D region; polar cap absorption; sudden ionospheric disturbance; E region; sporadic E; equatorial electrojet; solar flare effect; F 1 and F 2 regions; spread F; travelling ionospheric disturbances; magnetosphere; magnetospheric coordinate systems; plasmasphere; magnetosheath; magnetospheric tail; substorm; radiation belts or Van Allen belts; whistlers; VLF emissions; aurora; auroral forms; auroral oval and auroral zones; auroral intensity; stable auroral red arcs; pulsing aurora; polar glow aurora; and airglow. (B.R.H.)

  9. Ecological transfer mechanisms - Terrestrial

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, W E; Raines, Gilbert E; Bloom, S G; Levin, A A [Battelle Memorial Institute, CoIumbus, OH (United States)

    1969-07-01

    Radionuclides produced by nuclear excavation detonations and released to the environment may enter a variety of biogeochemical cycles and follow essentially the same transfer pathways as their stable-element counterparts. Estimation of potential internal radiation doses to individuals and/or populations living in or near fallout-contaminated areas requires analysis of the food-chain and other ecological pathways by which radionuclides released to the environment may be returned to man. A generalized materials transfer diagram, applicable to the forest, agricultural, freshwater and marine ecosystems providing food and water to the indigenous population of Panama and Colombia in regions that could be affected by nuclear excavation of a sea-level canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is presented. Transfer mechanisms effecting the movement of stable elements and radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems are discussed, and methods used to simulate these processes by means of mathematical models are described to show how intake values are calculated for different radionuclides in the major ecological pathways leading to man. These data provide a basis for estimating potential internal radiation doses for comparison with the radiation protection criteria established by recognized authorities; and this, in turn, provides a basis for recommending measures to insure the radiological safety of the nuclear operation plan. (author)

  10. Does physiological response to disease incur cost to reproductive ecology in a sexually dichromatic amphibian species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindermann, Christina; Narayan, Edward J; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2017-01-01

    It is well known that the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has contributed to amphibian declines worldwide. The impact of Bd varies, with some species being more susceptible to infection than others. Recent evidence has shown that Bd can have sub-lethal effects, whereby increases in stress hormones have been associated with infection. Could this increased stress response, which is a physiological adaptation that provides an increased resilience against Bd infection, potentially be a trade-off with important life-history traits such as reproduction? We studied this question in adult male frogs of a non-declining species (Litoria wilcoxii). Frogs were sampled for (1) seasonal hormone (testosterone and corticosterone), color and disease profiles, (2) the relationship between disease infection status and hormone levels or dorsal color, (3) subclinical effects of Bd by investigating disease load and hormone level, and (4) reproductive and stress hormone relationships independent of disease. Testosterone levels and color score varied seasonally (throughout the spring/summer months) while corticosterone levels remained stable. Frogs with high Bd prevalence had significantly higher corticosterone levels and lower testosterone levels compared to uninfected frogs, and no differences in color were observed. There was a significant positive correlation between disease load and corticosterone levels, and a significant negative relationship between disease load and testosterone. Our field data provides novel evidence that increased physiological stress response associated with Bd infection in wild frogs, could suppress reproduction by down-regulating gonadal hormones in amphibians, however the impacts on reproductive output is yet to be established. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment 2004

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, J. M.; Boutrup, S.; Bijl, L. van der

    This report presents the 2004 results of the Danish National Monitoring and Assess-ment Programme for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments (NOVANA). 2004 was the first year in which terrestrial nature was included in the monitoring pro-gramme. The report reviews the state of the groundwater......, watercourses, lakes and marine waters and the pressures upon them and reviews the monitoring of terrestrial natural habitats and selected plants and animals. The report is based on the annual reports prepared for each subprogramme by the Topic Centres. The latter reports are mainly based on data collected...

  12. Terrestrial ecological responses of climate change in the Northern hemisphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forchhammer, M.C.

    2001-01-01

    Focusing on the single most important atmospheric phenomenon in the Northern hemisphere, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the author reviews the recent studies coupling the NAO with the ecology of a wide range of terrestrial organisms. In particular, the author focuses on low variations in the NAO affect phenotypic variation in life history Traits and, ultimately, dynamics of populations and of interacting species. (LN)

  13. Microalgal and terrestrial transport biofuels to displace fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2009-01-01

    Terrestrial transport biofuels differ in their ability to replace fossil fuels. When both the conversion of solar energy into biomass and the life cycle inputs of fossil fuels are considered, ethanol from sugarcane and biodiesel from palm oil do relatively well, if compared with ethanol from corn,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 19 CFR 12.26 - Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ..., reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited and endangered and threatened species; designated ports of..., Birds, and Insects § 12.26 Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and... crustacea), amphibians, reptiles, or the offspring or eggs of any of the foregoing which the Secretary of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Mitigating Ammonium Perchlorate (AP) Exposure........................................................................18 Table 5-1. Funding History and...amphibian species were reared on perchlorate-laden food (e.g., hydroponically grown lettuce ) and their growth and development monitored. Thyroid...of Perchlorate Derived from Food Sources on Amphibian Development 8 Table 3.1 (Continued) 3.1 Initiate Lettuce Growth 3.2 Tests with Native

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis (infection by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is an emerging pathogen of amphibians that is associated with declines in at least four continents. We report results of disease screens from 271 field-sampled amphibians from Oregon and Washington. Chytridiomycosis was detected on 5 of 7 species and from 31 percent of all...

  19. 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...

  20. Detecting the effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of thyroid hormone disrupting compounds on amphibian development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutleb, A.C.

    2006-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs have been hypothesized to contribute to the observed global decline of amphibian populations. Thyroid hormone (TH) disruption is one of the possible mechanisms for effects of xenobiotics on amphibian development. In addition to the important functions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamukai, Kenichi; Une, Yumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2014-05-13

    The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd.

  2. Evaluation of episodic acidification and amphibian declines in the Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank A. Vertucci; Paul Stephen Corn

    1996-01-01

    We define criteria for documenting episodic acidification of amphibian breeding habitats and examine whether episodic acidification is responsible for observed declines of amphibian populations in the Rocky Mountains. Anthropogenic episodic acidification, caused by atmospheric deposition of sulfate and nitrate, occurs when the concentration of acid anions increases...

  3. Riparian Habitat Management for Reptiles and Amphibians on Corps of Engineers Projects

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dickerson, Dena

    2001-01-01

    ... important taxonomic groups such as reptiles and amphibians. This note provides an overview of the importance of riparian habitat at Corps projects for reptiles and amphibians, identifies riparian zone functions and habitat characteristics, provides examples of representative taxa and regional comparisons, and describes impacts of riparian habitat modification.

  4. Unexpected metabolic disorders induced by endocrine disruptors in Xenopus tropicalis provide new lead for understanding amphibian decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regnault, Christophe; Usal, Marie; Veyrenc, Sylvie; Couturier, Karine; Batandier, Cécile; Bulteau, Anne-Laure; Lejon, David; Sapin, Alexandre; Combourieu, Bruno; Chetiveaux, Maud; Le May, Cédric; Lafond, Thomas; Raveton, Muriel; Reynaud, Stéphane

    2018-05-08

    Despite numerous studies suggesting that amphibians are highly sensitive to endocrine disruptors (EDs), both their role in the decline of populations and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study showed that frogs exposed throughout their life cycle to ED concentrations low enough to be considered safe for drinking water, developed a prediabetes phenotype and, more commonly, a metabolic syndrome. Female Xenopus tropicalis exposed from tadpole stage to benzo( a )pyrene or triclosan at concentrations of 50 ng⋅L -1 displayed glucose intolerance syndrome, liver steatosis, liver mitochondrial dysfunction, liver transcriptomic signature, and pancreatic insulin hypersecretion, all typical of a prediabetes state. This metabolic syndrome led to progeny whose metamorphosis was delayed and occurred while the individuals were both smaller and lighter, all factors that have been linked to reduced adult recruitment and likelihood of reproduction. We found that F 1 animals did indeed have reduced reproductive success, demonstrating a lower fitness in ED-exposed Xenopus Moreover, after 1 year of depuration, Xenopus that had been exposed to benzo( a )pyrene still displayed hepatic disorders and a marked insulin secretory defect resulting in glucose intolerance. Our results demonstrate that amphibians are highly sensitive to EDs at concentrations well below the thresholds reported to induce stress in other vertebrates. This study introduces EDs as a possible key contributing factor to amphibian population decline through metabolism disruption. Overall, our results show that EDs cause metabolic disorders, which is in agreement with epidemiological studies suggesting that environmental EDs might be one of the principal causes of metabolic disease in humans.

  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. Effect of guaianolides in the meiosis reinitiation of amphibian oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata-Martínez, J; Sánchez-Toranzo, G; Chaín, F; Catalán, C A N; Bühler, M I

    2017-02-01

    Sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) are a large and structurally diverse group of plant metabolites generally found in the Asteraceae family. STLs exhibit a wide spectrum of biological activities and it is generally accepted that their major mechanism of action is the alkylation of the thiol groups of biological molecules. The guaianolides is one of various groups of STLs. Anti-tumour and anti-migraine effects, an allergenic agent, an inhibitor of smooth muscle cells and of meristematic cell proliferation are only a few of the most commonly reported activities of STLs. In amphibians, fully grown ovarian oocytes are arrested at the beginning of meiosis I. Under stimulus with progesterone, this meiotic arrest is released and meiosis progresses to metaphase II, a process known as oocyte maturation. There are previous records of the inhibitory effect of dehydroleucodin (DhL), a guaianolide lactone, on the progression of meiosis. It has been also shown that DhL and its 11,13-dihydroderivative (2H-DhL; a mixture of epimers at C-11) act as blockers of the resumption of meiosis in fully grown ovarian oocytes from the amphibian Rhinella arenarum (formerly classified as Bufo arenarum). The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of four closely related guaianolides, i.e., DhL, achillin, desacetoxymatricarin and estafietin as possible inhibitors of meiosis in oocytes of amphibians in vitro and discuss some structure-activity relationships. It was found that the inhibitory effect on meiosis resumption is greater when the lactone has two potentially reactive centres, either a α,β-α',β'-diunsaturated cyclopentanone moiety or an epoxide group plus an exo-methylene-γ-lactone function.

  7. 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

    2018-04-01

    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.

  8. An effective method for terrestrial arthropod euthanasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennie, Neil A C; Loaring, Christopher D; Bennie, Mikaella M G; Trim, Steven A

    2012-12-15

    As scientific understanding of invertebrate life increases, so does the concern for how to end that life in an effective way that minimises (potential) suffering and is also safe for those carrying out the procedure. There is increasing debate on the most appropriate euthanasia methods for invertebrates as their use in experimental research and zoological institutions grows. Their popularity as pet species has also led to an increase in the need for greater veterinary understanding. Through the use of a local injection of potassium chloride (KCl) initially developed for use in American lobsters, this paper describes a safe and effective method for euthanasia in terrestrial invertebrates. Initial work focused on empirically determining the dose for cockroaches, which was then extrapolated to other arthropod species. For this method of euthanasia, we propose the term 'targeted hyperkalosis' to describe death through terminal depolarisation of the thoracic ganglia as a result of high potassium concentration.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; Smith, Geoffrey R

    2016-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 species of native amphibians and reptiles, eight are listed as Vulnerable, six as Near Threatened, and six as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. In the SEMARNAT listing, 19 species are Subject to Special Protection, 26 are Threatened, and three are in Danger of Extinction. Coahuila is home to several species of conservation concern, especially lizards and turtles. Coahuila is an important state for the conservation of the native regional fauna.

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra C North

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses are causing mass amphibian die-offs in North America, Europe and Asia, and have been implicated in the decline of common frog (Rana temporaria populations in the UK. Despite this, we have very little understanding of the environmental drivers of disease occurrence and prevalence. Using a long term (1992-2000 dataset of public reports of amphibian mortalities, we assess a set of potential predictors of the occurrence and prevalence of Ranavirus-consistent common frog mortality events in Britain. We reveal the influence of biotic and abiotic drivers of this disease, with many of these abiotic characteristics being anthropogenic. Whilst controlling for the geographic distribution of mortality events, disease prevalence increases with increasing frog population density, presence of fish and wild newts, increasing pond depth and the use of garden chemicals. The presence of an alternative host reduces prevalence, potentially indicating a dilution effect. Ranavirosis occurrence is associated with the presence of toads, an urban setting and the use of fish care products, providing insight into the causes of emergence of disease. Links between occurrence, prevalence, pond characteristics and garden management practices provides useful management implications for reducing the impacts of Ranavirus in the wild.

  16. High temperature, oxygen, and performance: Insights from reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangloff, Eric J; Telemeco, Rory S

    2018-04-25

    Much recent theoretical and empirical work has sought to describe the physiological mechanisms underlying thermal tolerance in animals. Leading hypotheses can be broadly divided into two categories that primarily differ in organizational scale: 1) high temperature directly reduces the function of subcellular machinery, such as enzymes and cell membranes, or 2) high temperature disrupts system-level interactions, such as mismatches in the supply and demand of oxygen, prior to having any direct negative effect on the subcellular machinery. Nonetheless, a general framework describing the contexts under which either subcellular component or organ system failure limits organisms at high temperatures remains elusive. With this commentary, we leverage decades of research on the physiology of ectothermic tetrapods (amphibians and non-avian reptiles) to address these hypotheses. Available data suggest both mechanisms are important. Thus, we expand previous work and propose the Hierarchical Mechanisms of Thermal Limitation (HMTL) hypothesis, which explains how subcellular and organ system failures interact to limit performance and set tolerance limits at high temperatures. We further integrate this framework with the thermal performance curve paradigm commonly used to predict the effects of thermal environments on performance and fitness. The HMTL framework appears to successfully explain diverse observations in reptiles and amphibians and makes numerous predictions that remain untested. We hope that this framework spurs further research in diverse taxa and facilitates mechanistic forecasts of biological responses to climate change.

  17. 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.

  18. Transcription of highly repetitive tandemly organized DNA in amphibians and birds: A historical overview and modern concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trofimova, Irina; Krasikova, Alla

    2016-12-01

    Tandemly organized highly repetitive DNA sequences are crucial structural and functional elements of eukaryotic genomes. Despite extensive evidence, satellite DNA remains an enigmatic part of the eukaryotic genome, with biological role and significance of tandem repeat transcripts remaining rather obscure. Data on tandem repeats transcription in amphibian and avian model organisms is fragmentary despite their genomes being thoroughly characterized. Review systematically covers historical and modern data on transcription of amphibian and avian satellite DNA in somatic cells and during meiosis when chromosomes acquire special lampbrush form. We highlight how transcription of tandemly repetitive DNA sequences is organized in interphase nucleus and on lampbrush chromosomes. We offer LTR-activation hypotheses of widespread satellite DNA transcription initiation during oogenesis. Recent explanations are provided for the significance of high-yield production of non-coding RNA derived from tandemly organized highly repetitive DNA. In many cases the data on the transcription of satellite DNA can be extrapolated from lampbrush chromosomes to interphase chromosomes. Lampbrush chromosomes with applied novel technical approaches such as superresolution imaging, chromosome microdissection followed by high-throughput sequencing, dynamic observation in life-like conditions provide amazing opportunities for investigation mechanisms of the satellite DNA transcription.

  19. 3D bite modeling and feeding mechanics of the largest living amphibian, the Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Fortuny

    Full Text Available Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their "conservative" morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints.

  20. Species interactions and the effects of climate variability on a wetland amphibian metacommunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Courtney L.; Miller, David A.W.; Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Riley, Jeffrey W.; Brown, Mary E.

    2017-01-01

    Disentangling the role that multiple interacting factors have on species responses to shifting climate poses a significant challenge. However, our ability to do so is of utmost importance to predict the effects of climate change on species distributions. We examined how populations of three species of wetland-breeding amphibians, which varied in life history requirements, responded to a six-year period of extremely variable precipitation. This interval was punctuated by both extensive drought and heavy precipitation and flooding, providing a natural experiment to measure community responses to environmental perturbations. We estimated occurrence dynamics using a discrete hidden Markov modeling approach that incorporated information regarding habitat state and predator–prey interactions. This approach allowed us to measure how metapopulation dynamics of each amphibian species was affected by interactions among weather, wetland hydroperiod, and co-occurrence with fish predators. The pig frog, a generalist, proved most resistant to perturbations, with both colonization and persistence being unaffected by seasonal variation in precipitation or co-occurrence with fishes. The ornate chorus frog, an ephemeral wetland specialist, responded positively to periods of drought owing to increased persistence and colonization rates during periods of low-rainfall. Low probabilities of occurrence of the ornate chorus frog in long-duration wetlands were driven by interactions with predators due to low colonization rates when fishes were present. The mole salamander was most sensitive to shifts in water availability. In our study area, this species never occurred in short-duration wetlands and persistence probabilities decreased during periods of drought. At the same time, negative effects occurred with extreme precipitation because flooding facilitated colonization of fishes to isolated wetlands and mole salamanders did not colonize wetlands once fishes were present. We

  1. Utilization of the terrestrial cyanobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katoh, Hiroshi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Furukawa, Jun; Kimura, Shunta; Yokoshima, Mika; Yamaguchi, Yuji; Takenaka, Hiroyuki

    The terrestrial, N _{2}-fixing cyanobacterium, Nostoc commune has expected to utilize for agriculture, food and terraforming cause of its extracellular polysaccharide, desiccation tolerance and nitrogen fixation. Previously, the first author indicated that desiccation related genes were analyzed and the suggested that the genes were related to nitrogen fixation and metabolisms. In this report, we suggest possibility of agriculture, using the cyanobacterium. Further, we also found radioactive compounds accumulated N. commune (cyanobacterium) in Fukushima, Japan after nuclear accident. Thus, it is investigated to decontaminate radioactive compounds from the surface soil by the cyanobacterium and showed to accumulate radioactive compounds using the cyanobacterium. We will discuss utilization of terrestrial cyanobacteria under closed environment. Keyword: Desiccation, terrestrial cyanobacteria, bioremediation, agriculture

  2. Microalgal and Terrestrial Transport Biofuels to Displace Fossil Fuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Reijnders

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial transport biofuels differ in their ability to replace fossil fuels. When both the conversion of solar energy into biomass and the life cycle inputs of fossil fuels are considered, ethanol from sugarcane and biodiesel from palm oil do relatively well, if compared with ethanol from corn, sugar beet or wheat and biodiesel from rapeseed. When terrestrial biofuels are to replace mineral oil-derived transport fuels, large areas of good agricultural land are needed: about 5x108 ha in the case of biofuels from sugarcane or oil palm, and at least 1.8-3.6x109 ha in the case of ethanol from wheat, corn or sugar beet, as produced in industrialized countries. Biofuels from microalgae which are commercially produced with current technologies do not appear to outperform terrestrial plants such as sugarcane in their ability to displace fossil fuels. Whether they will able to do so on a commercial scale in the future, is uncertain.

  3. Citation rate and perceived subject bias in the amphibian-decline literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmer, Michel E; Bishop, Phillip J

    2011-02-01

    As a result of global declines in amphibian populations, interest in the conservation of amphibians has grown. This growth has been fueled partially by the recent discovery of other potential causes of declines, including chytridiomycosis (the amphibian chytrid, an infectious disease) and climate change. It has been proposed that researchers have shifted their focus to these novel stressors and that other threats to amphibians, such as habitat loss, are not being studied in proportion to their potential effects. We tested the validity of this proposal by reviewing the literature on amphibian declines, categorizing the primary topic of articles within this literature (e.g., habitat loss or UV-B radiation) and comparing citation rates among articles on these topics and impact factors of journals in which the articles were published. From 1990 to 2009, the proportion of papers on habitat loss remained fairly constant, and although the number of papers on chytridiomycosis increased after the disease was described in 1998, the number of published papers on amphibian declines also increased. Nevertheless, papers on chytridiomycosis were more highly cited than papers not on chytridiomycosis and were published in journals with higher impact factors on average, which may indicate this research topic is more popular in the literature. Our results were not consistent with a shift in the research agenda on amphibians. We believe the perception of such a shift has been supported by the higher citation rates of papers on chytridiomycosis. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. DNA barcoding applied to ex situ tropical amphibian conservation programme reveals cryptic diversity in captive populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Andrew J; Cruz, Catalina; Griffith, Edgardo; Ross, Heidi; Ibáñez, Roberto; Lips, Karen R; Driskell, Amy C; Bermingham, Eldredge; Crump, Paul

    2013-11-01

    Amphibians constitute a diverse yet still incompletely characterized clade of vertebrates, in which new species are still being discovered and described at a high rate. Amphibians are also increasingly endangered, due in part to disease-driven threats of extinctions. As an emergency response, conservationists have begun ex situ assurance colonies for priority species. The abundance of cryptic amphibian diversity, however, may cause problems for ex situ conservation. In this study we used a DNA barcoding approach to survey mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in captive populations of 10 species of Neotropical amphibians maintained in an ex situ assurance programme at El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (EVACC) in the Republic of Panama. We combined these mtDNA sequences with genetic data from presumably conspecific wild populations sampled from across Panama, and applied genetic distance-based and character-based analyses to identify cryptic lineages. We found that three of ten species harboured substantial cryptic genetic diversity within EVACC, and an additional three species harboured cryptic diversity among wild populations, but not in captivity. Ex situ conservation efforts focused on amphibians are therefore vulnerable to an incomplete taxonomy leading to misidentification among cryptic species. DNA barcoding may therefore provide a simple, standardized protocol to identify cryptic diversity readily applicable to any amphibian community. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. 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.

  6. Responsiveness of the hypothalamo-pituitary-interrenal axis in an amphibian (Bufo terrestris) exposed to coal combustion wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hopkins, W.A.; Mendonca, M.T.; Congdon, J.D.

    1999-01-01

    To assess the responsiveness of the interrenal axis to stress, we injected toads exposed to coal combustion wastes and toads from an unpolluted reference site with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), as well as the vehicle alone (saline). Initial circulating levels of corticosterone in toads captured at the polluted area were significantly higher than levels in toads from the reference site. Corticosterone levels in toads from the polluted site remained high even after 2 weeks of laboratory acclimation and injection with saline. The results may suggest disruption of hepatic enzymes responsible for the metabolic clearance of steroid hormones. Injection of toads from the polluted site with ACTH had no effect on plasma corticosterone levels, whereas a similar treatment of toads from the reference site stimulated a marked increase in corticosterone. Our study provides evidence that toads exposed to coal combustion wastes may be less efficient at responding to additional environmental stressors. (Copyright (c) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  7. Soil and terrestrial biology studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

    Soil and terrestrial biology studies focused on developing an understanding of the uptake of gaseous substances from the atmosphere by plants, biodegradation of oil, and the movement of Pu in the terrestrial ecosystems of the southeastern United States. Mathematical models were developed for SO 2 and tritium uptake from the atmosphere by plants; the uptake of tritium by soil microorganisms was measured; and the relationships among the Pu content of soil, plants, and animals of the Savannah River Plant area were studied. Preliminary results are reported for studies on the biodegradation of waste oil on soil surfaces

  8. Structure of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyttleton, R.A.

    1977-01-01

    Recent reviews (cf. Runcorn, 1968; or Cook, 1972, 1975) on the structure of the planets omit reference to the phase-change hypothesis for the nature of the terrestrial core, despite that numerous prior predictions of the theory based on this hypothesis have subsequently been borne out as correct. These reviews also ignore the existence of theoretical calculations of the internal structure of Venus which can be computed with high accuracy by use of the terrestrial seismic data. Several examples of numerous mistakes committed in these reviews are pointed out. (Auth.)

  9. Priapism caused by 'Tribulus terrestris'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campanelli, M; De Thomasis, R; Tenaglia, R L

    2016-01-01

    A 36-year-old Caucasian man was diagnosed with a 72-h-lasting priapism that occurred after the assumption of a Herbal supplement based on Tribulus terrestris, which is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. The patient underwent a cavernoglandular shunt (Ebbehoj shunt) in order to obtain complete detumescence, from which derived negative post-episode outcomes on sexual function. All patients consuming non-FDA-approved alternative supplements such as Tribulus terrestris should be warned about the possible serious side effects.

  10. 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 amphibian populations in the United States should focus not on questions of landscape-scale extinction but on the ecological consequences of dramatic reductions in amphibian biomass, including changes in trophic interactions, nutrient cycling, and energy transfer. Additionally, we conclude that amphibian declines and extinctions are far more likely to occur as a result of permanent habitat loss resulting from development than from the temporary degradation of habitat caused by current forestry practices.

  11. Community Decadal Panel for Terrestrial Analogs to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, N. G.; Farr, T.; Baker, V. R.; Bridges, N.; Carsey, F.; Duxbury, N.; Gilmore, M. S.; Green, J. R.; Grin, E.; Hansen, V.; Keszthelyi, L.; Lanagan, P.; Lentz, R.; Marinangeli, L.; Morris, P. A.; Ori, G. G.; Paillou, P.; Robinson, C.; Thomson, B.

    2001-11-01

    It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites for Mars, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel is considering the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the MEPAG science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel is considering the issues of data collection, value of field workshops, data archiving, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities.

  12. Terrestrial invertebrates in the Rhynie chert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Jason A; Garwood, Russell J

    2018-02-05

    The Early Devonian Rhynie and Windyfield cherts remain a key locality for understanding early life and ecology on land. They host the oldest unequivocal nematode worm (Nematoda), which may also offer the earliest evidence for herbivory via plant parasitism. The trigonotarbids (Arachnida: Trigonotarbida) preserve the oldest book lungs and were probably predators that practiced liquid feeding. The oldest mites (Arachnida: Acariformes) are represented by taxa which include mycophages and predators on nematodes today. The earliest harvestman (Arachnida: Opiliones) includes the first preserved tracheae, and male and female genitalia. Myriapods are represented by a scutigeromorph centipede (Chilopoda: Scutigeromorpha), probably a cursorial predator on the substrate, and a putative millipede (Diplopoda). The oldest springtails (Hexapoda: Collembola) were probably mycophages, and another hexapod of uncertain affinities preserves a gut infill of phytodebris. The first true insects (Hexapoda: Insecta) are represented by a species known from chewing (non-carnivorous?) mandibles. Coprolites also provide insights into diet, and we challenge previous assumptions that several taxa were spore-feeders. Rhynie appears to preserve a largely intact community of terrestrial animals, although some expected groups are absent. The known fossils are (ecologically) consistent with at least part of the fauna found around modern Icelandic hot springs.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'The Rhynie cherts: our earliest terrestrial ecosystem revisited'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  13. 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

  14. 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

    deleterious than previously postulated; indeed, climate cooling would be more deleterious for the persistence of amphibian and reptile species than warming. The ability of species to cope with climate warming may, however, be offset by projected decreases in the availability of water. This should......-east are projected to gain suitable climate. This is because dry conditions in the south-west are projected to increase, approaching the levels found in North Africa, where few amphibian species are able to persist. Main conclusions The impact of increasing temperatures on amphibian and reptile species may be less...

  15. 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...

  16. Developmental responses of amphibians to solar and artificial UVB sources: a comparative study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hays, J.B.; Hoffman, P.D.; Pandelova, Iovanna; Coyle, Daniel

    1996-01-01

    Many amphibian species, in widely scattered locations, currently show population declines and/or reductions in range, but other amphibian species show no such declines. There is no known single cause for these declines. Differential sensitivity to UVB radiation among species might be one contributing factor. We have focused on amphibian eggs, potentially the most UVB-sensitive stage, and compared their resistance to UVB components of sunlight with their levels of photolyase, typically the most important enzyme for repair of the major UV photoproducts in DNA, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers. (Author)

  17. The link between rapid enigmatic amphibian decline and the globally emerging chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lötters, Stefan; Kielgast, Jos; Bielby, Jon; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Bosch, Jaime; Veith, Michael; Walker, Susan F; Fisher, Matthew C; Rödder, Dennis

    2009-09-01

    Amphibians are globally declining and approximately one-third of all species are threatened with extinction. Some of the most severe declines have occurred suddenly and for unknown reasons in apparently pristine habitats. It has been hypothesized that these "rapid enigmatic declines" are the result of a panzootic of the disease chytridiomycosis caused by globally emerging amphibian chytrid fungus. In a Species Distribution Model, we identified the potential distribution of this pathogen. Areas and species from which rapid enigmatic decline are known significantly overlap with those of highest environmental suitability to the chytrid fungus. We confirm the plausibility of a link between rapid enigmatic decline in worldwide amphibian species and epizootic chytridiomycosis.

  18. Amphibians and plant-protection products: what research and action is needed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldrich, Annette; Junghans, Marion; Aeberli, Caroline; Brühl, Carsten A; Streissl, Franz; Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2016-01-01

    The majority of Swiss amphibians are threatened. There is a range of factors which have been discussed as possible causes for their decline, including plant protection products (PPPs). The influence of PPPs on amphibian populations has not yet been studied to any great extent, neither for active ingredients nor for the wetting agents, breakdown products or tank mixtures. A further topic of discussion was how to better protect amphibians by reducing their exposure to PPPs in agricultural fields. Experts at a workshop concluded that further research is needed.

  19. Count data, detection probabilities, and the demography, dynamics, distribution, and decline of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Benedikt R

    2003-08-01

    The evidence for amphibian population declines is based on count data that were not adjusted for detection probabilities. Such data are not reliable even when collected using standard methods. The formula C = Np (where C is a count, N the true parameter value, and p is a detection probability) relates count data to demography, population size, or distributions. With unadjusted count data, one assumes a linear relationship between C and N and that p is constant. These assumptions are unlikely to be met in studies of amphibian populations. Amphibian population data should be based on methods that account for detection probabilities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Helminth parasites of amphibians and reptiles from the Ucayali Region, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllister, Chris T; Bursey, Charles R; Freed, Paul S

    2010-04-01

    Twenty individual amphibians representing 9 species within 6 families and 44 individual reptiles representing 15 species within 8 families from the Ucayali Region, Peru, were examined for helminths. Seven (35%) of the amphibian species and 15 (34%) of the reptiles were found to harbor at least 1 species of helminth; 5 (25%) of the amphibians and 4 (9%) of the reptiles harbored multiple infections. A cyclophyllidean cestode and 14 taxa of nematodes within 7 families were found in the herpetofauna surveyed. Thirteen new host and 6 new geographic distribution records are documented.

  2. The Romanian legislative framework for protection of terrestrial and freshwater vertebrate tetrapodes potentially affected by activities for exploitation of wind-resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TÖRÖK Zsolt

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Romanian legislation nominates for variosus conservative statuses the following terrestrial or freshwater tetrapode species which should be included in the analyses of teh studies on the potential negative impact of wind-turbines and related infrastructures or activities: 11 species of amphibians, 16 species of reptiles, 273 species of birds and 38 species of mammals that have “strictly protected species” status (according to ActNo. 13 / 1993, which enforces the Bern Convention on conservation of wildlife; 7 species of amphibians, 5 species ofreptiles, 94 species of birds and 31 species of mammals that have “protected species” status (according to the same ActNo. 13 / 1993; 6 species of amphibians, 5 species of reptiles, 54 species of mammals of which protection needs designaton of Special Areas of Conservation (Governmental Urgency Ordinance No. 57 / 2007; 11 species of amphibians, 18 species of reptiles, 48 species of mammals having “Species of Community Interest that need strictprotection” status (Governmental Urgency Ordinance No. 57 / 2007; 6 species of amphibians, 5 species of reptiles, 67 species of birds and 6 species of mammals that have “Species of National Interest that need strict protection” status (Governmental Urgency Ordinance No. 57 / 2007. At least 122 species of birds are nominated among the species of which protection needs designaton of Special Protection Areas (Governmental Urgency Ordinance No. 57 / 2007, 112migratory waterbird species are protected by Act No. 89 / 2000, 20 migratory birds are considered as being treathened on European level (Act no. 13 / 1998 and 267 species have “unfavourable status on European level” (Act no. 13 / 1998. All 30 bat species are protected by Act No. 90 / 2000, and 25 species are also nominated in Act No. 13 / 1993 (that enforces the Bonn Convention on migratory species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Flechas, Sandra V; Burkart, David; Hooven, Nathan D; Townsend, Joseph; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2018-01-01

    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%), where

  4. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

    The one-cell amphibian embryo is modeled as a rigid spherical shell containing equal volumes of two immiscible fluids with different densities and viscosities and a surface tension between them. The fluids represent denser yolk in the bottom hemisphere and clearer cytoplasm and the germinal vesicle in the top hemisphere. The unstable equilibrium configuration of the inverted system (the heavier fluid on top) depends on the value of the contact angle. The theoretically calculated normal modes of perturbation and the instability of each mode are in agreement with the results from ComFlo computational fluid dynamic simulations of the same system. The two dominant types of modes of perturbation give rise to axisymmetric and asymmetric sloshing of the cytoplasm of the inverted embryos, respectively. This work quantifies our hypothesis that the axisymmetric mode corresponds to failure of development, and the asymmetric sloshing mode corresponds to development proceeding normally, but with reversed pigmentation, for inverted embryos

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. Next-Generation Mitogenomics: A Comparison of Approaches Applied to Caecilian Amphibian Phylogeny.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon T Maddock

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial genome (mitogenome sequences are being generated with increasing speed due to the advances of next-generation sequencing (NGS technology and associated analytical tools. However, detailed comparisons to explore the utility of alternative NGS approaches applied to the same taxa have not been undertaken. We compared a 'traditional' Sanger sequencing method with two NGS approaches (shotgun sequencing and non-indexed, multiplex amplicon sequencing on four different sequencing platforms (Illumina's HiSeq and MiSeq, Roche's 454 GS FLX, and Life Technologies' Ion Torrent to produce seven (near- complete mitogenomes from six species that form a small radiation of caecilian amphibians from the Seychelles. The fastest, most accurate method of obtaining mitogenome sequences that we tested was direct sequencing of genomic DNA (shotgun sequencing using the MiSeq platform. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses using seven different partitioning strategies were unable to resolve compellingly all phylogenetic relationships among the Seychelles caecilian species, indicating the need for additional data in this case.

  14. Next-Generation Mitogenomics: A Comparison of Approaches Applied to Caecilian Amphibian Phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddock, Simon T; Briscoe, Andrew G; Wilkinson, Mark; Waeschenbach, Andrea; San Mauro, Diego; Day, Julia J; Littlewood, D Tim J; Foster, Peter G; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Gower, David J

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) sequences are being generated with increasing speed due to the advances of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and associated analytical tools. However, detailed comparisons to explore the utility of alternative NGS approaches applied to the same taxa have not been undertaken. We compared a 'traditional' Sanger sequencing method with two NGS approaches (shotgun sequencing and non-indexed, multiplex amplicon sequencing) on four different sequencing platforms (Illumina's HiSeq and MiSeq, Roche's 454 GS FLX, and Life Technologies' Ion Torrent) to produce seven (near-) complete mitogenomes from six species that form a small radiation of caecilian amphibians from the Seychelles. The fastest, most accurate method of obtaining mitogenome sequences that we tested was direct sequencing of genomic DNA (shotgun sequencing) using the MiSeq platform. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses using seven different partitioning strategies were unable to resolve compellingly all phylogenetic relationships among the Seychelles caecilian species, indicating the need for additional data in this case.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    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, there is little information on whether sensitivity to Bd differs among populations, which is essential for understanding Bd-infection dynamics and for formulating conservation strategies. We experimentally investigated intraspecific differences in host sensitivity to Bd across 10 populations of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised from eggs to metamorphosis. We exposed the post-metamorphic wood frogs to Bd and monitored survival for 30 days under controlled laboratory conditions. Populations differed in overall survival and mortality rate. Infection load also differed among populations but was not correlated with population differences in risk of mortality. Such population-level variation in sensitivity to Bd may result in reservoir populations that may be a source for the transmission of Bd to other sensitive populations or species. Alternatively, remnant populations that are less sensitive to Bd could serve as sources for recolonization after epidemic events. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. The Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library (PTAL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, S. C.; Dypvik, H.; Poulet, F.; Rull Perez, F.; Bibring, J.-P.; Bultel, B.; Casanova Roque, C.; Carter, J.; Cousin, A.; Guzman, A.; Hamm, V.; Hellevang, H.; Lantz, C.; Lopez-Reyes, G.; Manrique, J. A.; Maurice, S.; Medina Garcia, J.; Navarro, R.; Negro, J. I.; Neumann, E. R.; Pilorget, C.; Riu, L.; Sætre, C.; Sansano Caramazana, A.; Sanz Arranz, A.; Sobron Grañón, F.; Veneranda, M.; Viennet, J.-C.; PTAL Team

    2018-04-01

    The Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library project aims to build and exploit a spectral data base for the characterisation of the mineralogical and geological evolution of terrestrial planets and small solar system bodies.

  17. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for threatened/endangered sea turtles, diamondback terrapins, and rare reptiles/amphibians in coastal Rhode...

  18. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: 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...

  19. 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)

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. [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.

  4. 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...

  5. Diversity and habitat preferences of amphibians and reptiles in Pakistan: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waqas Ali

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Geographical position of Pakistan is unique, and country harbors two out of six zoogeographical regions. The country can be divided into 15 habitat types in three major divisions: the mountainous region, foothills, and Indus plains. Overall, 219 species including 24 amphibians and 195 reptiles have been reported so far. Out of these, nine amphibian and 13 reptilian species are endemic to Pakistan. Despite this richness, there is paucity of knowledge regarding diversity of amphibians and reptiles as very few species have been thoroughly studied and very small area has been explored. This has led to the uncertainties regarding distribution and taxonomy of these taxa in the country. The herpetofauna is not protected by law in the country, and their conservation status is yet to be evaluated. Furthermore, distribution ranges of amphibians and reptiles have been changed and systemized survey work is required to update baseline information in the country.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio A. Lemos-Espinal

    2017-02-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Terrestrial Steering Group. 2014. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aastrup, Peter; Aronsson, Mora; Barry, Tom

    capacity and information may be currently available and (b) to outline near-term required steps to begin implementing the plan and reporting on an initial set of Arctic terrestrial biodiversity focal ecosystem component attributes. The specific objectives of the workshop were to: Identify key products...... for TSG for the next two years. Identify key components of a pan-Arctic status report for priority focal ecosystem components (FEC) attributes for policy and decision makers. Develop a prioritized set of activities to meet reporting objectives. Identify key milestones and timelines for the successful...... implementation of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan for the next two years. Identify expert networks required for successful implementation of the plan. Identify key gaps and opportunities for the TSG related to plan implementation and identify near-term next steps to address gaps....

  9. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; Evans, J.W. [and others

    1996-07-01

    This document is the final report on surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to gain information that could help prevent or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need of management; federal species of concern were also included. The results of the survey will assist in the effective management of the natural resources of the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal or state listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring of artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The surveys confirmed the presence of 20 threatened and endangered species on the ORR. This report also includes some ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. Finally, this report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work.

  10. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States). Environmental Restoration Div.

    1996-05-01

    Surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) were conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to help avoid or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need-of-management; federal species of concern were included. Results of the survey will also assist in effectively managing the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal- or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The report also includes ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. The report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work.

  11. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A.

    1996-05-01

    Surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) were conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to help avoid or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need-of-management; federal species of concern were included. Results of the survey will also assist in effectively managing the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal- or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The report also includes ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. The report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work

  12. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana; Moreno, Claudia E

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project "Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo". Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area.

  13. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E.; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project “Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo”. Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area. PMID:27500934

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, Paul Stephen

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Skin swabs with FTA® cards as a dry storage source for amphibian DNA

    OpenAIRE

    Ward, A; Hide, G; Jehle, R

    2018-01-01

    Amphibians are the most endangered group of vertebrates, and conservation measures increasingly rely on information drawn from genetic markers. The present study explores skin swabs with Whatman FTA® cards as a method to retrieve PCR-amplifiable amphibian DNA. Swabs from ten adult great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) were used to compare FTA® card-based protocols with tissue sampling based on toe clips. PCR success rates were measured for seven microsatellite markers and one mtDNA marker ...

  16. 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...

  17. Ecological Risk Assessment of Perchlorate in Avian Species, Rodents, Amphibians and Fish: FY2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-10-01

    Ecological Receptors at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (LHAAP), Karnack, TX. Ecotoxicology , 10: 305-313. Smith JN, Pan X, Gentles, BA, Smith...Page 32 of 225 Hayes, TB. 2000. Endocrine disruption in amphibians. In Sparling DW, Linder G, Bishop C, eds. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and... macrophytes and was programmed in Matlab using difference equations. To simulate and predict the uptake and transport of explosives in various

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, James P

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-06

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

  1. Effects of amphibian phylogeny, climate and human impact on the occurrence of the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigalupe, Leonardo D; Soto-Azat, Claudio; García-Vera, Cristobal; Barría-Oyarzo, Ismael; Rezende, Enrico L

    2017-09-01

    Chytridiomycosis, due to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with the alarming decline and extinction crisis of amphibians worldwide. Because conservation programs are implemented locally, it is essential to understand how the complex interactions among host species, climate and human activities contribute to Bd occurrence at regional scales. Using weighted phylogenetic regressions and model selection, we investigated geographic patterns of Bd occurrence along a latitudinal gradient of 1500 km within a biodiversity hot spot in Chile (1845 individuals sampled from 253 sites and representing 24 species), and its association with climatic, socio-demographic and economic variables. Analyses show that Bd prevalence decreases with latitude although it has increased by almost 10% between 2008 and 2013, possibly reflecting an ongoing spread of Bd following the introduction of Xenopus laevis. Occurrence of Bd was higher in regions with high gross domestic product (particularly near developed centers) and with a high variability in rainfall regimes, whereas models including other bioclimatic or geographic variables, including temperature, exhibited substantially lower fit and virtually no support based on Akaike weights. In addition, Bd prevalence exhibited a strong phylogenetic signal, with five species having high numbers of infected individuals and higher prevalence than the average of 13.3% across all species. Taken together, our results highlight that Bd in Chile might still be spreading south, facilitated by a subset of species that seem to play an important epidemiological role maintaining this pathogen in the communities, in combination with climatic and human factors affecting the availability and quality of amphibian breeding sites. This information may be employed to design conservation strategies and mitigate the impacts of Bd in the biodiversity hot spot of southern Chile, and similar studies may prove useful to disentangle the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Han

    2011-02-01

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

  3. Amphibians Testing Negative for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Supen WANG; Wei ZHU; Liqing FAN; Jiaqi LI; Yiming LI

    2017-01-01

    A disease caused by the fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is responsible for recent worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations.The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is aglobal biodiversity hotspot,yet little is known about the prevalence of Bd and Bsal in this region.In this study,we collected 336 non-invasive skin swabs from wild amphibians (including an exotic amphibian species) on the QTP.In addition,to assess the historical prevalence of Bd and Bsal on the QTP,we collected 117 non-invasive skin swabs from museum-archived amphibian samples (from 1964-1982) originating from the QTP.Our results showed all samples to be negative for Bd and Bsal.The government should ban the potentially harmful introduction of non-native amphibian species to the QTP and educate the public about the impacts of releasing exotic amphibians from chytrid-infected areas into native environments of the QTP.

  4. 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.

  5. Vast underestimation of Madagascar's biodiversity evidenced by an integrative amphibian inventory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieites, David R; Wollenberg, Katharina C; Andreone, Franco; Köhler, Jörn; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2009-05-19

    Amphibians are in decline worldwide. However, their patterns of diversity, especially in the tropics, are not well understood, mainly because of incomplete information on taxonomy and distribution. We assess morphological, bioacoustic, and genetic variation of Madagascar's amphibians, one of the first near-complete taxon samplings from a biodiversity hotspot. Based on DNA sequences of 2,850 specimens sampled from over 170 localities, our analyses reveal an extreme proportion of amphibian diversity, projecting an almost 2-fold increase in species numbers from the currently described 244 species to a minimum of 373 and up to 465. This diversity is widespread geographically and across most major phylogenetic lineages except in a few previously well-studied genera, and is not restricted to morphologically cryptic clades. We classify the genealogical lineages in confirmed and unconfirmed candidate species or deeply divergent conspecific lineages based on concordance of genetic divergences with other characters. This integrative approach may be widely applicable to improve estimates of organismal diversity. Our results suggest that in Madagascar the spatial pattern of amphibian richness and endemism must be revisited, and current habitat destruction may be affecting more species than previously thought, in amphibians as well as in other animal groups. This case study suggests that worldwide tropical amphibian diversity is probably underestimated at an unprecedented level and stresses the need for integrated taxonomic surveys as a basis for prioritizing conservation efforts within biodiversity hotspots.

  6. Some effects of pollutants in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stickel, W.H.; McIntyre, A.D.; Mills, C.F.

    1975-01-01

    occur when persistent chemicals enter organisms that eliminate them poorly. However, loss of chemicals in the food chain must be more common than accumulation. The great concentration from water to aquatic organism is chiefly a physical phenomenon, not a food chain effect, but it affords high starting levels for these chains. Terrestrial food chains often start at a high level with heavily contaminated, struggling prey. Litter feeders are another important base. Vegetation may be contaminated enough to be dangerous to animals that eat it. Dermal and respiratory routes of intoxication occur in the wild, but the oral route is far more important at most times and places. The organisms that govern soil fertility and texture are affected more by cultivation than by pesticides. Above ground, growing knowledge of resistance, species differences, and biological controls is leading to integrated control, in which use of chemicals is limited and specific. We do not know what is happening to most nontarget invertebrates. Amphibians and reptiles may be killed by applications of insecticides, but are not highly sensitive and can carry large residues. Effects of these residues on reproduction are little known. Heavy kills of birds by pesticides still occur in the field. Fish-eating and bird-eating birds also undergo shell thinning and related reproductive troubles in many areas, sometimes to the point of population decline and local or regional extermination. DDE most often correlates with shell thinning in the wild and in experiments. No other known chemical approaches DDE in causing severe and lasting shell thinning. Herbivorous birds seem to be largely immune to this effect. It is uncertain how much dieldrin and PCBs contribute to embryotoxicity in carnivorous birds. Mammals may be killed by the more toxic pesticides, but some of the commonest small rodents are so resistant, and lose their residues so rapidly, that they are of little

  7. Terrestrial Analogs to Mars: NRC Community Panel Decadal Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, T. G.

    2002-12-01

    A report was completed recently by a Community Panel for the NRC Decadal Study of Solar System Exploration. The desire was for a review of the current state of knowledge and for recommendations for action over the next decade. The topic of this panel, Terrestrial Analogs to Mars, was chosen to bring attention to the need for an increase in analog studies in support of the increased pace of Mars exploration. It is well recognized that interpretations of Mars must begin with the Earth as a reference. The most successful comparisons have focused on understanding geologic processes on the Earth well enough to extrapolate to Mars' environment. Several facets of terrestrial analog studies have been pursued and are continuing. These studies include field workshops, characterization of terrestrial analog sites, instrument tests, laboratory measurements (including analysis of martian meteorites), and computer and laboratory modeling. The combination of all of these activities allows scientists to constrain the processes operating in specific terrestrial environments and extrapolate how similar processes could affect Mars. The Terrestrial Analogs for Mars Community Panel has considered the following two key questions: (1) How do terrestrial analog studies tie in to the overarching science questions about life, past climate, and geologic evolution of Mars, and (2) How can future instrumentation be used to address these questions. The panel considered the issues of data collection and archiving, value of field workshops, laboratory measurements and modeling, human exploration issues, association with other areas of solar system exploration, and education and public outreach activities. Parts of this work were performed under contract to NASA.

  8. Using monitoring data to map amphibian breeding hotspots and describe wetland vulnerability in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Andrew M.; Legg, Kristin; Sepulveda, Adam; Hossack, Blake R.; Patla, Debra

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians have been selected as a “vital sign” by several National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) networks. An eight-year amphibian monitoring data set provided opportunities to examine spatial and temporal patterns in amphibian breeding richness and wetland desiccation across Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Amphibian breeding richness was variable across both parks and only four of 31 permanent monitoring catchments contained all four widely distributed species. Annual breeding richness was also variable through time and fluctuated by as much as 75% in some years and catchments. Wetland desiccation was also documented across the region, but alone did not explain variations in amphibian richness. High annual variability across the region emphasizes the need for multiple years of monitoring to accurately describe amphibian richness and wetland desiccation dynamics.

  9. Spatial vision in Bombus terrestris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aravin eChakravarthi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg-1 of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens. We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.09 cycles deg-1 and 1.26. for 0.18 cycles deg-1.

  10. 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...

  11. Cell size is positively correlated between different tissues in passerine birds and amphibians, but not necessarily in mammals

    OpenAIRE

    Kozłowski, J.; Czarnołęski, M.; François-Krassowska, A.; Maciak, S.; Pis, T.

    2010-01-01

    We examined cell size correlations between tissues, and cell size to body mass relationships in passerine birds, amphibians and mammals. The size correlated highly between all cell types in birds and amphibians; mammalian tissues clustered by size correlation in three tissue groups. Erythrocyte size correlated well with the volume of other cell types in birds and amphibians, but poorly in mammals. In birds, body mass correlated positively with the size of all cell types including erythrocytes...

  12. 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

  13. Terrestrial invasion of pomatiopsid gastropods in the heavy-snow region of the Japanese Archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kato Makoto

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gastropod mollusks are one of the most successful animals that have diversified in the fully terrestrial habitat. They have evolved terrestrial taxa in more than nine lineages, most of which originated during the Paleozoic or Mesozoic. The rissooidean gastropod family Pomatiopsidae is one of the few groups that have evolved fully terrestrial taxa during the late Cenozoic. The pomatiopsine diversity is particularly high in the Japanese Archipelago and the terrestrial taxa occur only in this region. In this study, we conducted thorough samplings of Japanese pomatiopsid species and performed molecular phylogenetic analyses to explore the patterns of diversification and terrestrial invasion. Results Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that Japanese Pomatiopsinae derived from multiple colonization of the Eurasian Continent and that subsequent habitat shifts from aquatic to terrestrial life occurred at least twice within two Japanese endemic lineages. Each lineage comprises amphibious and terrestrial species, both of which are confined to the mountains in heavy-snow regions facing the Japan Sea. The estimated divergence time suggested that diversification of these terrestrial lineages started in the Late Miocene, when active orogenesis of the Japanese landmass and establishment of snowy conditions began. Conclusions The terrestrial invasion of Japanese Pomatiopsinae occurred at least twice beside the mountain streamlets of heavy-snow regions, which is considered the first case of this event in the area. Because snow coverage maintains stable temperatures and high humidity on the ground surface, heavy-snow conditions may have paved the way for these organisms from freshwater to land via mountain streamlets by preventing winter desiccation in mountain valleys. The fact that the terrestrialization of Pomatiopsidae occurred only in year-round wet environments, but not in seasonally dried regions, provides new insight into ancient

  14. The cosmic gorilla effect or the problem of undetected non terrestrial intelligent signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    G. De la Torre, Gabriel; Garcia, Manuel A.

    2018-05-01

    This article points to a long lasting problem in space research and cosmology, the problem of undetected signs of non terrestrial life and civilizations. We intentionally avoid the term extraterrestrial as we consider other possibilities that may arise but not fall strictly within the extraterrestrial scope. We discuss the role of new physics including dark matter and string theory in the search for life and other non terrestrial intelligence. A new classification for non terrestrial civilizations with three types and five dimensions is also provided. We also explain how our own neurophysiology, psychology and consciousness can play a major role in this search of non terrestrial civilizations task and how they have been neglected up to this date. To test this, 137 adults were evaluated using the cognitive reflection test, an attention/awareness questionnaire and a visuospatial searching task with aerial view images to determine the presence of inattentional blindness.

  15. The terrestrial record of Late Heavy Bombardment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.

    2018-04-01

    Until recently, the known impact record of the early Solar System lay exclusively on the surfaces of the Moon, Mars, and other bodies where it has not been erased by later weathering, erosion, impact gardening, and/or tectonism. Study of the cratered surfaces of these bodies led to the concept of the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB), an interval from about 4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago (Ga) during which the surfaces of the planets and moons in the inner Solar System were subject to unusually high rates of bombardment followed by a decline to present low impact rates by about 3.5 Ga. Over the past 30 years, however, it has become apparent that there is a terrestrial record of large impacts from at least 3.47 to 3.22 Ga and from 2.63 to 2.49 Ga. The present paper explores the earlier of these impact records, providing details about the nature of the 8 known ejecta layers that constitute the evidence for large terrestrial impacts during the earlier of these intervals, the inferred size of the impactors, and the potential effects of these impacts on crustal development and life. The existence of this record implies that LHB did not end abruptly at 3.8-3.7 Ga but rather that high impact rates, either continuous or as impact clusters, persisted until at least the close of the Archean at 2.5 Ga. It implies that the shift from external, impact-related controls on the long-term development of the surface system on the Earth to more internal, geodynamic controls may have occurred much later in geologic history than has been supposed previously.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  18. Production and localization of cellulases and. beta. -glucosidase from the thermophilic fungus Thielavia terrestris

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breuil, C; Wojtczak, G; Saddler, J N

    1986-01-01

    The enzyme production and localization of Thielavia terrestris strains C464 and NRRL 8126 were compared to determine their optimum temperature and pH for cellulase activity. High levels of intracellular ..beta..-glucosidase activity were detected in the former strain. The intracellular ..beta..-glucosidase of both strains were more thermostable than the extra-cellular enzyme; the half life of T. terrestris (C464) endoglucanase activity at 60 degrees C was greater than 96 hours. 12 references.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    2010-07-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Evidence of disease-related amphibian decline in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Pessier, Allan P.; Green, D. Earl

    2003-01-01

    The recent discovery of a pathogenic fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) associated with declines of frogs in the American and Australian tropics, suggests that at least the proximate cause, may be known for many previously unexplained amphibian declines. We have monitored boreal toads in Colorado since 1991 at four sites using capturea??recapture of adults and counts of egg masses to examine the dynamics of this metapopulation. Numbers of male toads declined in 1996 and 1999 with annual survival rate averaging 78% from 1991 to 1994, 45% in 1995 and 3% between 1998 and 1999. Numbers of egg masses also declined. An etiological diagnosis of chytridiomycosis consistent with infections by the genus Batrachochytrium was made in six wild adult toads. Characteristic histomorphological features (i.e. intracellular location, shape of thalli, presence of discharge tubes and rhizoids) of chytrid organisms, and host tissue response (acanthosis and hyperkeratosis) were observed in individual toads. These characteristics were indistinguishable from previously reported mortality events associated with chytrid fungus. We also observed epizootiological features consistent with mortality events associated with chytrid fungus: an increase in the ratio of female:male toads captured, an apparent spread of mortalities within the metapopulation and mortalities restricted to post metamorphic animals. Eleven years of population data suggest that this metapopulation of toads is in danger of extinction, pathological and epizootiological evidence indicates that B. dendrobatidis has played a proximate role in this process

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Groundwater and Terrestrial Water Storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodell, Matthew; Chambers, Don P.; Famiglietti, James S.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial water storage (TWS) comprises groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow,and ice. Groundwater typically varies more slowly than the other TWS components because itis not in direct contact with the atmosphere, but often it has a larger range of variability onmultiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti, 2001; Alley et al., 2002). In situ groundwaterdata are only archived and made available by a few countries. However, monthly TWSvariations observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE; Tapley et al.,2004) satellite mission, which launched in 2002, are a reasonable proxy for unconfinedgroundwater at climatic scales.

  7. Histological evidence of chytridiomycete fungal infection in a free-ranging amphibian, Afrana fuscigula (Anura: Ranidae, in South Africa : short communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.P. Lane

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The 1st recorded histological evidence of chytridiomycete fungal infection in a free-ranging ranid amphibian in South Africa is presented. Literature on causes of a worldwide decline in amphibian populations is briefly reviewed.

  8. Histological evidence of chytridiomycete fungal infection in a free-ranging amphibian, Afrana fuscigula (Anura: Ranidae), in South Africa : short communication

    OpenAIRE

    E.P. Lane; C. Weldon; J. Bingham

    2003-01-01

    The 1st recorded histological evidence of chytridiomycete fungal infection in a free-ranging ranid amphibian in South Africa is presented. Literature on causes of a worldwide decline in amphibian populations is briefly reviewed.

  9. Cause of Cambrian Explosion - Terrestrial or Cosmic?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Edward J; Al-Mufti, Shirwan; Augustyn, Kenneth A; Chandrajith, Rohana; Coghlan, John P; Coulson, S G; Ghosh, Sudipto; Gillman, Mark; Gorczynski, Reginald M; Klyce, Brig; Louis, Godfrey; Mahanama, Kithsiri; Oliver, Keith R; Padron, Julio; Qu, Jiangwen; Schuster, John A; Smith, W E; Snyder, Duane P; Steele, Julian A; Stewart, Brent J; Temple, Robert; Tokoro, Gensuke; Tout, Christopher A; Unzicker, Alexander; Wainwright, Milton; Wallis, Jamie; Wallis, Daryl H; Wallis, Max K; Wetherall, John; Wickramasinghe, D T; Wickramasinghe, J T; Wickramasinghe, N Chandra; Liu, Yongsheng

    2018-08-01

    We review the salient evidence consistent with or predicted by the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe (H-W) thesis of Cometary (Cosmic) Biology. Much of this physical and biological evidence is multifactorial. One particular focus are the recent studies which date the emergence of the complex retroviruses of vertebrate lines at or just before the Cambrian Explosion of ∼500 Ma. Such viruses are known to be plausibly associated with major evolutionary genomic processes. We believe this coincidence is not fortuitous but is consistent with a key prediction of H-W theory whereby major extinction-diversification evolutionary boundaries coincide with virus-bearing cometary-bolide bombardment events. A second focus is the remarkable evolution of intelligent complexity (Cephalopods) culminating in the emergence of the Octopus. A third focus concerns the micro-organism fossil evidence contained within meteorites as well as the detection in the upper atmosphere of apparent incoming life-bearing particles from space. In our view the totality of the multifactorial data and critical analyses assembled by Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe and their many colleagues since the 1960s leads to a very plausible conclusion - life may have been seeded here on Earth by life-bearing comets as soon as conditions on Earth allowed it to flourish (about or just before 4.1 Billion years ago); and living organisms such as space-resistant and space-hardy bacteria, viruses, more complex eukaryotic cells, fertilised ova and seeds have been continuously delivered ever since to Earth so being one important driver of further terrestrial evolution which has resulted in considerable genetic diversity and which has led to the emergence of mankind. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

    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. 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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamran Safi

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

  15. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection patterns among Panamanian amphibian species, habitats and elevations during epizootic and enzootic stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brem, Forrest M R; Lips, Karen R

    2008-09-24

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines of many amphibian populations, yet the full course of the epizootic has rarely been observed in wild populations. We determined effects of elevation, habitat, and aquatic index (AI) on prevalence of infection among Panamanian amphibians sampled along 2 elevational transects. Amphibian populations on the Santa Fé transect (SFT) had declined in 2002, while those on the El Copé transect (ECT) were healthy until September 2004. In 2004 we sampled Bd along both transects, surveying the SFT 2 yr after decline, and surveying the ECT 4 mo prior to the arrival of Bd, during the epizootic, and 2 mo later. Overall prevalence of Bd along the ECT increased from 0.0 (95% CI 0.00-0.0003) to 0.51 (95% CI 0.48-0.55) over a 3 mo period, accompanied by significant decreases in amphibian abundance and species richness in all habitats. Prevalence of infection on the ECT was highest along riparian transects and at higher elevations, but not among levels of AI. Prevalence of infection on the SFT was highest in pool transects, and at higher elevations, but not among levels of AI. Riparian amphibian abundance and species richness also declined at SFT following detection of Bd in 2002. Variation among species, microenvironmental conditions, and the length of coexistence with Bd may contribute to observed differences in prevalence of Bd and in population response.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, particularly in tropical regions where amphibian diversity is highest. Pollutants, including agricultural pesticides, have been identified as a potential contributor to decline, yet toxicological studies of tropical amphibians are very rare. The present study assesses toxic effects on amphibians of 10 commonly used commercial pesticides in tropical agriculture using 2 approaches. First, the authors conducted 8-d toxicity assays with formulations of each pesticide using individually reared red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) tadpoles. Second, they conducted a review of available data for the lethal concentration to kill 50% of test animals from the US Environmental Protection Agency's ECOTOX database to allow comparison with their findings. Lethal concentration estimates from the assays ranged over several orders of magnitude. The nematicides terbufos and ethoprophos and the fungicide chlorothalonil were very highly toxic, with evident effects within an order of magnitude of environmental concentrations. Acute toxicity assays and meta-analysis show that nematicides and fungicides are generally more toxic than herbicides yet receive far less research attention than less toxic herbicides. Given that the tropics have a high diversity of amphibians, the findings emphasize the need for research into the effects of commonly used pesticides in tropical countries and should help guide future ecotoxicological research in tropical regions. © 2014 SETAC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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