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Sample records for pool-breeding amphibians predicting

  1. Double-observer approach to estimating egg mass abundance of vernal pool breeding amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Jung, R.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Interest in seasonally flooded pools, and the status of associated amphibian populations, has initiated programs in the northeastern United States to document and monitor these habitats. Counting egg masses is an effective way to determine the population size of pool-breeding amphibians, such as wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). However, bias is associated with counts if egg masses are missed. Counts unadjusted for the proportion missed (i.e., without adjustment for detection probability) could lead to false assessments of population trends. We used a dependent double-observer method in 2002-2003 to estimate numbers of wood frog and spotted salamander egg masses at seasonal forest pools in 13 National Wildlife Refuges, 1 National Park, 1 National Seashore, and 1 State Park in the northeastern United States. We calculated detection probabilities for egg masses and examined whether detection probabilities varied by species, observers, pools, and in relation to pool characteristics (pool area, pool maximum depth, within-pool vegetation). For the 2 years, model selection indicated that no consistent set of variables explained the variation in data sets from individual Refuges and Parks. Because our results indicated that egg mass detection probabilities vary spatially and temporally, we conclude that it is essential to use estimation procedures, such as double-observer methods with egg mass surveys, to determine population sizes and trends of these species.

  2. An Experimental Test of Buffer Utility as a Technique for Managing Pool-Breeding Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Veysey Powell, Jessica S.; Babbitt, Kimberly J.

    2015-01-01

    Vegetated buffers are used extensively to manage wetland-dependent wildlife. Despite widespread application, buffer utility has not been experimentally validated for most species. To address this gap, we conducted a six-year, landscape-scale experiment, testing how buffers of different widths affect the demographic structure of two amphibian species at 11 ephemeral pools in a working forest of the northeastern U.S. We randomly assigned each pool to one of three treatments (i.e., reference, 100m buffer, 30m buffer) and clearcut to create buffers. We captured all spotted salamanders and wood frogs breeding in each pool and examined the impacts of treatment and hydroperiod on breeding-population abundance, sex ratio, and recapture rate. The negative effects of clearcutting tended to increase as forest-buffer width decreased and be strongest for salamanders and when other stressors were present (e.g., at short-hydroperiod pools). Recapture rates were reduced in the 30m, but not 100m, treatment. Throughout the experiment for frogs, and during the first year post-cut for salamanders, the predicted mean proportion of recaptured adults in the 30m treatment was only 62% and 40%, respectively, of that in the reference treatment. Frog sex ratio and abundance did not differ across treatments, but salamander sex ratios were increasingly male-biased in both cut treatments. By the final year, there were on average, only about 40% and 65% as many females predicted in the 100m and 30m treatments, respectively, compared to the first year. Breeding salamanders at short-hydroperiod pools were about 10% as abundant in the 100m versus reference treatment. Our study demonstrates that buffers partially mitigate the impacts of habitat disturbance on wetland-dependent amphibians, but buffer width and hydroperiod critically mediate that process. We provide the first experimental evidence showing that 30-m-wide buffers may be insufficient for maintaining resilient breeding populations of pool

  3. Impacts of road deicing salt on the demography of vernal pool-breeding amphibians.

    PubMed

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P; Vonesh, James R

    2008-04-01

    Deicing agents, primarily road salt, are applied to roads in 26 states in the United States and in a number of European countries, yet the scale of impacts of road salt on aquatic organisms remains largely under-studied. The issue is germane to amphibian conservation because both adult and larval amphibians are known to be particularly sensitive to changes in their osmolar environments. In this study, we combined survey, experimental, and demographic modeling approaches to evaluate the possible effects of road salt on two common vernal-pond-breeding amphibian species, the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) and the wood frog (Rana sylvatica). We found that in the Adirondack Mountain Region of New York (USA), road salt traveled up to 172 m from the highway into wetlands. Surveys showed that egg mass densities of spotted salamanders (A. maculatum) and wood frogs (R. sylvatica) were two times higher in forest pools than roadside pools, but this pattern was better explained by road proximity than by increased salinity. Experiments demonstrated that embryonic and larval survival were reduced at moderate (500 muS) and high conductivities (3000 muS) in A. maculatum and at high conductivities in R. sylvatica. Demographic models suggest that such egg and larval stage effects of salt may have important impacts on populations near roads, particularly in the case of A. maculatum, for which salt exposure may lead to local extinction. For both species, the effect of road salt was dependent upon the strength of larval density dependence and declined rapidly with distance from the roadside, with the greatest negative effects being limited to within 50 m. Based on this evidence, we argue that efforts to protect local populations of A. maculatum and R. sylvatica in roadside wetlands should, in part, be aimed at reducing application of road salt near wetlands with high conductivity levels. PMID:18488630

  4. Amphibians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

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

  5. Interacting Symbionts and Immunity in the Amphibian Skin Mucosome Predict Disease Risk and Probiotic Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Woodhams, Douglas C.; Brandt, Hannelore; Baumgartner, Simone; Kielgast, Jos; Küpfer, Eliane; Tobler, Ursina; Davis, Leyla R.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Bel, Christian; Hodel, Sandro; Knight, Rob; McKenzie, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenesis is strongly dependent on microbial context, but development of probiotic therapies has neglected the impact of ecological interactions. Dynamics among microbial communities, host immune responses, and environmental conditions may alter the effect of probiotics in human and veterinary medicine, agriculture and aquaculture, and the proposed treatment of emerging wildlife and zoonotic diseases such as those occurring on amphibians or vectored by mosquitoes. Here we use a holistic measure of amphibian mucosal defenses to test the effects of probiotic treatments and to assess disease risk under different ecological contexts. We developed a non-invasive assay for antifungal function of the skin mucosal ecosystem (mucosome function) integrating host immune factors and the microbial community as an alternative to pathogen exposure experiments. From approximately 8500 amphibians sampled across Europe, we compared field infection prevalence with mucosome function against the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Four species were tested with laboratory exposure experiments, and a highly susceptible species, Alytes obstetricans, was treated with a variety of temperature and microbial conditions to test the effects of probiotic therapies and environmental conditions on mucosome function. We found that antifungal function of the amphibian skin mucosome predicts the prevalence of infection with the fungal pathogen in natural populations, and is linked to survival in laboratory exposure experiments. When altered by probiotic therapy, the mucosome increased antifungal capacity, while previous exposure to the pathogen was suppressive. In culture, antifungal properties of probiotics depended strongly on immunological and environmental context including temperature, competition, and pathogen presence. Functional changes in microbiota with shifts in temperature provide an alternative mechanistic explanation for patterns of disease susceptibility related

  6. A predictive framework and review of the ecological impacts of exotic plant invasions on reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Martin, Leigh J; Murray, Brad R

    2011-05-01

    The invasive spread of exotic plants in native vegetation can pose serious threats to native faunal assemblages. This is of particular concern for reptiles and amphibians because they form a significant component of the world's vertebrate fauna, play a pivotal role in ecosystem functioning and are often neglected in biodiversity research. A framework to predict how exotic plant invasion will affect reptile and amphibian assemblages is imperative for conservation, management and the identification of research priorities. Here, we present a new predictive framework that integrates three mechanistic models. These models are based on exotic plant invasion altering: (1) habitat structure; (2) herbivory and predator-prey interactions; (3) the reproductive success of reptile and amphibian species and assemblages. We present a series of testable predictions from these models that arise from the interplay over time among three exotic plant traits (growth form, area of coverage, taxonomic distinctiveness) and six traits of reptiles and amphibians (body size, lifespan, home range size, habitat specialisation, diet, reproductive strategy). A literature review provided robust empirical evidence of exotic plant impacts on reptiles and amphibians from each of the three model mechanisms. Evidence relating to the role of body size and diet was less clear-cut, indicating the need for further research. The literature provided limited empirical support for many of the other model predictions. This was not, however, because findings contradicted our model predictions but because research in this area is sparse. In particular, the small number of studies specifically examining the effects of exotic plants on amphibians highlights the pressing need for quantitative research in this area. There is enormous scope for detailed empirical investigation of interactions between exotic plants and reptile and amphibian species and assemblages. The framework presented here and further testing of

  7. Predicting breeding habitat for amphibians: A spatiotemporal analysis across Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartelt, P.E.; Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Wright, C.K.; Patla, D.A.; Peterson, C.R.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to predict amphibian breeding across landscapes is important for informing land management decisions and helping biologists better understand and remediate factors contributing to declines in amphibian populations. We built geospatial models of likely breeding habitats for each of four amphibian species that breed in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). We used field data collected in 2000-2002 from 497 sites among 16 basins and predictor variables from geospatial models produced from remotely sensed data (e.g., digital elevation model, complex topographic index, landform data, wetland probability, and vegetative cover). Except for 31 sites in one basin that were surveyed in both 2000 and 2002, all sites were surveyed once. We used polytomous regression to build statistical models for each species of amphibian from (1) field survey site data only, (2) field data combined with data from geospatial models, and (3) data from geospatial models only. Based on measures of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) scores, models of the second type best explained likely breeding habitat because they contained the most information (ROC values ranged from 0.70 to 0.88). However, models of the third type could be applied to the entire YNP landscape and produced maps that could be verified with reserve field data. Accuracy rates for models built for single years were highly variable, ranging from 0.30 to 0.78. Accuracy rates for models built with data combined from multiple years were higher and less variable, ranging from 0.60 to 0.80. Combining results from the geospatial multiyear models yielded maps of "core" breeding areas (areas with high probability values for all three years) surrounded by areas that scored high for only one or two years, providing an estimate of variability among years. Such information can highlight landscape options for amphibian conservation. For example, our models identify alternative areas that could be protected for each species

  8. Predicting breeding habitat for amphibians: a spatiotemporal analysis across Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.; Wright, Christopher K.; Patla, Debra A.; Peterson, Charles R.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to predict amphibian breeding across landscapes is important for informing land management decisions and helping biologists better understand and remediate factors contributing to declines in amphibian populations. We built geospatial models of likely breeding habitats for each of four amphibian species that breed in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). We used field data collected in 2000-2002 from 497 sites among 16 basins and predictor variables from geospatial models produced from remotely sensed data (e.g., digital elevation model, complex topographic index, landform data, wetland probabililty, and vegetative cover). Except for 31 sites in one basin that were surveyed in both 2000 and 2002, all sites were surveyed once. We used polytomous regression to build statistical models for each species of amphibian from 1) field survey site data only, 2) field data combined with data from geospatial models, and 3) data from geospatial models only. Based on measures of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) scores, models of the second type best explained likely breeding habitat because they contained the most information (ROC values ranged from 0.70 - 0.88). However, models of the third type could be applied to the entire YNP landscape and produced maps that could be verified with reserve field data. Accuracy rates for models built for single years were highly variable, ranging from 0.30 to 0.78. Accuracy rates for models built with data combined from multiple years were higher and less variable, ranging from 0.60 to 0.80. Combining results from the geospatial multiyear models yielded maps of "core" breeding areas (areas with high probability values for all three years) surrounded by areas that scored high for only one or two years, providing an estimate of variability among years. Such information can highlight landscape options for amphibian conservation. For example, our models identify alternative for areas that could be protected for each species

  9. Predicting the potential distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in East and Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Moriguchi, Sachiko; Tominaga, Atsushi; Irwin, Kelly J; Freake, Michael J; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2015-04-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, a disease that is associated with a worldwide amphibian population decline. In this study, we predicted the potential distribution of Bd in East and Southeast Asia based on limited occurrence data. Our goal was to design an effective survey area where efforts to detect the pathogen can be focused. We generated ecological niche models using the maximum-entropy approach, with alleviation of multicollinearity and spatial autocorrelation. We applied eigenvector-based spatial filters as independent variables, in addition to environmental variables, to resolve spatial autocorrelation, and compared the model's accuracy and the degree of spatial autocorrelation with those of a model estimated using only environmental variables. We were able to identify areas of high suitability for Bd with accuracy. Among the environmental variables, factors related to temperature and precipitation were more effective in predicting the potential distribution of Bd than factors related to land use and cover type. Our study successfully predicted the potential distribution of Bd in East and Southeast Asia. This information should now be used to prioritize survey areas and generate a surveillance program to detect the pathogen. PMID:25850395

  10. Thermal niche predicts tolerance to habitat conversion in tropical amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Frishkoff, Luke O; Hadly, Elizabeth A; Daily, Gretchen C

    2015-11-01

    Habitat conversion is a major driver of the biodiversity crisis, yet why some species undergo local extinction while others thrive under novel conditions remains unclear. We suggest that focusing on species' niches, rather than traits, may provide the predictive power needed to forecast biodiversity change. We first examine two Neotropical frog congeners with drastically different affinities to deforestation and document how thermal niche explains deforestation tolerance. The more deforestation-tolerant species is associated with warmer macroclimates across Costa Rica, and warmer microclimates within landscapes. Further, in laboratory experiments, the more deforestation-tolerant species has critical thermal limits, and a jumping performance optimum, shifted ~2 °C warmer than those of the more forest-affiliated species, corresponding to the ~3 °C difference in daytime maximum temperature that these species experience between habitats. Crucially, neither species strictly specializes on either habitat - instead habitat use is governed by regional environmental temperature. Both species track temperature along an elevational gradient, and shift their habitat use from cooler forest at lower elevations to warmer deforested pastures upslope. To generalize these conclusions, we expand our analysis to the entire mid-elevational herpetological community of southern Costa Rica. We assess the climatological affinities of 33 amphibian and reptile species, showing that across both taxonomic classes, thermal niche predicts presence in deforested habitat as well as or better than many commonly used traits. These data suggest that warm-adapted species carry a significant survival advantage amidst the synergistic impacts of land-use conversion and climate change. PMID:26148337

  11. Climate warming mediates negative impacts of rapid pond drying for three amphibian species.

    PubMed

    O'Regan, Sacha M; Palen, Wendy J; Anderson, Sean C

    2014-04-01

    Anthropogenic climate change will present both opportunities and challenges for pool-breeding amphibians. Increased water temperature and accelerated drying may directly affect larval growth, development, and survival, yet the combined effects of these processes on larvae with future climate change remain poorly understood. Increased surface temperatures are projected to warm water and decrease water inputs, leading to earlier and faster wetland drying. So it is often assumed that larvae will experience negative synergistic impacts with combined warming and drying. However, an alternative hypothesis is that warming-induced increases in metabolic rate and aquatic resource availability might compensate for faster drying rates, generating antagonistic larval responses. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to test the individual and interactive effects of pool permanency (permanent vs. temporary) and water temperature (ambient vs. (+) -3 degrees C) on three anurans with fast-to-slow larval development rates (Great Basin spadefoot [Spea intermontana], Pacific chorus frog [Pseudacris regilla], and northern red-legged frog [Rana aurora]). We found that although tadpoles in warmed pools reached metamorphosis 15-17 days earlier, they did so with little cost (< 2 mm) to size, likely due to greater periphyton growth in warmed pools easing drying-induced resource competition. Warming and drying combined to act antagonistically on early growth (P = 0.06) and survival (P = 0.06), meaning the combined impact was less than the sum of the individual impacts. Warming and drying acted additively on time to and size at metamorphosis. These nonsynergistic impacts may result from cotolerance of larvae to warming and drying, as well as warming helping to offset negative impacts of drying. Our results indicate that combined pool warming and drying may not always be harmful for larval amphibians. However, they also demonstrate that antagonistic responses are difficult to predict, which poses

  12. The use of local indicators of spatial association to improve LiDAR-derived predictions of potential amphibian breeding ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Julian, J.T.; Young, J.A.; Jones, J.W.; Snyder, C.D.; Wright, C.W.

    2009-01-01

    We examined whether spatially explicit information improved models that use LiDAR return signal intensity to discriminate in-pond habitat from terrestrial habitat at 24 amphibian breeding ponds. The addition of Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA) to LiDAR return intensity data significantly improved predictive models at all ponds, reduced residual error by as much as 74%, and appeared to improve models by reducing classification errors associated with types of in-pond vegetation. We conclude that LISA statistics can help maximize the information content that can be extracted from time resolved LiDAR return data in models that predict the occurrence of small, seasonal ponds. ?? Springer-Verlag 2008.

  13. Farmed Areas Predict the Distribution of Amphibian Ponds in a Traditional Rural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Hartel, Tibor; von Wehrden, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Background Traditional rural landscapes of Eastern Europe are undergoing major changes due to agricultural intensification, land abandonment, change in agricultural practices and infrastructural development. Small man-made ponds are important yet vulnerable components of rural landscapes. Despite their important role for biodiversity, these ponds tend to be excluded from conservation strategies. Methodology/Findings Our study was conducted in a traditional rural landscape in Eastern Europe. The aim of this study is twofold: (i) to model the distribution of four major man-made pond types and (ii) to present the importance of man-made ponds for the endangered Yellow Bellied Toad (Bombina variegata) and the Common Toad (Bufo bufo). Six environmental variables were used to model pond distribution: Corine landcover, the heterogeneity of the landcover, slope, road distance, distance to closest village and the human population density. Land cover heterogeneity was the most important driver for the distribution of fishponds. Areas used for agriculture with significant areas of natural vegetation were the most important predictors for the distribution of temporary ponds. In addition, areas covered by transitional woodland and scrub were important for the open cattle ponds. Bombina variegata was found predominantly in the temporary ponds (e.g. ponds created by cattle and buffalo, dirt road ponds and concrete ponds created for livestock drinking) and Bufo bufo in fishponds. Conclusions/Significance Our Maxent models revealed that the highest probability of occurrence for amphibian ponds was in areas used as farmland. The traditional farming practices combined with a low level of infrastructure development produces a large number of amphibian ponds. The challenge is to harmonize economic development and the maintenance of high densities of ponds in these traditional rural landscapes. PMID:23704928

  14. ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION TO AMPHIBIANS: III. PREDICTION OF IMPACTS IN SELECTED NORTHERN MIDWESTERN WETLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The deleterious effects of solar ultraviolet radiation, especially the UV-B portion of sunlight, have been hypothesized to reduce survival, increase the frequency of malformations, and contribute to the apparent worldwide decline of many amphibian species.

  15. Upper thermal tolerance plasticity in tropical amphibian species from contrasting habitats: implications for warming impact prediction.

    PubMed

    Simon, Monique Nouailhetas; Ribeiro, Pedro Leite; Navas, Carlos Arturo

    2015-02-01

    Tropical ectothermic species are currently depicted as more vulnerable to increasing temperatures because of the proximity between their upper thermal limits and environmental temperatures. Yet, the acclimatory capacity of thermal limits has rarely been measured in tropical species, even though they are generally predicted to be smaller than in temperate species. We compared critical thermal maximum (CTmax) and warming tolerance (WT: the difference between CTmax and maximum temperature, Tmax), as well as CTmax acclimatory capacity of toad species from the Atlantic forest (AF) and the Brazilian Caatinga (CAA), a semi-arid habitat with high temperatures. Acclimation temperatures represented the mean temperatures of AF and CAA habitats, making estimates of CTmax and WT more ecologically realistic. CAA species mean CTmax was higher compared to AF species in both acclimation treatments. Clutches within species, as well as between AF and CAA species, differed in CTmax plasticity and we discuss the potential biological meaning of these findings. We did not find a trade-off between absolute CTmax and CTmax plasticity, indicating that species can have both high CTmax and high CTmax plasticity. Although CTmax was highly correlated to Tmax, CTmax plasticity was not related to Tmax or Tmax coefficients of variation. CAA species mean WT was lower than for AF species, but still very high for all species, diverging from other studies with tropical species. This might be partially related to over-estimation of vulnerability due to under-appreciation of realistic acclimation treatments in CTmax estimation. Thus, some tropical species might not be as vulnerable to warming as previously predicted if CTmax is considered as a shifting population parameter. PMID:25660628

  16. Environmental harshness shapes life-history variation in an Australian temporary pool breeding frog: a skeletochronological approach.

    PubMed

    Reniers, Jane; Brendonck, Luc; Roberts, J Dale; Verlinden, Wim; Vanschoenwinkel, Bram

    2015-07-01

    For many amphibians, high temperatures and limited precipitation are crucial habitat characteristics that limit species ranges and modulate life-history characteristics. Although knowledge of the ability of amphibians to cope with such environmental harshness is particularly relevant in the light of ongoing environmental change, relatively little is known about natural variation in age, maturation and associated life-history traits across species' ranges. We used the analysis of growth rings in bones to investigate the link between environmental harshness and life-history traits, including age and body size distribution, in specimens from 20 populations of the Australian bleating froglet, Crinia pseudinsignifera. Despite the short lifespan of the species, bone slides revealed geographic variation in average age, body size and reproductive investment linked to variation in temperature and rainfall. We found no difference in age at maturation in different climatic harshness regimes. Frogs from harsher environments invested less in their first reproductive event but grew older than their counterparts in more benign environments, thereby allowing for more reproductive events and buffering them against the increased chance of reproductive failure in the harsher environments. For individual frogs, climatic harshness experienced during an individual's life promoted larger body size. Overall, these results illustrate how bone structure analyses from preserved specimens allow both the testing of ecogeographic hypotheses and the assessment of the adaptive potential of species in the light of environmental change. PMID:25694040

  17. Amphibian Bioacoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    Anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) of most of the 3,500 species that exist today are highly vocal animals. In most frogs, males will spend considerable energy on calling and incur sizeable predation risks and the females’ detection and localization of the calls of conspecific males is often a prerequisite for successful mating. Therefore, acoustic communication is evidently evolutionarily important in the anurans, and their auditory system is probably shaped by the selective pressures associated with production, detection and localization of the communication calls.

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

    PubMed

    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 < 1% of model runs and for only 2 of the 4 species, because landscape-scale populations were able to persist via dispersal even despite frequent local extinctions. Yet for all species, population sizes were reduced to -50% in all clear-cut scenarios, regardless of the size of harvested patches. These findings suggest that debate over timber harvesting on pool-breeding 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

  19. Acid tolerance in amphibians

    SciTech Connect

    Pierce, B.A.

    1985-04-01

    Studies of amphibian acid tolerance provide information about the potential effects of acid deposition on amphibian communities. Amphibians as a group appear to be relatively acid tolerant, with many species suffering increased mortality only below pH 4. However, amphibians exhibit much intraspecific variation in acid tolerance, and some species are sensitive to even low levels of acidity. Furthermore, nonlethal effects, including depression of growth rates and increases in developmental abnormalities, can occur at higher pH.

  20. Surgery in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian surgery has been especially described in research. Since the last decade, interest for captive amphibians has increased, so have the indications for surgical intervention. Clinicians should not hesitate to advocate such manipulations. Amphibian surgeries have no overwhelming obstacles. These patients heal well and tolerate blood loss more than higher vertebrates. Most procedures described in reptiles (mostly lizards) can be undertaken in most amphibians if equipment can be matched to the patients' size. In general, the most difficult aspect would be the provision of adequate anesthesia. PMID:26611925

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Climate change and amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

  3. AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Vikers Viking Amphibian - biplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1924-01-01

    Vikers Viking Amphibian - biplane: Initially procured in 1921 by the U.S. Navy during their studies of foreign designs, the Vickers Viking IV became NACA 17 during its short period of study at Langley.

  5. Amphibian biology and husbandry.

    PubMed

    Pough, F Harvey

    2007-01-01

    Extant amphibians comprise three lineages-- salamanders (Urodela or Caudata), frogs and toads (Anura), and caecilians (Gymnophiona, Apoda, or Caecilia)--which contain more than 6,000 species. Fewer than a dozen species of amphibians are commonly maintained in laboratory colonies, and the husbandry requirements for the vast majority of amphibians are poorly known. For these species, a review of basic characteristics of amphibian biology supplemented by inferences drawn from the morphological and physiological characteristics of the species in question provides a basis for decisions about housing and feeding. Amphibians are ectotherms, and their skin is permeable to water, ions, and respiratory gases. Most species are secretive and, in many cases, nocturnal. The essential characteristics of their environment include appropriate levels of humidity, temperature, and lighting as well as retreat sites. Terrestrial and arboreal species require moist substrates, water dishes, and high relative humidity. Because temperature requirements for most species are poorly known, it is advisable to use a temperature mosaic that will allow an animal to find an appropriate temperature within its cage. Photoperiod may affect physiology and behavior (especially reproduction and hibernation), and although the importance of ultraviolet light for calcium metabolism by amphibians is not yet known, ecological observations suggest that it might be important for some species of frogs. Some amphibians are territorial, and some use olfactory cues to mark their territory and to recognize other individuals of their species. All amphibians are carnivorous as adults, and the feeding response of many species is elicited by the movement of prey. Diets should include a mixture of prey species, and it may be advisable to load prey with vitamins and minerals. PMID:17592184

  6. Adaptive colouration in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Rudh, Andreas; Qvarnström, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, i.e. salamanders, frogs and caecilians show a wide range of bright colours in combination with contrasting patterns. There is variation among species, populations and also within species and populations. Furthermore, individuals often change colours during developmental stages or in response to environmental factors. This extraordinary variation means that there are excellent opportunities to test hypotheses of the adaptive significance of colours using amphibian species as models. We review the present view of functions of colouration in amphibians with the main focus on relatively unexplored topics. Variation in colouration has been found to play a role in thermoregulation, UV protection, predator avoidance and sexual signalling. However, many proposed cases of adaptive functions of colouration in amphibians remain virtually scientifically unexplored and surprisingly few genes influencing pigmentation or patterning have been detected. We would like to especially encourage more studies that take advantage of recent developments in measurement of visual properties of several possible signalling receivers (e.g. predators, competitors or mates). Future investigations on interactions between behaviour, ecology and vision have the potential to challenge our current view of the adaptive function of colouration in amphibians. PMID:23664831

  7. DEVELOPMENTAL DIVERSITY OF AMPHIBIANS

    PubMed Central

    Elinson, Richard P.; del Pino, Eugenia M.

    2011-01-01

    The current model amphibian, Xenopus laevis, develops rapidly in water to a tadpole which metamorphoses into a frog. Many amphibians deviate from the X. laevis developmental pattern. Among other adaptations, their embryos develop in foam nests on land or in pouches on their mother’s back or on a leaf guarded by a parent. The diversity of developmental patterns includes multinucleated oogenesis, lack of RNA localization, huge non-pigmented eggs, and asynchronous, irregular early cleavages. Variations in patterns of gastrulation highlight the modularity of this critical developmental period. Many species have eliminated the larva or tadpole and directly develop to the adult. The wealth of developmental diversity among amphibians coupled with the wealth of mechanistic information from X. laevis permit comparisons that provide deeper insights into developmental processes. PMID:22662314

  8. Amphibians of Olympic National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    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.

  9. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  10. Establishing causality in the decline and deformity of amphibians: The amphibian research and monitoring initiative model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Little, E.E.; Bridges, C.M.; Linder, G.; Boone, M.

    2003-01-01

    Research to date has indicated that a range of environmental variables such as disease, parasitism, predation, competition, environmental contamination, solar ultraviolet radiation, climate change, or habitat alteration may be responsible for declining amphibian populations and the appearance of deformed organisms, yet in many cases no definitive environmental variable stands out as a causal factor. Multiple Stressors are often present in the habitat, and interactions among these can magnify injury to biota. This raises the possibility that the additive or synergistic impact of these Stressors may be the underlying cause of amphibian declines. Effective management for the restoration of amphibian populations requires the identification of causal factors contributing to their declines. A systematic approach to determine causality is especially important because initial impressions may be misleading or ambiguous. In addition, the evaluation of amphibian populations requires consideration of a broader spatial scale than commonly used in regulatory monitoring. We describe a systematic three-tiered approach to determine causality in amphibian declines and deformities. Tier 1 includes an evaluation of historic databases and extant data and would involve a desktop synopsis of the status of various stressors as well as site visits. Tier 2 studies are iterative, hypothesis driven studies beginning with general tests and continuing with analyses of increasing complexity as certain stressors are identified for further investigation. Tier 3 applies information developed in Tier 2 as predictive indicators of habitats and species at risk over broad landscape scales and provides decision support for the adaptive management of amphibian recovery. This comprehensive, tiered program could provide a mechanistic approach to identifying and addressing specific stressors responsible for amphibian declines across various landscapes.

  11. Site-scale disturbance and habitat development best predict an index of amphibian biotic integrity in Ohio shrub and forested wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Micacchion, Mick; Stapanian, Martin A.; Adams, Jean V.

    2015-01-01

    We determined the best predictors of an index of amphibian biotic integrity calculated from 54 shrub and forested wetlands in Ohio, USA using a two-step sequential holdout validation procedure. We considered 13 variables as predictors: four metrics of wetland condition from the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM), a wetland vegetation index of biotic integrity, and eight metrics from a landscape disturbance index. For all iterations, the best model included the single ORAM metric that assesses habitat alteration, substrate disturbance, and habitat development within a wetland. Our results align with results of similar studies that have associated high scores for wetland vegetation indices of biotic integrity with low habitat alteration and substrate disturbance within wetlands. Thus, implementing similar management practices (e.g., not removing downed woody debris, retaining natural morphological features, decreasing nutrient input from surrounding agricultural lands) could concurrently increase ecological integrity of both plant and amphibian communities in a wetland. Further, our results have the unexpected effect of making progress toward a more unifying theory of ecological indices.

  12. Amphibian development in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A.

    1987-01-01

    The results of experiments performed by the U.S. Biosatellites 1 and 2 and the Gemini VIII and XII missions and by the Soviet Salyut and Soyuz missions on the effect of gravity on the development of prefertilized amphibian egg and, in particular, of the vestibular system of amphibian embryo are described. In these experiments, the condition of microgravity was reached only after the prefertilized eggs were in the early stages of first cell division or in the blastula stage. No significant changes were observed in the morphology of the embryos or in the vestibular system of embyos developed, respectively, for 2-5 days or 20 days under conditions of microgravity. Experiments planned for future spaceflights are discussed.

  13. Field Surveys of Amphibian Populations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brodman, Robert

    2000-01-01

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

  14. The Current and Historical Distribution of Special Status Amphibians at the Livermore Site and Site 300

    SciTech Connect

    Hattem, M V; Paterson, L; Woollett, J

    2008-08-20

    65 surveys were completed in 2002 to assess the current distribution of special status amphibians at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Livermore Site and Site 300. Combined with historical information from previous years, the information presented herein illustrates the dynamic and probable risk that amphibian populations face at both sites. The Livermore Site is developed and in stark contrast to the mostly undeveloped Site 300. Yet both sites have significant issues threatening the long-term sustainability of their respective amphibian populations. Livermore Site amphibians are presented with a suite of challenges inherent of urban interfaces, most predictably the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), while Site 300's erosion issues and periodic feral pig (Sus scrofa) infestations reduce and threaten populations. The long-term sustainability of LLNL's special status amphibians will require active management and resource commitment to maintain and restore amphibian habitat at both sites.

  15. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22684953

  16. Chemosignals, hormones, and amphibian reproduction.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24945995

  17. Sex determination: the amphibian models.

    PubMed

    Eggert, Christophe

    2004-01-01

    We review and discuss current knowledge about sex determination in amphibians. The astonishing wide variety of mechanisms of genotypic sex determination is presented and discussed in an evolutionary context. We recall the natural occurrence of transitory juvenile hermaphroditism in some species. Our present knowledge of the mechanisms of sex determination in amphibians is compared to that in mammals. The influence of epigenetic factors, and especially temperature is highlighted. In amphibians, the influence of temperature on sexual differentiation, that can prevail over genotypic sex determination, remains poorly considered in publications. We suggest that studies on genetic and epigenetic factors of gonadal sex differentiation in amphibians could provide substantial information on the evolutionary process of sex determination mechanisms in current living vertebrates. PMID:15762298

  18. Polarity of the Amphibian Egg

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malacinski, G. M.

    1983-01-01

    Amphibian egg polarity and the mechanism which generates the polarity is addressed. Of particular concern is the question of whether the activation rotation which responds to gravity is a prerequisite for normal development.

  19. North American amphibians: distribution and diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    : Green, David M., (Edited By); Weir, Linda A.; Casper, Gary S.; Lannoo, Michael

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Assessing effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles: status and needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Henry, P.F.P.

    1992-01-01

    Growing concern about the decline of certain amphibian populations and for conservation of amphibians and reptiles has led to renewed awareness of problems from pesticides. Testing amphibians and reptiles as a requirement for chemical registration has been proposed but is difficult because of the phylogenetic diversity of these groups. Information from the literature and research may determine whether amphibians and reptiles are adequately protected by current tests for mammals, birds, and fish. Existing information indicates that amphibians are unpredictably more resistant to certain cholinesterase inhibitors, and more sensitive to two chemicals used in fishery applications than could have been predicted. A single study on one species of lizard suggests that reptiles may be close in sensitivity to mammals and birds. Research on effects of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles should compare responses to currently tested groups and should seek to delineate those taxa and chemicals for which cross-group prediction is not possible. New tests for amphibians and reptiles should rely to the greatest extent possible on existing data bases, and should be designed for maximum economy and minimum harm to test animals. A strategy for developing the needed information is proposed. Good field testing and surveillance of chemicals in use may compensate for failures of predictive evaluations and may ultimately lead to improved tests.

  1. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  2. Agricultural ponds support amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Richardson, W.B.; Reineke, D.M.; Gray, B.R.; Parmelee, J.R.; Weick, S.E.

    2004-01-01

    In some agricultural regions, natural wetlands are scarce, and constructed agricultural ponds may represent important alternative breeding habitats for amphibians. Properly managed, these agricultural ponds may effectively increase the total amount of breeding habitat and help to sustain populations. We studied small, constructed agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota to assess their value as amphibian breeding sites. Our study examined habitat factors associated with amphibian reproduction at two spatial scales: the pond and the landscape surrounding the pond. We found that small agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota provided breeding habitat for at least 10 species of amphibians. Species richness and multispecies reproductive success were more closely associated with characteristics of the pond (water quality, vegetation, and predators) compared with characteristics of the surrounding landscape, but individual species were associated with both pond and landscape variables. Ponds surrounded by row crops had similar species richness and reproductive success compared with natural wetlands and ponds surrounded by nongrazed pasture. Ponds used for watering livestock had elevated concentrations of phosphorus, higher turbidity, and a trend toward reduced amphibian reproductive success. Species richness was highest in small ponds, ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) present, and lacking fish. Multispecies reproductive success was best in ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, less emergent vegetation, and lacking fish. Habitat factors associated with higher reproductive success varied among individual species. We conclude that small, constructed farm ponds, properly managed, may help sustain amphibian populations in landscapes where natural wetland habitat is rare. We recommend management actions such as limiting livestock access to the pond to improve water quality, reducing nitrogen input, and

  3. Synergistic effects of the invasive Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) and climate change on aquatic amphibian survival.

    PubMed

    Saenz, Daniel; Fucik, Erin M; Kwiatkowski, Matthew A

    2013-11-01

    Changes in climate and the introduction of invasive species are two major stressors to amphibians, although little is known about the interaction between these two factors with regard to impacts on amphibians. We focused our study on an invasive tree species, the Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), that annually sheds its leaves and produces leaf litter that is known to negatively impact aquatic amphibian survival. The purpose of our research was to determine whether the timing of leaf fall from Chinese tallow and the timing of amphibian breeding (determined by weather) influence survival of amphibian larvae. We simulated a range of winter weather scenarios, ranging from cold to warm, by altering the relative timing of when leaf litter and amphibian larvae were introduced into aquatic mesocosms. Our results indicate that amphibian larvae survival was greatly affected by the length of time Chinese tallow leaf litter decomposes in water prior to the introduction of the larvae. Larvae in treatments simulating warm winters (early amphibian breeding) were introduced to the mesocosms early in the aquatic decomposition process of the leaf litter and had significantly lower survival compared with cold winters (late amphibian breeding), likely due to significantly lower dissolved oxygen levels. Shifts to earlier breeding phenology, linked to warming climate, have already been observed in many amphibian taxa, and with most climate models predicting a significant warming trend over the next century, the trend toward earlier breeding should continue if not increase. Our results strongly suggest that a warming climate can interact with the effects of invasive plant species, in ways we have not previously considered, to reduce the survival of an already declining group of organisms. PMID:24363907

  4. Synergistic effects of the invasive Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) and climate change on aquatic amphibian survival

    PubMed Central

    Saenz, Daniel; Fucik, Erin M; Kwiatkowski, Matthew A

    2013-01-01

    Changes in climate and the introduction of invasive species are two major stressors to amphibians, although little is known about the interaction between these two factors with regard to impacts on amphibians. We focused our study on an invasive tree species, the Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), that annually sheds its leaves and produces leaf litter that is known to negatively impact aquatic amphibian survival. The purpose of our research was to determine whether the timing of leaf fall from Chinese tallow and the timing of amphibian breeding (determined by weather) influence survival of amphibian larvae. We simulated a range of winter weather scenarios, ranging from cold to warm, by altering the relative timing of when leaf litter and amphibian larvae were introduced into aquatic mesocosms. Our results indicate that amphibian larvae survival was greatly affected by the length of time Chinese tallow leaf litter decomposes in water prior to the introduction of the larvae. Larvae in treatments simulating warm winters (early amphibian breeding) were introduced to the mesocosms early in the aquatic decomposition process of the leaf litter and had significantly lower survival compared with cold winters (late amphibian breeding), likely due to significantly lower dissolved oxygen levels. Shifts to earlier breeding phenology, linked to warming climate, have already been observed in many amphibian taxa, and with most climate models predicting a significant warming trend over the next century, the trend toward earlier breeding should continue if not increase. Our results strongly suggest that a warming climate can interact with the effects of invasive plant species, in ways we have not previously considered, to reduce the survival of an already declining group of organisms. PMID:24363907

  5. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

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

  6. METAPOPULATION DYNAMICS AND AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In many respects, amphibian spatial dynamics resemble classical metapopulation models, where subpopulations in breeding ponds blink in and out of existance and where extinction and colonization rates are functions of pond spatial arrangement. This "ponds-as-patches" view of amphi...

  7. Multiple overseas dispersal in amphibians.

    PubMed Central

    Vences, Miguel; Vieites, David R; Glaw, Frank; Brinkmann, Henner; Kosuch, Joachim; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians are thought to be unable to disperse over ocean barriers because they do not tolerate the osmotic stress of salt water. Their distribution patterns have therefore generally been explained by vicariance biogeography. Here, we present compelling evidence for overseas dispersal of frogs in the Indian Ocean region based on the discovery of two endemic species on Mayotte. This island belongs to the Comoro archipelago, which is entirely volcanic and surrounded by sea depths of more than 3500 m. This constitutes the first observation of endemic amphibians on oceanic islands that did not have any past physical contact to other land masses. The two species of frogs had previously been thought to be nonendemic and introduced from Madagascar, but clearly represent new species based on their morphological and genetic differentiation. They belong to the genera Mantidactylus and Boophis in the family Mantellidae that is otherwise restricted to Madagascar, and are distinguished by morphology and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences from mantellid species occurring in Madagascar. This discovery permits us to update and test molecular clocks for frogs distributed in this region. The new calibrations are in agreement with previous rate estimates and indicate two further Cenozoic transmarine dispersal events that had previously been interpreted as vicariance: hyperoliid frogs from Africa to Madagascar (Heterixalus) and from Madagascar to the Seychelles islands (Tachycnemis). Our results provide the strongest evidence so far that overseas dispersal of amphibians exists and is no rare exception, although vicariance certainly retains much of its importance in explaining amphibian biogeography. PMID:14667332

  8. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry) contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease) than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs. PMID:22163349

  9. The Metamorphosis of Amphibian Toxicogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Helbing, Caren C.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22435070

  10. The metamorphosis of amphibian toxicogenomics.

    PubMed

    Helbing, Caren C

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22435070

  11. Examining the Evidence for Chytridiomycosis in Threatened Amphibian Species

    PubMed Central

    Heard, Matthew; Smith, Katherine F.; Ripp, Kelsey

    2011-01-01

    Extinction risks are increasing for amphibians due to rising threats and minimal conservation efforts. Nearly one quarter of all threatened/extinct amphibians in the IUCN Red List is purportedly at risk from the disease chytridiomycosis. However, a closer look at the data reveals that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the causal agent) has been identified and confirmed to cause clinical disease in only 14% of these species. Primary literature surveys confirm these findings; ruling out major discrepancies between Red List assessments and real-time science. Despite widespread interest in chytridiomycosis, little progress has been made between assessment years to acquire evidence for the role of chytridiomycosis in species-specific amphibian declines. Instead, assessment teams invoke the precautionary principle when listing chytridiomycosis as a threat. Precaution is valuable when dealing with the world's most threatened taxa, however scientific research is needed to distinguish between real and predicted threats in order to better prioritize conservation efforts. Fast paced, cost effective, in situ research to confirm or rule out chytridiomycosis in species currently hypothesized to be threatened by the disease would be a step in the right direction. Ultimately, determining the manner in which amphibian conservation resources are utilized is a conversation for the greater conservation community that we hope to stimulate here. PMID:21826233

  12. Amphibian fertilization and development in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A.; Black, S. D.

    1985-01-01

    An experiment investigating the effects of gravity on embryonic development in amphibians is proposed. The planned procedures for the preparation of the frog eggs for launching in the Space Shuttle, for the injection of the eggs with gonadotropin, for the insertion of the eggs into egg chambers, for the storage of one of the chambers in a microgravity area and the second into a centrifuge, and for the fertilization of the eggs are described. The later organogenesis, swimming behavior, cytoplasmic components, cellular formation, neural plate and archenteron expansion, and allometry and expansion of the organ systems will be examined. Normal morphology for embryos and tadpoles developing at microgravity and the formation of the neural plate opposite the sperm entry point meridian are predicted.

  13. Female Sexual Arousal in Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Wilczynski, Walter; Lynch, Kathleen S.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20816968

  14. Impending conservation crisis for Southeast Asian amphibians

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Independent evolution of the sexes promotes amphibian diversification

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. AMPHIBIANS AS BIOINDICATORS OF WETLAND CONDITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    King county has over ten years of data on the distribution and abundance of amphibians in wetlands. Changes in wetland amphibian composition are being analyzed in relationship to physical changes within wetlands and surrounding land-use development and change. In addition to tes...

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Fire and amphibians in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  20. Ecology and pathology of amphibian ranaviruses.

    PubMed

    Gray, Matthew J; Miller, Debra L; Hoverman, Jason T

    2009-12-01

    Mass mortality of amphibians has occurred globally since at least the early 1990s from viral pathogens that are members of the genus Ranavirus, family Iridoviridae. The pathogen infects multiple amphibian hosts, larval and adult cohorts, and may persist in herpetofaunal and osteichthyan reservoirs. Environmental persistence of ranavirus virions outside a host may be several weeks or longer in aquatic systems. Transmission occurs by indirect and direct routes, and includes exposure to contaminated water or soil, casual or direct contact with infected individuals, and ingestion of infected tissue during predation, cannibalism, or necrophagy. Some gross lesions include swelling of the limbs or body, erythema, swollen friable livers, and hemorrhage. Susceptible amphibians usually die from chronic cell death in multiple organs, which can occur within a few days following infection or may take several weeks. Amphibian species differ in their susceptibility to ranaviruses, which may be related to their co-evolutionary history with the pathogen. The occurrence of recent widespread amphibian population die-offs from ranaviruses may be an interaction of suppressed and naïve host immunity, anthropogenic stressors, and novel strain introduction. This review summarizes the ecological research on amphibian ranaviruses, discusses possible drivers of emergence and conservation strategies, and presents ideas for future research directions. We also discuss common pathological signs of ranaviral disease, methods for diagnostic evaluation, and ranavirus surveillance methods. In as much as ranaviral disease is listed as a notifiable disease by the World Organization for Animal Health and is a threat to amphibian survival, we recommend that biosecurity precautions are implemented by nations to reduce the likelihood of transporting ranavirus virions among populations. Biosecurity precautions include disinfecting footwear and equipment that comes in contact with surface water inhabited

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment. PMID:24599268

  4. First Evidence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Hong Kong Amphibian Trade

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong’s trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment. PMID:24599268

  5. NUDC expression during amphibian development.

    PubMed

    Moreau, N; Aumais, J P; Prudhomme, C; Morris, S M; Yu-Lee, L Y

    2001-10-01

    To identify gene products important for gastrulation in the amphibian Pleurodeles waltl, a screen for regional differences in new protein expression at the early gastrula stage was performed. A 45 kDa protein whose synthesis was specific for progenitor endodermal cells was identified. Microsequencing and cDNA cloning showed that P45 is highly homologous to rat NUDC, a protein suggested to play a role in nuclear migration. Although PNUDC can be detected in all regions of the embryo, its de novo synthesis is tightly regulated spatially and temporally throughout oogenesis and embryonic development. New PNUDC synthesis in the progenitor endodermal cells depends on induction by the mesodermal cells in the gastrula. During development, PNUDC is localized in the egg cortical cytoplasm, at the cleavage furrow during the first embryonic division, around the nuclei and cortical regions of bottle cells in the gastrula, and at the basal region of polarized tissues in the developing embryo. These results show for the first time the expression and compartmentalization of PNUDC at distinct stages during amphibian development. PMID:11732844

  6. Sperm storage in caecilian amphibians

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Female sperm storage has evolved independently multiple times among vertebrates to control reproduction in response to the environment. In internally fertilising amphibians, female salamanders store sperm in cloacal spermathecae, whereas among anurans sperm storage in oviducts is known only in tailed frogs. Facilitated through extensive field sampling following historical observations we tested for sperm storing structures in the female urogenital tract of fossorial, tropical caecilian amphibians. Findings In the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, aggregated sperm were present in a distinct region of the posterior oviduct but not in the cloaca in six out of seven vitellogenic females prior to oviposition. Spermatozoa were found most abundantly between the mucosal folds. In relation to the reproductive status decreased amounts of sperm were present in gravid females compared to pre-ovulatory females. Sperm were absent in females past oviposition. Conclusions Our findings indicate short-term oviductal sperm storage in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. We assume that in female caecilians exhibiting high levels of parental investment sperm storage has evolved in order to optimally coordinate reproductive events and to increase fitness. PMID:22672478

  7. Nutrition and health in amphibian husbandry.

    PubMed

    Ferrie, Gina M; Alford, Vance C; Atkinson, Jim; Baitchman, Eric; Barber, Diane; Blaner, William S; Crawshaw, Graham; Daneault, Andy; Dierenfeld, Ellen; Finke, Mark; Fleming, Greg; Gagliardo, Ron; Hoffman, Eric A; Karasov, William; Klasing, Kirk; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Lankton, Julia; Lavin, Shana R; Lentini, Andrew; Livingston, Shannon; Lock, Brad; Mason, Tom; McComb, Alejandra; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Probst, Tom; Rodriguez, Carlos; Schad, Kristine; Semmen, Kent; Sincage, Jamie; Stamper, M Andrew; Steinmetz, Jason; Sullivan, Kathleen; Terrell, Scott; Wertan, Nina; Wheaton, Catharine J; Wilson, Brad; Valdes, Eduardo V

    2014-01-01

    Amphibian biology is intricate, and there are many inter-related factors that need to be understood before establishing successful Conservation Breeding Programs (CBPs). Nutritional needs of amphibians are highly integrated with disease and their husbandry needs, and the diversity of developmental stages, natural habitats, and feeding strategies result in many different recommendations for proper care and feeding. This review identifies several areas where there is substantial room for improvement in maintaining healthy ex situ amphibian populations specifically in the areas of obtaining and utilizing natural history data for both amphibians and their dietary items, achieving more appropriate environmental parameters, understanding stress and hormone production, and promoting better physical and population health. Using a scientific or research framework to answer questions about disease, nutrition, husbandry, genetics, and endocrinology of ex situ amphibians will improve specialists' understanding of the needs of these species. In general, there is a lack of baseline data and comparative information for most basic aspects of amphibian biology as well as standardized laboratory approaches. Instituting a formalized research approach in multiple scientific disciplines will be beneficial not only to the management of current ex situ populations, but also in moving forward with future conservation and reintroduction projects. This overview of gaps in knowledge concerning ex situ amphibian care should serve as a foundation for much needed future research in these areas. PMID:25296396

  8. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19143783

  9. Nutrition and Health in Amphibian Husbandry

    PubMed Central

    Ferrie, Gina M.; Alford, Vance C.; Atkinson, Jim; Baitchman, Eric; Barber, Diane; Blaner, William S.; Crawshaw, Graham; Daneault, Andy; Dierenfeld, Ellen; Finke, Mark; Fleming, Greg; Gagliardo, Ron; Hoffman, Eric A.; Karasov, William; Klasing, Kirk; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Lankton, Julia; Lavin, Shana R.; Lentini, Andrew; Livingston, Shannon; Lock, Brad; Mason, Tom; McComb, Alejandra; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P.; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Probst, Tom; Rodriguez, Carlos; Schad, Kristine; Semmen, Kent; Sincage, Jamie; Stamper, M. Andrew; Steinmetz, Jason; Sullivan, Kathleen; Terrell, Scott; Wertan, Nina; Wheaton, Catharine J.; Wilson, Brad; Valdes, Eduardo V.

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian biology is intricate, and there are many inter-related factors that need to be understood before establishing successful Conservation Breeding Programs (CBPs). Nutritional needs of amphibians are highly integrated with disease and their husbandry needs, and the diversity of developmental stages, natural habitats, and feeding strategies result in many different recommendations for proper care and feeding. This review identifies several areas where there is substantial room for improvement in maintaining healthy ex situ amphibian populations specifically in the areas of obtaining and utilizing natural history data for both amphibians and their dietary items, achieving more appropriate environmental parameters, understanding stress and hormone production, and promoting better physical and population health. Using a scientific or research framework to answer questions about disease, nutrition, husbandry, genetics, and endocrinology of ex situ amphibians will improve specialists’ understanding of the needs of these species. In general, there is a lack of baseline data and comparative information for most basic aspects of amphibian biology as well as standardized laboratory approaches. Instituting a formalized research approach in multiple scientific disciplines will be beneficial not only to the management of current ex situ populations, but also in moving forward with future conservation and reintroduction projects. This overview of gaps in knowledge concerning ex situ amphibian care should serve as a foundation for much needed future research in these areas. PMID:25296396

  10. [Perspective on gravitational biology of amphibians].

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-01

    We review here the scientific significance of the use of amphibians for research in gravitational biology. Since amphibian eggs are quite large, yet develop rapidly and externally, it is easy to observe their development. Consequently amphibians were the first vertebrates to have their early developmental processes investigated in space. Though several deviations from normal embryonic development occur when amphibians are raised in microgravity, their developmental program is robust enough to return the organisms to an ostensibly normal morphology by the time they hatch. Evolutionally, amphibians were the first vertebrate animal to come out of the water and onto land. Subsequently they diversified and have adaptively radiated to various habitats. They now inhabit aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal and fossorial niches. This diversity can be used to help study the biological effects of gravity at the organismal level, where macroscopic phenomena are associated with gravitational loading. By choosing different amphibian models and using a comparative approach one can effectively identify the action of gravity on biological systems, and the adaptation that vertebrates have made to this loading. Advances in cellular and molecular biology provide powerful tools for the study in many fields, including gravitational biology, and amphibians have proven to be good models for studies at those levels as well. The low metabolic rates of amphibians make them convenient organisms to work with (compared to birds and mammals) in the difficult and confined spaces on orbiting research platforms. We include here a review of what is known about and the potential for further behavioral and physiological researches in space using amphibians. PMID:12721528

  11. Leaping forward in amphibian health and nutrition.

    PubMed

    Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Ferrie, Gina M; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P; Schad, Kristine; Stamper, M Andrew; Gagliardo, Ron; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Valdes, Eduardo V

    2014-01-01

    The Epidemiology Working Group, a subgroup of the participants of the Disney's Animal Kingdom Workshop on "Ex situ Amphibian Medicine and Nutrition," identified a critical need to design and implement approaches that will facilitate the assessment and evaluation of factors impacting amphibian health. In this manuscript, we describe and summarize the outcomes of this workshop with regards (a) the identified gaps in knowledge, (b) identified priorities for closing these gaps, and (c) compile a list of actions to address these priorities. Four general areas of improvement were identified in relation to how measurements are currently being taken to evaluate ex situ amphibian health: nutrition, infectious diseases, husbandry, and integrated biology including genetics and endocrinology. The proposed actions that will be taken in order to address the identified gaps include: (1) identify and quantify major health issues affecting ex situ amphibian populations, (2) identify and coordinate laboratories to conduct analyses using standardized and validated protocols to measure nutritional, infectious diseases, genetic, and hormonal parameters, (3) determine in situ baseline distribution of parameters related to amphibian health, and (4) establish an inter-disciplinary research approach to target specific hypotheses related to amphibian health such as the effects of population genetics (e.g., relatedness, inbreeding) on disease susceptibility, or how environmental parameters are related to chronic stress and hormone production. We think is important to address current gaps in knowledge regarding amphibian health in order to increase the probability to succeed in addressing the issues faced by in situ and ex situ amphibians populations. We are confident that the recommendations provided in this manuscript will facilitate to address these challenges and could have a positive impact in both the health of in situ and ex situ amphibian populations, worldwide. PMID:25279727

  12. Ecotoxicology of organic contaminants to amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.

    2000-01-01

    The effects of organic contaminants on amphibians are poorly known but of considerable interest. These contaminants include the highly toxic dioxins and furans as well as PCBs, PAHs and organochlorine pesticides. Although these compounds may have lower acute toxicity than dioxins and furans, they have been implicated in several problems associated with genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, malformations and reduced growth. There is evidence that amphibian tadpoles bioaccumulate these organic compounds and may have biological concentrating factors ranging in the hundreds. This chapter reviews what is known about the effects and concentrations of organic contaminants in amphibians and provides recommendations for further research

  13. Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M

    2009-01-01

    The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered. PMID:19131029

  14. Report of Amphibian Development Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malacinski, G.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25548736

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26405736

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25548736

  18. Amphibian macrophage development and antiviral defenses.

    PubMed

    Grayfer, Leon; Robert, Jacques

    2016-05-01

    Macrophage lineage cells represent the cornerstone of vertebrate physiology and immune defenses. In turn, comparative studies using non-mammalian animal models have revealed that evolutionarily distinct species have adopted diverse molecular and physiological strategies for controlling macrophage development and functions. Notably, amphibian species present a rich array of physiological and environmental adaptations, not to mention the peculiarity of metamorphosis from larval to adult stages of development, involving drastic transformation and differentiation of multiple new tissues. Thus it is not surprising that different amphibian species and their respective tadpole and adult stages have adopted unique hematopoietic strategies. Accordingly and in order to establish a more comprehensive view of these processes, here we review the hematopoietic and monopoietic strategies observed across amphibians, describe the present understanding of the molecular mechanisms driving amphibian, an in particular Xenopus laevis macrophage development and functional polarization, and discuss the roles of macrophage-lineage cells during ranavirus infections. PMID:26705159

  19. Amphibian responses to photoinduced toxicity of PAHs

    SciTech Connect

    Hatch, A.C.; Burton, G.A. Jr.

    1995-12-31

    Amphibians are essential components of many ecosystems, yet little information exists on their sensitivity to environmental stressors. Recent evidence shows amphibian diversity is declining. Others have suggested this decline is a result of increasing ultraviolet (UV) light levels. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread pollutants in the aquatic environment and their toxicity is increased in the presence of UV light. Embryos of two frogs (Rana pipiens and Xenopus laevis) were exposed to a PAH, fluoranthene, to evaluate amphibian responses to this common contaminant in the presence of sunlight. Hatching rate and development were measured in field and laboratory exposures at multiple concentrations and varying UV intensities. Hatching rate was relatively unaffected, while newly hatched larvae were sensitive to low (ug/L) concentrations. Response was related to both PAH concentration and UV intensity. Results suggest that PAH contamination in the aquatic environment may contribute to declines in amphibian populations.

  20. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  1. Transdermal delivery of corticosterone in terrestrial amphibians.

    PubMed

    Wack, Corina L; Lovern, Matthew B; Woodley, Sarah K

    2010-12-01

    Stressors elicit allostatic responses that allow animals to cope with changing and challenging environments and also cause release of glucocorticoid hormones (GCs). Compared to other vertebrate classes, relatively little is known about amphibian behavioral and physiological responses to GCs. To understand the effects of elevated plasma GCs in amphibians, exogenous application of GCs is necessary, but traditional methods to elevate GCs require handling and/or anesthesia which themselves are stressors. A less invasive alternative successfully used in birds and reptiles utilizes transdermal delivery by applying GCs via a dermal patch. We asked whether dermal patches containing corticosterone (CORT, the main GC in amphibians) would elevate plasma CORT in terrestrial salamanders and frogs. We explored the use of the dermal patch to deliver CORT in an acute, sustained, and repeated manner. Patches adhered well to the amphibians' moist skin and were easily removed to regulate the time course of CORT delivery. Application of CORT treated patches elevated plasma CORT concentrations compared to vehicle patches in all species. Patches delivered physiological levels of plasma CORT in ecologically relevant time frames. Repeated application and removal of CORT patches were used to simulate exposure to repeated stressors. Application of patches did not represent a stressor because plasma CORT concentrations were similar between animals that received vehicle patches and untreated animals. Thus, transdermal delivery of GCs represents a potentially useful tool to better understand amphibian allostatic responses to stressors, and perhaps amphibian population declines. PMID:20850442

  2. Linking genetic and environmental factors in amphibian disease risk

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Anna E; Becker, Carlos G; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-01-01

    A central question in evolutionary biology is how interactions between organisms and the environment shape genetic differentiation. The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused variable population declines in the lowland leopard frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis); thus, disease has potentially shaped, or been shaped by, host genetic diversity. Environmental factors can also influence both amphibian immunity and Bd virulence, confounding our ability to assess the genetic effects on disease dynamics. Here, we used genetics, pathogen dynamics, and environmental data to characterize L. yavapaiensis populations, estimate migration, and determine relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors in predicting Bd dynamics. We found that the two uninfected populations belonged to a single genetic deme, whereas each infected population was genetically unique. We detected an outlier locus that deviated from neutral expectations and was significantly correlated with mortality within populations. Across populations, only environmental variables predicted infection intensity, whereas environment and genetics predicted infection prevalence, and genetic diversity alone predicted mortality. At one locality with geothermally elevated water temperatures, migration estimates revealed source–sink dynamics that have likely prevented local adaptation. We conclude that integrating genetic and environmental variation among populations provides a better understanding of Bd spatial epidemiology, generating more effective conservation management strategies for mitigating amphibian declines. PMID:26136822

  3. Linking genetic and environmental factors in amphibian disease risk.

    PubMed

    Savage, Anna E; Becker, Carlos G; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-07-01

    A central question in evolutionary biology is how interactions between organisms and the environment shape genetic differentiation. The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused variable population declines in the lowland leopard frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis); thus, disease has potentially shaped, or been shaped by, host genetic diversity. Environmental factors can also influence both amphibian immunity and Bd virulence, confounding our ability to assess the genetic effects on disease dynamics. Here, we used genetics, pathogen dynamics, and environmental data to characterize L. yavapaiensis populations, estimate migration, and determine relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors in predicting Bd dynamics. We found that the two uninfected populations belonged to a single genetic deme, whereas each infected population was genetically unique. We detected an outlier locus that deviated from neutral expectations and was significantly correlated with mortality within populations. Across populations, only environmental variables predicted infection intensity, whereas environment and genetics predicted infection prevalence, and genetic diversity alone predicted mortality. At one locality with geothermally elevated water temperatures, migration estimates revealed source-sink dynamics that have likely prevented local adaptation. We conclude that integrating genetic and environmental variation among populations provides a better understanding of Bd spatial epidemiology, generating more effective conservation management strategies for mitigating amphibian declines. PMID:26136822

  4. Establishing a baseline and faunal history in amphibian monitoring programs: The amphibians of Harris Neck, GA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K., Jr.; Barichivich, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted an intensive inventory of Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Georgia to determine the feasibility of establishing an amphibian monitoring program at this location. Thirteen semi-aquatic amphibian species were identified at 21 locations. Amphibian species richness at Harris Neck was similar to that of nearby barrier islands. The amphibian fauna of Harris Neck has long been affected by human-induced landscape changes, including the inadvertent introduction of tadpoles from distant fish hatcheries and the creation of artificial impoundments. Land-use history provides important information necessary to understand current amphibian distribution, especially when census data are used to establish a baseline from which to monitor future status and trends.

  5. ASSESSING THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF ALTERNATIVE LANDSCAPE DESIGNS ON AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    An individual-based, spatially explicit population model was used to predict the onsequences of future land-use alternatives for populations of four amphibian species in two agricultural watersheds in central Iowa. The model included both breeding and upland habitat and incorp...

  6. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord. PMID:11324019

  7. The phylogeny of amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:16351859

  8. ESTIMATING AMPHIBIAN OCCUPANCY RATES IN PONDS UNDER COMPLEX SURVEY DESIGNS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitoring the occurrence of specific amphibian species in ponds is one component of the US Geological Survey's Amphibian Monitoring and Research Initiative. Two collaborative studies were conducted in Olympic National Park and southeastern region of Oregon. The number of ponds...

  9. Estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide body burden through dermal exposure

    EPA Science Inventory

    Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Our study measured dermal uptake of pesticides of varying hydrophobicity (logKow) in frogs. Amphibians were indirectly exposed to one of five pesticide active...

  10. Amphibian parathyroids: morphological and functional aspects.

    PubMed

    Srivastav, A K; Das, V K; Das, S; Sasayama, Y; Suzuki, N

    1995-10-01

    Amphibians living partially or totally in a terrestrial environment are the first tetrapods to possess parathyroid glands. Purely aquatic amphibians and amphibian larvae lack these endocrine glands. The parathyroids develop at the time of metamorphosis. The parathyroid glands in caecilians consist of a single cell type, that of urodeles may be composed of basal (supporting) cells and suprabasal (chief) cells, and that of anurans of small and large chief cells. Parathyroid glands of caecilians and anurans lack connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. The parathyroid cells become activated in response to decreased blood calcium concentration and undergo changes indicating increased parathyroid hormone secretion. Increased blood calcium concentration suppresses secretory activity. Usually, parathyroidectomy elicits hypocalcemia in most amphibians. Such operations have no effect in lower urodeles. Parathyroid hormone administration provokes hypercalcemia in most amphibians. The parathyroids of caecilians have not been studied in detail. The urodeles and anurans exhibit seasonal changes in the parathyroid glands. These changes may be initiated by environmental stimuli such as light, temperature, or alterations in blood calcium levels caused by natural hibernation. PMID:8580512

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

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Min-Yi; Varela, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Many studies predict that climate change will cause species movement and turnover, but few have considered the effect of climate change on range fragmentation for current species and/or populations. We used MaxEnt to predict suitable habitat, fragmentation and turnover for 134 amphibian species in China under 40 future climate change scenarios spanning four pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6 and RCP8.5) and two time periods (the 2050s and 2070s). Our results show that climate change may cause a major shift in spatial patterns of amphibian diversity. Amphibians in China would lose 20% of their original ranges on average; the distribution outside current ranges would increase by 15%. Suitable habitats for over 90% of species will be located in the north of their current range, for over 95% of species in higher altitudes (from currently 137–4,124 m to 286–4,396 m in the 2050s or 314–4,448 m in the 2070s), and for over 75% of species in the west of their current range. Also, our results predict two different general responses to the climate change: some species contract their ranges while moving westwards, southwards and to higher altitudes, while others expand their ranges. Finally, our analyses indicate that range dynamics and fragmentation are related, which means that the effects of climate change on Chinese amphibians might be two-folded. PMID:27547522

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Many studies predict that climate change will cause species movement and turnover, but few have considered the effect of climate change on range fragmentation for current species and/or populations. We used MaxEnt to predict suitable habitat, fragmentation and turnover for 134 amphibian species in China under 40 future climate change scenarios spanning four pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6 and RCP8.5) and two time periods (the 2050s and 2070s). Our results show that climate change may cause a major shift in spatial patterns of amphibian diversity. Amphibians in China would lose 20% of their original ranges on average; the distribution outside current ranges would increase by 15%. Suitable habitats for over 90% of species will be located in the north of their current range, for over 95% of species in higher altitudes (from currently 137-4,124 m to 286-4,396 m in the 2050s or 314-4,448 m in the 2070s), and for over 75% of species in the west of their current range. Also, our results predict two different general responses to the climate change: some species contract their ranges while moving westwards, southwards and to higher altitudes, while others expand their ranges. Finally, our analyses indicate that range dynamics and fragmentation are related, which means that the effects of climate change on Chinese amphibians might be two-folded. PMID:27547522

  13. Design of an Amphibian Exploring Robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maity, Atanu; Majumder, Somajyoti

    2014-07-01

    To design and develop an amphibian exploring robot capable of operation in constrained mine environment puts a tremendous challenge to the system developers from both scientific and engineering perspective. Very few attempts have been made to fulfil these criteria of versatility in design, communication and control. The CSIR-CMERI developed amphibian subterranean robotic explorer (SR) is capable of moving over fairly rough terrain. It can swim as well as crawl over basin floor effortlessly. It is capable of operating at a maximum depth of 10m and can swim at 1 knot. A number of field trials have been carried out for performance testing of the system to ascertain its capability in underground flooded mine tunnels. This paper presents the insight on the design of an amphibian exploring robot for mine safety and disaster mitigation with special features of low power consumption vis-a-vis high mission time.

  14. Amphibians of the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.; Euliss, Ned H.; Lannoo, Michael J.; Mushet, David M.

    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.

  15. Amphibian monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  16. Emesis and Space Motion Sickness in Amphibians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naitoh, T.; Yamashita, M.; Izumi-Kurotani, A.; Takabatake, I.; Wassersug, R. J.

    Amphibians possess the ability to vomit in response to a variety of stimuli that provoke emesis in mammals. Pharmacological studies have establish that the ejection of gastric contents and the basic mechanism for vomiting have been phylogenetically conserved among these tetrapods. As part of on-going comparative studies on emesis in vertebrates, we previously documented that some postmetamorphic anurans and salamander larvae experience motion-induced emesis when exposed to the provocative stimulus of parabolic aircraft flight. However, more recent experiments suggest that there are strict conditions for inducing emesis in amphibians exposed to parabolic flight and that amphibians are not as sensitive to this stimulus as mammals. Further studies on emesis in lower vertebrates may help us understand the processes that cause emesis in abnormal gravitational regimes

  17. Microbiota and Mucosal Immunity in Amphibians

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last 20 years, we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacteria, archeas, and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet, the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: (i) the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and (ii) the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small-animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota. PMID:25821449

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Exposure to environmental contaminants has been implicated as a factor in global amphibian decline. Mercury (Hg) is a particularly widespread contaminant that biomagnifies in amphibians and can cause a suite of deleterious effects. However, monitoring contaminant exposure in amphibian tissues may conflict with conservation goals if lethal take is required. Thus, there is a need to develop non-lethal tissue sampling techniques to quantify contaminant exposure in amphibians. Some minimally invasive sampling techniques, such as toe-clipping, are common in population-genetic research, but it is unclear if these methods can adequately characterize contaminant exposure. We examined the relationships between mercury (Hg) concentrations in non-lethally sampled tissues and paired whole-bodies in five amphibian species. Specifically, we examined the utility of three different tail-clip sections from four salamander species and toe-clips from one anuran species. Both tail and toe-clips accurately predicted whole-body THg concentrations, but the relationships differed among species and the specific tail-clip section or toe that was used. Tail-clips comprised of the distal 0-2 cm segment performed the best across all salamander species, explaining between 82 and 92% of the variation in paired whole-body THg concentrations. Toe-clips were less effective predictors of frog THg concentrations, but THg concentrations in outer rear toes accounted for up to 79% of the variability in frog whole-body THg concentrations. These findings suggest non-lethal sampling of tails and toes has potential applications for monitoring contaminant exposure and risk in amphibians, but care must be taken to ensure consistent collection and interpretation of samples. PMID:26826095

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Amphibian occurrence and aquatic invaders in a changing landscape: Implications for wetland mitigation in the Willamette Valley, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearl, Christopher A.; Adams, Michael J.; Leuthold, N.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2005-01-01

    Despite concern about the conservation status of amphibians in western North America, few field studies have documented occurrence patterns of amphibians relative to potential stressors. We surveyed wetland fauna in Oregon's Willamette Valley and used an information theoretic approach (AIC) to rank the associations between native amphibian breeding occurrence and wetland characteristics, non-native aquatic predators, and landscape characteristics in a mixed urban-agricultural landscape. Best predictors varied among the five native amphibians and were generally consistent with life history differences. Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) and long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) occurrence was best predicted by the absence of non-native fish. Northern red-legged frog (Rana a. aurora) and northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile) were most strongly related to wetland vegetative characteristics. The occurrence of rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa), a migratory species that makes extensive use of terrestrial habitats, was best predicted by greater forest cover within 1 km. The absence of non-native fish was a strong predictor of occurrence for four of the five native species. In contrast, amphibians were not strongly related to native fish presence. We found little evidence supporting negative effects of the presence of breeding populations of bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) on any native species. Only the two Ambystoma salamanders were associated with wetland permanence. Northwestern salamanders (which usually have a multi-year larval stage) were associated with permanent waters, while long-toed salamanders were associated with temporary wetlands. Although all the species make some use of upland habitats, only one (rough-skinned newt) was strongly associated with surrounding landscape conditions. Instead, our analysis suggests that within-wetland characteristics best predict amphibian occurrence in this region. We recommend that wetland preservation and

  1. Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA): An Internet-based Amphibian Course for Educators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Tony P.

    2001-01-01

    Introduces an online zoology course that was offered primarily to upper elementary and middle school teachers in which teachers were expected to take action to help the local amphibian population. (Author/YDS)

  2. Possible interrelations among environmental toxicants, amphibian development, and decline of amphibian populations.

    PubMed Central

    Carey, C; Bryant, C J

    1995-01-01

    Many amphibian populations are declining in a number of geographical locations throughout the world. In most cases, the cause or causes are unknown, but are assumed to result from man-made alterations in the environment. We review existing evidence concerning how environmental xenobiotics could contribute to declines of amphibian populations by impacting growth and development of the young. This paper examines the potential roles of toxicants in: a) affecting the susceptibility of young to disease; b) retarding growth and development of amphibian young; c) affecting the ability of larvae to avoid predation; d) affecting the development of physiological, morphological, or behavioral processes in a manner that subsequently impairs the ability of the young for future reproduction; and e) directly causing mortality of young. These issues are not well studied, and more studies are needed before the roles of environmental xenobiotics in amphibian declines are fully understood. PMID:7556018

  3. The amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis detected in a community of stream and wetland amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Bailey, L.L.; Ware, J.L.; Duncan, K.C.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kolby, Jonathan E.

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented. PMID:24599336

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

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented. PMID:24599336

  6. Amphibian pathogens in Southeast Asian frog trade.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Martin; Bickford, David; Clark, Leanne; Johnson, Arlyne; Joyner, Priscilla H; Ogg Keatts, Lucy; Khammavong, Kongsy; Nguyễn Văn, Long; Newton, Alisa; Seow, Tiffany P W; Roberton, Scott; Silithammavong, Soubanh; Singhalath, Sinpakhone; Yang, Angela; Seimon, Tracie A

    2012-12-01

    Amphibian trade is known to facilitate the geographic spread of pathogens. Here we assess the health of amphibians traded in Southeast Asia for food or as pets, focusing on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), ranavirus and general clinical condition. Samples were collected from 2,389 individual animals at 51 sites in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore for Bd screening, and 74 animals in Cambodia and Vietnam for ranavirus screening. Bd was found in one frog (n = 347) in Cambodia and 13 in Singapore (n = 419). No Bd was found in Lao PDR (n = 1,126) or Vietnam (n = 497), and no ranavirus was found in Cambodia (n = 70) or Vietnam (n = 4). Mild to severe dermatological lesions were observed in all East Asian bullfrogs Hoplobatrachus rugolosus (n = 497) sampled in farms in Vietnam. Histologic lesions consistent with sepsis were found within the lesions of three frogs and bacterial sepsis in two (n = 4); one had Gram-negative bacilli and one had acid-fast organisms consistent with mycobacterium sp. These results confirm that Bd is currently rare in amphibian trade in Southeast Asia. The presence of Mycobacterium-associated disease in farmed H. rugolosus is a cause for concern, as it may have public health implications and indicates the need for improved biosecurity in amphibian farming and trade. PMID:23404036

  7. POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS OF ATRAZINE ON AMPHIBIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent research has generated conflicting results on the effects of atrazine on gonadal developmental (e.g., male hermaphroditism) in amphibians and how these effects influence secondary sexual characteristics (e.g., laryngeal muscle mass). The SAP is being asked to consider the...

  8. ELASTICITY ANALYSIS OF AMPHIBIAN LIFE HISTORIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    By comparing life history parameters (e.g., age at metamorphosis, age at sexual maturation, egg number, longevity) and phenology of different species, we gain valuable insight into why growth rates differ across populations. Although the demography of most amphibians is lacking, ...

  9. Culture of Cells from Amphibian Embryos.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanisstreet, Martin

    1983-01-01

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

  10. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26916805

  11. Universal COI primers for DNA barcoding amphibians.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

    DNA barcoding is a proven tool for the rapid and unambiguous identification of species, which is essential for many activities including the vouchering tissue samples in the genome 10K initiative, genealogical reconstructions, forensics and biodiversity surveys, among many other applications. A large-scale effort is underway to barcode all amphibian species using the universally sequenced DNA region, a partial fragment of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I COI. This fragment is desirable because it appears to be superior to 16S for barcoding, at least for some groups of salamanders. The barcoding of amphibians is essential in part because many species are now endangered. Unfortunately, existing primers for COI often fail to achieve this goal. Herein, we report two new pairs of primers (➀, ➁) that in combination serve to universally amplify and sequence all three orders of Chinese amphibians as represented by 36 genera. This taxonomic diversity, which includes caecilians, salamanders and frogs, suggests that the new primer pairs will universally amplify COI for the vast majority species of amphibians. PMID:22145866

  12. Diseases of amphibian eggs and embryos

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.

    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

  13. Multicellular Mathematical Modelling of Mesendoderm Formation in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Brown, L E; Middleton, A M; King, J R; Loose, M

    2016-03-01

    The earliest cell fate decisions in a developing embryo are those associated with establishing the germ layers. The specification of the mesoderm and endoderm is of particular interest as the mesoderm is induced from the endoderm, potentially from an underlying bipotential group of cells, the mesendoderm. Mesendoderm formation has been well studied in an amphibian model frog, Xenopus laevis, and its formation is driven by a gene regulatory network (GRN) induced by maternal factors deposited in the egg. We have recently demonstrated that the axolotl, a urodele amphibian, utilises a different topology in its GRN to specify the mesendoderm. In this paper, we develop spatially structured mathematical models of the GRNs governing mesendoderm formation in a line of cells. We explore several versions of the model of mesendoderm formation in both Xenopus and the axolotl, incorporating the key differences between these two systems. Model simulations are able to reproduce known experimental data, such as Nodal expression domains in Xenopus, and also make predictions about how the positional information derived from maternal factors may be interpreted to drive cell fate decisions. We find that whilst cell-cell signalling plays a minor role in Xenopus, it is crucial for correct patterning domains in axolotl. PMID:26934886

  14. The bacterially produced metabolite violacein is associated with survival of amphibians infected with a lethal fungus.

    PubMed

    Becker, Matthew H; Brucker, Robert M; Schwantes, Christian R; Harris, Reid N; Minbiole, Kevin P C

    2009-11-01

    The disease chytridiomycosis, which is caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is associated with recent declines in amphibian populations. Susceptibility to this disease varies among amphibian populations and species, and resistance appears to be attributable in part to the presence of antifungal microbial species associated with the skin of amphibians. The betaproteobacterium Janthinobacterium lividum has been isolated from the skins of several amphibian species and produces the antifungal metabolite violacein, which inhibits B. dendrobatidis. In this study, we added J. lividum to red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) to obtain an increased range of violacein concentrations on the skin. Adding J. lividum to the skin of the salamander increased the concentration of violacein on the skin, which was strongly associated with survival after experimental exposure to B. dendrobatidis. As expected from previous work, some individuals that did not receive J. lividum and were exposed to B. dendrobatidis survived. These individuals had concentrations of bacterially produced violacein on their skins that were predicted to kill B. dendrobatidis. Our study suggests that a threshold violacein concentration of about 18 microM on a salamander's skin prevents mortality and morbidity caused by B. dendrobatidis. In addition, we show that over one-half of individuals in nature support antifungal bacteria that produce violacein, which suggests that there is a mutualism between violacein-producing bacteria and P. cinereus and that adding J. lividum is effective for protecting individuals that lack violacein-producing skin bacteria. PMID:19717627

  15. Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA): An Internet-Based Amphibian Course for Educators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Tony P.

    2001-12-01

    A pilot on-line course on amphibians was offered free to 20 educators around the United States in 1999. This course, called Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA), was the first of its kind on-line course for educators dealing with amphibian issues. It also used these animals as a focus to teach about the environment. The course lasted 9 weeks with some additional time for continued discussions and used various aspects of Internet technology (including a virtual conference center), media, and traditional paper-based products to complete the learning process. Five teachers were selected to attend a national amphibian summit hosted by the Center for Global Environmental Education, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN. The course was aimed primarily at upper elementary and middle school teachers, but participants included formal and nonformal educators. For the most part, educators expressed satisfaction with the course and the content, as well as the structure of the web site. For 80% of the group, this was their first Internet-based course. In addition, as part of the course, the educators were expected to take some action with their primary audiences to help local amphibian populations. This mainly took the form of surveys or habitat clean-ups. The development of the course was underwritten by grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Best Buy Children's Foundation, and Hamline University.

  16. Research proceedings on amphibian model organisms

    PubMed Central

    LIU, Lu-Sha; ZHAO, Lan-Ying; WANG, Shou-Hong; JIANG, Jian-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Model organisms have long been important in biology and medicine due to their specific characteristics. Amphibians, especially Xenopus, play key roles in answering fundamental questions on developmental biology, regeneration, genetics, and toxicology due to their large and abundant eggs, as well as their versatile embryos, which can be readily manipulated and developed in vivo. Furthermore, amphibians have also proven to be of considerable benefit in human disease research due to their conserved cellular developmental and genomic organization. This review gives a brief introduction on the progress and limitations of these animal models in biology and human disease research, and discusses the potential and challenge of Microhyla fissipes as a new model organism. PMID:27469255

  17. Neurosteroid Biosynthesis in the Brain of Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Vaudry, Hubert; Do Rego, Jean-Luc; Burel, Delphine; Luu-The, Van; Pelletier, Georges; Vaudry, David; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians have been widely used to investigate the synthesis of biologically active steroids in the brain and the regulation of neurosteroid production by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution and biochemical activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain of anurans and urodeles. The data accumulated over the past two decades demonstrate that discrete populations of neurons and/or glial cells in the frog and newt brains express the major steroidogenic enzymes and are able to synthesize de novo a number of neurosteroids from cholesterol/pregnenolone. Since neurosteroidogenesis has been conserved during evolution from amphibians to mammals, it appears that neurosteroids must play important physiological functions in the central nervous system of vertebrates. PMID:22649387

  18. Research proceedings on amphibian model organisms.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lu-Sha; Zhao, Lan-Ying; Wang, Shou-Hong; Jiang, Jian-Ping

    2016-07-18

    Model organisms have long been important in biology and medicine due to their specific characteristics. Amphibians, especially Xenopus, play key roles in answering fundamental questions on developmental biology, regeneration, genetics, and toxicology due to their large and abundant eggs, as well as their versatile embryos, which can be readily manipulated and developed in vivo. Furthermore, amphibians have also proven to be of considerable benefit in human disease research due to their conserved cellular developmental and genomic organization. This review gives a brief introduction on the progress and limitations of these animal models in biology and human disease research, and discusses the potential and challenge of Microhyla fissipes as a new model organism. PMID:27469255

  19. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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. Amphibians as research models for regenerative medicine

    PubMed Central

    Song, Fengyu; Li, Bingbing

    2010-01-01

    The ability to regenerate bone across a critical size defect would be a marked clinical advance over current methods for dealing with such structural gaps. Here, we briefly review the development of limb bones and the mandible, the regeneration of urodele limbs after amputation, and present evidence that urodele and anuran amphibians represent a valuable research model for the study of segment defect regeneration in both limb bones and mandible. PMID:21197215

  1. Emerging infectious diseases and amphibian population declines.

    PubMed Central

    Daszak, P.; Berger, L.; Cunningham, A. A.; Hyatt, A. D.; Green, D. E.; Speare, R.

    1999-01-01

    We review recent research on the pathology, ecology, and biogeography of two emerging infectious wildlife diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease, in the context of host-parasite population biology. We examine the role of these diseases in the global decline of amphibian populations and propose hypotheses for the origins and impact of these panzootics. Finally, we discuss emerging infectious diseases as a global threat to wildlife populations. PMID:10603206

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Ranavirus outbreaks in amphibian populations of northern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Amphibian Decline: An Integrated Analysis of Multiple Stressor Effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2003-01-01

    Although the effects of contaminants on amphibians have been studied for decades, relatively little is known about these effects compared to the more intensively studied mammals. and birds. Science has advanced its understanding of the complexities linked to declining amphibian populations; however, there are many remaining questions whose answers would directly benefit amphibians and adaptive management plans ministering to them. In an effort to answer those questions and focus on ecological risk assessment of amphibians, scientists, researchers, and resource management professionals from diverse fields participated in a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)-Johnson Foundation Wingspread conference with three goals: characterize a process that would bring a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis; demonstrate the current state of available technical tools to assess amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors; and focus on identifying research that would likely benefit sustainable populations through adaptive management programs. A result of the Wingspread conference, Amphibian Decline examines the ecotoxicology and stressors of amphibians in an attempt to address issues related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors might have in those losses. It identifies gaps in current data, interprets information into an existing framework, and points toward critical areas for future research. Through the combined efforts of research and resource management communities, recommendations can be developed to change current policies and management actions to address the problem of amphibian decline.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. MOJAVE DESERT SPRING: THE AMPHIBIAN POINT OF VIEW

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous springs are scattered throughout the eastern Mojave Desert, most of which are concentrated near the bases of mountain ranges. Spring-fed wetlands in this region comprise nearly all the available habitat for amphibians. We surveyed 128 springs for amphibians and habitat t...

  11. Amphibian Oasis: Designing and Building a Schoolyard Pond.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosselin, Heather; Johnson, Bob

    1996-01-01

    Building a pond in a schoolyard is a rewarding way to help boost local populations of amphibians, to increase the natural value of school grounds, and to serve as a locale for observing the life cycles of plants, invertebrates, and amphibians. This article outlines important considerations in designing and building a pond from siting through…

  12. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  13. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  14. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  15. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  17. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  18. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  19. Incorporating Amphibian Malformations into Inquiry-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Talley, Brooke L.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of vertebrates consisting of frogs and toads, salamanders, and caecilians, are excellent organisms for middle school science students to study because of their ecological significance. Because they exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide through their skin, amphibians absorb any chemicals or substances present in their immediate…

  20. Amphibian otoconia in normal and altered gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Membre, H.; Horn, E.; Dournon, C.

    In vertebrates, the macular end organs of the inner ear are gravity sensing organs. They consist of a neuroepithelium overlaid by a mass of little otoconia or by a single large otolith. These crystallites provide essential informations for orientation and equilibrium. They are mosaic biominerals composed of proteic and inorganic phases. In amphibian adults, the mineral phase is calcium carbonate in the form of calcite or aragonite. The calcitic otoconia with a rhomboedric shape are observed in the utricle of Pleurodeles waltl (urodele amphibian). The aragonitic otoconia with a prismatic or a fusiform shape are observed in the saccule and lagena of Pleurodeles, and in the three gravity-sensing regions of Xenopus laevis (anuran amphibian). The aragonitic biocrystallites are in different proportions depending on the inner ear regions. During the development, in Pleurodeles larvae, we observed that saccular otoconia changed from calcitic to aragonitic form. In Xenopus tadpoles, we observed peculiar otoconia with a rhomboedric-like morphology or a tripartite morphology. We called the latter crystallites cauliflower-like otoconia according to the aspect. We reported our observations performed after two space missions, the experiment Torcol which flew on the French Soyuz taxi flight Perseus to MIR (launch: February 20, 1999; landing: August 28, 1999), and the experiment Aquarius-Xenopus which flew on the French Soyuz taxi flight Andromède to ISS (launch: October 21, 2001; landing: October 31, 2001). After a long journey in space, both calcitic and aragonitic otoconia were altered in Pleurodeles adults. After a short space mission, otoconia with rhomboedric, fusiform or cauliflower-like aspects were observed in Xenopus tadpoles. In these tadpoles, otoconia with rhomboedric aspect were never mixed with the other otoconia types, whereas fusiform otoconia were never alone. Cauliflower-shaped otoconia were alone or associated with fusiform otoconia. The study needs further

  1. Transition of chytrid fungus infection from mouthparts to hind limbs during amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Taegan A; Rohr, Jason R

    2015-03-01

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is implicated in worldwide amphibian declines. Bd has been shown to qualitatively transition from the mouthparts of tadpoles to the hindlimbs during metamorphosis, but we lack evidence of consistency in the timing of this transition across amphibian species. We also do not have predictive functions for the abundance of Bd in mouthparts and limbs as tadpoles develop or for the relationship between keratin and Bd abundance. Hence, researchers presently have little guidance on where to sample developing amphibians to maximize Bd detection, which could affect the accuracy of prevalence and abundance estimates for this deadly pathogen. Here, we show consistency in the timing of the transition of Bd from mouthparts to hind limbs across two frog species (Osteopilus septentrionalis and Mixophyes fasciolatus). Keratin and Bd simultaneously declined from the mouthparts starting at approximately Gosner stage 40. However, keratin on the hindlimbs began to appear at approximately stage 38 but, on average, Bd was not detectable on the hindlimbs until approximately stage 40, suggesting a lag between keratin and Bd arrival. Predictive functions for the relationships between developmental stage and keratin and developmental stage and Bd for mouthparts and hind limbs are provided so that researchers can optimize sampling designs and minimize erroneous conclusions associated with missing Bd infections or misestimating Bd abundance. PMID:25384612

  2. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    PubMed

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Roelants, Kim; Biju, S D; Nagaraju, J; Bossuyt, Franky

    2006-01-01

    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. PMID:17183706

  3. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrad, Paulette M., (Edited By); Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Hypometabolic homeostasis in overwintering aquatic amphibians.

    PubMed

    Boutilier, R G; Donohoe, P H; Tattersall, G J; West, T G

    1997-01-01

    Many amphibians encounter conditions each winter when their body temperature is so low that normal activities are suspended and the animals enter into a state of torpor. In ice-covered ponds or lakes, oxygen levels may also become limiting, thereby forcing animals to endure prolonged periods of severe hypoxia or anoxia. Certain frogs (e.g. Rana temporaria) can dramatically suppress their metabolism in anoxia but are not as tolerant as other facultative vertebrate anaerobes (e.g. turtle, goldfish) of prolonged periods of complete O2 lack. Many overwintering amphibians do, however, tolerate prolonged bouts of severe hypoxia, relying exclusively on cutaneous gas exchange. Rana temporaria overwintering for 2 months in hypoxic water (PO2 approximately 25 mmHg) at 3 degrees C progressively reduce their blood PCO2 to levels characteristic of water-breathing fish. The result is that blood pH rises and presumably facilitates transcutaneous O2 transfer by increasing Hb O2-affinity. Even after months of severe hypoxia, there is no substantial build-up of lactate as the animals continue to rely on cutaneous gas exchange to satisfy the requirements of a suppressed aerobic metabolism. Our recent experiments have shown that the skeletal muscle of frogs oxyconforms in vitro to the amount of O2 available. The cellular basis for the oxyconformation of skeletal muscle is unknown, but the hypothesis driving our continuing experiments theories that metabolic suppression at a cellular level is synonymous with suppressed ion leak across cellular membranes. PMID:9050248

  5. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Alroy, John

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26438855

  6. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26438855

  7. Phylogenetically-Informed Priorities for Amphibian Conservation

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Fetal adaptations for viviparity in amphibians.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24643944

  9. Amphibian skin may select for rare environmental microbes

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Host-microbe symbioses rely on the successful transmission or acquisition of symbionts in each new generation. Amphibians host a diverse cutaneous microbiota, and many of these symbionts appear to be mutualistic and may limit infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions in recent decades. Using bar-coded 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we addressed the question of symbiont transmission by examining variation in amphibian skin microbiota across species and sites and in direct relation to environmental microbes. Although acquisition of environmental microbes occurs in some host-symbiont systems, this has not been extensively examined in free-living vertebrate-microbe symbioses. Juvenile bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), pond water and pond substrate were sampled at a single pond to examine host-specificity and potential environmental transmission of microbiota. To assess population level variation in skin microbiota, adult newts from two additional sites were also sampled. Cohabiting bullfrogs and newts had distinct microbial communities, as did newts across the three sites. The microbial communities of amphibians and the environment were distinct; there was very little overlap in the amphibians' core microbes and the most abundant environmental microbes, and the relative abundances of OTUs that were shared by amphibians and the environment were inversely related. These results suggest that, in a host species-specific manner, amphibian skin may select for microbes that are generally in low abundance in the environment. PMID:24858782

  10. Investigating Differences across Host Species and Scales to Explain the Distribution of the Amphibian Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Anna C.; McKenzie, Valerie J.

    2014-01-01

    Many pathogens infect more than one host species, and clarifying how these different hosts contribute to pathogen dynamics can facilitate the management of pathogens and can lend insight into the functioning of pathogens in ecosystems. In this study, we investigated a suite of native and non-native amphibian hosts of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) across multiple scales to identify potential mechanisms that may drive infection patterns in the Colorado study system. Specifically, we aimed to determine if: 1) amphibian populations vary in Bd infection across the landscape, 2) amphibian community composition predicts infection (e.g., does the presence or abundance of any particular species influence infection in others?), 3) amphibian species vary in their ability to produce infectious zoospores in a laboratory infection, 4) heterogeneity in host ability observed in the laboratory scales to predict patterns of Bd prevalence in the landscape. We found that non-native North American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) are widespread and have the highest prevalence of Bd infection relative to the other native species in the landscape. Additionally, infection in some native species appears to be related to the density of sympatric L. catesbeianus populations. At the smaller host scale, we found that L. catesbeianus produces more of the infective zoospore stage relative to some native species, but that this zoospore output does not scale to predict infection in sympatric wild populations of native species. Rather, landscape level infection relates most strongly to density of hosts at a wetland as well as abiotic factors. While non-native L. catesbeianus have high levels of Bd infection in the Colorado Front Range system, we also identified Bd infection in a number of native amphibian populations allopatric with L. catesbeianus, suggesting that multiple host species are important contributors to the dynamics of the Bd pathogen in this landscape. PMID

  11. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  14. Previous exposure of predatory fish to a pesticide alters palatability of larval amphibian prey.

    PubMed

    Hanlon, Shane M; Parris, Matthew J

    2013-12-01

    Habitat preferences of organisms are reliant on a variety of factors. For amphibians specifically, preferences can depend on factors such as food availability, water quality, and the presence of potential predators. Because some amphibians breed in permanent bodies of water (e.g., ponds), the threat of predation (e.g., from fish) is constant. Thus, some amphibians are unpalatable to many predators, allowing them to coexist in the same habitats. However, the addition of anthropogenic stressors (i.e., pesticides) may alter the perceived palatability of prey items to predators. The authors tested the hypothesis that bluegill fish (Lepomis macrochirus), previously exposed to the pesticide carbaryl, would consume more unpalatable prey (Fowler's toad [Anaxyrus fowleri] tadpoles) than unexposed predators. Carbaryl is a pesticide that attacks the nervous system and is linked to taste sense in organisms. Moreover, the authors conducted an identical test using palatable prey (gray treefrog [Hyla versicolor] tadpoles) and predicted that no change in preference would be observed. In support of the primary hypothesis, bluegill exposed to the highest concentration of carbaryl consumed more A. fowleri tadpoles compared with those exposed to carbaryl at the lowest concentration or water control. Moreover, an effect of carbaryl on predation success on H. versicolor tadpoles was not observed. The present study shows that an anthropogenic stressor (carbaryl) can alter the perceived palatability of noxious prey to fish predators, potentially altering predator-prey relationships in natural settings. PMID:24383102

  15. Previous exposure of predatory fish to a pesticide alters palatability of larval amphibian prey.

    PubMed

    Hanlon, Shane M; Parris, Matthew J

    2013-09-01

    Habitat preferences of organisms are reliant upon a variety of factors. Specifically with amphibians, preferences can depend on factors such as food availability, water quality, or the presence of potential predators. Because some amphibians breed in permanent bodies of water (e.g., ponds), the threat of predation (e.g., from fish) is constant. Thus, some amphibians are unpalatable to many predators, allowing them to coexist in the same habitats. However, the addition of anthropogenic stressors (i.e., pesticides) may alter the perceived palatability of prey items to predators. We tested the hypothesis that bluegill fish (Lepomis macrochirus), previously exposed to the pesticide carbaryl, would consume more unpalatable prey (Fowler's toad [Anaxyrus fowleri] tadpoles) than unexposed predators. Carbaryl is a pesticide that attacks the nervous system and is linked to taste sense in organisms. Moreover, we conducted an identical test using palatable prey (gray treefrog [Hyla versicolor] tadpoles) and predicted that no change in preference would be observed. In support of our primary hypothesis, bluegill exposed to the highest concentration of carbaryl consumed more A. folweri tadpoles compared to those exposed to carbaryl at the lowest concentration or water control. Moreover, an effect of carbaryl on predation success on H. versicolor tadpoles was not observed. Our study shows that an anthropogenic stressor (carbaryl) can alter the perceived palatability of noxious prey to fish predators, potentially altering predator-prey relationships in natural settings. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC. PMID:23996644

  16. Grassland Fire and Cattle Grazing Regulate Reptile and Amphibian Assembly Among Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Danelle M.

    2014-12-01

    Fire and grazing are common management schemes of grasslands globally and are potential drivers of reptilian and amphibian (herpetofauna) metacommunity dynamics. Few studies have assessed the impacts of fire and cattle grazing on herpetofauna assemblages in grasslands. A patch-burn grazing study at Osage Prairie, MO, USA in 2011-2012 created landscape patches with treatments of grazing, fire, and such legacies. Response variables were measured before and after the application of treatments, and I used robust-design occupancy modeling to estimate patch occupancy and detection rate within patches, and recolonization and extinction (i.e., dispersal) across patches. I conducted redundancy analysis and a permuted multivariate analysis of variance to determine if patch type and the associated environmental factors explained herpetofauna assemblage. Estimates for reptiles indicate that occupancy was seasonally constant in Control patches ( ψ ~ 0.5), but declined to ψ ~ 0.15 in patches following the applications of fire and grazing. Local extinctions for reptiles were higher in patches with fire or light grazing ( ɛ ~ 0.7) compared to the controls. For the riparian herpetofaunal community, patch type and grass height were important predictors of abundance; further, the turtles, lizards, snakes, and adult amphibians used different patch types. The aquatic amphibian community was predicted by watershed and in-stream characteristics, irrespective of fire or grazing. The varying responses from taxonomic groups demonstrate habitat partitioning across multiple patch types undergoing fire, cattle grazing, and legacy effects. Prairies will need an array of patch types to accommodate multiple herpetofauna species.

  17. Experimental evidence for beneficial effects of projected climate change on hibernating amphibians.

    PubMed

    Üveges, Bálint; Mahr, Katharina; Szederkényi, Márk; Bókony, Veronika; Hoi, Herbert; Hettyey, Attila

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrates today, experiencing worldwide declines. In recent years considerable effort was invested in exposing the causes of these declines. Climate change has been identified as such a cause; however, the expectable effects of predicted milder, shorter winters on hibernation success of temperate-zone Amphibians have remained controversial, mainly due to a lack of controlled experimental studies. Here we present a laboratory experiment, testing the effects of simulated climate change on hibernating juvenile common toads (Bufo bufo). We simulated hibernation conditions by exposing toadlets to current (1.5 °C) or elevated (4.5 °C) hibernation temperatures in combination with current (91 days) or shortened (61 days) hibernation length. We found that a shorter winter and milder hibernation temperature increased survival of toads during hibernation. Furthermore, the increase in temperature and shortening of the cold period had a synergistic positive effect on body mass change during hibernation. Consequently, while climate change may pose severe challenges for amphibians of the temperate zone during their activity period, the negative effects may be dampened by shorter and milder winters experienced during hibernation. PMID:27229882

  18. Experimental evidence for beneficial effects of projected climate change on hibernating amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Üveges, Bálint; Mahr, Katharina; Szederkényi, Márk; Bókony, Veronika; Hoi, Herbert; Hettyey, Attila

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrates today, experiencing worldwide declines. In recent years considerable effort was invested in exposing the causes of these declines. Climate change has been identified as such a cause; however, the expectable effects of predicted milder, shorter winters on hibernation success of temperate-zone Amphibians have remained controversial, mainly due to a lack of controlled experimental studies. Here we present a laboratory experiment, testing the effects of simulated climate change on hibernating juvenile common toads (Bufo bufo). We simulated hibernation conditions by exposing toadlets to current (1.5 °C) or elevated (4.5 °C) hibernation temperatures in combination with current (91 days) or shortened (61 days) hibernation length. We found that a shorter winter and milder hibernation temperature increased survival of toads during hibernation. Furthermore, the increase in temperature and shortening of the cold period had a synergistic positive effect on body mass change during hibernation. Consequently, while climate change may pose severe challenges for amphibians of the temperate zone during their activity period, the negative effects may be dampened by shorter and milder winters experienced during hibernation. PMID:27229882

  19. Plasticity and genetic adaptation mediate amphibian and reptile responses to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L; Freidenfelds, Nicole A

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation are predicted to mitigate some of the negative biotic consequences of climate change. Here, we evaluate evidence for plastic and evolutionary responses to climate variation in amphibians and reptiles via a literature review and meta-analysis. We included studies that either document phenotypic changes through time or space. Plasticity had a clear and ubiquitous role in promoting phenotypic changes in response to climate variation. For adaptive evolution, we found no direct evidence for evolution of amphibians or reptiles in response to climate change over time. However, we found many studies that documented adaptive responses to climate along spatial gradients. Plasticity provided a mixture of adaptive and maladaptive responses to climate change, highlighting that plasticity frequently, but not always, could ameliorate climate change. Based on our review, we advocate for more experiments that survey genetic changes through time in response to climate change. Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data. PMID:24454550

  20. Partitioning the net effect of host diversity on an emerging amphibian pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Becker, C. Guilherme; Rodriguez, David; Toledo, L. Felipe; Longo, Ana V.; Lambertini, Carolina; Corrêa, Décio T.; Leite, Domingos S.; Haddad, Célio F. B.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2014-01-01

    The ‘dilution effect’ (DE) hypothesis predicts that diverse host communities will show reduced disease. The underlying causes of pathogen dilution are complex, because they involve non-additive (driven by host interactions and differential habitat use) and additive (controlled by host species composition) mechanisms. Here, we used measures of complementarity and selection traditionally employed in the field of biodiversity–ecosystem function (BEF) to quantify the net effect of host diversity on disease dynamics of the amphibian-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Complementarity occurs when average infection load in diverse host assemblages departs from that of each component species in uniform populations. Selection measures the disproportionate impact of a particular species in diverse assemblages compared with its performance in uniform populations, and therefore has strong additive and non-additive properties. We experimentally infected tropical amphibian species of varying life histories, in single- and multi-host treatments, and measured individual Bd infection loads. Host diversity reduced Bd infection in amphibians through a mechanism analogous to complementarity (sensu BEF), potentially by reducing shared habitat use and transmission among hosts. Additionally, the selection component indicated that one particular terrestrial species showed reduced infection loads in diverse assemblages at the expense of neighbouring aquatic hosts becoming heavily infected. By partitioning components of diversity, our findings underscore the importance of additive and non-additive mechanisms underlying the DE. PMID:25297867

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

    Chytridiomycosis is a globally emerging disease of amphibians and the leading cause of population declines and extirpations at species-diverse montane sites in Central America. We continued long-term monitoring efforts for the presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and for amphibian populations at two sites in western Panama, and we began monitoring at three new sites to the east. Population declines associated with chytridiomycosis emergence were detected at Altos de Campana National Park. We also detected Bd in three species east of the Panama Canal at Soberanía National Park, and prevalence data suggests that Bd may be enzootic in the lowlands of the park. However, no infected frogs were found further east at Tortí (prevalence <7.5% with 95% confidence). Our results suggest that Panama's diverse and not fully described amphibian communities east of the canal are at risk. Precise predictions of future disease emergence events are not possible until factors underlying disease emergence, such as dispersal, are understood. However, if the fungal pathogen spreads in a pattern consistent with previous disease events in Panama, then detection of Bd at Tortí and other areas east of the Panama Canal is imminent. Therefore, development of new management strategies and increased precautions for tourism, recreation, and biology are urgently needed. PMID:18807089

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26638239

  3. Larval nematodes found in amphibians from northeastern Argentina.

    PubMed

    González, C E; Hamann, M I

    2010-11-01

    Five species of amphibians, Leptodactylus podicipinus, Scinax acuminatus, S. nasicus, Rhinella fernandezae and Pseudis paradoxa, were collected in Corrientes province, Argentina and searched for larval nematodes. All larval nematodes were found as cysts in the serous of the stomach of hosts. Were identified one superfamily, Seuratoidea; one genus, Spiroxys (Superfamily Gnathostomatoidea) and one family, Rhabdochonidae (Superfamily Thelazioidea). We present a description and illustrations of these taxa. These nematodes have an indirect life cycle and amphibians are infected by consuming invertebrate, the intermediate hosts. The genus Spiroxys and superfamily Seuratoidea were reported for the first time for Argentinean amphibians. PMID:21180919

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    We present data on amphibian density, species richness, and diversity from a 7140-ha area consisting of 200 ponds in the Midwestern U.S. that represents most of the possible lentic aquatic breeding habitats common in this region. Our study includes all possible breeding sites with natural and anthropogenic disturbance processes that can be missing from studies where sampling intensity is low, sample area is small, or partial disturbance gradients are sampled. We tested whether pond area was a significant predictor of density, species richness, and diversity of amphibians and if values peaked at intermediate pond areas. We found that in all cases a quadratic model fit our data significantly better than a linear model. Because small ponds have a high probability of pond drying and large ponds have a high probability of fish colonization and accumulation of invertebrate predators, drying and predation may be two mechanisms driving the peak of density and diversity towards intermediate values of pond size. We also found that not all intermediate sized ponds produced many larvae; in fact, some had low amphibian density, richness, and diversity. Further analyses of the subset of ponds represented in the peak of the area distribution showed that fish, hydroperiod, invertebrate density, and canopy are additional factors that drive density, richness and diversity of ponds up or down, when extremely small or large ponds are eliminated. Our results indicate that fishless ponds at intermediate sizes are more diverse, produce more larvae, and have greater potential to recruit juveniles into adult populations of most species sampled. Further, hylid and chorus frogs are found predictably more often in ephemeral ponds whereas bullfrogs, green frogs, and cricket frogs are found most often in permanent ponds with fish. Our data increase understanding of what factors structure and maintain amphibian diversity across large landscapes. PMID:25906355

  5. Localized Hotspots Drive Continental Geography of Abnormal Amphibians on U.S. Wildlife Refuges

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians with missing, misshapen, and extra limbs have garnered public and scientific attention for two decades, yet the extent of the phenomenon remains poorly understood. Despite progress in identifying the causes of abnormalities in some regions, a lack of knowledge about their broader spatial distribution and temporal dynamics has hindered efforts to understand their implications for amphibian population declines and environmental quality. To address this data gap, we conducted a nationwide, 10-year assessment of 62,947 amphibians on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges. Analysis of a core dataset of 48,081 individuals revealed that consistent with expected background frequencies, an average of 2% were abnormal, but abnormalities exhibited marked spatial variation with a maximum prevalence of 40%. Variance partitioning analysis demonstrated that factors associated with space (rather than species or year sampled) captured 97% of the variation in abnormalities, and the amount of partitioned variance decreased with increasing spatial scale (from site to refuge to region). Consistent with this, abnormalities occurred in local to regional hotspots, clustering at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers. We detected such hotspot clusters of high-abnormality sites in the Mississippi River Valley, California, and Alaska. Abnormality frequency was more variable within than outside of hotspot clusters. This is consistent with dynamic phenomena such as disturbance or natural enemies (pathogens or predators), whereas similarity of abnormality frequencies at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers suggests involvement of factors that are spatially consistent at a regional scale. Our characterization of the spatial and temporal variation inherent in continent-wide amphibian abnormalities demonstrates the disproportionate contribution of local factors in predicting hotspots, and the episodic nature of their occurrence. PMID:24260103

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians with missing, misshapen, and extra limbs have garnered public and scientific attention for two decades, yet the extent of the phenomenon remains poorly understood. Despite progress in identifying the causes of abnormalities in some regions, a lack of knowledge about their broader spatial distribution and temporal dynamics has hindered efforts to understand their implications for amphibian population declines and environmental quality. To address this data gap, we conducted a nationwide, 10-year assessment of 62,947 amphibians on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges. Analysis of a core dataset of 48,081 individuals revealed that consistent with expected background frequencies, an average of 2% were abnormal, but abnormalities exhibited marked spatial variation with a maximum prevalence of 40%. Variance partitioning analysis demonstrated that factors associated with space (rather than species or year sampled) captured 97% of the variation in abnormalities, and the amount of partitioned variance decreased with increasing spatial scale (from site to refuge to region). Consistent with this, abnormalities occurred in local to regional hotspots, clustering at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers. We detected such hotspot clusters of high-abnormality sites in the Mississippi River Valley, California, and Alaska. Abnormality frequency was more variable within than outside of hotspot clusters. This is consistent with dynamic phenomena such as disturbance or natural enemies (pathogens or predators), whereas similarity of abnormality frequencies at scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers suggests involvement of factors that are spatially consistent at a regional scale. Our characterization of the spatial and temporal variation inherent in continent-wide amphibian abnormalities demonstrates the disproportionate contribution of local factors in predicting hotspots, and the episodic nature of their occurrence. PMID:24260103

  7. Intermediate Pond Sizes Contain the Highest Density, Richness, and Diversity of Pond-Breeding Amphibians

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    We present data on amphibian density, species richness, and diversity from a 7140-ha area consisting of 200 ponds in the Midwestern U.S. that represents most of the possible lentic aquatic breeding habitats common in this region. Our study includes all possible breeding sites with natural and anthropogenic disturbance processes that can be missing from studies where sampling intensity is low, sample area is small, or partial disturbance gradients are sampled. We tested whether pond area was a significant predictor of density, species richness, and diversity of amphibians and if values peaked at intermediate pond areas. We found that in all cases a quadratic model fit our data significantly better than a linear model. Because small ponds have a high probability of pond drying and large ponds have a high probability of fish colonization and accumulation of invertebrate predators, drying and predation may be two mechanisms driving the peak of density and diversity towards intermediate values of pond size. We also found that not all intermediate sized ponds produced many larvae; in fact, some had low amphibian density, richness, and diversity. Further analyses of the subset of ponds represented in the peak of the area distribution showed that fish, hydroperiod, invertebrate density, and canopy are additional factors that drive density, richness and diversity of ponds up or down, when extremely small or large ponds are eliminated. Our results indicate that fishless ponds at intermediate sizes are more diverse, produce more larvae, and have greater potential to recruit juveniles into adult populations of most species sampled. Further, hylid and chorus frogs are found predictably more often in ephemeral ponds whereas bullfrogs, green frogs, and cricket frogs are found most often in permanent ponds with fish. Our data increase understanding of what factors structure and maintain amphibian diversity across large landscapes. PMID:25906355

  8. Thermal characteristics of amphibian microhabitats in a fire-disturbed landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, B.R.; Eby, L.A.; Guscio, C.G.; Corn, P.S.

    2009-01-01

    Disturbance has long been a central issue in amphibian conservation, often regarding negative effects of logging or other forest management activities, but some amphibians seem to prefer disturbed habitats. After documenting increased use of recently burned forests by boreal toads (Bufo boreas), we hypothesized that burned habitats provided improved thermal opportunities in terrestrial habitats. We tested this hypothesis by conducting a radio telemetry study of habitat use (reported previously) and by using physical models that simulated the temperature of adult toads. We deployed 108 physical models in and adjacent to a 1-year old burn using a fully-replicated design with three burn severities (unburned, partial, high severity) and four microhabitats (open surface, under vegetation, under log, in burrow). Model temperatures were compared to a range of preferred temperatures in published studies. We found 70% more observations within the preferred temperature range of B. boreas in forests burned with high severity than in unburned areas. Burned forest was warmer than unburned forest across all microhabitats, but the largest relative difference was in burrows, which averaged 3 ??C warmer in high-severity burn areas and remained warmer though the night. More than twice as many observations were within the preferred temperature range in high-severity burrows than in unburned burrows. Areas burned with high severity were still warmer than unburned forest 3 years after the fire. Habitat use of toads during the concurrent radio telemetry study matched that predicted by the physical models. These results suggest there are fitness-linked benefits to toads using burned habitats, such as increased growth, fertility, and possibly disease resistance. However, increased soil temperatures that result from wildfire may be detrimental to other amphibian species that prefer cooler temperatures and stable environments. More broadly, our data illustrate the use of physical models to

  9. Twenty years of ISAREN: an amphibian biologist in Wonderland.

    PubMed

    Kikuyama, Sakae

    2010-09-01

    The 6th International Symposium on Amphibian and Reptilian Endocrinology and Neurobiology (ISAREN), the former International Symposium on Amphibian Endocrinology (ISAE), was recently held in Berlin. ISAREN developed from two symposia on amphibian biology held in European countries in 1988-1990. In this article, the history of ISAREN was briefly stated. In addition, some of the topics of our researches carried out in collaboration with several groups, using various amphibian species during the past 20 years and/or presented in the past symposia were reviewed. The topics included the discovery of pancreatic chitinase, involvement of growth hormone in vitellogenin synthesis, changes of ANF-like immunoreactivity in the frogs sent into the space, discovery of a peptide sex-pheromone, origin of the epithelial pituitary, and hypothalamic regulation of thyroid-stimulating hormone. PMID:20138045

  10. CHARACTERIZATION OF RELATIVE SENSITIVITY OF AMPHIBIANS TO ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Different studies have demonstrated that solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation can adversely affect survival and development of embryonic and larval amphibians. However, because of among-laboratory variations in exposure profiles (artificial vs. natural sunlight; natural sunlight at d...

  11. CHARACTERIZATION OF RELATIVE SENSITIVITY OF AMPHIBIANS TO ULTRA VIOLET RADIATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Different studies have demonstrated that solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation can adversely affect survival and development of embryonic and larval amphibians. However, because of among-laboratory variations in exposure profiles (artificial vs. natural sunlight; natural sunlight at d...

  12. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  13. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.

    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.

  14. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23717602

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Parasitological studies on helminths of amphibians in South America have increased in the past few years. Here, we present a list with summarized data published on helminths of South American amphibians from 1925 to 2012, including a list of helminth parasites, host species, and geographic records. We found 194 reports of helminths parasitizing 185 amphibian species from eleven countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Equador, French Guyana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Helminth biodiversity includes 278 parasite species of the groups Acanthocephala, Nematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Trematoda. A list of helminth parasite species per host, and references are also presented. This contribution aims to document the biodiversity of helminth parasites in South American amphibians, as well as identify gaps in our knowledge, which in turn may guide subsequent studies.  PMID:25082165

  16. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Che, Jing; Wang, Kai

    2016-01-18

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org. PMID:26828034

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  18. Metabolism of pesticides after dermal exposure to amphibians

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2015-01-01

    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. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    CHE, Jing; WANG, Kai

    2016-01-01

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org. PMID:26828034

  1. Hot bodies protect amphibians against chytrid infection in nature

    PubMed Central

    Rowley, Jodi J. L.; Alford, Ross A.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental context strongly affects many host-pathogen interactions, but the underlying causes of these effects at the individual level are usually poorly understood. The amphibian chytrid fungus has caused amphibian population declines and extinctions in many parts of the world. Many amphibian species that have declined or have been extirpated by the pathogen in some environments coexist with it in others. Here we show that in three species of rainforest frogs in nature, individuals' probability of infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus was strongly related to their thermal history. Individuals' probability of infection declined rapidly as they spent more time above the pathogen's upper optimum temperature. This relationship can explain population-level patterns of prevalence in nature, and suggests that natural or artificial selection for higher thermal preferences could reduce susceptibility to this pathogen. Similar individual-level insights could improve our understanding of environmental context-dependence in other diseases. PMID:23519020

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  3. Monitoring amphibians in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2003-01-01

    This report provides an overview of the Park’s amphibians, the factors affecting their distribution, a review of important areas of biodiversity, and a summary of amphibian life history in the Southern Appalachians. In addition, survey techniques are described as well as examples of how the techniques are set up, a critique of what the results tell the observer, and a discussion of the limitations of the techniques and the data. The report reviews considerations for site selection, outlines steps for biosecurity and for processing diseased or dying animals, and provides resource managers with a decision tree on how to monitor the Park’s amphibians based on different levels of available resources. It concludes with an extensive list of references for inventorying and monitoring amphibians. USGS and Great Smoky Mountains National Park biologists need to establish cooperative efforts and training to ensure that congressionally mandated amphibian surveys are performed in a statistically rigorous and biologically meaningful manner, and that amphibian populations on Federal lands are monitored to ensure their long-term survival. The research detailed in this report will aid these cooperative efforts.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Densmore, Christine L.

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sloggett, John J.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:26466621

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-16

    The fossil record of modern amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) provides no evidence for major extinction or radiation episodes throughout most of the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. However, long-term gradual diversification is difficult to reconcile with the sensitivity of present-day amphibian faunas to rapid ecological changes and the incidence of similar environmental perturbations in the past that have been associated with high turnover rates in other land vertebrates. To provide a comprehensive overview of the history of amphibian diversification, we constructed a phylogenetic timetree based on a multigene data set of 3.75 kb for 171 species. Our analyses reveal several episodes of accelerated amphibian diversification, which do not fit models of gradual lineage accumulation. Global turning points in the phylogenetic and ecological diversification occurred after the end-Permian mass extinction and in the late Cretaceous. Fluctuations in amphibian diversification show strong temporal correlation with turnover rates in amniotes and the rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Approximately 86% of modern frog species and >81% of salamander species descended from only five ancestral lineages that produced major radiations in the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. This proportionally late accumulation of extant lineage diversity contrasts with the long evolutionary history of amphibians but is in line with the Tertiary increase in fossil abundance toward the present. PMID:17213318

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

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Christopher S.; James, Brandon

    2013-01-01

    Summary Contrary to previous studies, we found that Xenopus laevis tadpoles raised in normoxic water without access to air can routinely complete metamorphosis with lungs that are either severely stunted and uninflated or absent altogether. This is the first demonstration that lung development in a tetrapod can be inhibited by environmental factors and that a tetrapod that relies significantly on lung respiration under unstressed conditions can be raised to forego this function without adverse effects. This study compared lung development in untreated, air-deprived (AD) and air-restored (AR) tadpoles and frogs using whole mounts, histology, BrdU labeling of cell division and antibody staining of smooth muscle actin. We also examined the relationship of swimming and breathing behaviors to lung recovery in AR animals. Inhibition and recovery of lung development occurred at the stage of lung inflation. Lung recovery in AR tadpoles occurred at a predictable and rapid rate and correlated with changes in swimming and breathing behavior. It thus presents a new experimental model for investigating the role of mechanical forces in lung development. Lung recovery in AR frogs was unpredictable and did not correlate with behavioral changes. Its low frequency of occurrence could be attributed to developmental, physical and behavioral changes, the effects of which increase with size and age. Plasticity of lung inflation at tadpole stages and loss of plasticity at postmetamorphic stages offer new insights into the role of developmental plasticity in amphibian lung loss and life history evolution. PMID:24337117

  8. Lymphocyte development in fish and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Hansen, J D; Zapata, A G

    1998-12-01

    Recently, molecular markers such as recombination activating genes (RAG), terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT), stem cell leukemia hematopoietic transcription factor (SCL), Ikaros and gata-binding protein (Gata)-family members have been isolated and characterized from key lower vertebrates, adding to our growing knowledge of lymphopoiesis in ectotherms. In all gnathostomes there appear to be two main embryonic locations derived from the early mesoderm, both intra- and extraembryonic, which contribute to primitive and definitive hematopoiesis based upon their differential expression of SCL, Gata-1, Gata-2 and myeloblastosis oncogene (c-myb). In teleosts, a unique intraembryonic location for hematopoietic stem cells termed the intermediate cell mass (ICM) of Oellacher appears to be responsible for primitive or definitive hematopoiesis depending upon the species being investigated. In Xenopus, elegant grafting studies in combination with specific molecular markers has led to a better definition of the roles that ventral blood islands and dorsal lateral plate play in amphibian hematopoiesis, that of primitive and definitive lymphopoiesis. After the early embryonic contribution to hematopoiesis, specialized tissues must assume the role of providing the proper microenvironment for T and B-lymphocyte development from progenitor stem cells. In all gnathostomes, the thymus is the major site for T-cell maturation as evidenced by strong expression of developmental markers such as Ikaros, Rag and TdT plus expression of T-cell specific markers such as T-cell receptor beta and lck. In this respect, several zebrafish mutants have provided new insights on the development of the thymopoietic environment. On the other hand, the sites for B-cell lymphopoiesis are less clear among the lower vertebrates. In elasmobranchs, the spleen, Leydig's organ and the spiral valve may all contribute to B-cell development, although pre-B cells have yet to be fully addressed in fish. In

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seigel, Richard A.; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Developments in amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programs.

    PubMed

    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. PMID

  11. Mechanics of Blastopore Closure during Amphibian Gastrulation

    PubMed Central

    Feroze, Rafey; Shawky, Joseph H.; von Dassow, Michelangelo; Davidson, Lance A.

    2014-01-01

    Blastopore closure in the amphibian embryo involves large scale tissue reorganization driven by physical forces. These forces are tuned to generate sustained blastopore closure throughout the course of gastrulation. We describe the mechanics of blastopore closure at multiple scales and in different regions around the blastopore by characterizing large scale tissue deformations, cell level shape change and subcellular F-actin organization and by measuring tissue force production and structural stiffness of the blastopore during gastrulation. We find that the embryo generates a ramping magnitude of force until it reaches a peak force on the order of 0.5 μ Newtons. During this time course, the embryo also stiffens 1.5 fold. Strain rate mapping of the dorsal, ventral and lateral epithelial cells proximal to the blastopore reveals changing patterns of strain rate throughout closure. Cells dorsal to the blastopore, which are fated to become neural plate ectoderm, are polarized and have straight boundaries. In contrast, cells lateral and ventral to the blastopore are less polarized and have tortuous cell boundaries. The F-actin network is organized differently in each region with the highest percentage of alignment occurring in the lateral region. Interestingly F-actin was consistently oriented toward the blastopore lip in dorsal and lateral cells, but oriented parallel to the lip in ventral regions. Cell shape and F-actin alignment analyses reveal different local mechanical environments in regions around the blastopore, which was reflected by the strain rate maps. PMID:25448691

  12. Incentive or Habit Learning in Amphibians?

    PubMed Central

    Muzio, Rubén N.; Pistone Creydt, Virginia; Iurman, Mariana; Rinaldi, Mauro A.; Sirani, Bruno; Papini, Mauricio R.

    2011-01-01

    Toads (Rhinella arenarum) received training with a novel incentive procedure involving access to solutions of different NaCl concentrations. In Experiment 1, instrumental behavior and weight variation data confirmed that such solutions yield incentive values ranging from appetitive (deionized water, DW, leading to weight gain), to neutral (300 mM slightly hypertonic solution, leading to no net weight gain or loss), and aversive (800 mM highly hypertonic solution leading to weight loss). In Experiment 2, a downshift from DW to a 300 mM solution or an upshift from a 300 mM solution to DW led to a gradual adjustment in instrumental behavior. In Experiment 3, extinction was similar after acquisition with access to only DW or with a random mixture of DW and 300 mM. In Experiment 4, a downshift from DW to 225, 212, or 200 mM solutions led again to gradual adjustments. These findings add to a growing body of comparative evidence suggesting that amphibians adjust to incentive shifts on the basis of habit formation and reorganization. PMID:22087217

  13. Energy and water in aestivating amphibians.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, José E; Navas, Carlos A; Pereira, Isabel C

    2010-01-01

    The physiological mechanisms, behavioral adjustments, and ecological associations that allow animal species to live in extreme environments have evoked the attention of many zoologists. Often, extreme environments are defined as those believed to be limiting to life in terms of water, energetic availability, and temperature. These three elements seem extreme in a number of arid and semi-arid settings that even so have been colonized by amphibians. Because this taxon is usually seen as the quintessential water-dependent ectotherm tetrapods, their presence in a number of semi-arid environments poses a number of intriguing questions regarding microhabitat choice and physiological plasticity, particularly regarding the ecological and physiological correlates of behaviors granting avoidance of the harshest conditions of semi-arid environments. Such avoidance states, generally associated to the concept of aestivation, are currently seen as a diverse and complex phenomena varying from species to species and involving numerous behavioral and metabolic adjustments that enhance survival during the drought. This chapter reviews the physiological ecology of anuran aestivation, mainly from the perspective of water and energy balance. PMID:20069408

  14. Whether the weather drives patterns of endemic amphibian chytridiomycosis: a pathogen proliferation approach.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. A review of the role of contaminants in amphibian declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    CONCLUSIONS--Although there are no published studies that demonstrate beyond all doubt that contaminants are involved in long term population declines of amphibians, there is ample evidence and reason to encourage active research and concern about effects. Many contaminants are lethal to amphibians at environmentally realistic concentrations. Acute mortality from these compounds may be difficult to detect because investigators would have to be present shortly after exposures. Chronic mortality may be masked by metapopulation phenomena so that areas that serve as population sinks may be repeatedly recolonized and difficult to identify. Metapopulation dynamics also make it more difficult to define discrete populations. Contaminants also have many sublethal effects on behavior, energetics, malformations, and diverse effects on physiological pathways which, by themselves might not lead to overt death but could alter reproduction or interact with other factors to result in gradual declines in populations. Scientific understanding of these interactions, and of the ecotoxicology of amphibians in general is far behind what is known about birds, fish, and mammals, and research is desperately needed in this area. Some specific suggestions for critically needed research include: (1) Determination of lethal concentrations of common contaminants - pesticides, PAHs, metals--under environmentally realistic conditions of light, temperature, and water chemistry. (2) Better understanding of the effects of long term (weeks, months), low- concentration exposure of persistent pesticides and stable contaminants on amphibians. (3) Development and refinement of bioindicators in amphibians to use in monitoring and screening for potential effects of contaminants in declining amphibian populations. (4) Further studies on the interaction between contaminants and disease agents including immunosuppression in amphibians. (5) Additional research on the interaction between ultraviolet radiation

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. Neuroendocrine control of spawning in amphibians and its practical applications.

    PubMed

    Vu, Maria; Trudeau, Vance L

    2016-08-01

    Across vertebrates, ovulation and sperm release are primarily triggered by the timed surge of luteinizing hormone (LH). These key reproductive events are governed by the action of several brain neuropeptides, pituitary hormones and gonadal steroids which operate to synchronize physiology with behaviour. In amphibians, it has long been recognized that the neuropeptide gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) has stimulatory effects to induce spawning. Extensive work in teleosts reveals an inhibitory role of dopamine in the GnRH-regulated release of LH. Preliminary evidence suggests that this may be a conserved function in amphibians. Emerging studies are proposing a growing list of modulators beyond GnRH that are involved in the control of spawning including prolactin, kisspeptins, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide, gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone and endocannabinoids. Based on these physiological data, spawning induction methods have been developed to test on selective amphibian species. However, several limitations remain to be investigated to strengthen the evidence for future applications. The current state of knowledge regarding the neuroendocrine control of spawning in amphibians will be reviewed in detail, the elements of which will have wide implications towards the captive breeding of endangered amphibian species for conservation. PMID:27013378

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20190117

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20190117

  2. Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in Amphibian Defense Against Trematode Infection

    PubMed Central

    Calhoun, Dana M.; Woodhams, Doug; Howard, Cierra; LaFonte, Bryan E.; Gregory, Jacklyn R.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.

    2016-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) contribute to the immune defenses of many vertebrates, including amphibians. As larvae, amphibians are often exposed to the infectious stages of trematode parasites, many of which must penetrate the host’s skin, potentially interacting with host AMPs. We tested the effects of the natural AMPs repertoires on both the survival of trematode infectious stages as well as their ability to infect larval amphibians. All five trematode species exhibited decreased survival of cercariae in response to higher concentrations of adult bullfrog AMPs, but no effect when exposed to AMPs from larval bullfrogs. Similarly, the use of norepinephrine to remove AMPs from larval bullfrogs, Pacific chorus frogs, and gray treefrogs had only weak (gray treefrogs) or non-significant (other tested species) effects on infection success by Ribeiroia ondatrae. We nonetheless observed strong differences in parasite infection as a function of both host stage (first- versus second-year bullfrogs) and host species (Pacific chorus frogs versus gray treefrogs) that were apparently unrelated to AMPs. Taken together, our results suggest that AMPs do not play a significant role in defending larval amphibians against trematode cercariae, but that they could be one mechanism helping to prevent infection of post-metamorphic amphibians, particularly for highly aquatic species. PMID:26911920

  3. Electrolyte depletion and osmotic imbalance in amphibians with chytridiomycosis.

    PubMed

    Voyles, Jamie; Berger, Lee; Young, Sam; Speare, Rick; Webb, Rebecca; Warner, Jeffrey; Rudd, Donna; Campbell, Ruth; Skerratt, Lee F

    2007-09-14

    Mounting evidence implicates the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in global amphibian declines and extinctions. While the virulence of this disease has been clearly demonstrated, there is, as yet, no mechanistic explanation for how B. dendrobatidis kills amphibians. To investigate the pathology of chytridiomycosis, blood samples were collected from uninfected, aclinically infected and clinically diseased amphibians and analyzed for a wide range of biochemical and hematological parameters. Here, we show that green tree frogs Litoria caerulea with severe chytridiomycosis had reduced plasma osmolality, sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride concentrations. Stable plasma albumin, hematocrit and urea levels indicated that hydration status was unaffected, signifying depletion of electrolytes from circulation rather than dilution due to increased water uptake. We suggest that B. dendrobatidis kills amphibians by disrupting normal epidermal functioning, leading to osmotic imbalance through loss of electrolytes. Determining how B. dendrobatidis kills amphibians is fundamental to understanding the host-pathogen relationship and thus the population declines attributed to B. dendrobatidis. Understanding the mechanisms of mortality may also explain interspecific variation in susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. PMID:17972752

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:16012106

  6. Modeling amphibian energetics, habitat suitability, and movements of western toads, Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas, across present and future landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Klaver, Robert W.; Porter, Warren P.

    2010-01-01

    Effective conservation of amphibian populations requires the prediction of how amphibians use and move through a landscape. Amphibians are closely coupled to their physical environment. Thus an approach that uses the physiological attributes of amphibians, together with knowledge of their natural history, should be helpful. We used Niche Mapper™ to model the known movements and habitat use patterns of a population of Western toads (Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas) occupying forested habitats in southeastern Idaho. Niche Mapper uses first principles of environmental biophysics to combine features of topography, climate, land cover, and animal features to model microclimates and animal physiology and behavior across landscapes. Niche Mapper reproduced core body temperatures (Tc) and evaporation rates of live toads with average errors of 1.6 ± 0.4 °C and 0.8 ± 0.2 g/h, respectively. For four different habitat types, it reproduced similar mid-summer daily temperature patterns as those measured in the field and calculated evaporation rates (g/h) with an average error rate of 7.2 ± 5.5%. Sensitivity analyses indicate these errors do not significantly affect estimates of food consumption or activity. Using Niche Mapper we predicted the daily habitats used by free-ranging toads; our accuracy for female toads was greater than for male toads (74.2 ± 6.8% and 53.6 ± 15.8%, respectively), reflecting the stronger patterns of habitat selection among females. Using these changing to construct a cost surface, we also reconstructed movement paths that were consistent with field observations. The effect of climate warming on toads depends on the interaction of temperature and atmospheric moisture. If climate change occurs as predicted, results from Niche Mapper suggests that climate warming will increase the physiological cost of landscapes thereby limiting the activity for toads in different habitats.

  7. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  8. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  9. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  10. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  11. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  12. The current status of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Bishop, C.A.; Linder, G.

    2000-01-01

    The extent of research conducted on the effects of contaminants on reptiles and amphibians has been scant compared to that of other vertebrate classes including fishes, birds and mammals. In a review of literature from 1972 until 1998 we found that only about 2.7% of the papers published on ecotoxicology in vertebrates concerned amphibians and 1.4% for reptiles. Most studies on amphibian ecotoxicology were on metals, pesticides, and acid deposition. For reptiles the greatest frequency of papers included metals, organochlorines, and others. In proportion to the taxonomic importance, far more papers were written on turtles than on other reptile orders. Most of the papers dealt with residues and very few dealt with effects of contaminant exposure.

  13. Hormonal regulation of ion and water transport in anuran amphibians.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Minoru; Konno, Norifumi

    2006-05-15

    Amphibians occupy a wide variety of ecological habitats, and their adaptation is made possible through the specialization of the epithelia of their osmoregulatory organs, such as the skin, kidney, and urinary bladder, which control the hydromineral and acid-base balance of their internal medium. Amphibians can change drastically plasma Na+, Cl-, and urea levels and excretion rates in response to environmental stimuli such as acute desiccation and changes in external salinity. Several hormones and the autonomic nervous system act to control osmoregulation. Several ion channels including an epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), a urea transporter (UT), and water channels (AQPs) are found in epithelial tissues of their osmoregulatory organs. This mini review examines the currents status of our knowledge about hormone receptors for arginine vasotocin, angiotensin II and aldosterone, and membrane ion channels and transporters, such as ENaC, UT, and AQPs in amphibians. PMID:16472810

  14. Pathogenesis of chytridiomycosis, a cause of catastrophic amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Voyles, Jamie; Young, Sam; Berger, Lee; Campbell, Craig; Voyles, Wyatt F; Dinudom, Anuwat; Cook, David; Webb, Rebecca; Alford, Ross A; Skerratt, Lee F; Speare, Rick

    2009-10-23

    The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the skin disease chytridiomycosis, is one of the few highly virulent fungi in vertebrates and has been implicated in worldwide amphibian declines. However, the mechanism by which Bd causes death has not been determined. We show that Bd infection is associated with pathophysiological changes that lead to mortality in green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea). In diseased individuals, electrolyte transport across the epidermis was inhibited by >50%, plasma sodium and potassium concentrations were respectively reduced by approximately 20% and approximately 50%, and asystolic cardiac arrest resulted in death. Because the skin is critical in maintaining amphibian homeostasis, disruption to cutaneous function may be the mechanism by which Bd produces morbidity and mortality across a wide range of phylogenetically distant amphibian taxa. PMID:19900897

  15. Amphibian research and monitoring initiative: Concepts and implementation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.; Adams, M.J.; Battaglin, W.A.; Gallant, A.L.; James, D.L.; Knutson, M.; Langtimm, C.A.; Sauer, J.R.

    2005-01-01

    This report provides the basis for discussion and subsequent articulation of a national plan for the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI). The authors were members of a task force formed from within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that included scientists with expertise in biology, cartography, hydrology, and statistics. The assignment of the task force was to extend work begun by the National Amphibian Leadership Group. This group, composed of senior USGS scientists, managers, and external authorities, met in Gainesville, Florida, in February 20001. The product of this meeting was a document outlining the framework for a national program to monitor amphibian populations and to conduct research into the causes of declines.

  16. Spatial network structure and amphibian persistence in stochastic environments

    PubMed Central

    Fortuna, Miguel A; Gómez-Rodríguez, Carola; Bascompte, Jordi

    2006-01-01

    In the past few years, the framework of complex networks has provided new insight into the organization and function of biological systems. However, in spite of its potential, spatial ecology has not yet fully incorporated tools and concepts from network theory. In the present study, we identify a large spatial network of temporary ponds, which are used as breeding sites by several amphibian species. We investigate how the structural properties of the spatial network change as a function of the amphibian dispersal distance and the hydric conditions. Our measures of network topology suggest that the observed spatial structure of ponds is robust to drought (compared with similar random structures), allowing the movement of amphibians to and between flooded ponds, and hence, increasing the probability of reproduction even in dry seasons. PMID:16777733

  17. Granular gland transcriptomes in stimulated amphibian skin secretions.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tianbao; Farragher, Susan; Bjourson, Anthony J; Orr, David F; Rao, Pingfan; Shaw, Chris

    2003-01-01

    Amphibian defensive skin secretions are complex, species-specific cocktails of biologically active molecules, including many uncharacterized peptides. The study of such secretions for novel peptide discovery is time-limited, as amphibians are in rapid global decline. While secretion proteome analysis is non-lethal, transcriptome analysis has until now required killing of specimens prior to skin dissection for cDNA library construction. Here we present the discovery that polyadenylated mRNAs encoding dermal granular gland peptides are present in defensive skin secretions, stabilized by endogenous nucleic acid-binding amphipathic peptides. Thus parallel secretory proteome and transcriptome analyses can be performed without killing the specimen in this model amphibian system--a finding that has important implications in conservation of biodiversity within this threatened vertebrate taxon and whose mechanistics may have broader implications in biomolecular science. PMID:12413397

  18. Evaluating connectivity for tropical amphibians using empirically derived resistance surfaces.

    PubMed

    Nowakowski, A Justin; Veiman-Echeverria, Marylin; Kurz, David J; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2015-06-01

    Agricultural expansion continues to drive forest loss in species-rich tropical systems and often disrupts movement and distributions of organisms. The ability of species to occupy and move through altered habitats likely depends on the level of contrast between natural forest and surrounding land uses. Connectivity models, such as circuit theory models, are widely used in conservation biology, and their primary input consists of resistance surfaces representing movement costs associated with landscape features. Cost values are most frequently determined by expert opinion, which may not capture relevant levels of contrast among features. We developed resistance surfaces using experiments that represent different local mechanisms hypothesized to affect connectivity for two Neotropical amphibian species. Response ratios were calculated to translate experimental results to cost values used in connectivity modeling. We used relative abundance data in three land-cover types to generate resistance surfaces for evaluating independent support of models derived from experiments. Finally, we analyzed agreement among movement pathways predicted for each species and among three commonly used connectivity measures: Euclidean, least cost, and resistance distances. Experiments showed that extreme microclimates associated with altered habitats significantly increased desiccation and mortality risk for both species. Resistances estimated from microclimate experiments were concordant with those from survey data for both species. For one focal species, resistance estimates derived from predator encounter rates were also highly correlated with abundance-derived resistances. There was generally low agreement among the three alternative distance measures, which underscores the importance of choosing connectivity models that are most appropriate for the study objectives. Overall, similarity among linkages modeled for each species was high, but decreased with declining forest cover. Our

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

    PubMed Central

    Luiz, Amom Mendes; Leão-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 geomorphological factors are more important in structuring anuran beta diversity than climatic and spatial factors. We obtained species composition via field survey (N = 766 individuals), museum specimens (N = 9,730) and literature records (N = 4,763). Sampling area was divided in four spatially explicit geomorphological units, representing historical predictors. Climatic descriptors were represented by the first two axis of a Principal Component Analysis. Spatial predictors in different spatial scales were described by Moran Eigenvector Maps. Redundancy Analysis was implemented to partition the explained variation of species composition by geomorphological, climatic and spatial predictors. Moreover, spatial autocorrelation analyses were used to test neutral theory predictions. Beta diversity was spatially structured in broader scales. Shared fraction between climatic and geomorphological variables was an important predictor of species composition (13%), as well as broad scale spatial predictors (13%). However, geomorphological variables alone were the most important predictor of beta diversity (42%). Historical factors related to geomorphology must have played a crucial role in structuring amphibian beta diversity. The complex relationships between geomorphological history and climatic gradients generated by the Serra do Mar Precambrian basements were also important. We highlight the importance of combining spatially explicit historical and contemporary predictors for understanding

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

    PubMed

    Luiz, Amom Mendes; Leão-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 geomorphological factors are more important in structuring anuran beta diversity than climatic and spatial factors. We obtained species composition via field survey (N = 766 individuals), museum specimens (N = 9,730) and literature records (N = 4,763). Sampling area was divided in four spatially explicit geomorphological units, representing historical predictors. Climatic descriptors were represented by the first two axis of a Principal Component Analysis. Spatial predictors in different spatial scales were described by Moran Eigenvector Maps. Redundancy Analysis was implemented to partition the explained variation of species composition by geomorphological, climatic and spatial predictors. Moreover, spatial autocorrelation analyses were used to test neutral theory predictions. Beta diversity was spatially structured in broader scales. Shared fraction between climatic and geomorphological variables was an important predictor of species composition (13%), as well as broad scale spatial predictors (13%). However, geomorphological variables alone were the most important predictor of beta diversity (42%). Historical factors related to geomorphology must have played a crucial role in structuring amphibian beta diversity. The complex relationships between geomorphological history and climatic gradients generated by the Serra do Mar Precambrian basements were also important. We highlight the importance of combining spatially explicit historical and contemporary predictors for understanding

  1. The Amphibian Diversity of Bukit Jana, Taiping, Perak

    PubMed Central

    Shahrudin, Shahriza; Jaafar, Ibrahim

    2012-01-01

    The study on the amphibian fauna of Bukit Jana, Taiping, Perak was carried out from January 2009 until December 2010 with a total of 12 nights of observation. Twenty four species of frogs from 14 genera and 6 families were recorded to inhabit the Bukit Jana areas. Seven commensal species were found around human habitations near the foothill whereas the others are typical forest frogs found mostly near the rivers, streams and forest floor. This is the first amphibian checklist of Bukit Jana, Perak and it contributed 22% out of 107 species of frogs that are recorded to inhabit Peninsular Malaysia. PMID:24575233

  2. Effects of freshwater petroleum contamination on amphibian hatching and metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Mahaney, P.A. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1994-02-01

    This study examined the effects of freshwater petroleum contamination on amphibian reproduction. The primary objectives were to assess the potential environmental and physiological impacts of runoff petroleum products on amphibians, using the green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) as a target species and engine crankcase oil as a contaminant. Egg hatching success, tadpole growth, and successful metamorphosis were measured in four concentrations of oil. The effects of oil on food source was also studied. Hatching success was not measurably influenced by the presence of oil. Tadpole and alga growth were negatively associated with the presence of oil. No tadpoles from the high concentration of oil treatments successfully metamorphosed.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19265581

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. Slow dynamics of the amphibian tympanic membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Meenderink, Sebastiaan W. F.; van der Heijden, Marcel; Narins, Peter M.

    2015-12-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that delays associated with evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) largely originate from filter delays of resonant elements in the inner ear. However, one vertebrate group is an exception: Anuran (frogs and toads) amphibian OAEs exhibit relatively long delays (several milliseconds), yet relatively broad tuning. These delays, also apparent in auditory nerve fiber (ANF) responses, have been partially attributed to the middle ear (ME), with a total forward delay of ˜0.7 ms (˜30 times longer than in gerbil). However, ME forward delays only partially account for the longer delays of OAEs and ANF responses. We used scanning laser Doppler vibrometery to map surface velocity over the tympanic membrane (TyM) of anesthetized bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana). Our main finding is a circularly-symmetric wave on the TyM surface, starting at the outer edges of the TyM and propagating inward towards the center (the site of the ossicular attachment). This wave exists for frequencies ˜0.75-3 kHz, overlapping the range of bullfrog hearing (˜0.05-1.7 kHz). Group delays associated with this wave varied from 0.4 to 1.2 ms and correlated with with TyM diameter, which ranged from ˜6-16 mm. These delays correspond well to those from previous ME measurements. Presumably the TyM waves stem from biomechanical constraints of semi-aquatic species with a relatively large tympanum. We investigated some of these constraints by measuring the pressure ratio across the TyM (˜10-30 dB drop, delay of ˜0.35 ms), the effects of ossicular interruption, the changes due to physiological state of TyM (`dry-out'), and by calculating the middle-ear input impedance. In summary, we found a slow, inward-traveling wave on the TyM surface that accounts for a substantial fraction of the relatively long otoacoustic and neurophysiological delays previously observed in the anuran inner ear.

  6. RISK ASSESSMENT FOR THE EFFECTS OF SOLAR RADIATION ON AMPHIBIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent studies have demonstrated that exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can cause mortality and increase the occurrence of eye and limb malformation in some species of amphibians. Based on these reports and various field observations, it has been hypothesized that UV...

  7. On the worrying fate of Data Deficient amphibians.

    PubMed

    Nori, Javier; Loyola, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    The 'Data Deficient' (DD) category of the IUCN Red List assembles species that cannot be placed in another category due to insufficient information. This process generates uncertainty about whether these species are safe or actually in danger. Here, we give a global overview on the current situation of DD amphibian species (almost a quarter of living amphibians) considering land-use change through habitat modification, the degree of protection of each species and the socio-political context of each country harboring DD species. We found that DD amphibians have, on average, 81% of their ranges totally outside protected areas. Worryingly, more than half of DD species have less than 1% of their distribution represented in protected areas. Furthermore, the percentage of overlap between species' range and human-modified landscapes is high, at approximately 58%. Many countries harboring a large number of DD species show a worrying socio-political trend illustrated by substantial, recent incremental increases in the Human Development Index and lower incremental increases in the establishment of protected areas. Most of these are African countries, which are located mainly in the central and southern regions of the continent. Other countries with similar socio-political trends are in southeastern Asia, Central America, and in the northern region of South America. This situation is concerning, but it also creates a huge opportunity for considering DD amphibians in future conservation assessments, planning, and policy at different levels of government administration. PMID:25965422

  8. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  10. On the Worrying Fate of Data Deficient Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Nori, Javier; Loyola, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    The ‘Data Deficient’ (DD) category of the IUCN Red List assembles species that cannot be placed in another category due to insufficient information. This process generates uncertainty about whether these species are safe or actually in danger. Here, we give a global overview on the current situation of DD amphibian species (almost a quarter of living amphibians) considering land-use change through habitat modification, the degree of protection of each species and the socio-political context of each country harboring DD species. We found that DD amphibians have, on average, 81% of their ranges totally outside protected areas. Worryingly, more than half of DD species have less than 1% of their distribution represented in protected areas. Furthermore, the percentage of overlap between species’ range and human-modified landscapes is high, at approximately 58%. Many countries harboring a large number of DD species show a worrying socio-political trend illustrated by substantial, recent incremental increases in the Human Development Index and lower incremental increases in the establishment of protected areas. Most of these are African countries, which are located mainly in the central and southern regions of the continent. Other countries with similar socio-political trends are in southeastern Asia, Central America, and in the northern region of South America. This situation is concerning, but it also creates a huge opportunity for considering DD amphibians in future conservation assessments, planning, and policy at different levels of government administration. PMID:25965422

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010-2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity. PMID:27070102

  12. Can Myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    PubMed Central

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19474043

  13. FACTORS ADVERSELY AFFECTING AMPHIBIAN POPULATIONS IN THE US

    EPA Science Inventory

    Factors known or suspected to be adversely affecting native amphibian populations in the US were identified using information from species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors in a forthcoming book. Specific adverse factors were identified for 53 (58%) of...

  14. Can myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19474043

  15. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  16. UPDATE ON COORDINATED STUDIES OF AMPHIBIAN DISTRIBUTIONS AND UV RADIATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In February of 2000 researchers from the EPA, the National Park Service, other governmental agencies, and academia formulated a plan for coordinated studies of amphibian distributions and aquatic ultraviolet radiation exposure risks in several national parks. At this point we hav...

  17. Using Amphibians and Reptiles To Learn the Process of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Janice Schnake; Greene, Brian D.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses using amphibians and reptiles as an excellent resource for students to observe and gain an understanding of the process of science. These animals are easy to maintain in the classroom and play important roles in ecosystems as the prey for many birds and mammals and as the predators of various organisms. (SAH)

  18. Effects of Terrestrial Buffer Zones on Amphibians on Golf Courses

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010–2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity. PMID:27070102

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  1. Effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-06-01

    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. (JMT)

  2. Pesticides in amphibian habitats of central and northern California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Amphibians in California are facing serious population declines. Contaminants, especially pesticides, have been linked to these declines. This study reports on a survey of central and northern California wetlands sampled along four transects associated with Lassen National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemit...

  3. Utricular otoconia of some amphibians have calcitic morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pote, K. G.; Ross, M. D.

    1993-01-01

    This report concerns the morphological features of otoconia removed from the inner ear of four amphibian species. Results from scanning electron microscopic examination are compared based on the site of origin. These results show that utricular otoconia have a mineral structure that mimics calcite, rather than the widely accepted idea that they are mineralized by calcium carbonate of the aragonite polymorph.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24003137

  5. Measuring the Meltdown: Drivers of Global Amphibian Extinction and Decline

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18286193

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Effects of photoinduced toxicity of fluoranthene on amphibian embryos and larvae

    SciTech Connect

    Hatch, A.C.; Burton, G.A. Jr.

    1998-09-01

    Embryos and newly hatched larvae of three amphibian species, the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens), and the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), were exposed to fluoranthene and ultraviolet (UV) light in two scenarios. Embryos were exposed in a laboratory setting from an early developmental stage through hatching under artificial UV light, and newly hatched larvae were exposed outdoors in varying sunlight intensity levels. Outdoor exposures indicated greater sensitivity in the toxic response than did laboratory exposures. In the laboratory, mortality and malformation of X. laevis were the most sensitive indicators of exposure. Xenopus laevis was also the most sensitive species tested to the effects of UV light alone. Hatching success of R. pipiens was monitored outdoors and was not a useful predictive endpoint in the determination of photoinduced toxicity; however, newly hatched larvae were sensitive to the effects of photoinduced toxicity. Amybstoma maculatum and X. laevis larvae were affected by low ({micro}g/L) concentrations of fluoranthene in sunlight. These findings suggest that low levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons could be acting synergistically with environmental factors such as UV light to place young amphibians at risk.

  9. Despite Buffers, Experimental Forest Clearcuts Impact Amphibian Body Size and Biomass

    PubMed Central

    Veysey Powell, Jessica S.; Babbitt, Kimberly J.

    2015-01-01

    Forest buffers are a primary tool used to protect wetland-dependent wildlife. Though implemented widely, buffer efficacy is untested for most amphibian species. Consequently, it remains unclear whether buffers are sufficient for maintaining amphibian populations and if so, how wide buffers should be. We present evidence from a six-year, landscape-scale experiment testing the impacts of clearcutting, buffer width, and hydroperiod on body size and condition and biomass of breeding adults for two amphibian species at 11 vernal pools in the northeastern United States. We randomly assigned treatments (i.e., reference, 100m buffer, 30m buffer) across pools, clearcut to create buffers, and captured all spotted salamanders and wood frogs. Clearcuts strongly and negatively impacted size, condition, and biomass, but wider buffers mitigated effect magnitude and duration. Among recaptured individuals, for example, 30m-treatment salamanders were predicted to be about 9.5 mm shorter than, while 100m-treatment salamanders did not differ in length from, reference-treatment salamanders. Similarly, among recaptured frogs, mean length in the 30m treatment was predicted to decrease by about 1 mm/year, while in the 100m and reference treatments, length was time-invariant. Some, but not all, metrics recovered with time. For example, female new-captured and recaptured salamanders were predicted, respectively and on average, to weigh 4.5 and 7 g less in the 30m versus reference treatment right after the cut. While recaptured-female mass was predicted to recover by 9.5 years post-cut, new-captured-female mass did not recover. Hydroperiod was an important mediator: in the 100m treatment, cutting predominately affected pools that were stressed hydrologically. Overall, salamanders and female frogs were impacted more than male frogs. Our results highlight the importance of individualized metrics like body size, which can reveal sublethal effects and illuminate mechanisms by which habitat

  10. Human attitudes towards herpetofauna: The influence of folklore and negative values on the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Portugal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Human values and folklore of wildlife strongly influence the effectiveness of conservation efforts. These values and folklore may also vary with certain demographic characteristics such as gender, age, or education. Reptiles and amphibians are among the least appreciated of vertebrates and are victims of many negative values and wrong ideas resulting from the direct interpretation of folklore. We try to demonstrate how these values and folklore can affect the way people relate to them and also the possible conservation impacts on these animals. Methods A questionnaire survey distributed to 514 people in the district of Évora, Portugal, was used to obtain data regarding the hypothesis that the existence of wrong ideas and negative values contributes to the phenomenon of human-associated persecution of these animals. A structural equation model was specified in order to confirm the hypothesis about the possible relationships between the presence of perceptions and negative values about amphibians and reptiles and persecution and anti-conservation attitudes. Sociodemographic variables were also added. Results The results of the model suggest that the presence of folklore and negative values clearly predicts persecution and anti-conservation attitudes towards amphibians and reptiles. Also, the existence of folklore varies sociodemographically, but negative values concerning these animals are widespread in the population. Conclusions With the use of structural equation models, this work is a contribution to the study of how certain ideas and values can directly influence human attitudes towards herpetofauna and how they can be a serious conservation issue. PMID:22316318

  11. Short term minimum water temperatures determine levels of infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus in Alytes obstetricans tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Beaskoetxea, Saioa; Carrascal, Luis M; Fernández-Loras, Andrés; Fisher, Matthew C; Bosch, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians are one of the groups of wildlife most seriously threatened by emerging infectious disease. In particular, chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is responsible for amphibian species declines on a worldwide scale. Population-level outcomes following the introduction of the pathogen are context dependent and mediated by a large suite of abiotic and biotic variables. In particular, studies have shown that temperature has a key role in determining infection dynamics owing to the ectothermic nature of the amphibian host and temperature-dependency of pathogen growth rates. To assess the temperature-dependent seasonality of infectious burdens in a susceptible host species, we monitored lowland populations of larval midwife toads, Alytes obstetricians, in Central Spain throughout the year. We found that infections were highly seasonal, and inversely correlated against water temperature, with the highest burdens of infection seen during the colder months. Short-term impacts of water-temperature were found, with the minimum temperatures occurring before sampling being more highly predictive of infectious burdens than were longer-term spans of temperature. Our results will be useful for selecting the optimal time for disease surveys and, more broadly, for determining the key periods to undertake disease mitigation. PMID:25793985

  12. Short Term Minimum Water Temperatures Determine Levels of Infection by the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Alytes obstetricans Tadpoles

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Beaskoetxea, Saioa; Carrascal, Luis M.; Fernández-Loras, Andrés; Fisher, Matthew C.; Bosch, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians are one of the groups of wildlife most seriously threatened by emerging infectious disease. In particular, chytridiomycosis, caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is responsible for amphibian species declines on a worldwide scale. Population-level outcomes following the introduction of the pathogen are context dependent and mediated by a large suite of abiotic and biotic variables. In particular, studies have shown that temperature has a key role in determining infection dynamics owing to the ectothermic nature of the amphibian host and temperature-dependency of pathogen growth rates. To assess the temperature-dependent seasonality of infectious burdens in a susceptible host species, we monitored lowland populations of larval midwife toads, Alytes obstetricians, in Central Spain throughout the year. We found that infections were highly seasonal, and inversely correlated against water temperature, with the highest burdens of infection seen during the colder months. Short-term impacts of water-temperature were found, with the minimum temperatures occurring before sampling being more highly predictive of infectious burdens than were longer-term spans of temperature. Our results will be useful for selecting the optimal time for disease surveys and, more broadly, for determining the key periods to undertake disease mitigation. PMID:25793985

  13. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  14. Inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park in 2002-04. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) Inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at DEVA, primarily within priority sampling areas, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) document (through collection or museum specimen and literature review) one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are federally or state listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur within priority sampling locations; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys, road driving, and pitfall trapping. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 37 species during our surveys, including two species new to the park. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we recorded three additional species from DEVA, elevating the documented species list to 40 (four amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 92% for Death Valley and an inventory completeness of 73% for amphibians and 95% for reptiles. Key Words: Amphibians, reptiles, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, San Bernardino County, Esmeralda County, Nye County, California, Nevada, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory, NPSpecies.

  15. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  16. Projected climate impacts for the amphibians of the western hemisphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lawler, Joshua J.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2010-01-01

    Given their physiological requirements, limited dispersal abilities, and hydrologically sensitive habitats, amphibians are likely to be highly sensitive to future climatic changes. We used three approaches to map areas in the western hemisphere where amphibians are particularly likely to be affected by climate change. First, we used bioclimatic models to project potential climate-driven shifts in the distribution of 413 amphibian species based on 20 climate simulations for 2071–2100. We summarized these projections to produce estimates of species turnover. Second, we mapped the distribution of 1099 species with restricted geographic ranges. Finally, using the 20 future climate-change simulations, we mapped areas that were consistently projected to receive less seasonal precipitation in the coming century and thus were likely to have altered microclimates and local hydrologies. Species turnover was projected to be highest in the Andes Mountains and parts of Central America and Mexico, where, on average, turnover rates exceeded 60% under the lower of two emissions scenarios. Many of the restricted-range species not included in our range-shift analyses were concentrated in parts of the Andes and Central America and in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Much of Central America, southwestern North America, and parts of South America were consistently projected to experience decreased precipitation by the end of the century. Combining the results of the three analyses highlighted several areas in which amphibians are likely to be significantly affected by climate change for multiple reasons. Portions of southern Central America were simultaneously projected to experience high species turnover, have many additional restricted-range species, and were consistently projected to receive less precipitation. Together, our three analyses form one potential assessment of the geographic vulnerability of amphibians to climate change and as such provide broad-scale guidance for directing

  17. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:18684543

  18. Early 1900s Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Jonathan J.; Cheng, Tina L.; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P.; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T.

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis – a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs – but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains. PMID:25738656

  19. Early 1900 s detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean amphibians.

    PubMed

    Fong, Jonathan J; Cheng, Tina L; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis - a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs - but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains. PMID:25738656

  20. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Doherty-Bone, Thomas; Loader, Simon P; Wilkinson, Mark; Kouete, Marcel T; Tapley, Benjamin; Orton, Frances; Daniel, Olivia Z; Wynne, Felicity; Flach, Edmund; Müller, Hendrik; Menegon, Michele; Stephen, Ian; Browne, Robert K; Fisher, Mathew C; Cunningham, Andrew A; Garner, Trenton W J

    2013-06-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is commonly termed the 'amphibian chytrid fungus' but thus far has been documented to be a pathogen of only batrachian amphibians (anurans and caudatans). It is not proven to infect the limbless, generally poorly known, and mostly soil-dwelling caecilians (Gymnophiona). We conducted the largest qPCR survey of Bd in caecilians to date, for more than 200 field-swabbed specimens from five countries in Africa and South America, representing nearly 20 species, 12 genera, and 8 families. Positive results were recovered for 58 specimens from Tanzania and Cameroon (4 families, 6 genera, 6+ species). Quantities of Bd were not exceptionally high, with genomic equivalent (GE) values of 0.052-17.339. In addition, we report the first evidence of lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilians. Mortality in captive (wild-caught, commercial pet trade) Geotrypetes seraphini was associated with GE scores similar to those we detected for field-swabbed, wild animals. PMID:23677560

  1. A field guide to amphibian larvae and eggs of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parmelee, J.R.; Knutson, M.G.; Lyon, J.E.

    2002-01-01

    Apparent worldwide declines in amphibian populations (Pechmann and Wake 1997) have stimulated interest in amphibians as bioindicators of the health of ecosystems. Because we have little information on the population status of many species, there is interest by public and private land management agencies in monitoring amphibian populations. Amphibian egg and larval surveys are established methods of surveying pond-breeding amphibians. Adults may be widely dispersed across the landscape, but eggs and larvae are confined to the breeding site during a specific season of the year. Also, observations of late-stage larvae or metamorphs are evidence of successful reproduction, which is an important indicator of the viability of the population. The goal of this guide is to help students, natural resources personnel, and biologists identify eggs and larval stages of amphibians in the field without the aid of a microscope.

  2. Salmonella enterica serotype Javiana infections associated with amphibian contact, Mississippi, 2001.

    PubMed Central

    Srikantiah, P.; Lay, J. C.; Hand, S.; Crump, J. A.; Campbell, J.; Van Duyne, M. S.; Bishop, R.; Middendor, R.; Currier, M.; Mead, P. S.; Mølbak, K.

    2004-01-01

    Salmonella Javiana is a Salmonella serotype that is restricted geographically in the United States to the Southeast. During the summer of 2001, the number of reported S. Javiana infections in Mississippi increased sevenfold. To identify sources of infection, we conducted a case-control study, defining a case as an infection with S. Javiana between August and September in a Mississippi resident. We enrolled 55 cases and 109 controls. Thirty (55%) case patients reported exposure to amphibians, defined as owning, touching, or seeing an amphibian on one's property, compared with 30 (29%) controls (matched odds ratio 2.8, P=0.006). Contact with amphibians and their environments may be a risk factor for human infection with S. Javiana. The geographic pattern of S. Javiana infections in the United States mimics the distribution of certain amphibian species in the Southeast. Public health officials should consider amphibians as potential sources of salmonellosis, and promote hand washing after contact with amphibians. PMID:15061502

  3. High-fidelity organic preservation of bone marrow in ca. 10 Ma amphibians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNamara, Maria E.; Orr, Patrick J.; Kearns, Stuart L.; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver-Mollá, Enrique

    2006-08-01

    Bone marrow in ca. 10 Ma frogs and salamanders from the Miocene of Libros, Spain, represents the first fossilized example of this extremely decay-prone tissue. The bone marrow, preserved in three dimensions as an organic residue, retains the original texture and red and yellow color of hematopoietic and fatty marrow, respectively; moldic osteoclasts and vascular structures are also present. We attribute exceptional preservation of the fossilized bone marrow to cryptic preservation: the bones of the amphibians formed protective microenvironments, and inhibited microbial infiltration. Specimens in which bone marrow is preserved vary in their completeness and articulation and in the extent to which the body outline is preserved as a thin film of organically preserved bacteria. Cryptic preservation of these labile tissues is thus to a large extent independent of, and cannot be predicted by, the taphonomic history of the remainder of the specimen.

  4. Amphibian Development in the Virtual Absence of Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, Kenneth A.; Black, Steven D.; Wassersug, Richard J.

    1995-01-01

    To test whether gravity is required for normal amphibian development, Xenopus laevis females were induced to ovulate aboard the orbiting Space Shuttle. Eggs were fertilized in vitro, and although early embryonic stages showed some abnormalities, the embryos were able to regulate and produce nearly normal larvae. These results demonstrate that a vertebrate can ovulate in the virtual absence of gravity and that the eggs can develop to a free-living stage.

  5. Amphibian development in the virtual absence of gravity.

    PubMed Central

    Souza, K A; Black, S D; Wassersug, R J

    1995-01-01

    To test whether gravity is required for normal amphibian development, Xenopus laevis females were induced to ovulate aboard the orbiting Space Shuttle. Eggs were fertilized in vitro, and although early embryonic stages showed some abnormalities, the embryos were able to regulate and produce nearly normal larvae. These results demonstrate that a vertebrate can ovulate in the virtual absence of gravity and that the eggs can develop to a free-living stage. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:7892210

  6. On the origin of and phylogenetic relationships among living amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    2001-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among the three orders of modern amphibians (Caudata, Gymnophiona, and Anura) have been estimated based on both morphological and molecular evidence. Most morphological and paleontological studies of living and fossil amphibians support the hypothesis that salamanders and frogs are sister lineages (the Batrachia hypothesis) and that caecilians are more distantly related. Previous interpretations of molecular data based on nuclear and mitochondrial rRNA sequences suggested that salamanders and caecilians are sister groups to the exclusion of frogs. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, the complete mitochondrial genomes of a salamander (Mertensiella luschani) and a caecilian (Typhlonectes natans) were determined (16,656 and 17,005 bp, respectively) and compared with previously published sequences from a frog (Xenopus laevis) and several other groups of vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial data supported with high bootstrap values the monophyly of living amphibians with respect to other living groups of tetrapods, and a sister group relationship of salamanders and frogs. The lack of phylogenetically informative sites in the previous rRNA data sets (because of its shorter size and higher among-site rate variation) likely explains the discrepancy between our results and those based on previous molecular data. Strong support of the Batrachia hypothesis from both molecule- and morphology-based studies provides a robust phylogenetic framework that will be helpful to comparative studies among the three living orders of amphibians and will permit better understanding of the considerably divergent vertebral, brain, and digit developmental patterns found in frogs and salamanders. PMID:11390961

  7. Spemann's organizer and self-regulation in amphibian embryos.

    PubMed

    De Robertis, Edward M

    2006-04-01

    In 1924, Spemann and Mangold demonstrated the induction of Siamese twins in transplantation experiments with salamander eggs. Recent work in amphibian embryos has followed their lead and uncovered that cells in signalling centres that are located at the dorsal and ventral poles of the gastrula embryo communicate with each other through a network of secreted growth-factor antagonists, a protease that degrades them, a protease inhibitor and bone-morphogenic-protein signals. PMID:16482093

  8. Spemann's organizer and self-regulation in amphibian embryos

    PubMed Central

    De Robertis, Edward M.

    2008-01-01

    In 1924, Spemann and Mangold demonstrated the induction of Siamese twins in transplantation experiments with salamander eggs. Recent work in amphibian embryos has followed their lead and uncovered that cells in signalling centres that are located at the dorsal and ventral poles of the gastrula embryo communicate with each other through a network of secreted growth-factor antagonists, a protease that degrades them, a protease inhibitor and bone-morphogenic-protein signals. PMID:16482093

  9. On the origin of and phylogenetic relationships among living amphibians.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2001-06-19

    The phylogenetic relationships among the three orders of modern amphibians (Caudata, Gymnophiona, and Anura) have been estimated based on both morphological and molecular evidence. Most morphological and paleontological studies of living and fossil amphibians support the hypothesis that salamanders and frogs are sister lineages (the Batrachia hypothesis) and that caecilians are more distantly related. Previous interpretations of molecular data based on nuclear and mitochondrial rRNA sequences suggested that salamanders and caecilians are sister groups to the exclusion of frogs. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, the complete mitochondrial genomes of a salamander (Mertensiella luschani) and a caecilian (Typhlonectes natans) were determined (16,656 and 17,005 bp, respectively) and compared with previously published sequences from a frog (Xenopus laevis) and several other groups of vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial data supported with high bootstrap values the monophyly of living amphibians with respect to other living groups of tetrapods, and a sister group relationship of salamanders and frogs. The lack of phylogenetically informative sites in the previous rRNA data sets (because of its shorter size and higher among-site rate variation) likely explains the discrepancy between our results and those based on previous molecular data. Strong support of the Batrachia hypothesis from both molecule- and morphology-based studies provides a robust phylogenetic framework that will be helpful to comparative studies among the three living orders of amphibians and will permit better understanding of the considerably divergent vertebral, brain, and digit developmental patterns found in frogs and salamanders. PMID:11390961

  10. Engineering a future for amphibians under climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24975971

  12. Molecular characterization of iridoviruses isolated from sympatric amphibians and fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mao, J.; Green, D.E.; Fellers, G.; Chinchar, V.G.

    1999-01-01

    Iridoviruses infect invertebrates (primarily insects and crustaceans) and ectothermic vertebrates (fish, amphibians, and reptiles). Identical, or nearly identical viruses, have been isolated from different animals within the same taxonomic class, indicating that infection by a given virus is not limited to a single species. Although inter-class infections have been documented following experimental infection with vertebrate iridoviruses, it is not clear whether such infections occur in nature. Here we report the isolation of apparently identical iridoviruses from wild sympatric fish (the threespine stickleback, Gasterostelus aculeatus) and amphibians (the red-legged frog, Rana aurora). Viruses isolated from sticklebacks (stickleback virus, SBV) and from a red-legged frog tadpole (tadpole virus 2, TV2) replicated in fathead minnow (FHM) cells and synthesized proteins which co-migrated with those of frog virus 3 (FV3). Following restriction endonuclease digestion of viral DNA with Hind III and Xba I, gel analysis showed that the profiles of SBV and TV2 were identical to each other and distinct from FV3. Using oligonucleotide primers specific for a highly conserved region of the iridovirus major capsid protein, an not, vert, ~500 nucleotide DNA fragment was amplified from SBV and TV2. Sequence analysis showed that within this 500 nucleotide region SBV and TV2 were identical to each other and to FV3. Taken together these results provide the first evidence that iridoviruses naturally infect animals belonging to different taxonomic classes, and strengthen the suggestion that fish may serve as a reservoir for amphibian viruses or vice versa.

  13. Optimizing protection efforts for amphibian conservation in Mediterranean landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  14. Pronephric duct extension in amphibian embryos: migration and other mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Drawbridge, Julie; Meighan, Christopher M; Lumpkins, Rebecca; Kite, Mary E

    2003-01-01

    Initiation of excretory system development in all vertebrates requires (1) delamination of the pronephric and pronephric duct rudiments from intermediate mesoderm at the ventral border of anterior somites, and (2) extension of the pronephric duct to the cloaca. Pronephric duct extension is the central event in nephric system development; the pronephric duct differentiates into the tubule that carries nephric filtrate out of the body and induces terminal differentiation of adult kidneys. Early studies concluded that pronephric ducts formed by means of in situ segregation of pronephric duct tissue from lateral mesoderm ventral to the forming somites; more recent studies highlight caudal migration of the pronephric duct as the major morphogenetic mechanism. The purpose of this review is to provide the historical background on studies of the mechanisms of amphibian pronephric duct extension, to review evidence showing that different amphibians perform pronephric duct morphogenesis in different ways, and to suggest future studies that may help illuminate the molecular basis of the mechanisms that have evolved in amphibians to extend the pronephric duct to the cloaca. PMID:12508219

  15. Disease Risk in Temperate Amphibian Populations Is Higher at Closed-Canopy Sites

    PubMed Central

    Becker, C. Guilherme; Rodriguez, David; Longo, Ana V.; Talaba, Amanda L.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kiesecker, J.M.; Blaustein, R.

    1995-11-21

    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.

  17. Amphibians and disease: Implications for conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    The decline of amphibian populations is a world-wide phenomenon that has received increasing attention since about 1990. In 2004, the World Conservation Union’s global amphibian assessment concluded that 48% of the world’s 5,743 described amphibian species were in decline, with 32% considered threatened (Stuart et al. 2004). Amphibian declines are a significant issue in the western United States, where all native species of frogs in the genus Rana and many toads in the genus Bufo are at risk, particularly those that inhabit mountainous areas (Corn 2003a,b; Bradford 2005).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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. Moving into Protected Areas? Setting Conservation Priorities for Romanian Reptiles and Amphibians at Risk from Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Popescu, Viorel D.; Rozylowicz, Laurenţiu; Cogălniceanu, Dan; Niculae, Iulian Mihăiţă; Cucu, Adina Livia

    2013-01-01

    Rapid climate change represents one of the top threats to biodiversity, causing declines and extinctions of many species. Range shifts are a key response, but in many cases are incompatible with the current extent of protected areas. In this study we used ensemble species distribution models to identify range changes for 21 reptile and 16 amphibian species in Romania for the 2020s and 2050s time horizons under three emission scenarios (A1B = integrated world, rapid economic growth, A2A = divided world, rapid economic growth [realistic scenario], B2A = regional development, environmentally-friendly scenario) and no- and limited-dispersal assumptions. We then used irreplaceability analysis to test the efficacy of the Natura 2000 network to meet conservation targets. Under all scenarios and time horizons, 90% of the species suffered range contractions (greatest loses under scenarios B2A for 2020s, and A1B for 2050s), and four reptile species expanded their ranges. Two reptile and two amphibian species are predicted to completely lose climate space by 2050s. Currently, 35 species do not meet conservation targets (>40% representation in protected areas), but the target is predicted to be met for 4 - 14 species under future climate conditions, with higher representation under the limited-dispersal scenario. The Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions have the highest irreplaceability value, and act as climate refugia for many reptiles and amphibians. The Natura 2000 network performs better for achieving herpetofauna conservation goals in the future, owing to the interaction between drastic range contractions, and range shifts towards existing protected areas. Thus, conservation actions for herpetofauna in Romania need to focus on: (1) building institutional capacity of protected areas in the Alpine and Steppic-Black Sea biogeographic regions, and (2) facilitating natural range shifts by improving the conservation status of herpetofauna outside protected areas

  20. Comparative acute and chronic sensitivity of fish and amphibians: a critical review of data.

    PubMed

    Weltje, Lennart; Simpson, Peter; Gross, Melanie; Crane, Mark; Wheeler, James R

    2013-04-01

    The relative sensitivity of amphibians to chemicals in the environment, including plant protection product active substances, is the subject of ongoing scientific debate. The objective of this study was to compare systematically the relative sensitivity of amphibians and fish to chemicals. Acute and chronic toxicity data were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) ECOTOX database and were supplemented with data from the scientific and regulatory literature. The overall outcome is that fish and amphibian toxicity data are highly correlated and that fish are more sensitive (both acute and chronic) than amphibians. In terms of acute sensitivity, amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only four of 55 chemicals and more than 100-fold more sensitive for only two chemicals. However, a detailed inspection of these cases showed a similar acute sensitivity of fish and amphibians. Chronic toxicity data for fish were available for 52 chemicals. Amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only two substances (carbaryl and dexamethasone) and greater than 100-fold more sensitive for only a single chemical (sodium perchlorate). The comparison for carbaryl was subsequently determined to be unreliable and that for sodium perchlorate is a potential artifact of the exposure medium. Only a substance such as dexamethasone, which interferes with a specific aspect of amphibian metamorphosis, might not be detected using fish tests. However, several other compounds known to influence amphibian metamorphosis were included in the analysis, and these did not affect amphibians disproportionately. These analyses suggest that additional amphibian testing is not necessary during chemical risk assessment. PMID:23381988

  1. AMPHIBIAN OCCURRENCE AND AQUATIC INVADERS IN A CHANGING LANDSCAPE: IMPLICATIONS FOR WETLAND MITIGATION IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY, OREGON, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite concern about the conservation status of amphibians in western North America, few field studies have documented occurrence patterns of amphibians relative to potential stressors. We surveyed wetland fauna in Oregon Willamette Valley and used an information theoretic appro...

  2. Characterization of the Carbohydrate Binding Module 18 gene family in the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Stajich, Jason E

    2015-04-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis responsible for worldwide decline in amphibian populations. Previous analysis of the Bd genome revealed a unique expansion of the carbohydrate-binding module family 18 (CBM18) predicted to be a sub-class of chitin recognition domains. CBM expansions have been linked to the evolution of pathogenicity in a variety of fungal species by protecting the fungus from the host. Based on phylogenetic analysis and presence of additional protein domains, the gene family can be classified into 3 classes: Tyrosinase-, Deacetylase-, and Lectin-like. Examination of the mRNA expression levels from sporangia and zoospores of nine of the cbm18 genes found that the Lectin-like genes had the highest expression while the Tyrosinase-like genes showed little expression, especially in zoospores. Heterologous expression of GFP-tagged copies of four CBM18 genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae demonstrated that two copies containing secretion signal peptides are trafficked to the cell boundary. The Lectin-like genes cbm18-ll1 and cbm18-ll2 co-localized with the chitinous cell boundaries visualized by staining with calcofluor white. In vitro assays of the full length and single domain copies from CBM18-LL1 demonstrated chitin binding and no binding to cellulose or xylan. Expressed CBM18 domain proteins were demonstrated to protect the fungus, Trichoderma reeseii, in vitro against hydrolysis from exogenously added chitinase, likely by binding and limiting exposure of fungal chitin. These results demonstrate that cbm18 genes can play a role in fungal defense and expansion of their copy number may be an important pathogenicity factor of this emerging infectious disease of amphibians. PMID:25819009

  3. Infection and transmission heterogeneity of a multi-host pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) within an amphibian community.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Beaskoetxea, S; Bosch, J; Bielby, J

    2016-02-11

    The majority of parasites infect multiple hosts. As the outcome of the infection is different in each of them, most studies of wildlife disease focus on the few species that suffer the most severe consequences. However, the role that each host plays in the persistence and transmission of infection can be crucial to understanding the spread of a parasite and the risk it poses to the community. Current theory predicts that certain host species can modulate the infection in other species by amplifying or diluting both infection prevalence and infection intensity, both of which have implications for disease risk within those communities. The fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the causal agent of the disease chytridiomycosis, has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions. However, not all infected species are affected equally, and thus Bd is a good example of a multi-host pathogen that must ultimately be studied with a community approach. To test whether the common midwife toad Alytes obstetricans is a reservoir and possible amplifier of infection of other species, we used experimental approaches in captive and wild populations to determine the effect of common midwife toad larvae on infection of other amphibian species found in the Peñalara Massif, Spain. We observed that the most widely and heavily infected species, the common midwife toad, may be amplifying the infection loads in other species, all of which have different degrees of susceptibility to Bd infection. Our results have important implications for performing mitigation actions focused on potential 'amplifier' hosts and for better understanding the mechanisms of Bd transmission. PMID:26865231

  4. Interactions of an insecticide with competition and pond drying in amphibian communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    Amphibian populations are often imbedded in agricultural landscapes. Therefore the potential for contamination of their habitat is considerable. Our study examined the effects of an insecticide (carbaryl, a neurotoxin), on larval amphibian communities experiencing natural stresses of competition for resources, predation, and pond drying. In a set of experimental ponds, tadpoles of three anuran species (southern leopard frog [Rana sphenocephala], plains leopard frog [R. blairi], and the Woodhouse's toad [Bufo woodhousii]) were added to 1000-L ponds containing leaf litter, plankton, two newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), and four overwintered green frog (R. clamitans) tadpoles. We manipulated the overall tadpole density (low or high), pond hydroperiod (constant or drying), and chemical exposure (0, 3.5, 5.0, or 7.0 mg/L carbaryl) of the ponds. We measured mass, time, and survival to metamorphosis to determine treatment effects. Carbaryl positively affected Woodhouse's toad survival, although it had a negligible effect on both leopard frog species. Tadpole density interacted with the chemical treatment: Proportionately more Woodhouse's toads survived to metamorphosis in high-density environments than in low-density or control environments. Greater survival may be an indirect effect of increased algal food resources from carbaryl exposure. Most newts lost mass over the course of the experiment, although ponds with drying hydroperiods and high anuran density were the least favorable environments. Overwintered green frogs exposed to carbaryl had longer larval periods on average than did green frogs in control ponds. Our study demonstrated that even sublethal, short-lived contaminants can alter natural communities in ways that cannot be predicted from simple, one-factor studies.

  5. AN OVERVIEW OF OECD AND EPA/ORD ACTIVITIES RELATED TO AMPHIBIAN TESTING

    EPA Science Inventory

    There has been significant recent activity related to testing amphibians in a regulatory setting. Much of this has emanated from interest by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in utilizing amphibians in scree...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  7. Coordinated Studies of Ultraviolet Radiation and Amphibians in Lentic Wetland Habitats

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. 76 FR 45603 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request for the North American Amphibian...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-29

    ... On March 14, 2011 we published a Federal Register notice (76 FR 13658) announcing that we would... American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior. ACTION... request (ICR) for the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP). As required by the...

  9. 14 CFR 29.519 - Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. 29.519 Section 29.519 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF... § 29.519 Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. (a) General. For hull type rotorcraft,...

  10. The Creatures beneath Our Feet: Amphibian Monitors Take to the Road.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daigle, Cheryl Perusse

    1999-01-01

    The Nature Conservancy's Berkshire Program involves community volunteers in monitoring migration routes of amphibians that rely on vernal pools for breeding success. Vernal-pool workshops provide basic knowledge of amphibian lifecycles and detailed monitoring instructions. Nighttime field trips for adults and children and monitoring experiences…

  11. 14 CFR 29.519 - Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. 29.519 Section 29.519 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF... § 29.519 Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. (a) General. For hull type rotorcraft,...

  12. 14 CFR 29.519 - Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. 29.519 Section 29.519 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF... § 29.519 Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. (a) General. For hull type rotorcraft,...

  13. Cognitive and Emotional Evaluation of an Amphibian Conservation Program for Elementary School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Randler, Christoph; Ilg, Angelika; Kern, Janina

    2005-01-01

    The authors describe a study aimed at enhancing knowledge about amphibian species. Two classes of 3rd and 4th graders aged 9-11 years participated in the study. In addition, approximately one half of the students participated in an environmental conservation action designated to preserve migrating amphibians. During this action, students…

  14. 14 CFR 29.519 - Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. 29.519 Section 29.519 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF... § 29.519 Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. (a) General. For hull type rotorcraft,...

  15. 14 CFR 29.519 - Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. 29.519 Section 29.519 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF... § 29.519 Hull type rotorcraft: Water-based and amphibian. (a) General. For hull type rotorcraft,...

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24991744

  17. Inhibition of Escherichia coli ATP synthase by amphibian antimicrobial peptides.

    PubMed

    Laughlin, Thomas F; Ahmad, Zulfiqar

    2010-04-01

    Previously melittin, the alpha-helical basic honey bee venom peptide, was shown to inhibit F(1)-ATPase by binding at the beta-subunit DELSEED motif of F(1)F(o)-ATP synthase. Herein, we present the inhibitory effects of the basic alpha-helical amphibian antimicrobial peptides, ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, carein 1.8, carein 1.9, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, maculatin 1.1, maganin II, MRP, or XT-7, on purified F(1) and membrane bound F(1)F(0)Escherichia coli ATP synthase. We found that the extent of inhibition by amphibian peptides is variable. Whereas MRP-amide inhibited ATPase essentially completely (approximately 96% inhibition), carein 1.8 did not inhibit at all (0% inhibition). Inhibition by other peptides was partial with a range of approximately 13-70%. MRP-amide was also the most potent inhibitor on molar scale (IC(50) approximately 3.25 microM). Presence of an amide group at the c-terminal of peptides was found to be critical in exerting potent inhibition of ATP synthase ( approximately 20-40% additional inhibition). Inhibition was fully reversible and found to be identical in both F(1)F(0) membrane preparations as well as in isolated purified F(1). Interestingly, growth of E. coli was abrogated in the presence of ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, magainin II-amide, MRP, MRP-amide, melittin, or melittin-amide but was unaffected in the presence of carein 1.8, carein 1.9, maculatin 1.1, magainin II, or XT-7. Hence inhibition of F(1)-ATPase and E. coli cell growth by amphibian antimicrobial peptides suggests that their antimicrobial/anticancer properties are in part linked to their actions on ATP synthase. PMID:20100509

  18. Inhibition of Escherichia coli ATP synthase by amphibian antimicrobial peptides

    PubMed Central

    Laughlin, Thomas F.; Ahmad, Zulfiqar

    2010-01-01

    Previously melittin, the α-helical basic honey bee venom peptide, was shown to inhibit F1-ATPase by binding at the β-subunit DELSEED motif of F1Fo ATP synthase. Herein, we present the inhibitory effects of the basic α-helical amphibian antimicrobial peptides, ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, carein 1.8, carein 1.9, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, maculatin 1.1, maganin II, MRP, or XT-7, on purified F1 and membrane bound F1Fo E. coli ATP synthase. We found that the extent of inhibition by amphibian peptides is variable. Whereas MRP-amide inhibited ATPase essentially completely (~96% inhibition), carein 1.8 did not inhibit at all (0% inhibition). Inhibition by other peptides was partial with a range of ~13% to 70%. MRP-amide was also the most potent inhibitor on molar scale (IC50 ~3.25 µM). Presence of an amide group at the c-terminal of peptides was found to be critical in exerting potent inhibition of ATP synthase (~20–40% additional inhibition). Inhibition was fully reversible and found to be identical in both F1Fo membrane preparations as well as in isolated purified F1. Interestingly, growth of Escherichia coli was abrogated in the presence of ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, magainin II-amide, MRP, MRP-amide, melittin, or melittin-amide but was unaffected in the presence of carein 1.8, carein 1.9, maculatin 1.1, magainin II, or XT-7. Hence inhibition of F1-ATPase and E. coli cell growth by amphibian antimicrobial peptides suggests that their antimicrobial/anticancer properties are in part linked to their actions on ATP synthase. PMID:20100509

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Influence of Physiological Stress on Nutrient Stoichiometry in Larval Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Kirschman, Lucas J; Haslett, Savhannah; Fritz, Kelley A; Whiles, Matt R; Warne, Robin W

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental stressors alters animal phenotypes as well as nutrient metabolism, assimilation, and excretion. While stress-induced shifts in nutrient processes are known to alter organismal carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stoichiometry, there has been little exploration of how environmental factors influence phosphorous (P). A better understanding of how P cycling varies with animal physiological state may provide insight into across-scale processes, because P is essential to animal function and ecological processes such as production and decomposition. We tested the effects of predator stress and exogenous glucocorticoids on C∶N∶P stoichiometry of larval amphibians. Glucocorticoids altered nutrient stoichiometry, apparently by modulating ossification and renal function. This reduced whole-body P and significantly increased N∶P. Additionally, elevated glucocorticoids caused a long-term reduction in P excretion. This reduction may reflect an initial unmeasured loss of P that glucocorticoids induce over acute timescales. In contrast, exposure to predator cues had no effect on larval C∶N∶P stoichiometry, which highlights that different stressors have varied effects on the endocrine stress response. Predation, in particular, is ubiquitous in the environment; thus, larvae responding to predators have conserved mechanisms that likely prevent or minimize physiological disruption. These results demonstrate the differing physiological roles of N and P, distinct nutrient demands associated with amphibian metamorphosis, and the contrasting effects that different environmental factors have on the physiological stress response. Our results also suggest that anthropogenic changes to the environment that induce chronic stress in amphibians could affect the biogeochemistry of nutrient-poor environments where they may act as keystone species. PMID:27327181

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

    PubMed

    Wake, M H; Dickie, R

    The structure and function of the oviducts of members of the three Orders of the Class Amphibia (Anura, frogs and toads; Urodela, salamanders and newts; Gymnophiona, caecilians) are well described for only a few species. Further, the majority of such descriptions relate only to temperate species that breed in water, lay their eggs there, and have free-living larvae, the presumed ancestral condition of oviparity. Many species of amphibians have derived reproductive modes. Such modes include breeding terrestrially and arboreally, making foam nests, parental transport of eggs and/or tadpoles, direct development (copulating on land, laying the eggs in terrestrial sites, fully metamorphosed juveniles hatching, obviating the free-living larval stage). Other derived modes are ovoviviparity (developing embryos retained in the oviducts, born at a diversity stages of development, no maternal nutrition in addition to yolk) and viviparity (oviductal retention of developing young, maternal nutrition after yolk is resorbed, young born as fully metamorphosed juveniles). The amphibian oviduct is regionally differentiated to secrete varying numbers of layers of material around each egg, which function in fertilization, etc.; it is responsive to endocrine output and environmental mediation during the reproductive cycle; and it maintains developing embryos in some members of all three orders, some with oviductal epithelial secretion of nutrients. However, little is known of the structure-function relationships of the oviduct in species with derived reproductive modes. A comparison of oviduct morphology, function, endocrinology, ecology and phylogeny in amphibians with diverse reproductive modes suggests a number of highly productive avenues of investigation. PMID:9803536

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23622255

  3. Behavioral, molecular and integrative mechanisms of amphibian osmoregulation.

    PubMed

    Hillyard, S D

    1999-06-01

    Amphibian water balance has been studied at many levels of biological order. Terrestrial species must react to environmental cues that relate to water availability while some arboreal species have cutaneous skin secretions that can reduce evaporative water loss. The Indian tree frog. Polypedates maculatus, uses cutaneous secretions and wiping behavior to lower evaporation but also relies on moist microclimates to endure prolonged survival away from water. The related species, P. leucomystax, inhabits wetter forest habitats. Preliminary studies with this species are unable to demonstrate the expression of wiping behavior, indicating that arid habitats may be a powerful selective force for this behavior. Laboratory experiments on rehydrating toads in the genus Bufo indicate that animals are able to detect changes in barometric pressure and humidity that might result in the availability of water under field situations. Experiments with Bufonid species and with spadefoot toads, Scaphiopus couchi, show that the peptide hormone, angiotensin II, stimulates cutaneous drinking in a similar manner seen for oral drinking by other vertebrate classes. Amphibian tissues have long been used as a model for the study of basic physiological principles of epithelial ion and water transport. Recent progress with tissue cultures has provided information on the molecular structure of ion and water channels that can be applied to obtain a better understanding, at the molecular level, of ion and water balance strategies used by the wide variety of amphibian species. Terrestrial amphibians are more tolerant of dehydration than are other vertebrates and are able to store dilute urine in their urinary bladder. Toads appear to be able to detect the presence of water in their bladders in addition to the availability of water in their environment. Dehydrated toads are able to rehydrate very rapidly by the coordination of behavioral and physiological mechanisms to enhance cutaneous water

  4. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    PubMed

    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 < 0.05) greater than that of freshwater fish sperm (~150 seconds), with the longevities of both marine and freshwater fish being significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that of anuran sperm (~4100 seconds). The average velocity of anuran sperm (25 μm/s) was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that of marine fish (140 μm/s) or freshwater fish (135 μm/s) sperm. The longevity of the sperm of giant salamanders (Cryptobranchoidea) of approximately 600 seconds was greater than that of freshwater fish sperm but much lower than anuran sperm. Our research and information from the literature showed that higher osmolarities promote greater longevity in anuran sperm, and some freshwater fish sperm, and that anuran and cryptobranchid sperm maintained membrane integrity long after the cessation of motility, demonstrating a preferential sharing of energy reserves toward the maintenance of membrane integrity. The maintenance of the membrane integrity of anuran sperm in fresh water for up to 6 hours showed an extremely high osmotic tolerance relative to fish sperm. The very high longevity and osmotic tolerance of anuran sperm and high longevity of cryptobranchid sperm, relative to those of freshwater fish, may reflect the complex fertilization history of amphibian sperm in

  5. The role of multiple stressor causes in declining amphibian populations: a wingspread workshop summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    Numerous studies have documented the decline of amphibian populations over the past decade and no single factor has been the linked to these widespread declines. Determining the causes of declining amphibian populations worldwide has proven difficult because of the variety of anthropogenic and natural suspect agents. A Wingspread workshop, convened by The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), brought together individuals with expertise in the areas of amphibian biology, ecotoxicology, natural resource management, and environmental policy. This workshop had three objectives: 1) create a network for future discussions on multiple stressor causes of declines; 2) characterize and prioritize technical issues critical to the analysis of the decline problem; and 3) identify and develop resource management approaches to promote sustainable and healthy amphibian populations. The workshop proceedings will be summarized in a book entitled, 'Multiple Stressors and Declining Amphibian Populations: Evaluating Cause and Effect.' This paper summarizes the results of the workshop.

  6. The role of multiple stressor causes in declining amphibian populations: A wingspread workshop summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    Numerous studies have documented the decline of amphibian populations over the past decade and no single factor has been the linked to these widespread declines. Determining the causes of declining amphibian populations worldwide has proven difficult because of the variety of anthropogenic and natural suspect agents. A Wingspread workshop, convened by The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), brought together individuals with expertise in the areas of amphibian biology, ecotoxicology, natural resource management, and environmental policy. This workshop had three objectives: 1) create a network for future discussions on multiple Stressor causes of declines; 2) characterize and prioritize technical issues critical to the analysis of the decline problem; and 3) identify and develop resource management approaches to promote sustainable and healthy amphibian populations. The workshop proceedings will be summarized in a book entitled, "Multiple Stressors and Declining Amphibian Populations: Evaluating Cause and Effect." This paper summarizes the results of the workshop.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 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. PMID:27408554

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Interferons (IFNs) are key cytokines identified in vertebrates and evolutionary dominance of intronless IFN genes in amniotes is a signature event in IFN evolution. For the first time, we show that the emergence and expansion of intronless IFN genes is evident in amphibians, shown by 24–37 intronless IFN genes in each frog species. Amphibian IFNs represent a molecular complex more complicated than those in other vertebrate species, which revises the established model of IFN evolution to facilitate re-inspection of IFN molecular and functional diversity. We identified these intronless amphibian IFNs and their intron-containing progenitors, and functionally characterized constitutive and inductive expression and antimicrobial roles in infections caused by zoonotic pathogens, such as influenza viruses and Listeria monocytogenes. Amphibians, therefore, may serve as overlooked vectors/hosts for zoonotic pathogens, and the amphibian IFN system provides a model to study IFN evolution in molecular and functional diversity in coping with dramatic environmental changes during terrestrial adaption. PMID:27356970

  9. A critical review of freshwater crayfish as amphibian predators: capable consumers of toxic prey?

    PubMed

    Wilson, Natasha J; Williams, Craig R

    2014-05-01

    Consumption of amphibian eggs and larvae by crayfish has been widely reported despite many amphibians being unpalatable and/or toxic to other predators. The aim of this review was to gather information regarding the consumption and/or avoidance of toxic amphibians by these omnivores. We then appraised the extent of toxin consumptive ability in terms of crayfish phylogenetic history so as to speculate as to the evolutionary history of this trait. Reports indicating an ability to tolerate amphibian toxins were collected and reviewed for 12 freshwater crayfish species. In reviewing these, we have established that freshwater crayfish appear to be tolerant of a range of toxic amphibians, often consuming large numbers of eggs and larvae without lethal or apparent sublethal effects. Toxin tolerance was evident within both superfamilies (Astacoidea and Parastacoidea) suggesting that tolerance may be a primitive trait in freshwater crayfish. PMID:24556015

  10. Evolutionary landscape of amphibians emerging from ancient freshwater fish inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Tong; Zhang, Yan-Feng; Wu, Qian; Zhang, Hao

    2012-05-01

    It is very interesting that the only extant marine amphibian is the marine frog, Fejervarya cancrivora. This study investigated the reasons for this apparent rarity by conducting a phylogenetic tree analysis of the complete mitochondrial genomes from 14 amphibians, 67 freshwater fishes, four migratory fishes, 35 saltwater fishes, and one hemichordate. The results showed that amphibians, living fossil fishes, and the common ancestors of modern fishes are phylogenetically separated. In general, amphibians, living fossil fishes, saltwater fishes, and freshwater fishes are clustered in different clades. This suggests that the ancestor of living amphibians arose from a type of primordial freshwater fish, rather than the coelacanth, lungfish, or modern saltwater fish. Modern freshwater fish and modern saltwater fish were probably separated from a common ancestor by a single event, caused by crustal movement. PMID:22503684

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27408554

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Interferons (IFNs) are key cytokines identified in vertebrates and evolutionary dominance of intronless IFN genes in amniotes is a signature event in IFN evolution. For the first time, we show that the emergence and expansion of intronless IFN genes is evident in amphibians, shown by 24-37 intronless IFN genes in each frog species. Amphibian IFNs represent a molecular complex more complicated than those in other vertebrate species, which revises the established model of IFN evolution to facilitate re-inspection of IFN molecular and functional diversity. We identified these intronless amphibian IFNs and their intron-containing progenitors, and functionally characterized constitutive and inductive expression and antimicrobial roles in infections caused by zoonotic pathogens, such as influenza viruses and Listeria monocytogenes. Amphibians, therefore, may serve as overlooked vectors/hosts for zoonotic pathogens, and the amphibian IFN system provides a model to study IFN evolution in molecular and functional diversity in coping with dramatic environmental changes during terrestrial adaption. PMID:27356970

  13. Road to evolution? Local adaptation to road adjacency in an amphibian (Ambystoma maculatum)

    PubMed Central

    Brady, Steven P.

    2012-01-01

    The network of roads on the landscape is vast, and contributes a suite of negative ecological effects on adjacent habitats, ranging from fragmentation to contamination by runoff. In addition to the immediate consequences faced by biota living in roaded landscapes, road effects may further function as novel agents of selection, setting the stage for contemporary evolutionary changes in local populations. Though the ecological consequences of roads are well described, evolutionary outcomes remain largely unevaluated. To address these potential responses in tandem, I conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment on early life history stages of a pool-breeding salamander. My data show that despite a strong, negative effect of roadside pools on salamander performance, populations adjacent to roads are locally adapted. This suggests that the response of species to human-altered environments varies across local populations, and that adaptive processes may mediate this response. PMID:22355748

  14. Spatial Assessment of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in South Africa Confirms Endemic and Widespread Infection

    PubMed Central

    Tarrant, Jeanne; Cilliers, Dirk; du Preez, Louis H.; Weldon, Ché

    2013-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis has been identified as a major cause of global amphibian declines. Despite widespread evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in South African frogs, sampling for this disease has not focused on threatened species, or whether this pathogen poses a disease risk to these species. This study assessed the occurrence of Bd-infection in South African Red List species. In addition, all known records of infection from South Africa were used to model the ecological niche of Bd to provide a better understanding of spatial patterns and associated disease risk. Presence and prevalence of Bd was determined through quantitative real-time PCR of 360 skin swab samples from 17 threatened species from 38 sites across the country. Average prevalence was 14.8% for threatened species, with pathogen load varying considerably between species. MaxEnt was used to model the predicted distribution of Bd based on 683 positive records for South Africa. The resultant probability threshold map indicated that Bd is largely restricted to the wet eastern and coastal regions of South Africa. A lack of observed adverse impacts on wild threatened populations supports the endemic pathogen hypothesis for southern Africa. However, all threatened species occur within the limits of the predicted distribution for Bd, exposing them to potential Bd-associated risk factors. Predicting pathogen distribution patterns and potential impact is increasingly important for prioritising research and guiding management decisions. PMID:23894506

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Deanna H.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. An Unprecedented Role Reversal: Ground Beetle Larvae (Coleoptera: Carabidae) Lure Amphibians and Prey upon Them

    PubMed Central

    Wizen, Gil; Gasith, Avital

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21957480

  18. Why Does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) Not Occur Everywhere? An Exploratory Study in Missouri Ponds

    PubMed Central

    Strauss, Alex; Smith, Kevin G.

    2013-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a globally emerging pathogen that has caused widespread amphibian population declines, extirpations, and extinctions. However, Bd does not occur in all apparently suitable amphibian populations, even within regions where it is widespread, and it is often unclear why Bd occurs in some habitats but not others. In this study, we rigorously surveyed the amphibian and invertebrate biodiversity of 29 ponds in Missouri, screened resident amphibian larvae (Rana (Lithobates) sp.) for Bd infection, and characterized the aquatic physiochemical environment of each pond (temperature pH, conductivity, nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a). Our goal was to generate hypotheses toward answering the question, “Why does Bd not occur in all apparently suitable habitats?” Bd occurred in assayed amphibians in 11 of the 29 ponds in our study area (38% of ponds). We found no significant relationship between any single biotic or abiotic variable and presence of Bd. However, multivariate analyses (nonmetric multidimensional scaling and permutational tests of dispersion) revealed that ponds in which Bd occurred were a restricted subset of all ponds in terms of amphibian community structure, macroinvertebrate community structure, and pond physiochemistry. In other words, Bd ponds from 6 different conservation areas were more similar to each other than would be expected based on chance. The results of a structural equation model suggest that patterns in the occurrence of Bd among ponds are primarily attributable to variation in macroinvertebrate community structure. When combined with recent results showing that Bd can infect invertebrates as well as amphibians, we suggest that additional research should focus on the role played by non-amphibian biota in determining the presence, prevalence, and pathogenicity of Bd in amphibian populations. PMID:24086681

  19. Blood parasites of amphibians from Algonquin Park, Ontario.

    PubMed

    Barta, J R; Desser, S S

    1984-07-01

    During a 5 wk period beginning May 25, 1983, 329 amphibians, which included specimens of Rana catesbeiana Shaw, Rana clamitans Latreille, Rana septentrionalis Baird, Rana sylvatica LeConte, Hyla crucifer Wied, Bufo americanus Holbrook, and Plethodon cinereus Green, from Lake Sasajewun, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada were examined for blood parasites. The prevalences of species of Trypanosoma, Haemogregarina, Lankesterella, Babesiasoma, and Thrombocytozoons in these amphibians were determined. Two species of microfilaria (probably Foleyella spp.) and two intraerythrocytic forms, inclusions of an icosahedral cytoplasmic DNA virus (ICDV) and groups of rickettsial organisms, were also observed. The following are new host records: Trypanosoma ranarum (Lankester, 1871) in B. americanus; Trypanosoma ranarum (Lankester, 1871) in R. sylvatica; Trypanosoma pipientis Diamond, 1950, Babesiasoma stableri Schmittner and McGhee, 1961 and Thrombocytozoons ranarum Tchacarof, 1963 in R. septentrionalis. The aquatic frogs generally showed a much higher prevalence of infection with blood parasites than the terrestrial frogs, toads and salamanders, which is suggestive of an aquatic vector. The leech Batracobdella picta Verrill, 1872, which was found on many of the aquatic frogs, is the most likely vector in the study area. Also, an increasing prevalence of parasites was noted with increasing sizes (ages) of Rana clamitans and R. catesbeiana suggesting that longer exposure to water makes these species more likely to acquire blood parasites. The presence of Trypanosoma ranarum in B. americanus appeared to coincide with their attainment of sexual maturity. PMID:6492319

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

    PubMed

    Dufresnes, Christophe; Perrin, Nicolas

    2015-08-01

    The genetic diversity of populations, which contributes greatly to their adaptive potential, is negatively affected by anthropogenic habitat fragmentation and destruction. However, continental-scale losses of genetic diversity also resulted from the population expansions that followed the end of the last glaciation, an element that is rarely considered in a conservation context. We addressed this issue in a meta-analysis in which we compared the spatial patterns of vulnerability of 18 widespread European amphibians in light of phylogeographic histories (glacial refugia and postglacial routes) and anthropogenic disturbances. Conservation statuses significantly worsened with distances from refugia, particularly in the context of industrial agriculture; human population density also had a negative effect. These findings suggest that features associated with the loss of genetic diversity in post-glacial amphibian populations (such as enhanced fixation load or depressed adaptive potential) may increase their susceptibility to current threats (e.g., habitat fragmentation and pesticide use). We propose that the phylogeographic status of populations (i.e., refugial vs. post-glacial) should be considered in conservation assessments for regional and national red lists. PMID:25833793

  1. Anthropogenic and Ecological Drivers of Amphibian Disease (Ranavirosis)

    PubMed Central

    North, Alexandra C.; Hodgson, David J.; Price, Stephen J.; Griffiths, Amber G. F.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26039741

  2. Chytridiomycosis risk among Central European amphibians based on surveillance data.

    PubMed

    Balá, Vojtech; Vojar, Jirří; Civi, Petr; Andera, Martin; Rozínek, Roman

    2014-11-13

    The Czech Republic hosts a surprisingly rich biodiversity of amphibians representing the majority of amphibian species present in all of Central and Eastern Europe. Surveillance data of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) collected during 2008 to 2012 were analysed for basic patterns of prevalence and infection intensity among species, age groups and localities. In addition, an investigation was made into possible data bias due to varying PCR inhibition. Infection prevalence in the genus Pelophylax was significantly higher than in other sampled taxa, while Bombina and Bufo were infected with intermediate prevalence. Individual mortalities putatively caused by chytridiomycosis were detected in Bombina and Bufo, but not in Pelophylax. Differences among localities were seen to modulate the pathogen's infection rate and influence overall individual infection intensities. PCR inhibition occurred significantly more often in samples from the genus Pelophylax than in other tested taxa (Bufo bufo, B. viridis, Bombina bombina, Pelobates fuscus and Rana dalmatina). Although we found no completely inhibited samples within the genus Bombina, the infection loads were lower in the sample set processed without bovine serum albumin, suggesting some level of PCR inhibition. The combination of high Bd prevalence with no apparent deleterious effect and the high dispersal abilities of water frogs predispose them to act as vectors for chytridiomycosis. It is possible that the role of Pelophylax frogs in the spread of Bd is overlooked due to a large proportion of unrecognized false negatives, but this issue needs further confirmation. PMID:25392037

  3. Suburbanization, estrogen contamination, and sex ratio in wild amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Max R; Giller, Geoffrey S J; Barber, Larry B; Fitzgerald, Kevin C; Skelly, David K

    2015-09-22

    Research on endocrine disruption in frog populations, such as shifts in sex ratios and feminization of males, has predominantly focused on agricultural pesticides. Recent evidence suggests that suburban landscapes harbor amphibian populations exhibiting similar levels of endocrine disruption; however the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) sources are unknown. Here, we show that sex ratios of metamorphosing frogs become increasingly female-dominated along a suburbanization gradient. We further show that suburban ponds are frequently contaminated by the classical estrogen estrone and a variety of EDCs produced by plants (phytoestrogens), and that the diversity of organic EDCs is correlated with the extent of developed land use and cultivated lawn and gardens around a pond. Our work also raises the possibility that trace-element contamination associated with human land use around suburban ponds may be contributing to the estrogenic load within suburban freshwaters and constitutes another source of estrogenic exposure for wildlife. These data suggest novel, unexplored pathways of EDC contamination in human-altered environments. In particular, we propose that vegetation changes associated with suburban neighborhoods (e.g., from forests to lawns and ornamental plants) increase the distribution of phytoestrogens in surface waters. The result of frog sex ratios varying as a function of human land use implicates a role for environmental modulation of sexual differentiation in amphibians, which are assumed to only have genetic sex determination. Overall, we show that endocrine disruption is widespread in suburban frog populations and that the causes are likely diverse. PMID:26372955

  4. Exon capture optimization in amphibians with large genomes.

    PubMed

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Mount, Genevieve G; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2016-09-01

    Gathering genomic-scale data efficiently is challenging for nonmodel species with large, complex genomes. Transcriptome sequencing is accessible for organisms with large genomes, and sequence capture probes can be designed from such mRNA sequences to enrich and sequence exonic regions. Maximizing enrichment efficiency is important to reduce sequencing costs, but relatively few data exist for exon capture experiments in nonmodel organisms with large genomes. Here, we conducted a replicated factorial experiment to explore the effects of several modifications to standard protocols that might increase sequence capture efficiency for amphibians and other taxa with large, complex genomes. Increasing the amounts of c0 t-1 repetitive sequence blocker and individual input DNA used in target enrichment reactions reduced the rates of PCR duplication. This reduction led to an increase in the percentage of unique reads mapping to target sequences, essentially doubling overall efficiency of the target capture from 10.4% to nearly 19.9% and rendering target capture experiments more efficient and affordable. Our results indicate that target capture protocols can be modified to efficiently screen vertebrates with large genomes, including amphibians. PMID:27223337

  5. Proximity to pollution sources and risk of amphibian limb malformation.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Brynn; Skelly, David; Demarchis, Livia K; Slade, Martin D; Galusha, Deron; Rabinowitz, Peter M

    2005-11-01

    The cause of limb deformities in wild amphibian populations remains unclear, even though the apparent increase in prevalence of this condition may have implications for human health. Few studies have simultaneously assessed the effect of multiple exposures on the risk of limb deformities. In a cross-sectional survey of 5,264 hylid and ranid metamorphs in 42 Vermont wetlands, we assessed independent risk factors for nontraumatic limb malformation. The rate of nontraumatic limb malformation varied by location from 0 to 10.2%. Analysis of a subsample did not demonstrate any evidence of infection with the parasite Ribeiroia. We used geographic information system (GIS) land-use/land-cover data to validate field observations of land use in the proximity of study wetlands. In a multiple logistic regression model that included land use as well as developmental stage, genus, and water-quality measures, proximity to agricultural land use was associated with an increased risk of limb malformation (odds ratio = 2.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.42-3.58; p < 0.001). The overall discriminant power of the statistical model was high (C = 0.79). These findings from one of the largest systematic surveys to date provide support for the role of chemical toxicants in the development of amphibian limb malformation and demonstrate the value of an epidemiologic approach to this problem. PMID:16263502

  6. Suburbanization, estrogen contamination, and sex ratio in wild amphibian populations

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Max R.; Giller, Geoffrey S. J.; Barber, Larry B.; Fitzgerald, Kevin C.; Skelly, David K.

    2015-01-01

    Research on endocrine disruption in frog populations, such as shifts in sex ratios and feminization of males, has predominantly focused on agricultural pesticides. Recent evidence suggests that suburban landscapes harbor amphibian populations exhibiting similar levels of endocrine disruption; however the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) sources are unknown. Here, we show that sex ratios of metamorphosing frogs become increasingly female-dominated along a suburbanization gradient. We further show that suburban ponds are frequently contaminated by the classical estrogen estrone and a variety of EDCs produced by plants (phytoestrogens), and that the diversity of organic EDCs is correlated with the extent of developed land use and cultivated lawn and gardens around a pond. Our work also raises the possibility that trace-element contamination associated with human land use around suburban ponds may be contributing to the estrogenic load within suburban freshwaters and constitutes another source of estrogenic exposure for wildlife. These data suggest novel, unexplored pathways of EDC contamination in human-altered environments. In particular, we propose that vegetation changes associated with suburban neighborhoods (e.g., from forests to lawns and ornamental plants) increase the distribution of phytoestrogens in surface waters. The result of frog sex ratios varying as a function of human land use implicates a role for environmental modulation of sexual differentiation in amphibians, which are assumed to only have genetic sex determination. Overall, we show that endocrine disruption is widespread in suburban frog populations and that the causes are likely diverse. PMID:26372955

  7. Anthropogenic and ecological drivers of amphibian disease (ranavirosis).

    PubMed

    North, Alexandra C; Hodgson, David J; Price, Stephen J; Griffiths, Amber G F

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26039741

  8. Interactions of Amphibians, Fish, and Macroinvertebrates in a Southeastern Wetland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultheis, R. D.; Batzer, D. P.

    2005-05-01

    In fishless habitats, amphibians often compete with and are predators of macroinvertebrates. Unlike fish, the effects these interactions have on macroinvertebrate communities have been largely unexplored. We conducted an experiment in a semi-permanent oxbow wetland in the Piedmont region of Georgia to explore interactions between amphibians and macroinvertebrates. The predator community was dominated by Ambystoma opacum (Marbled Salamander) and Notophthalmus viridescens (Eastern Newt). Salamanders and newts were excluded from areas of wetland habitat using wire mesh cages (1.5M x 1.5M, 3mm mesh). The macroinvertebrate communities within the cages were then compared to the ambient habitat outside the cages. Fish, mostly Lepomis macrochirus (Bluegill) and Gambusia affinis (Mosquito Fish), colonized the wetland late in the first year of the study, and became common by year two. Also in year two, Rana catesbeiana (Bullfrog) became established. Thus, we were able to explore the variable effects on the macroinvertebrate community of a changing predator complex over a two year period.

  9. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-07-01

    Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of /sup 3/H-thymidine. It was established that the source of replenishment of the retina by new cells is its terminal zone in all animals investigated. This is attested to by the gradual migration of labeled cells from the growth zone into differentiated layers of the retina. The most intensely labeled cells occupy a distal position relative to other labeled cells, therefore marking the boundary between the initial part of the retina, not containing labeled nuclei, and the part being augmented. For each species studied, a level of proliferative activity is characteristic for cells of the terminal zone, which decreases in the order axolotl-clawed frog-triton -ambystoma. In the axolotl and additional growth zone is noted in the retina, in addition to the terminal, which is located in the area of the unclosed section of the embryonic fissure. Results obtained serve as a basis for the regenerative potentials of eye tissues revealed previously in these amphibian species.

  10. Amphibian immune defenses against chytridiomycosis: impacts of changing environments.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    Eco-immunology is the field of study that attempts to understand the functions of the immune system in the context of the host's environment. Amphibians are currently suffering devastating declines and extinctions in nearly all parts of the world due to the emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Because chytridiomycosis is a skin infection and remains confined to the skin, immune defenses of the skin are critical for survival. Skin defenses include secreted antimicrobial peptides and immunoglobulins as well as antifungal metabolites produced by symbiotic skin bacteria. Low temperatures, toxic chemicals, and stress inhibit the immune system and may impair natural defenses against B. dendrobatidis. Tadpoles' mouth parts can be infected by B. dendrobatidis. Damage to the mouth parts can impair growth, and the affected tadpoles maintain the pathogen in the environment even when adults have dispersed. Newly metamorphosing frogs appear to be especially vulnerable to infection and to the lethal effects of this pathogen because the immune system undergoes a dramatic reorganization at metamorphosis, and postmetamorphic defenses are not yet mature. Here we review our current understanding of amphibian immune defenses against B. dendrobatidis and the ability of the pathogen to resist those defenses. We also briefly review what is known about the impacts of temperature, environmental chemicals, and stress on the host-pathogen interactions and suggest future directions for research. PMID:21816807

  11. Testing and comparison of non-opioid analgesics in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Stevens, C W; MacIver, D N; Newman, L C

    2001-07-01

    Because of the lack of information about effective analgesics in non-mammalian vertebrates, the potency of various non-opioid agents were tested in a model of analgesia by using Northern grass frogs (Rana pipiens). This alternative model has been used widely for investigating opioid analgesic action. Potential non-opioid analgesics tested included antipsychotic, benzodiazepine, barbiturate, antihistamine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID), and partial opioid agents. Northern grass frogs were acclimated to lab conditions in individual cages. Drugs were administered systemically through the dorsal lymph sac, and analgesic effects were estimated by using the acetic acid test (AAT). The AAT is done by placing logarithmic dilutions of acid dropwise on the dorsum of the animal's thigh until a wiping response is obtained. At various doses, chlorpromazine and haloperidol (antipsychotics), chlordiazepoxide (a benzodiazepine), buprenorphine (a partial opioid agonist), and diphenhydramine (a histamine antagonist) produced moderate to strong analgesic effects. Indomethacin and ketorolac (NSAIDs), butorphanol (a partial opioid agonist), and pentobarbital (a barbiturate) produced weaker but noticeable analgesic effects. Our results are the first to document the effectiveness of a wide array of pharmacologically active agents in a novel amphibian model for analgesia. These findings provide needed data regarding the use of alternative, non-opioid agents for the treatment of pain in amphibians and other poikilothermic species. PMID:11451391

  12. Evolution of climatic niche specialization: a phylogenetic analysis in amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25274369

  13. Vitamin A (Retinoid) Metabolism and Actions: What We Know and What We Need to Know About Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Clugston, Robin D.; Blaner, William S.

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin A status is an important consideration in the health of both wild and captive amphibians. Data concerning whole body vitamin A homeostasis in amphibians are scarce, although these animals have been used as experimental models to study the actions of vitamin A in vision, limb regeneration and embryogenesis. The available data suggest that many aspects of vitamin A biology in amphibians are similar to the canonical characteristics of vitamin A metabolism and actions established in mammals. This is consistent with the evolutionary conservation of these important biological processes. Amphibians must obtain vitamin A in their diet, with captive animals being prone to vitamin A deficiency. There is still much to be learned about vitamin A biology in amphibians that can only be achieved through rigorous scientific research. Improved understanding of amphibian vitamin A biology will aid the conservation of endangered amphibians in the wild, as well as the successful maintenance of ex situ populations. PMID:24958673

  14. Effect of road deicing salt on the susceptibility of amphibian embryos to infection by water molds.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:18976747

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-30

    Chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been recognized as a major driver of amphibian declines worldwide. Central and northern Asia remain as the greatest gap in the knowledge of the global distribution of Bd. In China, Bd has recently been recorded from south and central regions, but areas in the north remain poorly surveyed. In addition, a recent increase in amphibian farming and trade has put this region at high risk for Bd introduction. To investigate this, we collected a total of 1284 non-invasive skin swabs from wild and captive anurans and caudates, including free-ranging, farmed, ornamental, and museum-preserved amphibians. Bd was detected at low prevalence (1.1%, 12 of 1073) in live wild amphibians, representing the first report of Bd infecting anurans from remote areas of northwestern China. We were unable to obtain evidence of the historical presence of Bd from museum amphibians (n = 72). Alarmingly, Bd was not detected in wild amphibians from the provinces of northeastern China (>700 individuals tested), but was widely present (15.1%, 21 of 139) in amphibians traded in this region. We suggest that urgent implementation of measures is required to reduce the possibility of further spread or inadvertent introduction of Bd to China. It is unknown whether Bd in northern China belongs to endemic and/or exotic genotypes, and this should be the focus of future research. PMID:27025313

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23280343

  17. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  18. Atrazine Contamination in Water and the Impact on Amphibian Populations: A Bioassay That Measures Water Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, T. B.

    2001-12-01

    In recent laboratory studies, we showed that atrazine, a common herbicide, can inhibit metamorphosis, produce hermaphrodites, and inhibit male development in amphibians. In part, these effects are due to a decrease in androgen levels. These effects occur at ecologically relevant low doses (0.1 ppb), and the effective levels are below the current drinking level standard and below contaminant levels found even in rainfall in some areas. Thus, the impact of this widespread compound on free-ranging amphibians is a concern. We undertook a large-scale study to examine atrazine levels in a variety of habitats (temporary pools, rivers, lakes and ponds, and field runoff) across the US where atrazine is used and areas that report no atrazine use. Also, we collected amphibians at each site to examine them for developmental abnormalities. These ongoing studies will help determine the extent of atrazine contamination and its potential impact on amphibian populations. The concern for atrazine's impact is increased, because the mechanism through which the compound produces this effect (inhibition of androgen production) is commonly observed in fish, reptiles and mammals in addition to amphibians, although amphibians appear to sensitive at much lower doses. Thus, effects on amphibians may indicate a much broader impact.

  19. The amphibian skin-associated microbiome across species, space and life history stages.

    PubMed

    Kueneman, Jordan G; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Woodhams, Douglas C; Archer, Holly M; Knight, Rob; McKenzie, Valerie J

    2014-03-01

    Skin-associated bacteria of amphibians are increasingly recognized for their role in defence against pathogens, yet we have little understanding of their basic ecology. Here, we use high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing to examine the host and environmental influences on the skin microbiota of the cohabiting amphibian species Anaxyrus boreas, Pseudacris regilla, Taricha torosa and Lithobates catesbeianus from the Central Valley in California. We also studied populations of Rana cascadae over a large geographic range in the Klamath Mountain range of Northern California, and across developmental stages within a single site. Dominant bacterial phylotypes on amphibian skin included taxa from Bacteroidetes, Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, Sphingobacteria and Actinobacteria. Amphibian species identity was the strongest predictor of microbial community composition. Secondarily, within a given amphibian species, wetland site explained significant variation. Amphibian-associated microbiota differed systematically from microbial assemblages in their environments. Rana cascadae tadpoles have skin bacterial communities distinct from postmetamorphic conspecifics, indicating a strong developmental shift in the skin microbes following metamorphosis. Establishing patterns observed in the skin microbiota of wild amphibians and environmental factors that underlie them is necessary to understand skin symbiont community assembly, and ultimately, the role skin microbiota play in the extended host phenotype including disease resistance. PMID:24171949

  20. Methods for Evaluating Wetland Condition #12: Using Amphibians in Bioassessments of Wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Richter, K.O.; Calhoun, A.; Micacchion, M.

    2001-01-01

    Because amphibians have both aquatic and terrestrial life stages they can serve in a unique way among vertebrates as sources of information for bioassessments of both wetlands and surrounding habitats. Although there are many data gaps in our knowledge about the habitat requirements and ecology of many amphibian species, it is apparent that community composition, presence and frequency of abnormalities, various mensural characteristics (e.g. snout vent length divided by body weight) and laboratory diagnostics (e.g. cholinesterase activity, blood chemistry) can be used in developing metrics for an index of biotic integrity. In addition, potential metrics can be derived from the various life stages that most amphibians experience such as egg clusters; embryonic development and hatching rates; tadpole growth, development, and survival; progress and success of metamorphosis; and breeding behavior and presence of adults. It is important, however, to focus on regional biodiversity and species assemblages of amphibians in the development of metrics rather than to strive for broadscale application of common metrics. This report discusses the procedures of developing an index of biotic integrity based on amphibians, explains potential pitfalls in using amphibians in bioassessments, and demonstrates where more research is needed to enhance the use of amphibians in evaluating wetland conditions.

  1. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Walls, Susan C; Barichivich, William J; Brown, Mary E

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change-that of extreme variation in precipitation-may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall "pulses" are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity. PMID:24832668

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

    PubMed Central

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity. PMID:24832668

  3. Contrasting patterns of environmental fluctuation contribute to divergent life histories among amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Cayuela, Hugo; Arsovski, Dragan; Thirion, Jean-Marie; Bonnaire, Eric; Pichenot, Julian; Boitaud, Sylvain; Brison, Anne-Lisa; Miaud, Claude; Joly, Pierre; Besnard, Aurelien

    2016-04-01

    Because it modulates the fitness returns of possible options of energy expenditure at each ontogenetic stage, environmental stochasticity is usually considered a selective force in driving or constraining possible life histories. Divergent regimes of environmental fluctuation experienced by populations are expected to generate differences in the resource allocation schedule between survival and reproductive effort and outputs. To our knowledge, no study has previously examined how different regimes of stochastic variation in environmental conditions could result in changes in both the temporal variation and mean of demographic parameters, which could then lead to intraspecific variation along the slow-fast continuum of life history tactics. To investigate these issues, we used capture-recapture data collected on five populations of a long-lived amphibian (Bombina variegata) experiencing two distinct levels of stochastic environmental variation: (1) constant availability of breeding sites in space and time (predictable environment), and (2) variable spatio-temporal availability of breeding sites (unpredictable environment). We found that female breeding propensity varied more from year to year in unpredictable than in predictable environments. Although females in unpredictable environments produced on average more viable offspring per year, offspring production was more variable between years. Survival at each ontogenetic stage was slightly lower and varied significantly more from year to year in unpredictable environments. Taken together, these results confirm that increased environmental stochasticity can modify the resource allocation schedule between survival and reproductive effort and outputs and may lead to intraspecific variation along the slow-fast continuum of life history tactics. PMID:27220214

  4. Use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index as an Assessment Tool for Reptiles and Amphibians: Lessons Learned

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuberville, Tracey D.; Andrews, Kimberly M.; Sperry, Jinelle H.; Grosse, Andrew M.

    2015-10-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity globally, yet it can be challenging to predict which species may be most vulnerable. Given the scope of the problem, it is imperative to rapidly assess vulnerability and identify actions to decrease risk. Although a variety of tools have been developed to assess climate change vulnerability, few have been evaluated with regard to their suitability for certain taxonomic groups. Due to their ectothermic physiology, low vagility, and strong association with temporary wetlands, reptiles and amphibians may be particularly vulnerable relative to other groups. Here, we evaluate use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to assess a large suite of herpetofauna from the Sand Hills Ecoregion of the southeastern United States. Although data were frequently lacking for certain variables (e.g., phenological response to climate change, genetic variation), sufficient data were available to evaluate all 117 species. Sensitivity analyses indicated that results were highly dependent on size of assessment area and climate scenario selection. In addition, several ecological traits common in, but relatively unique to, herpetofauna are likely to contribute to their vulnerability and need special consideration during the scoring process. Despite some limitations, the NatureServe CCVI was a useful tool for screening large numbers of reptile and amphibian species. We provide general recommendations as to how the CCVI tool's application to herpetofauna can be improved through more specific guidance to the user regarding how to incorporate unique physiological and behavioral traits into scoring existing sensitivity factors and through modification to the assessment tool itself.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    DeGarady, C J; Halbrook, R S

    2003-11-01

    Contamination at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP), Paducah, Kentucky, has been under evaluation for many years. We studied amphibians in selected outfalls (drainage ditches) flowing from the PGDP to determine if PCBs were accumulating in their tissues and how this might affect local populations. We determined relative amphibian species richness and abundance among seven outfalls and three reference streams by listening to their calls during audio surveys. We also captured amphibians from each study site during the summers of 2000 and 2001 and analyzed their carcasses for PCBs (Aroclor 1260 and 34 congeners) and livers for ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity, a biomarker of PCBs and other organic contamination. Ten species were heard across study sites, and abundance and richness at outfalls were similar to those observed at reference sites. However, there were significant differences in abundance (p = 0.001) and richness (p = 0.048) of amphibians between continuously flowing and intermittent outfalls. There were no significant differences in PCB concentrations (p = 0.113) in amphibians captured from study sites, although Aroclor 1260 concentrations tended to be higher in amphibians collected from one outfall (outfall 12) on the east side of the plant (x = 1260 microg/kg) compared with all other study sites (x = 489 microg/kg). EROD activity measured in the liver was not indicative of Aroclor 1260 concentrations in amphibians at the PGDP, and EROD did not differ by study site, species, age class, or gender. PCB concentrations measured in amphibians at the PGDP were similar to concentrations measured at reference sites and did not appear to negatively affect individual amphibians or abundance and richness. PMID:14708669

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

    PubMed

    Arribas, Rosa; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Caut, Stephane; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Temporary ponds are highly variable systems where resource availability and community structure change extensively over time, and consequently the food web is highly dynamic. Amphibians play a critical role both as consumers and prey in aquatic communities and yet there is still little information on the trophic status of most amphibians. More importantly, little is known about the extent to which they can alter their trophic ecology in response to changing conditions. We experimentally investigated the effects of increased amphibian density, presence of intraguild competitors, and presence of native and invasive predators (either free or caged) on the trophic status of a Mediterranean amphibian guild, using stable isotopes. We observed variations in δ13C and δ15N isotopic values among amphibian species and treatments and differences in their food sources. Macrophytes were the most important food resource for spadefoot toad tadpoles (Pelobates cultripes) and relatively important for all anurans within the guild. High density and presence of P. cultripes tadpoles markedly reduced macrophyte biomass, forcing tadpoles to increase their feeding on detritus, algae and zooplankton, resulting in lower δ13C values. Native dytiscid predators only changed the isotopic signature of newts whereas invasive red swamp crayfish had an enormous impact on environmental conditions and greatly affected the isotopic values of amphibians. Crayfish forced tadpoles to increase detritus ingestion or other resources depleted in δ13C. We found that the opportunistic amphibian feeding was greatly conditioned by intra- and interspecific competition whereas non-consumptive predator effects were negligible. Determining the trophic plasticity of amphibians can help us understand natural and anthropogenic changes in aquatic ecosystems and assess amphibians' ability to adjust to different environmental conditions. PMID:26091281

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1981-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  10. Correlates of species richness in the largest Neotropical amphibian radiation

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Padial, J M; Castroviejo-Fisher, S; De La Riva, I; Vilà, C

    2011-01-01

    Although tropical environments are often considered biodiversity hotspots, it is precisely in such environments where least is known about the factors that drive species richness. Here, we use phylogenetic comparative analyses to study correlates of species richness for the largest Neotropical amphibian radiation: New World direct-developing frogs. Clade-age and species richness were nonsignficantly, negatively correlated, suggesting that clade age alone does not explain among-clade variation in species richness. A combination of ecological and morphological traits explained 65% of the variance in species richness. A more vascularized ventral skin, the ability to colonize high-altitude ranges, encompassing a large variety of vegetation types, correlated significantly with species richness, whereas larger body size was marginally correlated with species richness. Hence, whereas high-altitude ranges play a role in shaping clade diversity in the Neotropics, intrinsic factors, such as skin structures and possibly body size, might ultimately determine which clades are more speciose than others. PMID:21401771

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23647090

  12. Visual implant elastomer mark retention through metamorphosis in amphibian larvae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.

    2008-01-01

    Questions in population ecology require the study of marked animals, and marks are assumed to be permanent and not overlooked by observers. I evaluated retention through metamorphosis of visual implant elastomer marks in larval salamanders and frogs and assessed error in observer identification of these marks. I found 1) individual marks were not retained in larval wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), whereas only small marks were likely to be retained in larval salamanders (Eurycea bislineata), and 2) observers did not always correctly identify marked animals. Evaluating the assumptions of marking protocols is important in the design phase of a study so that correct inference can be made about the population processes of interest. This guidance should be generally useful to the design of mark?recapture studies, with particular application to studies of larval amphibians.

  13. Visual implant elastomer mark retention through metamorphosis in amphibian larvae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.

    2008-01-01

    Questions in population ecology require the study of marked animals, and marks are assumed to be permanent and not overlooked by observers. I evaluated retention through metamorphosis of visual implant elastomer marks in larval salamanders and frogs and assessed error in observer identification of these marks. I found 1) individual marks were not retained in larval wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), whereas only small marks were likely to be retained in larval salamanders (Eurycea bislineata), and 2) observers did not always correctly identify marked animals. Evaluating the assumptions of marking protocols is important in the design phase of a study so that correct inference can be made about the population processes of interest. This guidance should be generally useful to the design of mark-recapture studies, with particular application to studies of larval amphibians.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:9667999

  15. A hyperpolarization-activated ion current of amphibian oocytes.

    PubMed

    Ochoa-de la Paz, L D; Salazar-Soto, D B; Reyes, J P; Miledi, R; Martinez-Torres, A

    2013-08-01

    A comparative analysis of a hyperpolarization-activated ion current present in amphibian oocytes was performed using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique in Xenopus laevis, Xenopus tropicalis, and Ambystoma mexicanum. This current appears to be driven mainly by Cl(-) ions, is independent of Ca(2+), and is made evident by applying extremely negative voltage pulses; it shows a slow activating phase and little or no desensitization. The pharmacological profile of the current is complex. The different channel blocker used for Cl(-), K(+), Na(+) and Ca(2+) conductances, exhibited various degrees of inhibition depending of the species. The profiles illustrate the intricacy of the components that give rise to this current. During X. laevis oogenesis, the hyperpolarization-activated current is present at all stages of oocytes tested (II-VI), and the amplitude of the current increases from about 50 nA in stage I to more than 1 μA in stage VI; nevertheless, there was no apparent modification of the kinetics. Our results suggest that the hyperpolarization-activated current is present both in order Anura and Urodela oocytes. However, the electrophysiological and pharmacological characteristics are quite perplexing and seem to suggest a mixture of ionic conductances that includes the activation of both anionic and cationic channels, most probably transiently opened due to the extreme hyperpolarizion of the plasma membrane. As a possible mechanism for the generation of the current, a kinetic model which fits the data suggests the opening of pores in the plasma membrane whose ion selectivity is dependent on the extracellular Cl(-) concentration. The extreme voltage conditions could induce the opening of otherwise latent pores in plasma membrane proteins (i.e., carriers), resembling the ´slippage´ events already described for some carriers. These observations should be valuable for other groups trying to express cloned, voltage-dependent ion channels in oocytes of

  16. ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS POTENTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MALFORMATIONS IN NORTH AMERICAN ANURAN AMPHIBIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A number of species of anuran amphibians from different regions across North America have recently exhibited an increased occurrence of, predominantly, hind limb malformations. Research concerning factors potentially responsible for these malformations has focused extensively on ...

  17. Epizootiology of sixty-four amphibian morbidity and mortality events in the USA, 1996-2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.; Schrader, A.K.

    2002-01-01

    A total of 44 amphibian mortality events and 20 morbidity events were reviewed retrospectively. The most common cause of amphibian mortality events was infection by ranaviruses (Family: Iridoviridae). Ranavirus epizootics have abrupt onset and affect late-stage larvae and recent metamorphs. Mortality events due to ranavirus infections affected only widespread and abundant amphibian species, and there was a clear association with high population densities. Chytrid fungal infections accounted for seven mortality events in postmetamorphic anurans only. Chytrid epizootics are insidious and easily overlooked in the field. While both ranavirus and chytrid fungal epizootics were associated with >90% mortality rates at affected sites, only the chytrid fungal infections were linked to multiple amphibian population declines. Three primitive fungal organisms in the newly erected clade, Mesomycetozoa, caused morbidities and mortalities in anurans and salamanders.

  18. Epizootiology of sixty-four amphibian morbidity and mortality events in the USA, 1996-2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.; Schrader, Audra K.

    2002-01-01

    A total of 44 amphibian mortality events and 20 morbidity events were reviewed retrospectively. The most common cause of amphibian mortality events was infection by ranaviruses (Family: Iridoviridae). Ranavirus epizootics have abrupt onset and affect late-stage larvae and recent metamorphs. Mortality events due to ranavirus infections affected only widespread and abundant amphibian species, and there was a clear association with high population densities. Chytrid fungal infections accounted for seven mortality events in postmetamorphic anurans only. Chytrid epizootics are insidious and easily overlooked in the field. While both ranavirus and chytrid fungal epizootics were associated with > 90% mortality rates at affected sites, only the chytrid fungal infections were linked to multiple amphibian population declines. Three primitive fungal organisms in the newly erected clade, Mesomycetozoa, caused morbidities and mortalities in anurans and salamanders.

  19. Emerging infectious disease and the loss of biodiversity in a Neotropical amphibian community

    PubMed Central

    Lips, Karen R.; Brem, Forrest; Brenes, Roberto; Reeve, John D.; Alford, Ross A.; Voyles, Jamie; Carey, Cynthia; Livo, Lauren; Pessier, Allan P.; Collins, James P.

    2006-01-01

    Pathogens rarely cause extinctions of host species, and there are few examples of a pathogen changing species richness and diversity of an ecological community by causing local extinctions across a wide range of species. We report the link between the rapid appearance of a pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in an amphibian community at El Copé, Panama, and subsequent mass mortality and loss of amphibian biodiversity across eight families of frogs and salamanders. We describe an outbreak of chytridiomycosis in Panama and argue that this infectious disease has played an important role in amphibian population declines. The high virulence and large number of potential hosts of this emerging infectious disease threaten global amphibian diversity. PMID:16481617

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  1. PROBABILISTIC RISK ASSESSMENT FOR THE EFFECTS OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION ON AMPHIBIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Several studies have demonstrated that exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause elevated mortality and an increased prevalence of eye and limb malformations in developing amphibian larvae. From these observations scientists have hypothesized that recent increases in...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. The U.S. National Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative and the role of protected areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Russell James; Langtimm, Catherine A.

    2001-01-01

    In response to concerns about the worldwide status of amphibians (Alford and Richards 1999; Bury 1999; Daszak et al. 1999; Houlahan et al. 2000), Congress in Fiscal Year 2000 provided initial support to agencies of the U.S. Department of the Interior for research and monitoring of amphibians. Most funds came to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), but additional funds for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service (NPS) were provided for activities that directly or indirectly support the amphibian research and monitoring effort. The goal of the program is to provide timely and reliable information on the status of U.S. amphibians so that causes of declines can be understood and appropriate management responses initiated.

  4. Quantifying Amphibian Pesticide Body Burdens for Active Ingredients Versus Formulations Through Dermal Exposure

    EPA Science Inventory

    Widespread pesticide applications throughout agricultural landscapes pose a risk to post-metamorphic amphibians leaving or moving between breeding ponds in terrestrial habitats. Recent studies indicate that the inactive ingredients in pesticide formulations may be equally or more...

  5. Utilization of surface mine ponds in East Tennessee by breeding amphibians. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, L.J.; Fowler, D.K.

    1981-06-01

    Breeding amphibians were found in 21 of 24 ponds examined on the Ollis Creek Surface Mine in Campbell County, Tennessee. Twelve species of amphibians were identified in ponds that range from 4.0 to 8.0 in pH. Although ponds with low pH values were used by breeding amphibians, significantly more amphibian species were found in ponds with higher pH values. Findings indicated high biological productivity in the surface mine ponds examined. Aquatic vegetation was present in 20 of the 24 ponds. Aquatic insects and a diverse wildlife fauna utilized the study ponds. Surface mine ponds were found to supply an important habitat component for a variety of wildlife species.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  9. Hurricane storm surge and amphibian communities in coastal wetlands of northwestern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gunzburger, M.S.; Hughes, W.B.; Barichivich, W.J.; Staiger, J.S.

    2010-01-01

    Isolated wetlands in the Southeastern United States are dynamic habitats subject to fluctuating environmental conditions. Wetlands located near marine environments are subject to alterations in water chemistry due to storm surge during hurricanes. The objective of our study was to evaluate the effect of storm surge overwash on wetland amphibian communities. Thirty-two wetlands in northwestern Florida were sampled over a 45-month period to assess amphibian species richness and water chemistry. During this study, seven wetlands were overwashed by storm surge from Hurricane Dennis which made landfall 10 July 2005 in the Florida panhandle. This event allowed us to evaluate the effect of storm surge overwash on water chemistry and amphibian communities of the wetlands. Specific conductance across all wetlands was low pre-storm (<100 ??S/cm), but increased post-storm at the overwashed wetlands (x?? = 7,613 ??S/cm). Increased specific conductance was strongly correlated with increases in chloride concentrations. Amphibian species richness showed no correlation with specific conductance. One month post-storm we observed slightly fewer species in overwashed compared with non-overwashed wetlands, but this trend did not continue in 2006. More species were detected across all wetlands pre-storm, but there was no difference between overwashed and non-overwashed wetlands when considering all amphibian species or adult anurans and larval anurans separately. Amphibian species richness did not appear to be correlated with pH or presence of fish although the amphibian community composition differed between wetlands with and without fish. Our results suggest that amphibian communities in wetlands in the southeastern United States adjacent to marine habitats are resistant to the effects of storm surge overwash. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    The main goals of this study were to compare the richness of parasitic trematodes in amphibians with diverse habits (terrestrial, fossorial, semi-aquatic and arboreal), and to evaluate whether the composition of the trematode community is determined by ecological relationships. Specimens were collected between April 2001 and December 2006 from a common area (30 ha) in Corrientes Province, Argentina. Trematodes of amphibians in this area comprised a total of 19 species, and were dominated by common species. Larval trematodes presented highest species richness, with the metacercaria of Bursotrema tetracotyloides being dominant in the majority (7/9, 78%) of the parasite communities. Adults of the trematode Catadiscus inopinatus were dominant in the majority (6/9, 67%) of amphibians. The amphibians Leptodactylus latinasus, Leptodactylus bufonius and Scinax nasicus presented a high diversity of trematodes, whereas Leptodactylus chaquensis had the lowest diversity even though it presented with the highest species richness. The patterns of similarity among amphibian species showed groups linking with their habitats. Leptodactilid amphibians, with a generalist diet and an active foraging strategy showed highest infection rates with adult trematodes. The mean richness of trematode species related to host's habitat preferences was higher in semi-aquatic amphibians. Results suggest that semi-aquatic amphibians, present in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, present a greater diversity of parasites as they have a higher rate of exposure to a wider range of prey species and, hence, to diverse infective states. The trematode composition is related to the diets and mobility of the host, and habitat. PMID:22874101

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Arribas, Rosa; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Caut, Stephane; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Temporary ponds are highly variable systems where resource availability and community structure change extensively over time, and consequently the food web is highly dynamic. Amphibians play a critical role both as consumers and prey in aquatic communities and yet there is still little information on the trophic status of most amphibians. More importantly, little is known about the extent to which they can alter their trophic ecology in response to changing conditions. We experimentally investigated the effects of increased amphibian density, presence of intraguild competitors, and presence of native and invasive predators (either free or caged) on the trophic status of a Mediterranean amphibian guild, using stable isotopes. We observed variations in δ13C and δ15N isotopic values among amphibian species and treatments and differences in their food sources. Macrophytes were the most important food resource for spadefoot toad tadpoles (Pelobates cultripes) and relatively important for all anurans within the guild. High density and presence of P. cultripes tadpoles markedly reduced macrophyte biomass, forcing tadpoles to increase their feeding on detritus, algae and zooplankton, resulting in lower δ13C values. Native dytiscid predators only changed the isotopic signature of newts whereas invasive red swamp crayfish had an enormous impact on environmental conditions and greatly affected the isotopic values of amphibians. Crayfish forced tadpoles to increase detritus ingestion or other resources depleted in δ13C. We found that the opportunistic amphibian feeding was greatly conditioned by intra- and interspecific competition whereas non-consumptive predator effects were negligible. Determining the trophic plasticity of amphibians can help us understand natural and anthropogenic changes in aquatic ecosystems and assess amphibians’ ability to adjust to different environmental conditions. PMID:26091281

  13. Evaluation of seven aquatic sampling methods for amphibians and other aquatic fauna

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gunzburger, M.S.

    2007-01-01

    To design effective and efficient research and monitoring programs researchers must have a thorough understanding of the capabilities and limitations of their sampling methods. Few direct comparative studies exist for aquatic sampling methods for amphibians. The objective of this study was to simultaneously employ seven aquatic sampling methods in 10 wetlands to compare amphibian species richness and number of individuals detected with each method. Four sampling methods allowed counts of individuals (metal dipnet, D-frame dipnet, box trap, crayfish trap), whereas the other three methods allowed detection of species (visual encounter, aural, and froglogger). Amphibian species richness was greatest with froglogger, box trap, and aural samples. For anuran species, the sampling methods by which each life stage was detected was related to relative length of larval and breeding periods and tadpole size. Detection probability of amphibians varied across sampling methods. Box trap sampling resulted in the most precise amphibian count, but the precision of all four count-based methods was low (coefficient of variation > 145 for all methods). The efficacy of the four count sampling methods at sampling fish and aquatic invertebrates was also analyzed because these predatory taxa are known to be important predictors of amphibian habitat distribution. Species richness and counts were similar for fish with the four methods, whereas invertebrate species richness and counts were greatest in box traps. An effective wetland amphibian monitoring program in the southeastern United States should include multiple sampling methods to obtain the most accurate assessment of species community composition at each site. The combined use of frogloggers, crayfish traps, and dipnets may be the most efficient and effective amphibian monitoring protocol. ?? 2007 Brill Academic Publishers.

  14. Behavioral and physiological female responses to male sex ratio bias in a pond-breeding amphibian

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction The phenomenon of sexual conflict has been well documented, and in populations with biased operational sex ratios the consequences for the rarer sex can be severe. Females are typically a limited resource and males often evolve aggressive mating behaviors, which can improve individual fitness for the male while negatively impacting female condition and fitness. In response, females can adjust their behavior to minimize exposure to aggressive mating tactics or minimize the costs of mating harassment. While male-male competition is common in amphibian mating systems, little is known about the consequences or responses of females. The red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is a common pond-breeding amphibian with a complex, well-studied mating system where males aggressively court females. Breeding populations across much of its range have male-biased sex ratios and we predicted that female newts would have behavioral mechanisms to mitigate mating pressure from males. We conducted four experiments examining the costs and behavioral responses of female N. viridescens exposed to a male-biased environment. Results In field enclosures, we found that female newts exposed to a male-biased environment during the five-month breeding season ended with lower body condition compared to those in a female-biased environment. Shorter-term exposure to a male-biased environment for five weeks caused a decrease in circulating total leukocyte and lymphocyte abundance in blood, which suggests females experienced physiological stress. In behavioral experiments, we found that females were more agitated in the presence of male chemical cues and females in a male-biased environment spent more time in refuge than those in a female-biased environment. Conclusions Our results indicate that male-biased conditions can incur costs to females of decreased condition and potentially increased risk of infection. However, we found that females can also alter their behavior and

  15. Movement and survival of an amphibian in relation to sediment and culvert design

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Honeycutt, R.K; Lowe, W.H.; Hossack, Blake R.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat disturbance from stream culverts can affect aquatic organisms by increasing sedimentation or forming barriers to movement. Land managers are replacing many culverts to reduce these negative effects, primarily for stream fishes. However, these management actions are likely to have broad implications for many organisms, including amphibians in small streams. To assess the effects of culverts on movement and survival of the Idaho giant salamander (Dicamptodon aterrimus), we used capture-mark-recapture surveys and measured sediment in streams with 2 culvert types (i.e., unimproved culverts, improved culverts) and in streams without culverts (i.e., reference streams). We predicted culverts would increase stream sediment levels, limit movement, and reduce survival of Idaho giant salamanders. We also determined the effect of sediment levels on survival of salamanders because although sediment is often associated with distribution and abundance of stream amphibians, links with vital rates remain unclear. To estimate survival, we used a spatial Cormack–Jolly–Seber (CJS) model that explicitly incorporated information on movement, eliminating bias in apparent survival estimated from traditional (i.e., non-spatial) CJS models caused by permanent emigration beyond the study area. To demonstrate the importance of using spatial data in studies of wildlife populations, we compared estimates from the spatial CJS to estimates of apparent survival from a traditional CJS model. Although high levels of sediment reduced survival of salamanders, culvert type was unrelated to sediment levels or true survival of salamanders. Across all streams, we documented only 15 movement events between study reaches. All movement events were downstream, and they occurred disproportionately in 1 stream, which precluded measuring the effect of culvert design on movement. Although movement was low overall, the variance among streams was high enough to bias estimates of apparent survival

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Maiorano, Luigi

    2016-07-01

    Climate change is determining a generalized phenological advancement, and amphibians are among the taxa showing the strongest phenological responsiveness to warming temperatures. Amphibians are strongly influenced by climate change, but we do not have a clear picture of how climate influences important parameters of amphibian populations, such as abundance, survival, breeding success and morphology. Furthermore, the relative impact of temperature and precipitation change remains underappreciated. We used Bayesian meta-analysis and meta-regression to quantify the impact of temperature and precipitation change on amphibian phenology, abundance, individual features and performance. We obtained effect sizes from studies performed in five continents. Temperature increase was the major driver of phenological advancement, while the impact of precipitation on phenology was weak. Conversely, population dynamics was mostly determined by precipitation: negative trends were associated with drying regimes. The impact of precipitation on abundance was particularly strong in tropical areas, while the importance of temperature was feeble. Both temperature and precipitation influenced parameters representing breeding performance, morphology, developmental rate and survival, but the response was highly heterogeneous among species. For instance, warming temperature increased body size in some species, and decreased size in others. Similarly, rainy periods increased survival of some species and reduced the survival of others. Our study showed contrasting impacts of temperature and precipitation changes on amphibian populations. Both climatic parameters strongly influenced amphibian performance, but temperature was the major determinant of the phenological changes, while precipitation had the major role on population dynamics, with alarming declines associated with drying trends. PMID:27008454

  18. Amphibian chemical defense: antifungal metabolites of the microsymbiont Janthinobacterium lividum on the salamander Plethodon cinereus.

    PubMed

    Brucker, Robert M; Harris, Reid N; Schwantes, Christian R; Gallaher, Thomas N; Flaherty, Devon C; Lam, Brianna A; Minbiole, Kevin P C

    2008-11-01

    Disease has spurred declines in global amphibian populations. In particular, the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has decimated amphibian diversity in some areas unaffected by habitat loss. However, there is little evidence to explain how some amphibian species persist despite infection or even clear the pathogen beyond detection. One hypothesis is that certain bacterial symbionts on the skin of amphibians inhibit the growth of the pathogen. An antifungal strain of Janthinobacterium lividum, isolated from the skin of the red-backed salamander Plethodon cinereus, produces antifungal metabolites at concentrations lethal to B. dendrobatidis. Antifungal metabolites were identified by using reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography, high resolution mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and UV-Vis spectroscopy and tested for efficacy of inhibiting the pathogen. Two metabolites, indole-3-carboxaldehyde and violacein, inhibited the pathogen's growth at relatively low concentrations (68.9 and 1.82 microM, respectively). Analysis of fresh salamander skin confirmed the presence of J. lividum and its metabolites on the skin of host salamanders in concentrations high enough to hinder or kill the pathogen (51 and 207 microM, respectively). These results support the hypothesis that cutaneous, mutualistic bacteria play a role in amphibian resistance to fungal disease. Exploitation of this biological process may provide long-term resistance to B. dendrobatidis for vulnerable amphibians and serve as a model for managing future emerging diseases in wildlife populations. PMID:18949519

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-22

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause precipitous population declines in its amphibian hosts. Responses of individuals to infection vary greatly with the capacity of their immune system to respond to the pathogen. We used a combination of comparative and experimental approaches to identify major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) alleles encoding molecules that foster the survival of Bd-infected amphibians. We found that Bd-resistant amphibians across four continents share common amino acids in three binding pockets of the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Moreover, strong signals of selection acting on these specific sites were evident among all species co-existing with the pathogen. In the laboratory, we experimentally inoculated Australian tree frogs with Bd to test how each binding pocket conformation influences disease resistance. Only the conformation of MHC-II pocket 9 of surviving subjects matched those of Bd-resistant species. This MHC-II conformation thus may determine amphibian resistance to Bd, although other MHC-II binding pockets also may contribute to resistance. Rescuing amphibian biodiversity will depend on our understanding of amphibian immune defence mechanisms against Bd. The identification of adaptive genetic markers for Bd resistance represents an important step forward towards that goal. PMID:25808889

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-10

    Emerging fungal pathogens pose a greater threat to biodiversity than any other parasitic group, causing declines of many taxa, including bats, corals, bees, snakes and amphibians. Currently, there is little evidence that wild animals can acquire resistance to these pathogens. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a pathogenic fungus implicated in the recent global decline of amphibians. Here we demonstrate that three species of amphibians can acquire behavioural or immunological resistance to B. dendrobatidis. Frogs learned to avoid the fungus after just one B. dendrobatidis exposure and temperature-induced clearance. In subsequent experiments in which B. dendrobatidis avoidance was prevented, the number of previous exposures was a negative predictor of B. dendrobatidis burden on frogs and B. dendrobatidis-induced mortality, and was a positive predictor of lymphocyte abundance and proliferation. These results suggest that amphibians can acquire immunity to B. dendrobatidis that overcomes pathogen-induced immunosuppression and increases their survival. Importantly, exposure to dead fungus induced a similar magnitude of acquired resistance as exposure to live fungus. Exposure of frogs to B. dendrobatidis antigens might offer a practical way to protect pathogen-naive amphibians and facilitate the reintroduction of amphibians to locations in the wild where B. dendrobatidis persists. Moreover, given the conserved nature of vertebrate immune responses to fungi and the fact that many animals are capable of learning to avoid natural enemies, these results offer hope that other wild animal taxa threatened by invasive fungi might be rescued by management approaches based on herd immunity. PMID:25008531

  1. Terrestrial Dispersal and Potential Environmental Transmission of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Ramirez, Sara D; Berger, Lee; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Jocque, Merlijn; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal and exposure to amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is not confined to the aquatic habitat, but little is known about pathways that facilitate exposure to wild terrestrial amphibians that do not typically enter bodies of water. We explored the possible spread of Bd from an aquatic reservoir to terrestrial substrates by the emergence of recently metamorphosed infected amphibians and potential deposition of Bd-positive residue on riparian vegetation in Cusuco National Park, Honduras (CNP). Amphibians and their respective leaf perches were both sampled for Bd presence and the pathogen was detected on 76.1% (35/46) of leaves where a Bd-positive frog had rested. Although the viability of Bd detected on these leaves cannot be discerned from our quantitative PCR results, the cool air temperature, closed canopy, and high humidity of this cloud forest environment in CNP is expected to encourage pathogen persistence. High prevalence of infection (88.5%) detected in the recently metamorphosed amphibians and frequent shedding of Bd-positive residue on foliage demonstrates a pathway of Bd dispersal between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. This pathway provides the opportunity for environmental transmission of Bd among and between amphibian species without direct physical contact or exposure to an aquatic habitat. PMID:25927835

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-28

    Pathogenic fungi and viruses cause mortality outbreaks in wild amphibians worldwide. In the summer of 2012, dead tadpoles and adults of the European common frog Rana temporaria were reported in alpine lakes in the southwestern Alps (Mercantour National Park, France). A preliminary investigation using molecular diagnostic techniques identified a Ranavirus as the potential pathogenic agent. Three mortality events were recorded in the park, and samples were collected. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was not detected in any of the dead adult and juvenile frogs sampled (n=16) whereas all specimens were positive for a Ranavirus. The genome sequence of this Ranavirus was identical to previously published sequences of the common midwife toad virus (CMTV), a Ranavirus that has been associated with amphibian mortalities throughout Europe. We cultured virus from the organs of the dead common frogs and infecting adult male common frogs collected in another alpine region where no frog mortality had been observed. The experimentally infected frogs suffered 100% mortality (n=10). The alpine die-off is the first CMTV outbreak associated with mass mortality in wild amphibians in France. We describe the lesions observed and summarize amphibian populations affected by Ranaviruses in Europe. In addition, we discuss the ecologic specificities of mountain amphibians that may contribute to increasing their risk of exposure to and transmission of Ranaviruses. PMID:26967128

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Terrestrial Dispersal and Potential Environmental Transmission of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)

    PubMed Central

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Ramirez, Sara D.; Berger, Lee; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L.; Jocque, Merlijn; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal and exposure to amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is not confined to the aquatic habitat, but little is known about pathways that facilitate exposure to wild terrestrial amphibians that do not typically enter bodies of water. We explored the possible spread of Bd from an aquatic reservoir to terrestrial substrates by the emergence of recently metamorphosed infected amphibians and potential deposition of Bd-positive residue on riparian vegetation in Cusuco National Park, Honduras (CNP). Amphibians and their respective leaf perches were both sampled for Bd presence and the pathogen was detected on 76.1% (35/46) of leaves where a Bd-positive frog had rested. Although the viability of Bd detected on these leaves cannot be discerned from our quantitative PCR results, the cool air temperature, closed canopy, and high humidity of this cloud forest environment in CNP is expected to encourage pathogen persistence. High prevalence of infection (88.5%) detected in the recently metamorphosed amphibians and frequent shedding of Bd-positive residue on foliage demonstrates a pathway of Bd dispersal between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. This pathway provides the opportunity for environmental transmission of Bd among and between amphibian species without direct physical contact or exposure to an aquatic habitat. PMID:25927835

  5. Detection probabilities and site occupancy estimates for amphibians at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, L.L.; Barichivich, W.J.; Staiger, J.S.; Smith, Kimberly G.; Dodd, C.K., Jr.

    2006-01-01

    We conducted an amphibian inventory at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge from August 2000 to June 2002 as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior's national Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative. Nineteen species of amphibians (15 anurans and 4 caudates) were documented within the Refuge, including one protected species, the Gopher Frog Rana capito. We also collected 1 y of monitoring data for amphibian populations and incorporated the results into the inventory. Detection probabilities and site occupancy estimates for four species, the Pinewoods Treefrog (Hyla femoralis), Pig Frog (Rana grylio), Southern Leopard Frog (R. sphenocephala) and Carpenter Frog (R. virgatipes) are presented here. Detection probabilities observed in this study indicate that spring and summer surveys offer the best opportunity to detect these species in the Refuge. Results of the inventory suggest that substantial changes may have occurred in the amphibian fauna within and adjacent to the swamp. However, monitoring the amphibian community of Okefenokee Swamp will prove difficult because of the logistical challenges associated with a rigorous statistical assessment of status and trends.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause precipitous population declines in its amphibian hosts. Responses of individuals to infection vary greatly with the capacity of their immune system to respond to the pathogen. We used a combination of comparative and experimental approaches to identify major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) alleles encoding molecules that foster the survival of Bd-infected amphibians. We found that Bd-resistant amphibians across four continents share common amino acids in three binding pockets of the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Moreover, strong signals of selection acting on these specific sites were evident among all species co-existing with the pathogen. In the laboratory, we experimentally inoculated Australian tree frogs with Bd to test how each binding pocket conformation influences disease resistance. Only the conformation of MHC-II pocket 9 of surviving subjects matched those of Bd-resistant species. This MHC-II conformation thus may determine amphibian resistance to Bd, although other MHC-II binding pockets also may contribute to resistance. Rescuing amphibian biodiversity will depend on our understanding of amphibian immune defence mechanisms against Bd. The identification of adaptive genetic markers for Bd resistance represents an important step forward towards that goal. PMID:25808889

  7. Amphibians with infectious disease increase their reproductive effort: evidence for the terminal investment hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Brannelly, Laura A.; Webb, Rebecca; Skerratt, Lee F.; Berger, Lee

    2016-01-01

    Mounting an immune response to fight disease is costly for an organism and can reduce investment in another life-history trait, such as reproduction. The terminal investment hypothesis predicts that an organism will increase reproductive effort when threatened by disease. The reproductive fitness of amphibians infected with the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is largely unknown. In this study, we explored gametogenesis in two endangered and susceptible frog species, Pseudophryne corroboree and Litoria verreauxii alpina. Gametogenesis, both oogenesis and spermatogenesis, increased when animals were experimentally infected with Bd. In P. corroboree, infected males have thicker germinal epithelium, and a larger proportion of spermatocytes. In L. v. alpina, infected males had more spermatic cell bundles in total, and a larger proportion of spermatozoa bundles. In female L. v. alpina, ovaries and oviducts were larger in infected animals, and there were more cells present within the ovaries. Terminal investment has consequences for the evolution of disease resistance in declining species. If infected animals are increasing reproductive efforts and producing more offspring before succumbing to disease, it is possible that population-level selection for disease resistance will be minimized. PMID:27358291

  8. Amphibians with infectious disease increase their reproductive effort: evidence for the terminal investment hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Brannelly, Laura A; Webb, Rebecca; Skerratt, Lee F; Berger, Lee

    2016-06-01

    Mounting an immune response to fight disease is costly for an organism and can reduce investment in another life-history trait, such as reproduction. The terminal investment hypothesis predicts that an organism will increase reproductive effort when threatened by disease. The reproductive fitness of amphibians infected with the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is largely unknown. In this study, we explored gametogenesis in two endangered and susceptible frog species, Pseudophryne corroboree and Litoria verreauxii alpina. Gametogenesis, both oogenesis and spermatogenesis, increased when animals were experimentally infected with Bd In P. corroboree, infected males have thicker germinal epithelium, and a larger proportion of spermatocytes. In L. v. alpina, infected males had more spermatic cell bundles in total, and a larger proportion of spermatozoa bundles. In female L. v. alpina, ovaries and oviducts were larger in infected animals, and there were more cells present within the ovaries. Terminal investment has consequences for the evolution of disease resistance in declining species. If infected animals are increasing reproductive efforts and producing more offspring before succumbing to disease, it is possible that population-level selection for disease resistance will be minimized. PMID:27358291

  9. Influence of fossoriality on inner ear morphology: insights from caecilian amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Maddin, Hillary C; Sherratt, Emma

    2014-01-01

    It is widely accepted that a relationship exists between inner ear morphology and functional aspects of an animal's biology, such as locomotor behaviour. Animals that engage in agile and spatially complex behaviours possess semicircular canals that morphologically maximise sensitivity to correspondingly complex physical stimuli. Stemming from the prediction that fossorial tetrapods require a well-developed sense of spatial awareness, we investigate the hypothesis that fossoriality leads to inner ear morphology that is convergent with other spatially adept tetrapods. We apply morphometrics to otic capsule endocasts of 26 caecilian species to quantify aspects of inner ear shape, and compare these with a sample of frog and salamander species. Our results reveal caecilians (and also frogs) possess strongly curved canals, a feature in common with spatially adept species. However, significantly shorter canals in caecilians suggest reduced sensitivity, possibly associated with reduced reliance on vestibulo-ocular reflexes in this group of visually degenerate tetrapods. An elaboration of the sacculus of caecilians is interpreted as a unique adaptation among amphibians to increase sensitivity to substrate-borne vibrations transmitted through the head. This study represents the first quantitative analyses of inner ear morphology of limbless fossorial tetrapods, and identifies features within a new behavioural context that will contribute to our understanding of the biological consequences of physical stimuli on sensory function and associated morphological evolution. PMID:24762299

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

    PubMed

    Zhou, Haiming; Hanson, Timothy; Knapp, Roland

    2015-12-01

    The global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused the extinction of hundreds of amphibian species worldwide. It has become increasingly important to be able to precisely predict time to Bd arrival in a population. The data analyzed herein present a unique challenge in terms of modeling because there is a strong spatial component to Bd arrival time and the traditional proportional hazards assumption is grossly violated. To address these concerns, we develop a novel marginal Bayesian nonparametric survival model for spatially correlated right-censored data. This class of models assumes that the logarithm of survival times marginally follow a mixture of normal densities with a linear-dependent Dirichlet process prior as the random mixing measure, and their joint distribution is induced by a Gaussian copula model with a spatial correlation structure. To invert high-dimensional spatial correlation matrices, we adopt a full-scale approximation that can capture both large- and small-scale spatial dependence. An efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm with delayed rejection is proposed for posterior computation, and an R package spBayesSurv is provided to fit the model. This approach is first evaluated through simulations, then applied to threatened frog populations in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. PMID:26148536

  11. Influence of fossoriality on inner ear morphology: insights from caecilian amphibians.

    PubMed

    Maddin, Hillary C; Sherratt, Emma

    2014-07-01

    It is widely accepted that a relationship exists between inner ear morphology and functional aspects of an animal's biology, such as locomotor behaviour. Animals that engage in agile and spatially complex behaviours possess semicircular canals that morphologically maximise sensitivity to correspondingly complex physical stimuli. Stemming from the prediction that fossorial tetrapods require a well-developed sense of spatial awareness, we investigate the hypothesis that fossoriality leads to inner ear morphology that is convergent with other spatially adept tetrapods. We apply morphometrics to otic capsule endocasts of 26 caecilian species to quantify aspects of inner ear shape, and compare these with a sample of frog and salamander species. Our results reveal caecilians (and also frogs) possess strongly curved canals, a feature in common with spatially adept species. However, significantly shorter canals in caecilians suggest reduced sensitivity, possibly associated with reduced reliance on vestibulo-ocular reflexes in this group of visually degenerate tetrapods. An elaboration of the sacculus of caecilians is interpreted as a unique adaptation among amphibians to increase sensitivity to substrate-borne vibrations transmitted through the head. This study represents the first quantitative analyses of inner ear morphology of limbless fossorial tetrapods, and identifies features within a new behavioural context that will contribute to our understanding of the biological consequences of physical stimuli on sensory function and associated morphological evolution. PMID:24762299

  12. Infectious disease and worldwide declines of amphibian populations, with comments on emerging diseases in coral reef organisms and in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Carey, C

    2000-01-01

    Many populations of amphibians are declining on all six continents on which they occur. Some causes of amphibian declines, such as habitat destruction, direct application of xenobiotics, and introduction of predators or competitors, are clearly attributable to human activities. Infectious disease appears to be the direct cause of mass amphibian die-offs in relatively undisturbed areas of the world where anthropomorphic environmental disruption is minimal. In these cases, it is not yet clear whether these epizootics result from the natural evolution of new pathogens or from environmental changes that promote the emergence of pathogenic forms and/or that weaken the immune defenses of amphibians. Because some aspects of pathogen-related amphibian mass mortalities are similar to outbreaks of new diseases in humans and coral reef organisms, amphibian declines may be part of a much larger pattern than previously appreciated. PMID:10698730

  13. Screening chemicals for thyroid-disrupting activity: A critical comparison of mammalian and amphibian models.

    PubMed

    Pickford, Daniel B

    2010-11-01

    In order to minimize risks to human and environmental health, chemical safety assessment programs are being reinforced with toxicity tests more specifically designed for detecting endocrine disrupters. This includes the necessity to detect thyroid-disrupting chemicals, which may operate through a variety of modes of action, and have potential to impair neurological development in humans, with resulting deficits of individual and social potential. Mindful of these concerns, the consensus favors in vivo models for both hazard characterization (testing) and hazard identification (screening) steps, in order to minimize false negatives. Owing to its obligate dependence on thyroid hormones, it has been proposed that amphibian metamorphosis be used as a generalized vertebrate model for thyroid function in screening batteries for detection of thyroid disrupters. However, it seems unlikely that such an assay would ever fully replace in vivo mammalian assays currently being validated for human health risk assessment: in its current form the amphibian metamorphosis screening assay would not provide capacity for reliably detecting other modes of endocrine-disrupting activity. Conversely, several candidate mammalian screening assays appear to offer robust capacity to detect a variety of modes of endocrine-disrupting activity, including thyroid activity. To assess whether omission of an amphibian metamorphosis assay from an in vivo screening battery would generate false negatives, the response of amphibian and mammalian assays to a variety known thyroid disrupters, as reported in peer-reviewed literature or government agency reports, was critically reviewed. Of the chemicals investigated from the literature selected (41), more had been tested in mammalian studies with thyroid-relevant endpoints (32) than in amphibian assays with appropriate windows of exposure and developmental endpoints (27). One chemical (methoxychlor) was reported to exhibit thyroid activity in an appropriate

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22957147

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Global amphibian declines are one of the biggest challenges currently facing the conservation community, and captive breeding is one way to address this crisis. Using information from the International Species Information System zoo network, we examined trends in global zoo amphibian holdings across species, zoo region, and species geographical region of origin from 1994 to 2014. These trends were compared before and after the 2004 Global Amphibian Assessment to assess whether any changes occurred and whether zoo amphibian conservation effort had increased. The numbers of globally threatened species (GTS) and their proportional representation in global zoo holdings increased and this rate of increase was significantly greater after 2004. North American, European, and Oceanian GTS were best represented in zoos globally, and proportions of Oceanian GTS held increased the most since 2004. South American and Asian GTS had the lowest proportional representation in zoos. At a regional zoo level, European zoos held the lowest proportions of GTS, and this proportion did not increase after 2004. Since 1994, the number of species held in viable populations has increased, and these species are distributed among more institutions. However, as of 2014, zoos held 6.2% of globally threatened amphibians, a much smaller figure than for other vertebrate groups and one that falls considerably short of the number of species for which ex situ management may be desirable. Although the increased effort zoos have put into amphibian conservation over the past 20 years is encouraging, more focus is needed on ex situ conservation priority species. This includes building expertise and capacity in countries that hold them and tracking existing conservation efforts if the evidence-based approach to amphibian conservation planning at a global level is to be further developed. PMID:26219401

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-28

    Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been hypothesised to be an indigenous parasite of African amphibians. In Cameroon, however, previous surveys in one region (in the northwest) failed to detect this pathogen, despite the earliest African Bd having been recorded from a frog in eastern Cameroon, plus one recent record in the far southeast. To reconcile these contrasting results, we present survey data from 12 localities across 6 regions of Cameroon from anurans (n = 1052) and caecilians (n = 85) of ca. 108 species. Bd was detected in 124 amphibian hosts at 7 localities, including Mt. Oku, Mt. Cameroon, Mt. Manengouba and lowland localities in the centre and west of the country. None of the hosts were observed dead or dying. Infected amphibian hosts were not detected in other localities in the south and eastern rainforest belt. Infection occurred in both anurans and caecilians, making this the first reported case of infection in the latter order (Gymnophiona) of amphibians. There was no significant difference between prevalence and infection intensity in frogs and caecilians. We highlight the importance of taking into account the inhibition of diagnostic qPCR in studies on Bd, based on all Bd-positive hosts being undetected when screened without bovine serum albumin in the qPCR mix. The status of Bd as an indigenous, cosmopolitan amphibian parasite in Africa, including Cameroon, is supported by this work. Isolating and sequencing strains of Bd from Cameroon should now be a priority. Longitudinal host population monitoring will be required to determine the effects, if any, of the infection on amphibians in Cameroon. PMID:23446968

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20464342

  18. Evidence of disease-related amphibian decline in Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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).

  20. Mode of action of anticancer peptides (ACPs) from amphibian origin.

    PubMed

    Oelkrug, Christopher; Hartke, Martin; Schubert, Andreas

    2015-02-01

    Although cancer belongs to one of the leading causes of death around the world, fortunately studies have shown that tumor cells have various targets that are susceptible to attack. Interestingly, tumor cells are comprised of cellular membranes, which are altered in chemical composition relative to non-neoplastic cells, giving them an increased net negative charge. These altered membranes are ideal targets for antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) shown to have additional tumoricidal properties and, hence, named anticancer peptides (ACPs). Several hundred ACPs have been explored in vitro and in vivo on various types of cancer. Novel anticancer agents are supposed not to cause serious side effects and the formation of multidrug-resistant tumor cells. During the quest for potent ACPs, promising candidates were isolated from skin secretions of amphibians, such as the granular glands of the Chinese brown frog, Rana chensinensis. ACPs have to be selective to cancer cells and should not induce strong immune responses or be cleared from the body rapidly. Several modifications can improve ACPs either by optimizing the primary structure rationally or randomly or even by introducing other chemical modifications. PMID:25667440

  1. Innervation of amphibian reproductive system. Histological and ultrastructural studies.

    PubMed

    Cisint, Susana; Crespo, Claudia A; Medina, Marcela F; Iruzubieta Villagra, Lucrecia; Fernández, Silvia N; Ramos, Inés

    2014-10-01

    In the present study we describe for the first time in anuran amphibians the histological and ultrastructural characteristics of innervation in the female reproductive organs. The observations in Rhinella arenarum revealed the presence of nerve fibers located predominantly in the ovarian hilium and in the oviduct wall. In both organs the nerves fibers are placed near blood vessels and smooth muscles fibers. In the present study the histological observations were confirmed using antibodies against peripherin and neurofilament 200 proteins. Ultrastructural analyses demonstrated that the innervation of the reproductive organs is constituted by unmyelinated nerve fibers surrounded by Schwann cells. Axon terminals contain a population of small, clear, translucent vesicles that coexist with a few dense cored vesicles. The ultrastructural characteristics together with the immunopositive reaction to tyrosine hydroxylase of the nerve fibers and the type of synaptic vesicles present in the axon terminal would indicate that the reproductive organs of R. arenarum females are innervated by the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. PMID:24882461

  2. Morphometric relationships of take-off speed in anuran amphibians.

    PubMed

    Choi, Inho; Shim, Jae Han; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2003-10-01

    Locomotory speed correlates with muscle mass (determining force and stride rate), limb length (stride rate and distance), and laterally compressed body trunk (force and stride distance). To delineate generalization of the locomotory-morphometric relationships specifically in anuran amphibians, we investigated take-off speed and the three morphological variables from seven species, Rana nigromaculata, R. rugosa, and Bombina orientalis, Eleuthrodectilus fitzingeri, E. diastema, Bufo typhonius, Colostethus flotator and Physalaemus pustulosus. The fastest jumper E. fitzingeri (3.41 m s(-1)) showed 2.49-fold greater speed than the slowest B. typhonius. Take-off speed correlated well with both thigh muscle mass relative to body mass and hindlimb length relative to snout-vent length (HL/SVL), but poorly correlated with the inter-ilial width relative to SVL. The best morphological predictor was HL/SVL (speed=-3.28+3.916 HL/SVL, r=0.968, P<0.0001), suggesting that anuran take-off speed is portrayed well with high gear and acceleration distance characterized by hindlimbs. PMID:12975797

  3. The unique myelopoiesis strategy of the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Yaparla, Amulya; Wendel, Emily S; Grayfer, Leon

    2016-10-01

    Myeloid progenitors reside within specific hematopoietic organs and commit to progenitor lineages bearing megakaryocyte/erythrocyte (MEP) or granulocyte/macrophage potentials (GMP) within these sites. Unlike other vertebrates, the amphibian Xenopus laevis committed macrophage precursors are absent from the hematopoietic subcapsular liver and instead reside within their bone marrow. Presently, we demonstrate that while these frogs' liver-derived cells are unresponsive to recombinant forms of principal X. laevis macrophage (colony-stimulating factor-1; CSF-1) and granulocyte (CSF-3) growth factors, bone marrow cells cultured with CSF-1 and CSF-3 exhibit respectively archetypal macrophage and granulocyte morphology, gene expression and functionalities. Moreover, we demonstrate that liver, but not bone marrow cells possess erythropoietic capacities when stimulated with a X. laevis erythropoietin. Together, our findings indicate that X. laevis retain their MEP within the hematopoietic liver while sequestering their GMP to the bone marrow, thus marking a very novel myelopoietic strategy as compared to those seen in other jawed vertebrate species. PMID:27234705

  4. Extended amplification of acoustic signals by amphibian burrows.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Matías I; Penna, Mario

    2016-07-01

    Animals relying on acoustic signals for communication must cope with the constraints imposed by the environment for sound propagation. A resource to improve signal broadcast is the use of structures that favor the emission or the reception of sounds. We conducted playback experiments to assess the effect of the burrows occupied by the frogs Eupsophus emiliopugini and E. calcaratus on the amplitude of outgoing vocalizations. In addition, we evaluated the influence of these cavities on the reception of externally generated sounds potentially interfering with conspecific communication, namely, the vocalizations emitted by four syntopic species of anurans (E. emiliopugini, E. calcaratus, Batrachyla antartandica, and Pleurodema thaul) and the nocturnal owls Strix rufipes and Glaucidium nanum. Eupsophus advertisement calls emitted from within the burrows experienced average amplitude gains of 3-6 dB at 100 cm from the burrow openings. Likewise, the incoming vocalizations of amphibians and birds were amplified on average above 6 dB inside the cavities. The amplification of internally broadcast Eupsophus vocalizations favors signal detection by nearby conspecifics. Reciprocally, the amplification of incoming conspecific and heterospecific signals facilitates the detection of neighboring males and the monitoring of the levels of potentially interfering biotic noise by resident frogs, respectively. PMID:27209276

  5. Cryptosporidium parvum is not transmissible to fish, amphibians, or reptiles.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, T K; Fayer, R; Cranfield, M R

    1996-10-01

    A recent report suggested that an isolate of Cryptosporidium parvum had established infections in fish, amphibians, and reptiles and raises concern that animals other than mammals might be a potential source of waterborne Cryptosporidium oocysts. To test this possibility, viable C. parvum oocysts, infectious for neonatal BALB/c mice, were delivered by gastric intubation to bluegill sunfish, poison-dart frogs, African clawed frogs, bearded dragon lizards, and corn snakes. Histological sections of the stomach, jejunum, ileum, and cloaca prepared from tissues collected on days 7 and 14 postinoculation (PI) were negative for Cryptosporidium developmental stages. However, inoculum-derived oocysts were detectable by fluorescein-labeled monoclonal antibody in feces of inoculated animals from day 1 to day 12 PI in fish and frogs, and up to day 14 PI in lizards. Snakes did not defecate for 14 days PI. Impression smears taken at necropsy on days 7 and 14 PI revealed C. parvum oocysts in the lumen of the cloaca of 2 fish and 1 lizard on day 7 PI only. Because tissue stages of the pathogen were not found, it appears that C. parvum was not heterologously transmitted to lower vertebrates. Under certain circumstances, however, such as after the ingestion of C. parvum-infected prey, lower vertebrates may disseminate C. parvum oocysts in the environment. PMID:8885883

  6. Post-mating clutch piracy in an amphibian.

    PubMed

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

    2004-09-16

    Female multiple mating and alternative mating systems can decrease the opportunity for sexual selection. Sperm competition is often the outcome of females mating with multiple males and has been observed in many animals, and alternative reproductive systems are widespread among species with external fertilization and parental care. Multiple paternity without associated complex behaviour related to mating or parental care is also seen in simultaneously spawning amphibians and fishes that release gametes into water. Here we report 'clutch piracy' in a montane population of the common frog Rana temporaria, a reproductive behaviour previously unknown in vertebrates with external fertilization. Males of this species clasp the females and the pair deposits one spherical clutch of eggs. No parental care is provided. 'Pirate' males search for freshly laid clutches, clasp them as they would do a female and fertilize the eggs that were left unfertilized by the 'parental' male. This behaviour does not seem to be size-dependent, and some males mate with a female and perform clutch piracy in the same season. Piracy affected 84% of the clutches and in some cases increased the proportion of eggs fertilized, providing direct fitness benefits both for the pirate males and the females. Sexual selection--probably caused by a strong male-biased sex ratio--occurs in this population, as indicated by size-assortative mating; however, clutch piracy may reduce its impact. This provides a good model to explore how alternative mating strategies can affect the intensity of sexual selection. PMID:15372032

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Past studies have found a heterogeneous distribution of the amphibian chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Recent studies have accounted for some of this heterogeneity through a positive association between canopy cover and Bd abundance, which is attributed to the cooling effect of canopy cover. We questioned whether leaf litter inputs that are also associated with canopy cover might also alter Bd growth. Leaf litter inputs exhibit tremendous interspecific chemical variation, and we hypothesized that Bd growth varies with leachate chemistry. We also hypothesized that Bd uses leaf litter as a growth substrate. To test these hypotheses, we conducted laboratory trials in which we exposed cultures of Bd to leachate of 12 temperate leaf litter species at varying dilutions. Using a subset of those 12 litter species, we also exposed Bd to pre-leached litter substrate. We found that exposure to litter leachate and substrate reduced Bd spore and sporangia densities, although there was substantial variation among treatments. In particular, Bd densities were inversely correlated with concentrations of phenolic acids. We conducted a field survey of phenolic concentrations in natural wetlands which verified that the leachate concentrations in our lab study are ecologically relevant. Our study reinforces prior indications that positive associations between canopy cover and Bd abundance are likely mediated by water temperature effects, but this phenomenon might be counteracted by changes in aquatic chemistry from leaf litter inputs. PMID:26935822

  8. Wetland characteristics influence disease risk for a threatened amphibian.

    PubMed

    Heard, Geoffrey W; Scroggie, Michael P; Clemann, Nick; Ramsey, David S L

    2014-06-01

    Identifying determinants of the probability and intensity of infections is important for understanding the epidemiology of wildlife diseases, and for managing their impact on threatened species. Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has decimated populations of some amphibians. However, recent studies have identified important environmental constraints on the disease, related to the pathogen's physiological tolerances. In this study, we identified several intrinsic and extrinsic determinants of the probability and intensity of chytrid infections for the threatened growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis) in southeastern Australia, and used mark-recapture to estimate the effect of chytrid infections on the probability of survival of these frogs. Water temperature and salinity had negative effects on both the probability and intensity of chytrid infections. We coupled models of the infection process with a model of the effect of chytrid infections on the probability of survival to assess variation in the impact of chytridiomycosis between wetlands with differing temperature and salinity profiles. Our results suggest that warm, saline wetlands may be refuges from chytridiomycosis for L. raniformis, and should be priorities for protection. Our results also suggest that management actions that increase water temperature (e.g., reducing canopy shading) and salinity (e.g., complementing inflows with groundwater) could be trialed to reduce the impacts of chytridiomycosis on this species. This and other recent studies highlight the value of research on environmental risk factors for chytridiomycosis. PMID:24988766

  9. Parental investment by skin feeding in a caecilian amphibian.

    PubMed

    Kupfer, Alexander; Müller, Hendrik; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Carlos; Greven, Hartmut; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Wilkinson, Mark

    2006-04-13

    Although the initial growth and development of most multicellular animals depends on the provision of yolk, there are many varied contrivances by which animals provide additional or alternative investment in their offspring. Providing offspring with additional nutrition should be favoured by natural selection when the consequent increased fitness of the young offsets any corresponding reduction in fecundity. Alternative forms of nutrition may allow parents to delay and potentially redirect their investment. Here we report a remarkable form of parental care and mechanism of parent-offspring nutrient transfer in a caecilian amphibian. Boulengerula taitanus is a direct-developing, oviparous caecilian, the skin of which is transformed in brooding females to provide a rich supply of nutrients for the developing offspring. Young animals are equipped with a specialized dentition, which they use to peel and eat the outer layer of their mother's modified skin. This new form of parental care provides a plausible intermediate stage in the evolution of viviparity in caecilians. At independence, offspring of viviparous and of oviparous dermatotrophic caecilians are relatively large despite being provided with relatively little yolk. The specialized dentition of skin-feeding (dermatophagous) caecilians may constitute a preadaptation to the fetal feeding on the oviduct lining of viviparous caecilians. PMID:16612382

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24480323

  11. Persistence of the emerging pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis outside the amphibian host greatly increases the probability of host extinction.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Kate M; Churcher, Thomas S; Garner, Trenton W J; Fisher, Matthew C

    2008-02-01

    Pathogens do not normally drive their hosts to extinction; however, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes amphibian chytridiomycosis, has been able to do so. Theory predicts that extinction can be caused by long-lived or saprobic free-living stages. The hypothesis that such a stage occurs in B. dendrobatidis is supported by the recent discovery of an apparently encysted form of the pathogen. To investigate the effect of a free-living stage of B. dendrobatidis on host population dynamics, a mathematical model was developed to describe the introduction of chytridiomycosis into a breeding population of Bufo bufo, parametrized from laboratory infection and transmission experiments. The model predicted that the longer that B. dendrobatidis was able to persist in water, either due to an increased zoospore lifespan or saprobic reproduction, the more likely it was that it could cause local B. bufo extinction (defined as decrease below a threshold level). Establishment of endemic B. dendrobatidis infection in B. bufo, with severe host population depression, was also possible, in agreement with field observations. Although this model is able to predict clear trends, more precise predictions will only be possible when the life history of B. dendrobatidis, including free-living stages of the life cycle, is better understood. PMID:18048287

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

    PubMed Central

    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 changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event. The epidemic reduced taxonomic, lineage, and phylogenetic diversity similarly. We discovered that 30 species were lost, including five undescribed species, representing 41% of total amphibian lineage diversity in El Copé. These extirpations represented 33% of the evolutionary history of amphibians within the community, and variation in the degree of population loss and decline among species was random with respect to the community phylogeny. Our approach provides a fast, economical, and informative analysis of loss in a community whether measured by species or phylogenetic diversity. PMID:20643927

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26465924

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26465924

  15. Descriptive risk assessment of the effects of acidic deposition on Rocky Mountain amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Vertucci, Frank A.

    1992-01-01

    We evaluated the risk of habitat acidification to the six species of amphibians that occur in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. Our evaluation included extrinsic environmental factors (habitat sensitivity and amount of acidic atmospheric deposition) and species-specific intrinsic factors (sensitivity to acid conditions, habitat preferences, and timing of breeding). Only one of 57 surveyed localities had both acid neutralizing capacity μeq/L and sulfate deposition >10 kg/ha/yr, extrinsic conditions with a possible risk of acidification. Amphibian breeding habitats in the Rocky Mountains do not appear to be sufficiently acidic to kill amphibian embryos. Some species breed in high-elevation vernal pools during snowmelt, and an acidic pulse during snowmelt may pose a risk to embryos of these species. However, the acidic pulse, if present, probably occurs before open water appears and before breeding begins. Although inherent variability of amphibian population size may make detection of declines from anthropogenic effects difficult, acidic deposition is unlikely to have caused the observed declines of Bufo boreas and Rana pipiens in Colorado and Wyoming. Amphibians in the Rocky Mountains are not likely to be at risk with acidification inputs at present levels.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event. The epidemic reduced taxonomic, lineage, and phylogenetic diversity similarly. We discovered that 30 species were lost, including five undescribed species, representing 41% of total amphibian lineage diversity in El Copé. These extirpations represented 33% of the evolutionary history of amphibians within the community, and variation in the degree of population loss and decline among species was random with respect to the community phylogeny. Our approach provides a fast, economical, and informative analysis of loss in a community whether measured by species or phylogenetic diversity. PMID:20643927

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Effects of spray-irrigated wastewater effluent on temporary pond-breeding amphibians.

    PubMed

    Laposata, M M; Dunson, W A

    2000-06-01

    Comparison was made of abiotic conditions, amphibian reproductive outputs, and the survival of embryonic and larval amphibians in wastewater effluent-irrigated and natural temporary ponds in an area in Centre County, Pennsylvania that has been spray-irrigated with secondarily treated, chlorinated wastewater effluent from The Pennsylvania State University for approximately 14 years. Three species of temporary pond-breeding amphibians were studied: wood frogs (Rana sylvatica LeConte), Jefferson salamanders (Ambystoma jeffersonianum Green), and spotted salamanders (A. maculatum Gravenhorst). Comparisons of physico-chemical parameters in 10 wastewater-irrigated and 10 natural temporary ponds over 19 weeks in 1997 indicated that wastewater -irrigated ponds had significantly higher median conductance, pH, ¿Na, ¿K, ¿Ca, ¿Mg, and ¿N-NO(3) and lower ¿dissolved oxygen. Many of the wastewater-irrigated ponds supported large mats of duckweed (Lemna spp.) that completely blanketed the pond's surface by mid-May. There were significantly fewer egg masses of all three species in wastewater-irrigated ponds than in natural ponds in both 1997 and 1998. In situ egg hatching success and larval survival (over a 6-day period) of all species was lower in wastewater-irrigated ponds than in natural ponds. Cumulatively, these studies suggest that wastewater effluent irrigation may impact amphibian populations by reducing the survival of amphibian eggs and larvae. PMID:10831333

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24934557

  20. Utilization of surface mine ponds in East Tennessee by breeding amphibians

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, L.J.; Fowler, D.K.

    1981-06-01

    Of 24 ponds examined on Ollis Creek Surface Mine, Campbell County, Tennessee, 21 contained breeding amphibians. Twelve species of amphibians were identified in ponds that ranged from 4.0 to 8.0 in pH. Although ponds with low pH values were used by breeding amphibians, significantly more amphibian species were found in ponds with higher pH values. The average pH of ponds occupied by each amphibian species varied. Spring peepers (Hyla crucifer) occupied ponds with the lowest average pH (5.22) while upland chorus frogs (Pseudacris triseriata feriarum) utilized ponds with the highest average pH (6.33). Findings indicated high biological productivity in surface mine ponds. Aquatic vegetation was present in 20 of the 24 ponds. Aquatic insects and a diverse wildlife fauna utilized the study ponds. Large mammals (3 species), waterbirds (17 species), and snakes (2 species) were among those species observed. Surface mine ponds were found to supply an important habitat component for a variety of wildlife species and therefore improve the quality of wildlife habitat on the surface mines. In some areas, mine ponds are the only source of surface water available for wildlife use. 23 references, 9 figures, 5 tables.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  2. Monitoring Strategy for Eight Amphibian Species in French Guiana, South America

    PubMed Central

    Dewynter, Maël; Pineau, Kévin; Gaucher, Philippe; Chave, Jérôme

    2013-01-01

    Although dramatic amphibian declines have been documented worldwide, only few of such events have been quantitatively documented for the tropical forests of South America. This is due partly to the fact that tropical amphibians are patchily distributed and difficult to detect. We tested three methods often used to monitor population trends in amphibian species in a remote lowland tropical forest of French Guiana. These methods are capture-mark-recapture (CMR), estimation of the number of calling males with repeated counts data and distance sampling, and rates of occupancy inferred by presence/absence data. We monitored eight diurnal, terrestrial amphibian species including five Dendrobatidae and three Bufonidae. We found that CMR, the most precise way of estimating population size, can be used only with two species in high density patches where the recapture rate is high enough. Only for one of the species (Dendrobates tinctorius), a low coefficient of variation (CV = 0.19) can be achieved with 15 to 20 capture events. For dendrobatid species with day-calling males, audio surveys yield a better probability of detection with only 8 audio surveys needed; quantitative estimates can be achieved by computing the number of calling males inferred from audio counts or distance sampling analysis. We therefore suggest that an efficient monitoring protocol for Neotropical amphibian species should include a combination of sighting and audio techniques, and we discuss the need of implementing a large-scale monitoring in order to provide a baseline for comparison with future changes. PMID:23840717

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an amphibian skin disease that threatens amphibian biodiversity worldwide. The fungal agent of chytridiomycosis is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. There is considerable variation in disease outcomes such that some individuals and populations co-exist with the fungus and others quickly succumb to disease. Amphibians in populations that co-exist with the B. dendrobatidis have sublethal infections on their skins. Symbiotic skin bacteria have been shown in experiments and surveys to play a role in protecting amphibians from chytridiomycosis. Little is known about the mechanisms that antifungal skin bacteria use to ameliorate the effects of B. dendrobatidis. In this study, we identified that B. dendrobatidis isolate JEL 310 zoospores display chemotaxis, in the presence of two bacterially-produced metabolites (2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol and indole-3-carboxaldehyde). In the presence of either metabolite, B. dendrobatidis zoospores move more frequently away from the metabolite. Using parameters estimated from this study, a simple stochastic model of a random walk on a lattice was evaluated. The model shows that these individual behaviors over short time-scales directly lead to population behaviors over long time-scales, such that most zoospores will escape, or not infect a tryptone substrate containing the bacterially-produced metabolite, whereas many zoospores will infect the tryptone substrate containing no metabolite. These results suggest that amphibians that have skin bacteria produce antifungal metabolites that might be able to keep B. dendrobatidis infections below the lethal threshold and thus are able to co-exist with the fungus. PMID:21769695

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bury, R.B.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26607488

  7. Use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index as an Assessment Tool for Reptiles and Amphibians: Lessons Learned.

    PubMed

    Tuberville, Tracey D; Andrews, Kimberly M; Sperry, Jinelle H; Grosse, Andrew M

    2015-10-01

    Climate change threatens biodiversity globally, yet it can be challenging to predict which species may be most vulnerable. Given the scope of the problem, it is imperative to rapidly assess vulnerability and identify actions to decrease risk. Although a variety of tools have been developed to assess climate change vulnerability, few have been evaluated with regard to their suitability for certain taxonomic groups. Due to their ectothermic physiology, low vagility, and strong association with temporary wetlands, reptiles and amphibians may be particularly vulnerable relative to other groups. Here, we evaluate use of the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to assess a large suite of herpetofauna from the Sand Hills Ecoregion of the southeastern United States. Although data were frequently lacking for certain variables (e.g., phenological response to climate change, genetic variation), sufficient data were available to evaluate all 117 species. Sensitivity analyses indicated that results were highly dependent on size of assessment area and climate scenario selection. In addition, several ecological traits common in, but relatively unique to, herpetofauna are likely to contribute to their vulnerability and need special consideration during the scoring process. Despite some limitations, the NatureServe CCVI was a useful tool for screening large numbers of reptile and amphibian species. We provide general recommendations as to how the CCVI tool's application to herpetofauna can be improved through more specific guidance to the user regarding how to incorporate unique physiological and behavioral traits into scoring existing sensitivity factors and through modification to the assessment tool itself. PMID:25971738

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

    PubMed

    McKenzie, Valerie J; Peterson, Anna C

    2012-11-01

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

  9. OPTICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL WATERS PROTECT AMPHIBIANS FROM UV-B IN THE U.S. PACIFIC NORTHWEST: A REPLY

    EPA Science Inventory

    It has been proposed that UV-B is a cause of malfomations seen in amphibians. This document comments on the paper which discusses the concept that the optical characteristics of water may protect amphibians in the U.S. Pacific Northwest from the harmful effects of UV-B.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Optical characteristics of natural waters protect amphibians from UV-B in the U.S. Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Palen, Wendy J.; Schindler, David E.; Adams, Michael J.; Pearl, Christopher A.; Bury, R. Bruce; Diamond, S.A.

    2002-01-01

    Increased exposure to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation has been proposed as a major environmental stressor leading to global amphibian declines. Prior experimental evidence from the U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW) indicating the acute embryonic sensitivity of at least four amphibian species to UV-B has been central to the literature about amphibian decline. However, these results have not been expanded to address population-scale effects and natural landscape variation in UV-B transparency of water at amphibian breeding sites: both necessary links to assess the importance of UV-B for amphibian declines. We quantified the UV-B transparency of 136 potential amphibian breeding sites to establish the pattern of UV-B exposure across two montane regions in the PNW. Our data suggest that 85% of sites are naturally protected by dissolved organic matter in pond water, and that only a fraction of breeding sites are expected to experience UV-B intensities exceeding levels associated with elevated egg mortality. Thus, the spectral characteristics of natural waters likely mediate the physiological effects of UV-B on amphibian eggs in all but the clearest waters. These data imply that UV-B is unlikely to cause broad amphibian declines across the landscape of the American Northwest.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  13. INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE CAUSES OF AMPHIBIAN MALFORMATIONS IN THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN BASIN OF NEW ENGLAND (AWARDED PROJECT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concurrent geographic extent and rate of amphibian malformations appear to have markedly increased above background levels in recent years in many states and Canadian provinces as documented by the North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (www.npwrc.usgs.go...

  14. Water adaptation strategy in anuran amphibians: molecular diversity of aquaporin.

    PubMed

    Ogushi, Yuji; Akabane, Gen; Hasegawa, Takahiro; Mochida, Hiroshi; Matsuda, Manabu; Suzuki, Masakazu; Tanaka, Shigeyasu

    2010-01-01

    Most adult anuran amphibians except for the aquatic species absorb water across the ventral pelvic skin and reabsorb it from urine in the urinary bladder. Many terrestrial and arboreal species use a region in the posterior or pelvic region of the ventral skin that is specialized for rapid rehydration from shallow water sources or moist substrates. Periods of terrestrial activity can be prolonged by reabsorption of dilute urine from the urinary bladder. Aquaporin (AQP), a water channel protein, plays a fundamental role in these water absorption/reabsorption processes, which are regulated by antidiuretic hormone. Characterization of AQPs from various anurans revealed that the unique water homeostasis is basically mediated by two types of anuran-specific AQPs, i.e. ventral pelvic skin and urinary bladder type, respectively. The bladder-type AQP is further expressed in the pelvic skin of terrestrial and arboreal species, together with the pelvic skin-type AQP. In contrast, the pelvic skin-type AQP (AQP-x3) of the aquatic Xenopus has lost the ability of efficient protein production. The extra C-terminal tail in AQP-x3 consisting of 33 nucleotides within the coding region appears to participate in the posttranscriptional regulation of AQP-x3 gene expression by attenuating protein expression. The positive transcriptional regulation of bladder-type AQP in the pelvic skin and negative posttranscriptional regulation of pelvic skin-type AQP provide flexibility in the water regulation mechanisms, which might have contributed to the evolutionary adaptation of anurans to a wide variety of water environments. PMID:19854867

  15. Characterizing the width of amphibian movements during postbreeding migration.

    PubMed

    Coster, Stephanie S; Veysey Powell, Jessica S; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-06-01

    Habitat linkages can help maintain connectivity of animal populations in developed landscapes. However, the lack of empirical data on the width of lateral movements (i.e., the zigzagging of individuals as they move from one point to point another) makes determining the width of such linkages challenging. We used radiotracking data from wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) in a managed forest in Maine (U.S.A.) to characterize movement patterns of populations and thus inform planning for the width of wildlife corridors. For each individual, we calculated the polar coordinates of all locations, estimated the vector sum of the polar coordinates, and measured the distance from each location to the vector sum. By fitting a Gaussian distribution over a histogram of these distances, we created a population-level probability density function and estimated the 50th and 95th percentiles to determine the width of lateral movement as individuals progressed from the pond to upland habitat. For spotted salamanders 50% of lateral movements were ≤13 m wide and 95% of movements were ≤39 m wide. For wood frogs, 50% of lateral movements were ≤17 m wide and 95% of movements were ≤ 51 m wide. For both species, those individuals that traveled the farthest from the pond also displayed the greatest lateral movement. Our results serve as a foundation for spatially explicit conservation planning for pond-breeding amphibians in areas undergoing development. Our technique can also be applied to movement data from other taxa to aid in designing habitat linkages. PMID:24423254

  16. Thyroid Hormone-disrupting Effects and the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, Kaori; Ose, Keiko

    2012-01-01

    There are continued concerns about endocrine-disrupting chemical effects, and appropriate vertebrate models for assessment of risk are a high priority. Frog tadpoles are very sensitive to environmental substances because of their habitat and the complex processes of metamorphosis regulated by the endocrine system, mainly thyroid hormones. During metamorphosis, marked alteration in hormonal factors occurs, as well as dramatic structural and functional changes in larval tissues. There are a variety of mechanisms determining thyroid hormone balance or disruption directly or indirectly. Direct-acting agents can cause changes in thyroxine synthesis and/or secretion in thyroid through effects on peroxidases, thyroidal iodide uptake, deiodinase, and proteolysis. At the same time, indirect action may result from biochemical processes such as sulfation, deiodination and glucuronidation. Because their potential to disrupt thyroid hormones has been identified as an important consideration for the regulation of chemicals, the OECD and the EPA have each established guidelines that make use of larval African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) and frog metamorphosis for screening and testing of potential endocrine disrupters. The guidelines are based on evaluation of alteration in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. One of the primary endpoints is thyroid gland histopathology. Others are mortality, developmental stage, hind limb length, snout-vent length and wet body weight. Regarding histopathological features, the guidelines include core criteria and additional qualitative parameters along with grading. Taking into account the difficulties in evaluating amphibian thyroid glands, which change continuously throughout metamorphosis, histopathological examination has been shown to be a very sensitive approach. PMID:22481853

  17. Raising awareness of amphibian Chytridiomycosis will not alienate ecotourists visiting Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Wollenberg, Katharina C; Jenkins, Richard K B; Randrianavelona, Roma; Ralisata, Mahefa; Rampilamanana, Roseline; Ramanandraibe, Andrianirina; Ravoahangimalala, Olga Ramilijaona; Vences, Miguel

    2010-06-01

    Chytridiomycosis (Bd) is contributing to amphibian extinctions worldwide but has so far not been detected in Madagascar. The high likelihood for Bd to spread to the island and efface this amphibian diversity and endemism hotspot requires respective conservation policies to be developed. Bd could be introduced by the large number of tourists that visit protected areas; therefore, increasing awareness among tourists and encouraging them to participate in safety measures should be a priority conservation action. However, concerns have been raised that tourists would not be able to distinguish between an amphibian disease harmless to humans and emerging diseases that would imply a danger for human health, invoking a negative image of Madagascar as an ecotourism destination. We evaluated whether informing tourists about this infectious animal disease would cause health scare and diminish trip satisfaction. Based on 659 respondents we found that most ecotourists favored to be informed about Bd and were proactive about participating in prevention measures, refuting previous concerns. PMID:20517634

  18. Larval digenetic trematodes in tadpoles of six amphibian species from northeastern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Hamann, M I; González, C E

    2009-06-01

    This article presents a survey of metacercariae found in tadpoles of 6 amphibian species collected near the city of Corrientes, Corrientes Province, Argentina. Larval digenetic trematodes of the following species were found: (1) Travtrema aff. stenocotyle Cohn, 1902 (Plagiorchiidae) from Physalaemus santafecinus, Physalaemus albonotatus, Odontophrynus americanus, Elachistocleis bicolor, Scinax nasicus, and Leptodactylus latinasus; (2) Styphlodora sp. (Plagiorchiidae) from O. americanus and E. bicolor; (3) Opisthogonimus sp. (Opisthogonimidae) from O. americanus and P. santafecinus; (4) Lophosicyadiplostomum aff. nephrocystis (Lutz, 1928) (Diplostomidae) from S. nasicus; (5) Bursotrema tetracotyloides Szidat, 1960 (Diplostomidae) from P. santafecinus and S. nasicus; and (6) an unknown echinostomatid species from O. americanus and S. nasicus. Metacercariae of these species are reported for the first time in tadpoles of the 6 amphibian species examined. All species are described and illustrated, and their life cycles are briefly discussed. These larvae were found infecting different body parts of tadpoles, but no relationship was observed between the metacercariae and amphibian malformations. PMID:19045934

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    This article presents data derived from a 36 year-long uninterrupted observational study of amphibian populations living in the city and vicinity of Yekaterinburg, Russia. This area is inhabited by six amphibian species. Based on a degree of anthropogenic transformation, the urban territory is divided into five highly mosaic zones characterized by vegetation, temperature, and a distinctive water pollution profile. Population data is presented year-by-year for the number of animals, sex ratio, and species-specific fecundity including the number and quality of spawns for the following amphibian species: Salamandrella keyserligii, Rana arvalis, R. temporaria, Lissotriton vulgaris, and Pelophylax ridibundus. These data provide an excellent opportunity to assess an urban environment from an animal population-wide perspective, as well as revealing the forces driving animal adaptation to the anthropogenic transformation of habitats. PMID:25984350

  20. Using semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) to assess the toxicity and teratogenicity of aquatic amphibian habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.; Little, E.E.

    2003-01-01

    Environmental contamination has been suspected of being partially responsible for recent declines in amphibian populations. It is often not feasible to identify all of the compounds in an environment, nor the concentrations in which they are present. SPMDs are passive sampling devices that uptake lipophilic compounds from the environment in a manner similar to aquatic organisms. The extracts from the SPMDs, therefore, contain a composite sample of the compounds that are present in the environment. In this paper, we outline the methods from studies in which we have used extracts from SPMDs in toxicity tests on amphibian larvae. Using SPMD extracts makes it possible to establish potential links between amphibian deformities and declines and environmental contamination by lipophilic compounds.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    A combination of multiple stressors may be linked to global amphibian declines. Of these, pesticides and UVB radiation co-exposures were examined on the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) to provide information that may be useful for amphibian conservation. The independent action model and inferential statistics were used to examine interactions between pesticides (malathion, endosulfan, α-cypermethrin, or chlorothalonil) and environmentally relevant UVB exposures. UVB radiation alone caused 35-68% mortality and nearly 100% of malformations. Pesticides and UVB had additive effects on larval mortality; however, several non-additive effects (antagonistic and synergistic interactions) were observed for total body length. Insecticides mainly affected axial development, whereas UVB radiation caused high incidence of edema, gut malformations, and abnormal tail tips. These results suggest that sublethal developmental endpoints were more sensitive for detecting joint effects. This work has implications for amphibian risk assessments for ecosystems where pesticides and high UVB radiation may co-occur. PMID:26412264

  2. Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: An underestimated cause of global decline?

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23350038

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

    PubMed

    Vallejo, José Ramón; González, José Antonio

    2015-12-01

    This article presents a list of medical remedies based on the use of amphibians in Spanish popular medicine and in the classical world. It provides an overview of bibliography relative to folklore studies, ethnographic work and research on social or medical anthropology. It documents a total of 113 remedies and the use of nine species of amphibians, two from the family of caudates (urodeles) and seven anurans. Most of these remedies are based on the popular "preconception" about the influence of amphibians and healing by transmitting an illness to a living creature. The traditional use of certain threatened species is emphasized, an issue to bear in mind in decision-making in the field of conservation biology and environmental education. PMID:25831480

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    This article presents data derived from a 36 year-long uninterrupted observational study of amphibian populations living in the city and vicinity of Yekaterinburg, Russia. This area is inhabited by six amphibian species. Based on a degree of anthropogenic transformation, the urban territory is divided into five highly mosaic zones characterized by vegetation, temperature, and a distinctive water pollution profile. Population data is presented year-by-year for the number of animals, sex ratio, and species-specific fecundity including the number and quality of spawns for the following amphibian species: Salamandrella keyserligii, Rana arvalis, R. temporaria, Lissotriton vulgaris, and Pelophylax ridibundus. These data provide an excellent opportunity to assess an urban environment from an animal population-wide perspective, as well as revealing the forces driving animal adaptation to the anthropogenic transformation of habitats. PMID:25984350

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.; Muths, E.

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Possible modes of dissemination of the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the environment.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Megan L; Speare, Richard

    2005-07-18

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has spread at an alarming rate over large distances throughout sensitive frog populations in eastern Australia, Central America and New Zealand. Infected amphibians and contaminated water are implicated in translocation, but other vectors are unknown. Through in vitro studies we show that potential means of translocation may be moist soil and bird feathers. B. dendrobatidis survived for up to 3 mo in sterile, moist river sand with no other nutrients added. B. dendrobatidis attached to and grew on sterile feathers and were able to be transported by feathers to establish new cultures in media, surviving between 1 and 3 h of drying between transfers. If these in vitro results are valid in the natural environment, the findings raise the possibilities that B. dendrobatidis may be translocated by movement of moist river sand and that birds may carry the amphibian chytrid between frog habitats. However, further studies using sand and feathers containing normal microflora are essential. PMID:16119886

  8. A conceptual model to facilitate amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushnet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    As pressures on agricultural landscapes to meet worldwide resource needs increase, amphibian populations face numerous threats including habitat destruction, chemical contaminants, disease outbreaks, wetland sedimentation, and synergistic effects of these perturbations. To facilitate conservation planning, we developed a conceptual model depicting elements critical for amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains. First, we linked upland, wetland, and landscape features to specific ecological attributes. Ecological attributes included adult survival; reproduction and survival to metamorphosis; and successful dispersal and recolonization. Second, we linked ecosystem drivers, ecosystem stressors, and ecological effects of the region to each ecological attribute. Lastly, we summarized information on these ecological attributes and the drivers, stressors, and effects that work in concert to influence the maintenance of viable and genetically diverse amphibian populations in the northern Great Plains. While our focus was on the northern Great Plains, our conceptual model can be tailored to other geographic regions and taxa.

  9. Terrestrial activity, abundance, diversity of amphibians in differently managed forest types

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, S.H.; Gibbons, J.W.; Glanville, J.

    1980-04-01

    Diversity indices and relative abundances were determined for amphibians inhabiting three differently managed forest types in South Carolina. Study sites were contiguous around a small lake, and included a slash pine (Pinus ellioti) forest, a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest and a hardwood (predominately oak-hickory) forest. Amphibians were collected using a drift fence and pitfall trap method. Captured animals were marked so that recaptures could be removed from calculations of indices. The dates of study were 30 June-10 August 1977 and 20 June-15 August 1978. The three study sites were similar in species diversity and the evenness component for combined summer data and for the summer of 1978. The hardwood forest had a higher diversity in the summer of 1977. The hardwood forest yielded approximately 50% more individual amphibians than either pine forest during both years.

  10. Challenges in evaluating the impact of the trade in amphibians and reptiles on wild populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Hoover, Craig; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are taken from the wild and sold commercially as food, pets, and traditional medicines. The overcollecting of some species highlights the need to assess the trade and ensure that it is not contributing to declines in wild populations. Unlike most countries, the United States tracks the imports and exports of all amphibians and reptiles. Records from 1998 to 2002 reveal a US trade of several million wild-caught amphibians and reptiles each year, although many shipments are not recorded at the species level. The magnitude and content of the global commercial trade carries even greater unknowns. The absence of accurate trade and biological information for most species makes it difficult to establish whether current take levels are sustainable. The void of information also implies that population declines due to overcollecting could be going undetected. Policy changes to acquire baseline biological information and ensure a sustainable trade are urgently needed.

  11. Transmembrane adenylyl cyclase regulates amphibian sperm motility through Protein Kinase A activation

    PubMed Central

    O’Brien, Emma D.; Krapf, Darío; Cabada, Marcelo O.; Visconti, Pablo E.; Arranz, Silvia E.

    2014-01-01

    Sperm motility is essential for achieving fertilization. In animals with external fertilization as amphibians, spermatozoa are stored in a quiescent state in the testis. Spermiation to hypotonic fertilization media triggers activation of sperm motility. Bufo arenarum sperm are immotile in artificial seminal plasma (ASP) but acquire in situ flagellar beating upon dilution. In addition to the effect of low osmolarity on sperm motility activation, we report that diffusible factors of the egg jelly coat (EW) regulate motility patterns, switching from in situ to progressive movement. The signal transduction pathway involved in amphibian sperm motility activation is mostly unknown. In the present study, we show a correlation between motility activation triggered by low osmotic pressure and activation of protein kinase A (PKA). Moreover, this is the first study to present strong evidences that point toward a role of a transmembrane adenyl-cyclase (tmAC) in the regulation of amphibian sperm motility through PKA activation. PMID:21126515

  12. Populations of a Susceptible Amphibian Species Can Grow despite the Presence of a Pathogenic Chytrid Fungus

    PubMed Central

    Tobler, Ursina; Borgula, Adrian; Schmidt, Benedikt R.

    2012-01-01

    Disease can be an important driver of host population dynamics and epizootics can cause severe host population declines. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the pathogen causing amphibian chytridiomycosis, may occur epizootically or enzootically and can harm amphibian populations in many ways. While effects of Bd epizootics are well documented, the effects of enzootic Bd have rarely been described. We used a state-space model that accounts for observation error to test whether population trends of a species highly susceptible to Bd, the midwife toad Alytes obstetricans, are negatively affected by the enzootic presence of the pathogen. Unexpectedly, Bd had no negative effect on population growth rates from 2002–2008. This suggests that negative effects of disease on individuals do not necessarily translate into negative effects at the population level. Populations of amphibian species that are susceptible to the emerging disease chytridiomycosis can persist despite the enzootic presence of the pathogen under current environmental conditions. PMID:22496836

  13. Water-quality and amphibian population data for Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, 2001-2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, K.C.; Jung, R.E.

    2004-01-01

    Data on the chemical composition of water and on amphibian populations were collected at least annually from vernal pool and stream sites in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, from 2001 through 2004. The data were collected as part of long-term monitoring projects of the Northeast Region of the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) of the U.S. Geological Survey. Water samples were analyzed for temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved-oxygen concentration, acid-neutralizing capacity, and concentrations of total Kjeldahl nitrogen and total phosphorus; in 2004, samples also were analyzed for nitrite plus nitrate concentrations and total nitrogen concentrations. Field and laboratory analytical results of water samples and quality-assurance information are presented. Amphibian population data include the presence of amphibian species and the maximum number of egg masses of wood frogs and spotted salamanders at vernal pools, and counts of amphibians made during stream transect and stream quadrat surveys.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.; Jung, R.E.; Bailey, L.L.; Adams, M.J.; Corn, P.S.; Dodd, C.K., Jr.; Fellers, G.M.; Sandinski, W.J.; Schwalbe, C.R.; Walls, S.C.; Fisher, R.N.; Gallant, A.L.; Battaglin, W.A.; Green, D.E.

    2005-01-01

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

  15. A Qualitative Meta-Analysis Reveals Consistent Effects of Atrazine on Freshwater Fish and Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; McCoy, Krista A.

    2010-01-01

    Objective The biological effects of the herbicide atrazine on freshwater vertebrates are highly controversial. In an effort to resolve the controversy, we conducted a qualitative meta-analysis on the effects of ecologically relevant atrazine concentrations on amphibian and fish survival, behavior, metamorphic traits, infections, and immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Data sources We used published, peer-reviewed research and applied strict quality criteria for inclusion of studies in the meta-analysis. Data synthesis We found little evidence that atrazine consistently caused direct mortality of fish or amphibians, but we found evidence that it can have indirect and sublethal effects. The relationship between atrazine concentration and timing of amphibian metamorphosis was regularly nonmonotonic, indicating that atrazine can both accelerate and delay metamorphosis. Atrazine reduced size at or near metamorphosis in 15 of 17 studies and 14 of 14 species. Atrazine elevated amphibian and fish activity in 12 of 13 studies, reduced antipredator behaviors in 6 of 7 studies, and reduced olfactory abilities for fish but not for amphibians. Atrazine was associated with a reduction in 33 of 43 immune function end points and with an increase in 13 of 16 infection end points. Atrazine altered at least one aspect of gonadal morphology in 7 of 10 studies and consistently affected gonadal function, altering spermatogenesis in 2 of 2 studies and sex hormone concentrations in 6 of 7 studies. Atrazine did not affect vitellogenin in 5 studies and increased aromatase in only 1 of 6 studies. Effects of atrazine on fish and amphibian reproductive success, sex ratios, gene frequencies, populations, and communities remain uncertain. Conclusions Although there is much left to learn about the effects of atrazine, we identified several consistent effects of atrazine that must be weighed against any of its benefits and the costs and benefits of alternatives to atrazine use. PMID

  16. Phylogenetic Analysis of Algal Symbionts Associated with Four North American Amphibian Egg Masses

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum form an association with the green alga “Oophila amblystomatis” (Lambert ex Wille), which, in addition to growing within individual egg capsules, has recently been reported to invade embryonic tissues and cells. The binomial O. amblystomatis refers to the algae that occur in A. maculatum egg capsules, but it is unknown whether this population of symbionts constitutes one or several different algal taxa. Moreover, it is unknown whether egg masses across the geographic range of A. maculatum, or other amphibians, associate with one or multiple algal taxa. To address these questions, we conducted a phylogeographic study of algae sampled from egg capsules of A. maculatum, its allopatric congener A. gracile, and two frogs: Lithobates sylvatica and L. aurora. All of these North American amphibians form associations with algae in their egg capsules. We sampled algae from egg capsules of these four amphibians from localities across North America, established representative algal cultures, and amplified and sequenced a region of 18S rDNA for phylogenetic analysis. Our combined analysis shows that symbiotic algae found in egg masses of four North American amphibians are closely related to each other, and form a well-supported clade that also contains three strains of free-living chlamydomonads. We designate this group as the ‘Oophila’ clade, within which the symbiotic algae are further divided into four distinct subclades. Phylogenies of the host amphibians and their algal symbionts are only partially congruent, suggesting that host-switching and co-speciation both play roles in their associations. We also established conditions for isolating and rearing algal symbionts from amphibian egg capsules, which should facilitate further study of these egg mass specialist algae. PMID:25393119

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation of pesticides through dermal contact is a primary route of exposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributing to widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticide transfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted label application rates, our study was designed to measure pesticide body burdens after two simulated exposure scenarios. We compared direct exposures, where amphibians were present when spraying occurred, to indirect exposures, where amphibians were exposed to soils after pesticide application. During summer 2012, we reared barking (Hyla gratiosa) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) through 60-90 days post-metamorphosis at a United States Environmental Protection Agency research laboratory. We tested exposure for 8 h to five pesticide active ingredients (imidacloprid, atrazine, triadimefon, fipronil, or pendimethalin) in glass aquaria lined with soil in the laboratory. We quantified total pesticide body burden and soil concentrations using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. All individuals in both treatments had measurable body burdens at the end of the study. A randomized block design analysis of variance (n = 18) showed that body burdens (p = 0.03) and bioconcentration factors (BCFs) (p = 0.01) were significantly greater in the direct overspray treatment relative to the indirect soil spray treatment for both species and tested pesticides. BCFs ranged from 0.1 to 1.16 and from 0.013 to 0.78 in the direct and indirect treatments, respectively. Our study shows dermal uptake for multiple pesticides from both direct spray and indirect soil exposures and provides empirical support for the degree to which terrestrial phase amphibians have higher body burdens after overspray pesticide exposure. PMID:26135301

  18. Optimization, validation and efficacy of the phytohaemagglutinin inflammation assay for use in ecoimmunological studies of amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Clulow, Simon; Harris, Merrilee; Mahony, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    The global amphibian biodiversity crisis is driven by disease, habitat destruction and drastically altered ecosystems. It has given rise to an unprecedented need to understand the link between rapidly changing environments, immunocompetence and wildlife health (the nascent field of ecoimmunology). Increasing our knowledge of the ecoimmunology of amphibians necessitates the development of reliable, field-applicable methods of assessing immunocompetence in non-model species. The phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) inflammation assay uses a lectin to elicit localized inflammation that reflects an organism's capacity to mount an immune response. Although extensively used in birds to assess responses to environmental change, stress and disease, its application in amphibians has been extremely limited. We developed, validated and optimized a practical and effective phytohaemagglutinin inflammation assay in phylogenetically distant amphibians and demonstrated its suitability for use in a wide range of ecoimmunological studies. The protocol was effective for all species tested and worked equally well for both sexes and for adult and sub-adult animals. We determined that using set-force-measuring instruments resulted in a ‘compression effect’ that countered the inflammatory response, reinforcing the need for internal controls. We developed a novel method to determine peak response times more accurately and thereby improve assay sensitivity. Histological validation demonstrated considerable interspecies variation in the robustness of amphibian immune defences. Importantly, we applied the assay to a real-world scenario of varying environmental conditions and proved that the assay effectively detected differences in immune fitness between groups of animals exposed to ecologically meaningful levels of density stress. This provided strong evidence that one cost of metamorphic plasticity responses by tadpoles to increasing density is a reduction in post-metamorphic immune fitness and

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olson, Deanna H.; Chestnut, Tara E.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Emerging fungal pathogens pose a greater threat to biodiversity than any other parasitic group1, causing declines of many taxa, including bats, corals, bees, snakes and amphibians1–4. Currently, there is little evidence that wild animals can acquire resistance to these pathogens5. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a pathogenic fungus implicated in the recent global decline of amphibians6. Here we demonstrate that three species of amphibians can acquire behavioural or immunological resistance to B. dendrobatidis. Frogs learned to avoid the fungus after just one B. dendrobatidis exposure and temperature-induced clearance. In subsequent experiments in which B. dendrobatidis avoidance was prevented, the number of previous exposures was a negative predictor of B. dendrobatidis burden on frogs and B. dendrobatidis-induced mortality, and was a positive predictor of lymphocyte abundance and proliferation. These results suggest that amphibians can acquire immunity to B. dendrobatidis that overcomes pathogen-induced immunosuppression7–9 and increases their survival. Importantly, exposure to dead fungus induced a similar magnitude of acquired resistance as exposure to live fungus. Exposure of frogs to B. dendrobatidis antigens might offer a practical way to protect pathogen-naive amphibians and facilitate the reintroduction of amphibians to locations in the wild where B. dendrobatidis persists. Moreover, given the conserved nature of vertebrate immune responses to fungi5 and the fact that many animals are capable of learning to avoid natural enemies10, these results offer hope that other wild animal taxa threatened by invasive fungi might be rescued by management approaches based on herd immunity. PMID:25008531

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Two-stage recovery of amphibian assemblages following selective logging of tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Adum, Gilbert Baase; Eichhorn, Markus Peter; Oduro, William; Ofori-Boateng, Caleb; Rödel, Mark-Oliver

    2013-04-01

    There is a lack of quantitative information on the effectiveness of selective-logging practices in ameliorating effects of logging on faunal communities. We conducted a large-scale replicated field study in 3 selectively logged moist semideciduous forests in West Africa at varying times after timber extraction to assess post logging effects on amphibian assemblages. Specifically, we assessed whether the diversity, abundance, and assemblage composition of amphibians changed over time for forest-dependent species and those tolerant of forest disturbance. In 2009, we sampled amphibians in 3 forests (total of 48 study plots, each 2 ha) in southwestern Ghana. In each forest, we established plots in undisturbed forest, recently logged forest, and forest logged 10 and 20 years previously. Logging intensity was constant across sites with 3 trees/ha removed. Recently logged forests supported substantially more species than unlogged forests. This was due to an influx of disturbance-tolerant species after logging. Simultaneously Simpson's index decreased, with increased in dominance of a few species. As time since logging increased richness of disturbance-tolerant species decreased until 10 years after logging when their composition was indistinguishable from unlogged forests. Simpson's index increased with time since logging and was indistinguishable from unlogged forest 20 years after logging. Forest specialists decreased after logging and recovered slowly. However, after 20 years amphibian assemblages had returned to a state indistinguishable from that of undisturbed forest in both abundance and composition. These results demonstrate that even with low-intensity logging (≤3 trees/ha) a minimum 20-year rotation of logging is required for effective conservation of amphibian assemblages in moist semideciduous forests. Furthermore, remnant patches of intact forests retained in the landscape and the presence of permanent brooks may aid in the effective recovery of amphibian

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum form an association with the green alga "Oophila amblystomatis" (Lambert ex Wille), which, in addition to growing within individual egg capsules, has recently been reported to invade embryonic tissues and cells. The binomial O. amblystomatis refers to the algae that occur in A. maculatum egg capsules, but it is unknown whether this population of symbionts constitutes one or several different algal taxa. Moreover, it is unknown whether egg masses across the geographic range of A. maculatum, or other amphibians, associate with one or multiple algal taxa. To address these questions, we conducted a phylogeographic study of algae sampled from egg capsules of A. maculatum, its allopatric congener A. gracile, and two frogs: Lithobates sylvatica and L. aurora. All of these North American amphibians form associations with algae in their egg capsules. We sampled algae from egg capsules of these four amphibians from localities across North America, established representative algal cultures, and amplified and sequenced a region of 18S rDNA for phylogenetic analysis. Our combined analysis shows that symbiotic algae found in egg masses of four North American amphibians are closely related to each other, and form a well-supported clade that also contains three strains of free-living chlamydomonads. We designate this group as the 'Oophila' clade, within which the symbiotic algae are further divided into four distinct subclades. Phylogenies of the host amphibians and their algal symbionts are only partially congruent, suggesting that host-switching and co-speciation both play roles in their associations. We also established conditions for isolating and rearing algal symbionts from amphibian egg capsules, which should facilitate further study of these egg mass specialist algae. PMID:25393119

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region. PMID:22978248

  8. Mapping the Global Emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

    PubMed Central

    Ronnenberg, Kathryn L.; Powell, Christopher I.; Walker, Susan F.; Bielby, Jon; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Weaver, George

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Where have all the tadpoles gone? Individual genetic tracking of amphibian larvae until adulthood

    PubMed Central

    RINGLER, EVA; MANGIONE, ROSANNA; RINGLER, MAX

    2015-01-01

    Reliably marking larvae and reidentifying them after metamorphosis is a challenge that has hampered studies on recruitment, dispersal, migration and survivorship of amphibians for a long time, as conventional tags are not reliably retained through metamorphosis. Molecular methods allow unique genetic fingerprints to be established for individuals. Although microsatellite markers have successfully been applied in mark–recapture studies on several animal species, they have never been previously used in amphibians to follow individuals across different life cycle stages. Here, we evaluate microsatellites for genetic across-stages mark–recapture studies in amphibians and test the suitability of available software packages for genotype matching. We sampled tadpoles of the dendrobatid frog Allobates femoralis, which we introduced on a river island in the Nature Reserve ‘Les Nouragues’ in French Guiana. In two subsequent recapture sessions, we searched for surviving juveniles and adults, respectively. All individuals were genotyped at 14 highly variable microsatellite loci, which yielded unique genetic fingerprints for all individuals. We found large differences in the identification success of the programs tested. The pairwise-relatedness-based approach, conducted with the programs kingroup or ML-Relate, performed best with our data set. Matching ventral patterns of juveniles and adult individuals acted as a control for the reliability of the genetic identification. Our results demonstrate that microsatellite markers are a highly powerful tool for studying amphibian populations on an individual basis. The ability to individually track amphibian tadpoles throughout metamorphosis until adulthood will be of substantial value for future studies on amphibian population ecology and evolution. PMID:25388775

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Most amphibians breed in water, including the terrestrial species, and may therefore be exposed to water-borne pharmaceuticals during critical phases of the reproductive cycle, i.e. sex differentiation and gamete maturation. The objectives of this paper were to (i) review available literature regarding adverse effects of hormonally active pharmaceuticals on amphibians, with special reference to environmentally relevant exposure levels and (ii) expand the knowledge on toxicity of progestagens in amphibians by determining effects of norethindrone (NET) and progesterone (P) exposure to 0, 1, 10 or 100 ng l−1 (nominal) on oogenesis in the test species Xenopus tropicalis. Very little information was found on toxicity of environmentally relevant concentrations of pharmaceuticals on amphibians. Research has shown that environmental concentrations (1.8 ng l−1) of the pharmaceutical oestrogen ethinylestradiol (EE2) cause developmental reproductive toxicity involving impaired spermatogenesis in frogs. Recently, it was found that the progestagen levonorgestrel (LNG) inhibited oogenesis in frogs by interrupting the formation of vitellogenic oocytes at an environmentally relevant concentration (1.3 ng l−1). Results from the present study revealed that 1 ng NET l−1 and 10 ng P l−1 caused reduced proportions of vitellogenic oocytes and increased proportions of previtellogenic oocytes compared with the controls, thereby indicating inhibited vitellogenesis. Hence, the available literature shows that the oestrogen EE2 and the progestagens LNG, NET and P impair reproductive functions in amphibians at environmentally relevant exposure concentrations. The progestagens are of particular concern given their prevalence, the range of compounds and that several of them (LNG, NET and P) share the same target (oogenesis) at environmental exposure concentrations, indicating a risk for adverse effects on fertility in exposed wild amphibians. PMID:25405966

  11. Where have all the tadpoles gone? Individual genetic tracking of amphibian larvae until adulthood.

    PubMed

    Ringler, Eva; Mangione, Rosanna; Ringler, Max

    2015-07-01

    Reliably marking larvae and reidentifying them after metamorphosis is a challenge that has hampered studies on recruitment, dispersal, migration and survivorship of amphibians for a long time, as conventional tags are not reliably retained through metamorphosis. Molecular methods allow unique genetic fingerprints to be established for individuals. Although microsatellite markers have successfully been applied in mark-recapture studies on several animal species, they have never been previously used in amphibians to follow individuals across different life cycle stages. Here, we evaluate microsatellites for genetic across-stages mark-recapture studies in amphibians and test the suitability of available software packages for genotype matching. We sampled tadpoles of the dendrobatid frog Allobates femoralis, which we introduced on a river island in the Nature Reserve 'Les Nouragues' in French Guiana. In two subsequent recapture sessions, we searched for surviving juveniles and adults, respectively. All individuals were genotyped at 14 highly variable microsatellite loci, which yielded unique genetic fingerprints for all individuals. We found large differences in the identification success of the programs tested. The pairwise-relatedness-based approach, conducted with the programs kingroup or ML-Relate, performed best with our data set. Matching ventral patterns of juveniles and adult individuals acted as a control for the reliability of the genetic identification. Our results demonstrate that microsatellite markers are a highly powerful tool for studying amphibian populations on an individual basis. The ability to individually track amphibian tadpoles throughout metamorphosis until adulthood will be of substantial value for future studies on amphibian population ecology and evolution. PMID:25388775

  12. Demographic responses to weather fluctuations are context dependent in a long-lived amphibian.

    PubMed

    Cayuela, Hugo; Arsovski, Dragan; Thirion, Jean-Marc; Bonnaire, Eric; Pichenot, Julian; Boitaud, Sylvain; Miaud, Claude; Joly, Pierre; Besnard, Aurélien

    2016-08-01

    Weather fluctuations have been demonstrated to affect demographic traits in many species. In long-lived organisms, their impact on adult survival might be buffered by the evolution of traits that reduce variation in interannual adult survival. For example, skipping breeding is an effective behavioral mechanism that may limit yearly variation in adult survival when harsh weather conditions occur; however, this in turn would likely lead to strong variation in recruitment. Yet, only a few studies to date have examined the impact of weather variation on survival, recruitment and breeding probability simultaneously in different populations of the same species. To fill this gap, we studied the impact of spring temperatures and spring rainfall on survival, on reproductive skipping behavior and on recruitment in five populations of a long-lived amphibian, the yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata). Based on capture-recapture data, our findings demonstrate that survival depends on interactions between age, population and weather variation. Varying weather conditions in the spring result in strong variation in the survival of immature toads, whereas they have little effect on adult toads. Breeding probability depends on both the individual's previous reproductive status and on the weather conditions during the current breeding season, leading to high interannual variation in recruitment. Crucially, we found that the impact of weather variation on demographic traits is largely context dependent and may thus differ sharply between populations. Our results suggest that studies predicting the impact of climate change on population dynamics should be taken with caution when the relationship between climate and demographic traits is established using only one population or few populations. We therefore highly recommend further research that includes surveys replicated in a substantial number of populations to account for context-dependent variation in demographic processes. PMID

  13. Interleukin 1 in oviductal tissues of viviparous, oviparous, and ovuliparous species of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Jantra, Silke; Bigliardi, Elisa; Brizzi, Rossana; Ietta, Francesca; Bechi, Nicoletta; Paulesu, Luana

    2007-06-01

    In previous reports, we have shown that interleukin 1 (IL1), a cytokine associated with implantation in mice, is also expressed in reproductive tissues of viviparous squamate reptiles and cartilaginous fishes. In the present study, we investigated the expression of IL1B and its functional membrane receptor type I (IL1R1) in amphibians, a class of vertebrates that is characterized by different reproductive modes, including internal and external fertilization. In particular, we investigated the oviductal tissues of the aplacental viviparous Salamandra lanzai, the oviparous Triturus carnifex, and the ovuliparous Bufo bufo. In immunohistochemistry with anti-human IL1B and IL1R1 polyclonal antibodies we found that in S. lanzai, most cells in the uterine mucosa were immunoreactive for IL1B and IL1R1. In T. carnifex, IL1B and IL1R1 were present in ciliated luminal cells, and there was evidence of IL1B in glandular cells. In B. bufo, the expression of IL1B and IL1R1 was limited to the apical cytoplasm of the ciliated oviductal cells. Western blot analysis showed that a putative mature form of IL1B, similar to that seen in mammals, was present in the oviductal tissues of S. lanzai, whereas different forms, which probably correspond to an inactive pro-IL1B protein, were found in T. carnifex and B. bufo. A band that corresponded to the predicted 80-kDa human IL1R1 was found in S. lanzai and T. carnifex. Although the present study shows that IL1B and IL1R1 expression occurs in all reproductive modes, the differential expression patterns noted between ovuliparity and oviparity and viviparity may reflect the different roles of IL1 in the various reproductive modes. PMID:17314310

  14. Antipredator defenses predict diversification rates

    PubMed Central

    Arbuckle, Kevin; Speed, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    The “escape-and-radiate” hypothesis predicts that antipredator defenses facilitate adaptive radiations by enabling escape from constraints of predation, diversified habitat use, and subsequently speciation. Animals have evolved diverse strategies to reduce the direct costs of predation, including cryptic coloration and behavior, chemical defenses, mimicry, and advertisement of unprofitability (conspicuous warning coloration). Whereas the survival consequences of these alternative defenses for individuals are well-studied, little attention has been given to the macroevolutionary consequences of alternative forms of defense. Here we show, using amphibians as the first, to our knowledge, large-scale empirical test in animals, that there are important macroevolutionary consequences of alternative defenses. However, the escape-and-radiate hypothesis does not adequately describe them, due to its exclusive focus on speciation. We examined how rates of speciation and extinction vary across defensive traits throughout amphibians. Lineages that use chemical defenses show higher rates of speciation as predicted by escape-and-radiate but also show higher rates of extinction compared with those without chemical defense. The effect of chemical defense is a net reduction in diversification compared with lineages without chemical defense. In contrast, acquisition of conspicuous coloration (often used as warning signals or in mimicry) is associated with heightened speciation rates but unchanged extinction rates. We conclude that predictions based on the escape-and-radiate hypothesis must incorporate the effect of traits on both speciation and extinction, which is rarely considered in such studies. Our results also suggest that knowledge of defensive traits could have a bearing on the predictability of extinction, perhaps especially important in globally threatened taxa such as amphibians. PMID:26483488

  15. Antipredator defenses predict diversification rates.

    PubMed

    Arbuckle, Kevin; Speed, Michael P

    2015-11-01

    The "escape-and-radiate" hypothesis predicts that antipredator defenses facilitate adaptive radiations by enabling escape from constraints of predation, diversified habitat use, and subsequently speciation. Animals have evolved diverse strategies to reduce the direct costs of predation, including cryptic coloration and behavior, chemical defenses, mimicry, and advertisement of unprofitability (conspicuous warning coloration). Whereas the survival consequences of these alternative defenses for individuals are well-studied, little attention has been given to the macroevolutionary consequences of alternative forms of defense. Here we show, using amphibians as the first, to our knowledge, large-scale empirical test in animals, that there are important macroevolutionary consequences of alternative defenses. However, the escape-and-radiate hypothesis does not adequately describe them, due to its exclusive focus on speciation. We examined how rates of speciation and extinction vary across defensive traits throughout amphibians. Lineages that use chemical defenses show higher rates of speciation as predicted by escape-and-radiate but also show higher rates of extinction compared with those without chemical defense. The effect of chemical defense is a net reduction in diversification compared with lineages without chemical defense. In contrast, acquisition of conspicuous coloration (often used as warning signals or in mimicry) is associated with heightened speciation rates but unchanged extinction rates. We conclude that predictions based on the escape-and-radiate hypothesis must incorporate the effect of traits on both speciation and extinction, which is rarely considered in such studies. Our results also suggest that knowledge of defensive traits could have a bearing on the predictability of extinction, perhaps especially important in globally threatened taxa such as amphibians. PMID:26483488

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

    PubMed

    Fasola, E; Ribeiro, R; Lopes, I

    2015-09-01

    The loss of genetic diversity, due to exposure to chemical contamination (genetic erosion), is a major threat to population viability. Genetic erosion is the loss of genetic variation: the loss of alleles determining the value of a specific trait or set of traits. Almost a third of the known amphibian species is considered to be endangered and a decrease of genetic variability can push them to the verge of extinction. This review indicates that loss of genetic variation due to chemical contamination has effects on: 1) fitness, 2) environmental plasticity, 3) co-tolerance mechanisms, 4) trade-off mechanisms, and 5) tolerance to pathogens in amphibian populations. PMID:25969378

  17. A highly divergent picornavirus in an amphibian, the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)

    PubMed Central

    Boros, Ákos; Tóth, Zoltán; Gia Phan, Tung; Delwart, Eric; Pankovics, Péter

    2015-01-01

    Genetically highly divergent picornavirus (Newt/2013/HUN, KP770140) was detected using viral metagenomics in faecal samples of free-living smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris). Newt picornavirus was identified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in six (25 %) of the 24 samples originating from individuals caught in two out of the six investigated natural ponds in Hungary. The first picornavirus in amphibians expands the host range of members of the Picornaviridae, and opens a new research field in picornavirus evolution in lower vertebrates. Newt picornavirus represents a novel species in a novel genus within the family Picornaviridae, provisionally named genus Ampivirus (amphibian picornavirus). PMID:26018961

  18. A highly divergent picornavirus in an amphibian, the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Reuter, Gábor; Boros, Ákos; Tóth, Zoltán; Gia Phan, Tung; Delwart, Eric; Pankovics, Péter

    2015-09-01

    Genetically highly divergent picornavirus (Newt/2013/HUN, KP770140) was detected using viral metagenomics in faecal samples of free-living smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris). Newt picornavirus was identified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in six (25 %) of the 24 samples originating from individuals caught in two out of the six investigated natural ponds in Hungary. The first picornavirus in amphibians expands the host range of members of the Picornaviridae, and opens a new research field in picornavirus evolution in lower vertebrates. Newt picornavirus represents a novel species in a novel genus within the family Picornaviridae, provisionally named genus Ampivirus (amphibian picornavirus). PMID:26018961

  19. Amphibian egg cytoplasm response to altered g-forces and gravity orientation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neff, A. W.; Smith, R. C.; Malacinski, G. M.

    1986-01-01

    Elucidation of dorsal/ventral polarity and primary embryonic axis development in amphibian embryos requires an understanding of cytoplasmic rearrangements in fertile eggs at the biophysical, physiological, and biochemical levels. Evidence is presented that amphibian egg cytoplasmic components are compartmentalized. The effects of altered orientation to the gravitational vector (i.e., egg inversion) and alterations in gravity force ranging from hypergravity (centrifugation) to simulated microgravity (i.e., horizontal clinostat rotation) on cytoplasmic compartment rearrangements are reviewed. The behavior of yolk compartments as well as a newly defined (with monoclonal antibody) nonyolk cytoplasmic compartment, in inverted eggs and in eggs rotated on horizontal clinostats at their buoyant density, is discussed.

  20. A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO CHARACTERIZING AND PREDICTING THYROID TOXICITY USING AN AMPHIBIAN MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA was recently mandated to evaluate the potential effects of chemicals on endocrine function and has identified Xenopus as a model organism to use as the basis for a thyroid disruption screening assay. The main objective of this work is to develop a hypothalamic-pituitary-t...

  1. DEVELOPING A WETLAND MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM IN MONTANA: AMPHIBIANS AND AQUATIC REPTILES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Timed visual encounter and dipnet surveys will be used to detect patterns of presence/nondetection and relative abundance of amphibians and aquatic reptiles in all standing water bodies in a number of randomly selected 6th level (12 digit) HUC watersheds in the Northern Rocky Mou...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  3. Design and Management Criteria for Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Communities Within Created Agricultural Wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Design and management criteria for created agricultural wetlands in the midwestern United States typically focus on maximizing the ability to process agricultural runoff. Ecological benefits for fish, amphibian, and reptiles are often secondary considerations. One example of this water quality focu...

  4. Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles at Mojave National Preserve: Final Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2007-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Mojave National Preserve in 2004-2005. Objectives for this inventory were to use fieldwork, museum collections, and literature review to document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at MOJA. Our goals were to document at least 90% of the species present, provide one voucher specimen for each species identified, provide GIS-referenced distribution information for sensitive species, and provide all deliverables, including NPSpecies entries, as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys and nighttime road driving. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 31 species during our surveys. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we found records for seven additional species from MOJA, elevating the documented species list to 38 (two amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 95% for Mojave National Preserve herpetofauna; 67% for amphibians and 97% for reptiles.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    Rising temperatures, a widespread consequence of climate change, have been implicated in enigmatic amphibian declines from habitats with little apparent human impact. The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), now widespread in Neotropical mountains, may act in synergy with climate change causing collapse in thermally stressed hosts. We measured the thermal tolerance of frogs along a wide elevational gradient in the Tropical Andes, where frog populations have collapsed. We used the difference between critical thermal maximum and the temperature a frog experiences in nature as a measure of tolerance to high temperatures. Temperature tolerance increased as elevation increased, suggesting that frogs at higher elevations may be less sensitive to rising temperatures. We tested the alternative pathogen optimal growth hypothesis that prevalence of the pathogen should decrease as temperatures fall outside the optimal range of pathogen growth. Our infection-prevalence data supported the pathogen optimal growth hypothesis because we found that prevalence of Bd increased when host temperatures matched its optimal growth range. These findings suggest that rising temperatures may not be the driver of amphibian declines in the eastern slopes of the Andes. Zoonotic outbreaks of Bd are the most parsimonious hypothesis to explain the collapse of montane amphibian faunas; but our results also reveal that lowland tropical amphibians, despite being shielded from Bd by higher temperatures, are vulnerable to climate-warming stress. PMID:24372791

  6. More than skin deep: functional genomic basis for resistance to amphibian chytridiomycosis.

    PubMed

    Ellison, Amy R; Tunstall, Tate; DiRenzo, Graziella V; Hughey, Myra C; Rebollar, Eria A; Belden, Lisa K; Harris, Reid N; Ibáñez, Roberto; Lips, Karen R; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-01-01

    The amphibian-killing chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is one of the most generalist pathogens known, capable of infecting hundreds of species globally and causing widespread population declines and extinctions. However, some host species are seemingly unaffected by Bd, tolerating or clearing infections without clinical signs of disease. Variation in host immune responses is commonly evoked for these resistant or tolerant species, yet to date, we have no direct comparison of amphibian species responses to infection at the level of gene expression. In this study, we challenged four Central American frog species that vary in Bd susceptibility, with a sympatric virulent strain of the pathogen. We compared skin and spleen orthologous gene expression using differential expression tests and coexpression gene network analyses. We found that resistant species have reduced skin inflammatory responses and increased expression of genes involved in skin integrity. In contrast, only highly susceptible species exhibited suppression of splenic T-cell genes. We conclude that resistance to chytridiomycosis may be related to a species' ability to escape the immunosuppressive activity of the fungus. Moreover, our results indicate that within-species differences in splenic proteolytic enzyme gene expression may contribute to intraspecific variation in survival. This first comparison of amphibian functional immunogenomic architecture in response to Bd provides insights into key genetic mechanisms underlying variation in disease outcomes among amphibian species. PMID:25539724

  7. Energy, water and large-scale patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, Miguel Á.; Belmontes, Juan Alfonso; Hawkins, Bradford A.

    2005-07-01

    We used regression analyses to examine the relationships between reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe and 11 environmental variables related to five hypotheses for geographical patterns of species richness: (1) productivity; (2) ambient energy; (3) water-energy balance, (4) habitat heterogeneity; and (5) climatic variability. For reptiles, annual potential evapotranspiration (PET), a measure of the amount of atmospheric energy, explained 71% of the variance, with variability in log elevation explaining an additional 6%. For amphibians, annual actual evapotranspiration (AET), a measure of the joint availability of energy and water in the environment, and the global vegetation index, an estimate of plant biomass generated through satellite remote sensing, both described similar proportions of the variance (61% and 60%, respectively) and had partially independent effects on richness as indicated by multiple regression. The two-factor environmental models successfully removed most of the statistically detectable spatial autocorrelation in the richness data of both groups. Our results are consistent with reptile and amphibian environmental requirements, where the former depend strongly on solar energy and the latter require both warmth and moisture for reproduction. We conclude that ambient energy explains the reptile richness pattern, whereas for amphibians a combination of water-energy balance and productivity best explain the pattern.

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

    PubMed

    Reading, C J

    2007-02-01

    There is general consensus that climate change has contributed to the observed decline, and extinction, of many amphibian species throughout the world. However, the mechanisms of its effects remain unclear. A laboratory study in 1980-1981 in which temperate zone amphibians that were prevented from hibernating had decreased growth rates, matured at a smaller size and had increased mortality compared with those that hibernated suggested one possible mechanism. I used data from a field study of common toads (Bufo bufo) in the UK, between 1983 and 2005, to determine whether this also occurs in the field. The results demonstrated two pathways by which global warming may cause amphibian declines. First, there was a clear relationship between a decline in the body condition of female common toads and the occurrence of warmer than average years since 1983. This was paralleled by a decline in their annual survival rates with the relationship between these two declines being highly correlated. Second, there was a significant relationship between the occurrence of mild winters and a reduction in female body size, resulting in fewer eggs being laid annually. Climate warming can, therefore, act on wild temperate zone amphibians by deleteriously affecting their physiology, during and after hibernation, causing increased female mortality rates and decreased fecundity in survivors. PMID:17024381

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Relative to other animal taxa, ecotoxicological studies on amphibians are scarce, even though amphibians are experiencing global declines and pollution has been identified as an important threat. Agricultural lands provide important habitats for many amphibians, but often these lands are contaminated with pesticides. The authors determined the acute toxicity, in terms of 96-h median lethal concentrations, of the carbamate pesticide methomyl on larvae of 3 Asian amphibian species, the Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), the brown tree frog (Polypedates megacephalus), and the marbled pygmy frog (Microhyla pulchra), at 5 different temperatures (15 °C, 20 °C, 25 °C, 30 °C, and 35 °C) to examine the relationships between temperature and toxicity. Significant interspecific variation in methomyl sensitivity and 2 distinct patterns of temperature-dependent toxicity were found. Because high proportions of malformation among the surviving tadpoles were observed, a further test was carried out on the tree frog to determine effect concentrations using malformation as the endpoint. Concentrations as low as 1.4% of the corresponding 96-h median lethal concentrations at 25 °C were sufficient to cause malformation in 50% of the test population. As the toxicity of pesticides may be significantly amplified at higher temperatures, temperature effects should not be overlooked in ecotoxicological studies and derivation of safety limits in environmental risk assessment and management. PMID:25959379

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Framework for assessment and monitoring of amphibians and reptiles in the Lower Urubamba region, Peru.

    PubMed

    Icochea, Javier; Quispitupac, Eliana; Portilla, Alfredo; Ponce, Elias

    2002-05-01

    Populations of amphibians and reptiles are experiencing new or increasing threats to their survival. Many of these threats are directly attributable to human activity and resource development. This presents the increasing need for worldwide amphibian and reptile assessments and effective, standardized monitoring protocols. Adaptive management techniques can assist managers in identifying and mitigating threats to amphibian and reptile populations. In 1996, Shell Prospecting and Development, Peru initiated a natural gas exploration project in the rainforest of southeastern Peru. The Smithsonian Institution's Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program worked closely with Shell engineers and managers to establish an adaptive management program to protect the region's biodiversity. In this manuscript, we discuss the steps we took to establish an adaptive management program for amphibian and reptile communities in the region. We define and outline the conceptual issues involved in establishing an assessment and monitoring program, including setting objectives, evaluating the results and making appropriate decisions. We also provide results from the assessment and discuss the appropriateness and effectiveness of protocols and criteria used for selecting species to monitor. PMID:12125750

  12. PALATABILITY OF NORTHWESTERN AMPHIBIAN LARVAE TO NATIVE AND INTRODUCED FISHES: IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSERVATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Non-native gamefish have been introduced throughout the Pacific Northwest, representing one of the most marked alterations of wetlands used by native amphibians. In laboratory tests, we examined susceptibility of larvae of 3 salamander and 3 frog species to selected species of na...

  13. Association of amphibians with attenuation of ultraviolet-b radiation in montane ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, M.J.; Schindler, D.E.; Bury, B.R.

    2001-01-01

    Ambient ultraviolet-b (UV-B) radiation (280-320 nm) has increased at north-temperate latitudes in the last two decades. UV-B can be detrimental to amphibians, and amphibians have shown declines in some areas during this same period. We documented the distribution of amphibians and salmonids in 42 remote, subalpine and alpine ponds in Olympic National Park, Washington, United States. We inferred relative exposure of amphibian habitats to UV-B by estimating the transmission of 305- and 320-nm radiation in pond water. We found breeding Ambystoma gracile, A. macrodactylum and Rana cascadae at 33%, 31%, and 45% of the study sites, respectively. Most R. cascadae bred in fishless shallow ponds with relatively low transmission of UV-B. The relationship with UV-B exposure remained marginally significant even after the presence of fish was included in the model. At 50 cm water depth, there was a 55% reduction in incident 305-nm radiation at sites where breeding populations of R. cascadae were detected compared to other sites. We did not detect associations between UV-B transmission and A. gracile or A. macrodactylum. Our field surveys do not provide evidence for decline of R. cascadae in Olympic National Park as has been documented in Northern California, but are consistent with the hypothesis that the spatial distribution of R. cascadae breeding sites is influenced by exposure to UV-B. Substrate or pond depth could also be related to the distribution of R. cascadae in Olympic National Park.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Response of amphibian egg non-yolk cytoplasm to gravity orientation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, R. C.; Neff, A. W.; Malacinski, G. M.

    1985-01-01

    In order to study amphibian egg cytoplasmic organization and egg symmetrization at the molecular level, a library of seventeen monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) against Xenopus laevis non-yolk egg proteins was produced. Several of these MoAbs react with non-yolk cytoplasmic antigens which are unevenly distributed in the fertile Xenopus egg.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Recent studies suggest that direct mortality and physiological effects caused by pollutants are major contributing factors to global amphibian decline. However, even sublethal concentrations of pollutants could be harmful if they combined with other factors to cause high mortality in amphibians. Here we show that sublethal concentrations of pollutants can disrupt the ability of amphibian larvae to recognize predators, hence increasing their risk of predation. This effect is indeed much more important since very low amounts of pollutants are ubiquitous, and environmental efforts are mostly directed towards preventing lethal spills. We analyzed the effects of two common contaminants (humic acid and ammonium nitrate) on the ability of tadpoles of the western spadefoot toad (Pelobates cultripes) to recognize chemical cues from a common predator, nymphs of the dragonfly Anax imperator. We compared the swimming activity of tadpoles in the presence and absence of water-borne chemical cues from dragonflies at different concentrations of humic acid and ammonium nitrate. Tadpoles reduced swimming activity in response to predator cues in the absence of pollutants, whereas they remained unresponsive to these cues when either humic acid or ammonium nitrate was added to the water, even at low concentrations. Moreover, changes in tadpole activity associated with the pollutants themselves were non-significant, indicating no toxic effect. Alteration of the natural chemical environment of aquatic systems by pollutants may be an important contributing cause for declines in amphibian populations, even at sublethal concentrations. PMID:26765086