Patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission between tadpoles in a high-elevation rainforest stream in tropical Australia

Hagman, Mattias, and Alford, Ross A. (2015) Patterns of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission between tadpoles in a high-elevation rainforest stream in tropical Australia. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 115 (3). pp. 213-221.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao02898
 
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Abstract

The highly virulent fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) poses a global threat to amphibian biodiversity. Streams and other water bodies are central habitats in the ecology of the disease, particularly in rainforests where they may transport and transmit the pathogen and harbor infected tadpoles that serve as reservoir hosts. We conducted an experiment using larval green-eyed tree frogs Litoria serrata in semi-natural streamside channels to test the hypotheses that (1) the fungus can be transmitted downstream in stream habitats and (2) infection affects tadpole growth and mouthpart loss. Our results showed that transmission can occur downstream in flowing water with no contact between individuals, that newly infected tadpoles suffered increased mouthpart loss in comparison with controls that were never infected and that infected tadpoles grew at reduced rates. Although recently infected tadpoles showed substantial loss of mouthparts, individuals with longstanding infections did not, suggesting that mouthparts may re-grow following initial loss. Our study suggests that any management efforts that can reduce the prevalence of infections in tadpoles may be particularly effective if applied in headwater areas, as their effects are likely to be felt downstream.

Item ID: 41643
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1580
Keywords: amphibian declines; infection; larvae; pathogen; reservoir
Funders: Australian Research Council Discovery Project (ARC-DP), Mazda Foundation
Projects and Grants: DP0986537
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 15:51
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960404 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960409 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Mountain and High Country Environments @ 50%
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