Science.gov

Sample records for amphibian gastrophryne carolinensis

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hopkins, W.A.; DuRant, S.E.; Staub, B.P.; Rowe, C.L.; Jackson, B.P.

    2006-05-15

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  3. Patterns of amphibian infection prevalence across wetlands on the Savannah River Site, South Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Love, Cara N; Winzeler, Megan E; Beasley, Rochelle; Scott, David E; Nunziata, Schyler O; Lance, Stacey L

    2016-08-31

    Amphibian diseases, such as chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and ranaviral disease caused by ranaviruses, are often linked to global amphibian population declines, yet the ecological dynamics of both pathogens are poorly understood. The goal of our study was to determine the baseline prevalence, pathogen loads, and co-infection rate of Bd and ranavirus across the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, USA, a region with rich amphibian diversity and a history of amphibian-based research. We tested over 1000 individuals, encompassing 21 amphibian species from 11 wetlands for both Bd and ranavirus. The prevalence of Bd across individuals was 9.7%. Using wetland means, the mean (±SE) Bd prevalence was 7.9 ± 2.9%. Among toad species, Anaxyrus terrestris had 95 and 380% greater odds of being infected with Bd than Scaphiopus holbrookii and Gastrophryne carolinensis, respectively. Odds of Bd infection in adult A. terrestris and Lithobates sphenocephalus were 75 to 77% greater in metal-contaminated sites. The prevalence of ranavirus infections across all individuals was 37.4%. Mean wetland ranavirus prevalence was 29.8 ± 8.8% and was higher in post-metamorphic individuals than in aquatic larvae. Ambystoma tigrinum had 83 to 85% higher odds of ranavirus infection than A. opacum and A. talpoideum. We detected a 4.8% co-infection rate, with individuals positive for ranavirus having a 5% higher occurrence of Bd. In adult Anaxyrus terrestris, odds of Bd infection were 13% higher in ranavirus-positive animals and odds of co-infection were 23% higher in contaminated wetlands. Overall, we found the pathogen prevalence varied by wetland, species, and life stage.

  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. Multiple stressors and complex life cycles: insights from a population-level assessment of breeding site contamination and terrestrial habitat loss in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Salice, Christopher J; Rowe, Christopher L; Pechmann, Joseph H K; Hopkins, William A

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the effects of chemical contaminants on natural populations is challenging, as multiple anthropogenic and natural stressors may individually and interactively influence responses. Population models can be used to evaluate the impacts of multiple stressors and to provide insight into population-level effects and/or data gaps. For amphibians with complex life cycles, population models may be useful in understanding impacts of stressors that are unique to the habitat type (aquatic, terrestrial) and that operate at different times in the life cycle. We investigated the population-level effects of aquatic contaminants (coal combustion residues, CCR) and terrestrial habitat loss on the eastern narrowmouth toad, Gastrophryne carolinensis, using existing empirical data that demonstrated negative reproductive and developmental effects of CCR and a series of population models that incorporated density dependence and environmental stochasticity. Results of deterministic models indicated that when terrestrial habitat was abundant, CCR-exposed toads had a larger population size compared to the reference population as a result of reduced density-dependent effects on larval survival. However, when stochasticity in the form of catastrophic reproductive failure was included, CCR-exposed toads were more susceptible to decline and extinction compared to toads from the reference populations. The results highlight the complexities involved in assessing the effects of anthropogenic factors on natural populations, especially for species that are exposed to multiple biotic and abiotic stressors during different periods in the life cycle.

  6. The immunoglobulin heavy chain locus in the reptile Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Gambón Deza, Francisco; Sánchez Espinel, Christian; Magadán Mompó, Susana

    2009-05-01

    We describe the entire immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus from the reptile Anolis carolinensis. The heavy chain constant (C(H)) region includes C mu, C delta and C upsilon genes. This is the first description of a C upsilon gene in the reptilian class. Variable (V(H)), diversity (D(H)) and joining (J(H)) genes are located 5' from the constant (C(H)) chain complex locus. The C mu and C upsilon genes encode antibodies with four immunoglobulin domains. The C delta gene encoded an 11 domain delta heavy chain as in Eublepharis macularius. Seventy V(H) genes, belonging to 28 families, were identified, and they can be sorted into five broader groups. The similarity of the organization of the reptilian genes with those of amphibians and mammals suggests the existence of a process of heavy chain genomic reorganization before the radiation of tetrapod vertebrates.

  7. The occurrence of hepatozoon in the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.; Price, D.L.

    1955-01-01

    Hepatozoon sciuri (Coles, 1914) is reported from gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Blood smears stained with Giemsa's stain revealed a parasitemia in 16 to 71% of the squirrels examined. A technique for laking the red cells and concentrating the white cells in blood samples demonstrated this protozoon to be present in every squirrel so tested.

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

    PubMed

    Goodman, Rachel M; Walguarnery, Justin W

    2007-08-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Endoscopy in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Diseases of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Densmore, Christine L; Green, David Earl

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Amphibian renal disease.

    PubMed

    Cecil, Todd R

    2006-01-01

    Amphibians by nature have an intimate connection with the aquatic environment at some stage of development and fight an osmotic battle due to the influx of water. Many amphibians have acquired a more terrestrial existence at later stages of development and consequently have physiologic adaptations to conserve moisture. Renal adaptations have allowed amphibians successfully to bridge the gap between aqueous and terrestrial habitats. The kidneys, skin,and, in many amphibian species, the urinary bladder play key roles in fluid homeostasis. Renal impairment may be responsible for the clinical manifestation of disease, morbidity, and mortality.

  14. 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.

  15. Kneallhazia carolinensae sp. nov., a microsporidian pathogen of the thief ant, Solenopsis carolinensis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A new species of microsporidia is described from adults of the thief ant, Solenopsis carolinensis, collected in Florida, USA. Morphological and genetic characterization of this new species showed that it is most closely related to the genus Kneallhazia and is therefore formally designated, Kneallha...

  16. 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

  17. Reproductive Medicine in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin

    2017-02-04

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

  18. Antiviral immunity in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis, is a key species for both laboratory and field-based studies of evolutionary genetics, development, neurobiology, physiology, behavior, and ecology. As the first non-avian reptilian genome sequenced, A. carolinesis is also a prime reptilian model for comparison with other vertebrate genomes. The public databases of Ensembl and NCBI have provided a first generation gene annotation of the anole genome that relies primarily on sequence conservation with related species. A second generation annotation based on tissue-specific transcriptomes would provide a valuable resource for molecular studies. Results Here we provide an annotation of the A. carolinensis genome based on de novo assembly of deep transcriptomes of 14 adult and embryonic tissues. This revised annotation describes 59,373 transcripts, compared to 16,533 and 18,939 currently for Ensembl and NCBI, and 22,962 predicted protein-coding genes. A key improvement in this revised annotation is coverage of untranslated region (UTR) sequences, with 79% and 59% of transcripts containing 5’ and 3’ UTRs, respectively. Gaps in genome sequence from the current A. carolinensis build (Anocar2.0) are highlighted by our identification of 16,542 unmapped transcripts, representing 6,695 orthologues, with less than 70% genomic coverage. Conclusions Incorporation of tissue-specific transcriptome sequence into the A. carolinensis genome annotation has markedly improved its utility for comparative and functional studies. Increased UTR coverage allows for more accurate predicted protein sequence and regulatory analysis. This revised annotation also provides an atlas of gene expression specific to adult and embryonic tissues. PMID:23343042

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

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

  6. Amphibians of Olympic National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    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.

  7. 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…

  8. An Ixodes minor and Borrelia carolinensis enzootic cycle involving a critically endangered Mojave Desert rodent.

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet; Ott-Conn, Caitlin; Worth, Joy; Poulsen, Amanda; Clifford, Deana

    2014-03-01

    Microtus californicus scirpensis is an endangered, isolated subspecies of California vole. It requires water pools and riparian bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus) and occupies some of the rarest habitat of any North American mammal. The minimally vegetated, extremely arid desert surrounding the pools is essentially uninhabitable for Ixodes species ticks. We describe an enzootic cycle of Borrelia carolinensis in Ixodes minor ticks at a site 3500 km distant from the region in which I. minor is known to occur in Tecopa Host Springs, Inyo County, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Voles were live-trapped, and ticks and blood samples queried by PCR and DNA sequencing for identification and determination of the presence of Borrelia spp. Between 2011-2013, we found 21 Ixodes minor ticks (prevalence 4-8%) on Amargosa voles and Reithrodontomys megalotis. DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA from ticks yielded 99% identity to I. minor. There was 92% identity with I. minor in the calreticulin gene fragment. Three ticks (23.1%), 15 (24%) voles, three (27%) house mice, and one (7%) harvest mice were PCR positive for Borrelia spp. Sequencing of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region and flagellin gene assigned Amargosa vole Borrelia strains to B. carolinensis. Ixodes minor, first described in 1902 from a single Guatemalan record, reportedly occurs only in the southeast American on small mammals and birds. The source of this tick in the Mojave Desert and time scale for introduction is not known but likely via migratory birds. Borrelia strains in the Amargosa ecosystem most closely resemble B. carolinensis. B. carolinensis occurs in a rodent-I. minor enzootic cycle in the southeast U.S. although its epidemiological significance for people or rodents is unknown. The presence of a tick and Borrelia spp. only known from southeast U.S. in this extremely isolated habitat on the other side of the continent is of serious concern because it suggests that the animals in the ecosystem

  9. An Ixodes minor and Borrelia carolinensis enzootic cycle involving a critically endangered Mojave Desert rodent

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Janet; Ott-Conn, Caitlin; Worth, Joy; Poulsen, Amanda; Clifford, Deana

    2014-01-01

    Microtus californicus scirpensis is an endangered, isolated subspecies of California vole. It requires water pools and riparian bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus) and occupies some of the rarest habitat of any North American mammal. The minimally vegetated, extremely arid desert surrounding the pools is essentially uninhabitable for Ixodes species ticks. We describe an enzootic cycle of Borrelia carolinensis in Ixodes minor ticks at a site 3500 km distant from the region in which I. minor is known to occur in Tecopa Host Springs, Inyo County, eastern Mojave Desert, California. Voles were live-trapped, and ticks and blood samples queried by PCR and DNA sequencing for identification and determination of the presence of Borrelia spp. Between 2011–2013, we found 21 Ixodes minor ticks (prevalence 4–8%) on Amargosa voles and Reithrodontomys megalotis. DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA from ticks yielded 99% identity to I. minor. There was 92% identity with I. minor in the calreticulin gene fragment. Three ticks (23.1%), 15 (24%) voles, three (27%) house mice, and one (7%) harvest mice were PCR positive for Borrelia spp. Sequencing of the 5S-23S intergenic spacer region and flagellin gene assigned Amargosa vole Borrelia strains to B. carolinensis. Ixodes minor, first described in 1902 from a single Guatemalan record, reportedly occurs only in the southeast American on small mammals and birds. The source of this tick in the Mojave Desert and time scale for introduction is not known but likely via migratory birds. Borrelia strains in the Amargosa ecosystem most closely resemble B. carolinensis. B. carolinensis occurs in a rodent-I. minor enzootic cycle in the southeast U.S. although its epidemiological significance for people or rodents is unknown. The presence of a tick and Borrelia spp. only known from southeast U.S. in this extremely isolated habitat on the other side of the continent is of serious concern because it suggests that the animals in the

  10. Cystic Calculus in a Laboratory-housed Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis).

    PubMed

    L Birke Ann M Cespedes Emma R Schachner And Simon P Lailvaux, Leslie

    2017-03-15

    An adult, male, wild-caught, laboratory-housed green anole (Anolis carolinensis) on a locomotor performance study was presented for anorexia. The anole exhibited a 26% weight loss and a thin body condition but was otherwise alert and active. Despitesupportive care, the anole's clinical condition deteriorated, necessitating euthanasia. Postmortem examination revealed a 4.5 mm × 2.5-mm cystic calculus, which consisted entirely of sodium urate. Here we describe the clinical findings and locomotor consequences of this disease in a green anole. Although urolithiasis has been reported clinically in reptiles, this report presents the first case of a cystic calculus in a laboratory-housed green anole.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. In vitro and in vivo activity of major constituents from Pluchea carolinensis against Leishmania amazonensis.

    PubMed

    Montrieux, Elly; Perera, Wilmer H; García, Marley; Maes, Louis; Cos, Paul; Monzote, Lianet

    2014-08-01

    The search for new therapeutic agents from natural sources has been a constant for the treatment of diseases such as leishmaniasis. Herein, in vitro and in vivo pharmacological activities of pure major phenolic constituents (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, and rosmarinic acid) from Pluchea carolinensis against Leishmania amazonensis are presented. Pure compounds showed inhibitory activity against promastigotes (IC50 = 0.2-0.9 μg/mL) and intracellular amastigotes (IC50 = 1.3-2.9 μg/mL). Four of them were selected after testing against macrophages of BALB/c mice: caffeic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, and rosmarinic acid, with selective indices of 11, 17, 10, and 20, respectively. Ferulic acid, rosmarinic acid, and caffeic acid controlled lesion size development and parasite burden in footpads from BALB/c experimentally infected mice, after five injections of compounds by intralesional route at 30 mg/kg every 4 days. Pure compounds from P. carolinensis demonstrated antileishmanial properties.

  14. A performance-based cost to honest signalling in male green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis)

    PubMed Central

    Lailvaux, Simon P.; Gilbert, Rebecca L.; Edwards, Jessica R.

    2012-01-01

    Sexual signals are considered costly to produce and maintain under the handicap paradigm, and the reliability of signals is in turn thought to be maintained by these costs. Although previous studies have investigated the costly nature of signal production, few have considered whether honesty might be maintained not by the costliness of the signal itself, but by the costs involved in producing the signalled trait. If such a trait is itself costly to produce, then the burden of energetic investment may fall disproportionately on that trait, in addition to any costs of signal maintenance that may also be operating. Under limited resource conditions, these costs may therefore be great enough to disrupt an otherwise reliable signal-to-trait relationship. We present experimental evidence showing that dietary restriction decouples the otherwise honest relationship between a signal (dewlap size) and a whole-organism performance trait (bite force) in young adult male Anolis carolinensis lizards. Specifically, while investment in dewlap size is sustained under low-resource condition relative to the high-resource treatment, investment in bite force is substantially lower. Disruption of the otherwise honest dewlap size to bite force relationship is therefore driven by costs associated with the expression of performance rather than the costs of signal production in A. carolinensis. PMID:22418258

  15. The Xenopus alcohol dehydrogenase gene family: characterization and comparative analysis incorporating amphibian and reptilian genomes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) gene family uniquely illustrates the concept of enzymogenesis. In vertebrates, tandem duplications gave rise to a multiplicity of forms that have been classified in eight enzyme classes, according to primary structure and function. Some of these classes appear to be exclusive of particular organisms, such as the frog ADH8, a unique NADP+-dependent ADH enzyme. This work describes the ADH system of Xenopus, as a model organism, and explores the first amphibian and reptilian genomes released in order to contribute towards a better knowledge of the vertebrate ADH gene family. Results Xenopus cDNA and genomic sequences along with expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were used in phylogenetic analyses and structure-function correlations of amphibian ADHs. Novel ADH sequences identified in the genomes of Anolis carolinensis (anole lizard) and Pelodiscus sinensis (turtle) were also included in these studies. Tissue and stage-specific libraries provided expression data, which has been supported by mRNA detection in Xenopus laevis tissues and regulatory elements in promoter regions. Exon-intron boundaries, position and orientation of ADH genes were deduced from the amphibian and reptilian genome assemblies, thus revealing syntenic regions and gene rearrangements with respect to the human genome. Our results reveal the high complexity of the ADH system in amphibians, with eleven genes, coding for seven enzyme classes in Xenopus tropicalis. Frogs possess the amphibian-specific ADH8 and the novel ADH1-derived forms ADH9 and ADH10. In addition, they exhibit ADH1, ADH2, ADH3 and ADH7, also present in reptiles and birds. Class-specific signatures have been assigned to ADH7, and ancestral ADH2 is predicted to be a mixed-class as the ostrich enzyme, structurally close to mammalian ADH2 but with class-I kinetic properties. Remarkably, many ADH1 and ADH7 forms are observed in the lizard, probably due to lineage-specific duplications. ADH4 is not

  16. [Jaws of amphibians and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Tanimoto, Masahiro

    2005-04-01

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

  17. Linking manipulative experiments to field data to test the dilution effect.

    PubMed

    Venesky, Matthew D; Liu, Xuan; Sauer, Erin L; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-05-01

    The dilution effect, the hypothesis that biodiversity reduces disease risk, has received support in many systems. However, few dilution effect studies have linked mechanistic experiments to field patterns to establish both causality and ecological relevance. We conducted a series of laboratory experiments and tested the dilution effect hypothesis in an amphibian-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) system and tested for consistency between our laboratory experiments and field patterns of amphibian species richness, host identity and Bd prevalence. In our laboratory experiments, we show that tadpoles can filter feed Bd zoospores and that the degree of suspension feeding was positively associated with their dilution potential. The obligate suspension feeder, Gastrophryne carolinensis, generally diluted the risk of chytridiomycosis for tadpoles of Bufo terrestris and Hyla cinerea, whereas tadpoles of B. terrestris (an obligate benthos feeder) generally amplified infections for the other species. In addition, G. carolinensis reduced Bd abundance on H. cinerea more so in the presence than absence of B. terrestris and B. terrestris amplified Bd abundance on H. cinerea more so in the absence than presence of G. carolinensis. Also, when ignoring species identity, species richness was a significant negative predictor of Bd abundance. In our analysis of field data, the presence of Bufo spp. and Gastrophryne spp. were significant positive and negative predictors of Bd prevalence, respectively, even after controlling for climate, vegetation, anthropogenic factors (human footprint), species richness and sampling effort. These patterns of dilution and amplification supported our laboratory findings, demonstrating that the results are likely ecologically relevant. The results from our laboratory and field data support the dilution effect hypothesis and also suggest that dilution and amplification are predictable based on host traits. Our study is among the first to link

  18. Social status, gonadal state, and the adrenal stress response in the lizard, Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, N; Chen, T; Crews, D

    1984-03-01

    Adult males of the small arboreal iguanid lizard, Anolis carolinensis, form social dominance hierarchies when placed in habitats with limited resources. Skin color changes occur during hierarchy formation, most conspicuously in subordinates, who appear darker (more brown) than dominants (more green). Because skin color in this species is under the control of hormones frequently associated with physiological stress, radioimmunoassay of plasma levels of the principal reptilian adrenal steroid, corticosterone, was performed. To examine the influence of gonadal androgen, known to influence the aggression that attends hierarchy formation, lizard pairs were constituted in which one or both members were castrated. Corticosterone levels of intact subordinates were significantly elevated, whereas those of castrated subordinates or dominants showed levels comparable to those of isolates. No significant differences in spermatogenic stage could be detected between intact dominants or subordinates.

  19. A histological comparison of the original and regenerated tail in the green anole, Anolis carolinensis

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Rebecca E.; Geiger, Lauren A.; Stroik, Laura K.; Hutchins, Elizabeth D.; George, Rajani M.; DeNardo, Dale F.; Kusumi, Kenro; Rawls, J. Alan; Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne

    2015-01-01

    This study provides a histological comparison of the mature regenerated and original tail of the lizard Anolis carolinensis. These data will provide a framework for future studies of this emerging model organism whose genome was recently published. This study demonstrated that the cartilage skeleton of the regenerated tail enclosed a spinal cord with an ependymal core, but there was no evidence that dorsal root ganglia or peripheral nerves are regenerated. The cartilage tube contained foramina that allowed the vasculature to cross, but was otherwise a rigid structure. The original tail has muscle groups arranged in quadrants in a regular pattern that attach to the vertebral column. The regenerated tail has irregular muscle bundles of variable number that form unusual attachments to each other and to the cartilage tube. Furthermore, the data show that there was increased connective tissue within the muscle bundles. Implications for functionality of the regenerated tail and for future biomechanical studies are discussed. PMID:22933242

  20. Responses of the iguanid lizard Anolis carolinensis to four organophosphorus pesticides

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Clark, D.R.

    1982-01-01

    Dose related mortality and cholinesterase effects of parathion, methyl parathion, azinphos-methyl and malathion on Anolis carolinensis were investigated. The comparative effects of the four compounds on fish, birds and mammals are well known, but the effects of organophosphates on reptiles have not been studied critically. Sensitivity and patterns of mortality from exposure to the pesticides resemble those of birds and mammals rather than those of other poikilothermic vertebrates. Possible symptoms of epinephrine accumulation were observed in exposed animals; this side effect is consistent with the known mechanisms of the pesticides. Our findings indicate that brain cholinesterase activity is related to dose, that 50% inhibition of cholinesterase is associated with death and that 40% inhibition indicates sublethal exposure. Anolis lizards are frequently exposed to pesticides in the field and they may be useful in monitoring the hazards posed to a variety of wildlife species.

  1. Medicine and surgery of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Gentz, Edward J

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians are most notably characterized by their glandular skin, which they shed regularly and ingest routinely. It is advisable to handle amphibians only with protective gloves to avoid damaging their skin. These animals absorb water readily across the skin as a means of maintaining hydration. They also easily absorb drugs and anesthetics that are applied directly to the skin. Investigators commonly utilize cutaneous respiration in amphibians and evaluate skin abnormalities via wet mount preparations, skin scrapes, and biopsy. The examination of blood samples can be useful in evaluating the status of ill amphibians, although the similarity in function of amphibian blood cell types and those of other species is largely unknown. If surgery is required, it is necessary to fast the animals before surgery, and to monitor their hydration. The wet environment required for amphibian surgery makes sterile technique challenging, and it is advisable to institute prophylactic antibiotic therapy before the procedure. The anesthetic of choice for amphibian surgery is tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222). Postoperative recommendations include fluids, nutritional support if necessary, and analgesia. If euthanasia is required, MS-222 overdose or pentobarbital injection are the preferred methods.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Carotid labyrinth of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Kusakabe, Tatsumi

    2002-11-01

    The amphibian carotid labyrinth is a characteristic maze-like vascular expansion at the bifurcation of the common carotid artery into the internal and external carotid arteries. The carotid labyrinths of anurans are spherical and those of urodeles are oblong. In the intervascular stroma of both anuran and urodelan carotid labyrinths, the glomus cells (type I cells, chief cells) are distributed singly or in clusters between connective tissue cells and smooth muscle cells. In fluorescence histochemistry, the glomus cells emit intense fluorescence for biogenic monoamines. In fine structure, the glomus cells are characterized by a number of dense-cored vesicles in their cytoplasm. The glomus cells have long, thin cytoplasmic processes, some of which are closely associated with smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and pericytes. Afferent, efferent, and reciprocal synapses are found on the glomus cells. The morphogenesis of the carotid labyrinth starts in the larvae at the point where the carotid arch descends to the internal gills. Through the early stages of larval development, the slightly expanded region of the external carotid artery becomes closely connected with the carotid arch. By the end of the foot stage, the expanded region becomes globular, and at the final stage of metamorphosis the carotid labyrinth is close to its adult form. In fine structure, the glomus cells appear as early as the initial stage of larval development. At the middle stages of development, the number of dense-cored vesicles increases remarkably. Distinct afferent synapses are found in juveniles, although efferent synapses can be seen during metamorphosis. The carotid labyrinth is innervated by nerve fibers containing several kinds of regulatory neuropeptides. Double-immunolabeling in combination with a multiple dye filter system demonstrates the coexistence of two different neuropeptides. The amphibian carotid labyrinth has been electrophysiologically confirmed to have arterial chemo

  5. STUDIES ON AMPHIBIAN YOLK

    PubMed Central

    Karasaki, Shuichi

    1963-01-01

    The yolk platelets of mature eggs and young embryonic cells of all amphibian species studied (Rana pipiens, Triturus pyrrhogaster, Diemictylus viridescens, Rana nigromaculata, and Bufo vulgaris) have a superficial layer of fine particles or fibrils (ca. 50 A in diameter), a central main body with a crystalline lattice structure, and an enclosing membrane approximately 70 A in thickness. Electron micrographs of the main body reveal hexagonal net (spacing ca. 70 A), square net (spacing ca. 80 A), and parallel band (spacing from 35 to 100 A but most frequent at ca. 70 A) patterns. The crystalline structure is believed to be a simple hexagonal lattice made of closely packed cylindrical rods. Each rod is estimated to be about 80 A in diameter and 160 A in length. PMID:13962448

  6. 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.

  7. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis in nature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. North American amphibians: distribution and diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Cryptosporidium in birds, fish and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Una

    2010-01-01

    Whilst considerable information is available for avian cryptosporidiosis, scant information is available for Cryptosporidium infections in fish and amphibians. The present review details recent studies in avian cryptosporidiosis and our current knowledge of piscine and amphibian infections.

  10. Reptiles and amphibians as laboratory animals.

    PubMed

    O'Rourke, Dorcas P

    2002-06-01

    Although reptiles and amphibians have long been used in biomedical research, few in the arena understand their health and husbandry needs. The author provides an introduction to the successful maintenance of reptiles and amphibians in the laboratory environment.

  11. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

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

  12. The influence of metabolic heat production on body temperature of a small lizard, Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Brown, Richard P; Au, Timothy

    2009-06-01

    Little is known about the impact of increased metabolism on body temperatures of small ectotherms. We found that postprandial metabolic rates of 5 g Anolis carolinensis lizards were elevated by factorial increases of 2.3+/-1.0 (mean+/-S.E.) at 26 degrees C and 3.8+/-2.1 at 30 degrees C over their fasting rates. Cloacal body temperatures exceeded environmental temperatures by a small amount in fasted individuals (26 degrees C: 0.3+/-0.02 degrees C, 30 degrees C: 0.3+/-0.02 degrees C), and by a significantly larger amount in fed individuals (26 degrees C: 1.0+/-0.06 degrees C, 30 degrees C: 0.8+/-0.08 degrees C). We conclude that an increased metabolic rate due to specific dynamic action leads to a small but significant elevation of body temperature in this species. Comparisons with thermal increments reported for a large (750 g) varanid lizard suggest that body size has only a minor influence on body-air temperature differentials of ectotherms. This is consistent with theoretical predictions. Finally, endogenous heat production could help elevate body temperatures in the wild and therefore play a minor role in thermoregulation.

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

    PubMed

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A; Ferrari, Nicola; Lanfranchi, Paolo; Martinoli, Adriano; Pisanu, Benoît; Preatoni, Damiano G; Saino, Nicola

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Robertsonian chromosomal rearrangements in the short-tailed shrew, Blarina carolinensis, in western Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Qumsiyeh, M B; Coate, J L; Peppers, J A; Kennedy, P K; Kennedy, M L

    1997-01-01

    We report significant heterozygosity for numerous Robertsonian translocations in the southern short-tailed shrew (Blarina carolinensis) in western Tennessee. Eight Robertsonian rearrangements were documented using G-banding techniques that explain the variability in diploid numbers from 46 throughout most of the range of the species to 34-40 in western Tennessee. These fusions resulted in the loss of telomere sequences and were not associated with nucleolar organizer regions. When heterozygocity is considered, the lowest diploid number possibly present would be 30. Four localities with distances of over 180 km apart were sampled, and 80-90% of the collected animals were heterozygous for at least one rearrangement. No putative parental type was found in western Tennessee. Heterozygosity for the same rearrangements was found in these different localities, and no monobrachial fusions were noted. Thus, this is a very wide hybrid zone with rare or absent parental types in the areas sampled or is an evolutionary stage preceding establishment of Robertsonian races. Selective forces, if any, were minimal, as evidenced by the wide area of polymorphism, significant heterozygosity, and the fact that the Robertsonian translocations were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The origin of such extensive polymorphism in western Tennessee is discussed, especially in light of putative effects of the New Madrid seismic activity. Similarities and differences are noted between the Blarina model and the well-documented variation in the European common shrew (Sorex araneus) and Mus musculus groups.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Freeberg, Todd M; Lucas, Jeffrey R

    2012-02-01

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

  17. Macroparasite Fauna of Alien Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis): Composition, Variability and Implications for Native Species

    PubMed Central

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A.; Ferrari, Nicola; Lanfranchi, Paolo; Martinoli, Adriano; Pisanu, Benoît; Preatoni, Damiano G.; Saino, Nicola

    2014-01-01

    Introduced hosts populations may benefit of an "enemy release" through impoverishment of parasite communities made of both few imported species and few acquired local ones. Moreover, closely related competing native hosts can be affected by acquiring introduced taxa (spillover) and by increased transmission risk of native parasites (spillback). We determined the macroparasite fauna of invasive grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy to detect any diversity loss, introduction of novel parasites or acquisition of local ones, and analysed variation in parasite burdens to identify factors that may increase transmission risk for native red squirrels (S. vulgaris). Based on 277 grey squirrels sampled from 7 populations characterised by different time scales in introduction events, we identified 7 gastro-intestinal helminths and 4 parasite arthropods. Parasite richness is lower than in grey squirrel's native range and independent from introduction time lags. The most common parasites are Nearctic nematodes Strongyloides robustus (prevalence: 56.6%) and Trichostrongylus calcaratus (6.5%), red squirrel flea Ceratophyllus sciurorum (26.0%) and Holarctic sucking louse Neohaematopinus sciuri (17.7%). All other parasites are European or cosmopolitan species with prevalence below 5%. S. robustus abundance is positively affected by host density and body mass, C. sciurorum abundance increases with host density and varies with seasons. Overall, we show that grey squirrels in Italy may benefit of an enemy release, and both spillback and spillover processes towards native red squirrels may occur. PMID:24505348

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

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Shi-Tong Tonia

    2016-02-01

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

  19. Response of the Woodborers Monochamus carolinensis and Monochamus titillator (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) to Known Cerambycid Pheromones in the Presence and Absence of the Host Plant Volatile α-Pinene

    PubMed Central

    Allison, Jeremy D.; McKenney, Jessica L.; Millar, Jocelyn G.; McElfresh, J. Steven; Mitchell, Robert F.; Hanks, Lawrence M.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, several attractant pheromones have been identified for cerambycid beetles, including 2-(undecyloxy)-ethanol (hereafter monochamol) for Monochamus galloprovincialis (Olivier), M. alternatus Hope, and M. scutellatus (Say). This study screened eight known cerambycid pheromones or their analogues (including monochamol) as potential attractants for M. carolinensis Olivier and M. titillator (F.), in the presence and absence of the host volatile α-pinene. Monochamol attracted M. carolinensis in the presence and absence of α-pinene, whereas M. titillator was only attracted to the combination of monochamol and α-pinene. (2R*,3R*)-2,3-Hexanediol also attracted both M. carolinensis and M. titillator, but only in the presence of α-pinene. Subsequent coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-electroantennogram detection analyses of extracts of volatiles collected from both sexes demonstrated that male M. carolinensis and M. titillator release monochamol, and that antennae of males and females of both species detect it. These results indicate that monochamol is a male-produced pheromone for both M. carolinensis and M. titillator. PMID:23321107

  20. Response of the woodborers Monochamus carolinensis and Monochamus titillator (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) to known cerambycid pheromones in the presence and absence of the host plant volatile α-pinene.

    PubMed

    Allison, Jeremy D; McKenney, Jessica L; Millar, Jocelyn G; Mcclfresh, J Steven; Mitchell, Robert F; Hanks, Lawrence M

    2012-12-01

    In recent years, several attractant pheromones have been identified for cerambycid beetles, including 2-(undecyloxy)-ethanol (hereafter monochamol) for Monochamus galloprovincialis (Olivier), M. alternatus Hope, and M. scutellatus (Say). This study screened eight known cerambycid pheromones or their analogues (including monochamol) as potential attractants for M. carolinensis Olivier and M. titillator (F.), in the presence and absence of the host volatile α-pinene. Monochamol attracted M. carolinensis in the presence and absence of α-pinene, whereas M. titillator was only attracted to the combination of monochamol and α-pinene. (2R*,3R*)-2,3-Hexanediol also attracted both M. carolinensis and M. titillator, but only in the presence of α-pinene. Subsequent coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-electroantennogram detection analyses of extracts of volatiles collected from both sexes demonstrated that male M. carolinensis and M. titillator release monochamol, and that antennae of males and females of both species detect it. These results indicate that monochamol is a male-produced pheromone for both M. carolinensis and M. titillator.

  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. Multiple overseas dispersal in amphibians.

    PubMed

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

    2003-12-07

    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.

  4. Ecopathology of ranaviruses infecting amphibians.

    PubMed

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-11-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  10. FINE STRUCTURAL OBSERVATIONS RELATING TO THE PRODUCTION OF COLOR BY THE IRIDOPHORES OF A LIZARD, ANOLIS CAROLINENSIS

    PubMed Central

    Rohrlich, Susannah T.; Porter, Keith R.

    1972-01-01

    This paper presents the results of light and electron microscopy done on iridophores in the dorsal skin of the lizard Anolis carolinensis. New fine-structural details are revealed, and their importance is discussed. Of some interest is the complex of filaments between crystalline sheets in the cell. It is proposed that this complex is involved in the arrangement of crystals into crystalline sheets, and that the crystal arrangement and spacing are critical for the production of the cells' blue-green color. Tyndall scattering and thin-film interference are discussed as possible explanations for iridophore color production in relation to the fine-structural data obtained. PMID:5013601

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  12. The evolution and diversity of DNA transposons in the genome of the Lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Novick, Peter A; Smith, Jeremy D; Floumanhaft, Mark; Ray, David A; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2011-01-01

    DNA transposons have considerably affected the size and structure of eukaryotic genomes and have been an important source of evolutionary novelties. In vertebrates, DNA transposons are discontinuously distributed due to the frequent extinction and recolonization of these genomes by active elements. We performed a detailed analysis of the DNA transposons in the genome of the lizard Anolis carolinensis, the first non-avian reptile to have its genome sequenced. Elements belonging to six of the previously recognized superfamilies of elements (hAT, Tc1/Mariner, Helitron, PIF/Harbinger, Polinton/Maverick, and Chapaev) were identified. However, only four (hAT, Tc1/Mariner, Helitron, and Chapaev) of these superfamilies have successfully amplified in the anole genome, producing 67 distinct families. The majority (57/67) are nonautonomous and demonstrate an extraordinary diversity of structure, resulting from frequent interelement recombination and incorporation of extraneous DNA sequences. The age distribution of transposon families differs among superfamilies and reveals different dynamics of amplification. Chapaev is the only superfamily to be extinct and is represented only by old copies. The hAT, Tc1/Mariner, and Helitron superfamilies show different pattern of amplification, yet they are predominantly represented by young families, whereas divergent families are exceedingly rare. Although it is likely that some elements, in particular long ones, are subjected to purifying selection and do not reach fixation, the majority of families are neutral and accumulate in the anole genome in large numbers. We propose that the scarcity of old copies in the anole genome results from the rapid decay of elements, caused by a high rate of DNA loss.

  13. Amphibians as models for studying environmental change.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, William A

    2007-01-01

    The use of amphibians as models in ecological research has a rich history. From an early foundation in studies of amphibian natural history sprang generations of scientists who used amphibians as models to address fundamental questions in population and community ecology. More recently, in the wake of an environment that human disturbances rapidly altered, ecologists have adopted amphibians as models for studying applied ecological issues such as habitat loss, pollution, disease, and global climate change. Some of the characteristics of amphibians that make them useful models for studying these environmental problems are highlighted, including their trophic importance, environmental sensitivity, research tractability, and impending extinction. The article provides specific examples from the recent literature to illustrate how studies on amphibians have been instrumental in guiding scientific thought on a broad scale. Included are examples of how amphibian research has transformed scientific disciplines, generated new theories about global health, called into question widely accepted scientific paradigms, and raised awareness in the general public that our daily actions may have widespread repercussions. In addition, studies on amphibian declines have provided insight into the complexity in which multiple independent factors may interact with one another to produce catastrophic and sometimes unpredictable effects. Because of the complexity of these problems, amphibian ecologists have been among the strongest advocates for interdisciplinary research. Future studies of amphibians will be important not only for their conservation but also for the conservation of other species, critical habitats, and entire ecosystems.

  14. Genetic Variation in the Green Anole Lizard (Anolis carolinensis) Reveals Island Refugia and a Fragmented Florida During the Quaternary

    PubMed Central

    Tollis, Marc; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) is a model organism for behavior and genomics that is native to the southeastern United States. It is currently thought that the ancestors of modern green anoles dispersed to peninsular Florida from Cuba. However, the climatic changes and geological features responsible for the early diversification of A. carolinensis in North America have remained largely unexplored. This is because previous studies (1) differ in their estimates of the divergence times of populations, (2) are based on a single genetic locus and (3) did not test specific hypotheses regarding the geologic and topographic history of Florida. Here we provide a multi-locus study of green anole genetic diversity and find that the Florida peninsula contains a larger number of genetically distinct populations that are more diverse than those on the continental mainland. As a test of the island refugia hypothesis in Pleistocene Florida, we use a coalescent approach to estimate the divergence times of modern green anole lineages. We find that all demographic events occurred during or after the Upper Pliocene and suggest that green anole diversification was driven by population divergence on interglacial island refugia in Florida during the Lower Pleistocene, while the region was often separated from continental North America. When Florida reconnected to the mainland, two separate dispersal events led to the expansion of green anole populations across the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf Coastal Plain. PMID:24379168

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

    PubMed

    Tollis, Marc; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Drymala, Susan M.; Zanno, Lindsay E.

    2016-01-01

    Crocodylomorphs originated in the Late Triassic and were the only crocodile-line archosaurs to survive the end-Triassic extinction. Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that the closest relatives of these generally gracile, small-bodied taxa were a group of robust, large-bodied predators known as rauisuchids implying a problematic morphological gap between early crocodylomorphs and their closest relatives. Here we provide a detailed osteological description of the recently named early diverging crocodylomorph Carnufex carolinensis from the Upper Triassic Pekin Formation of North Carolina and assess its phylogenetic position within the Paracrocodylomorpha. Carnufex displays a mosaic of crocodylomorph, rauisuchid, and dinosaurian characters, as well as highly laminar cranial elements and vertebrae, ornamented dermal skull bones, a large, subtriangular antorbital fenestra, and a reduced forelimb. A phylogenetic analysis utilizing a comprehensive dataset of early paracrocodylomorphs and including seven new characters and numerous modifications to characters culled from the literature recovers Carnufex carolinensis as one of the most basal members of Crocodylomorpha, in a polytomy with two other large bodied taxa (CM 73372 and Redondavenator). The analysis also resulted in increased resolution within Crocodylomorpha and a monophyletic clade containing the holotype and two referred specimens of Hesperosuchus as well as Dromicosuchus. Carnufex occupies a key transition at the origin of Crocodylomorpha, indicating that the morphology typifying early crocodylomorphs appeared before the shift to small body size. PMID:27304665

  17. Isolation by environment in White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) of the Madrean Archipelago sky islands: a landscape genomics approach.

    PubMed

    Manthey, Joseph D; Moyle, Robert G

    2015-07-01

    Understanding landscape processes driving patterns of population genetic differentiation and diversity has been a long-standing focus of ecology and evolutionary biology. Gene flow may be reduced by historical, ecological or geographic factors, resulting in patterns of isolation by distance (IBD) or isolation by environment (IBE). Although IBE has been found in many natural systems, most studies investigating patterns of IBD and IBE in nature have used anonymous neutral genetic markers, precluding inference of selection mechanisms or identification of genes potentially under selection. Using landscape genomics, the simultaneous study of genomic and ecological landscapes, we investigated the processes driving population genetic patterns of White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) in sky islands (montane forest habitat islands) of the Madrean Archipelago. Using more than 4000 single nucleotide polymorphisms and multiple tests to investigate the relationship between genetic differentiation and geographic or ecological distance, we identified IBE, and a lack of IBD, among sky island populations of S. carolinensis. Using three tests to identify selection, we found 79 loci putatively under selection; of these, seven matched CDS regions in the Zebra Finch. The loci under selection were highly associated with climate extremes (maximum temperature of warmest month and minimum precipitation of driest month). These results provide evidence for IBE - disentangled from IBD - in sky island vertebrates and identify potential adaptive genetic variation.

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

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Strasser, Bettina; Eckhart, Leopold

    2015-03-01

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

  19. 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

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  1. 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

  2. Survey for the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Hong Kong in native amphibians and in the international amphibian trade.

    PubMed

    Rowley, Jodi J L; Chan, Simon Kin Fung; Tang, Wing Sze; Speare, Richard; Skerratt, Lee F; Alford, Ross A; Cheung, Ka Shing; Ho, Ching Yee; Campbell, Ruth

    2007-12-13

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is responsible for many amphibian declines and has been identified in wild amphibian populations on all continents where they exist, except for Asia. In order to assess whether B. dendrobatidis is present on the native amphibians of Hong Kong, we sampled wild populations of Amolops hongkongensis, Paa exilispinosa, P. spinosa and Rana chloronota during 2005-2006. Amphibians infected with B. dendrobatidis have been found in the international trade, so we also examined the extent and nature of the amphibian trade in Hong Kong during 2005-2006, and assessed whether B. dendrobatidis was present in imported amphibians. All 274 individuals of 4 native amphibian species sampled tested negative for B. dendrobatidis, giving an upper 95% confidence limit for prevalence of 1.3%. Approximately 4.3 million amphibians of 45 species from 11 countries were imported into Hong Kong via air over 12 mo; we did not detect B. dendrobatidis on any of 137 imported amphibians sampled. As B. dendrobatidis generally occurs at greater than 5% prevalence in infected populations during favorable environmental conditions, native amphibians in Hong Kong appear free of B. dendrobatidis, and may be at severe risk of impact if it is introduced. Until it is established that the pathogen is present in Hong Kong, management strategies should focus on preventing it from being imported and decreasing the risk of it escaping into the wild amphibian populations if imported. Further research is needed to determine the status of B. dendrobatidis in Hong Kong with greater certainty.

  3. Amphibians at risk? Susceptibility of terrestrial amphibian life stages to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Brühl, Carsten A; Pieper, Silvia; Weber, Brigitte

    2011-11-01

    Current pesticide risk assessment does not specifically consider amphibians. Amphibians in the aquatic environment (aquatic life stages or postmetamorphic aquatic amphibians) and terrestrial living juvenile or adult amphibians are assumed to be covered by the risk assessment for aquatic invertebrates and fish, or mammals and birds, respectively. This procedure has been evaluated as being sufficiently protective regarding the acute risk posed by a number of pesticides to aquatic amphibian life stages (eggs, larvae). However, it is unknown whether the exposure and sensitivity of terrestrial living amphibians are comparable to mammalian and avian exposure and sensitivity. We reviewed the literature on dermal pesticide absorption and toxicity studies for terrestrial life stages of amphibians, focusing on the dermal exposure pathway, that is, through treated soil or direct overspray. In vitro studies demonstrated that cutaneous absorption of chemicals is significant and that chemical percutaneous passage, P (cm/h), is higher in amphibians than in mammals. In vivo, the rapid and substantial uptake of the herbicide atrazine from treated soil by toads (Bufo americanus) has been described. Severe toxic effects on various amphibian species have been reported for field-relevant application rates of different pesticides. In general, exposure and toxicity studies for terrestrial amphibian life stages are scarce, and the reported data indicate the need for further research, especially in light of the global amphibian decline.

  4. The complexity of amphibian population declines: understanding the role of cofactors in driving amphibian losses.

    PubMed

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Han, Barbara A; Relyea, Rick A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Kats, Lee B

    2011-03-01

    Population losses and extinctions of species are occurring at unprecedented rates, as exemplified by declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. However, studies of amphibian population declines generally do not address the complexity of the phenomenon or its implications for ecological communities, focusing instead on single factors affecting particular amphibian species. We argue that the causes for amphibian population declines are complex; may differ among species, populations, and life stages within a population; and are context dependent with multiple stressors interacting to drive declines. Because amphibians are key components of communities, we emphasize the importance of investigating amphibian declines at the community level. Selection pressures over evolutionary time have molded amphibian life history characteristics, such that they may remain static even in the face of strong, recent human-induced selection pressures.

  5. Chironomidae bloodworms larvae as aquatic amphibian food.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. [Comparative morphology of the livers in amphibians].

    PubMed

    Inoue, Asuka; Akiyoshi, Hideo; Naitoh, Tomio; Yamashita, Masamichi

    2002-11-01

    Amphibians are divided into three orders: Gymnophiona, Urodela and Anura. We studied on the correlation between the liver structures in the three orders of amphibians by histological technique. Livers of thirty species of amphibian were fixed by perfusion with paraformaldehyde, and observed by light microscopy in special staining for elastic fibers. The cytoskeletal components of the hepatic stellate cells and myofibroblasts were identified by immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein and a-smooth muscle actin. Among the three orders of amphibians, Gymnophiona and Urodela were characterized the development of lymph vessels in liver capsules and Glisson's sheath. The present study indicates that there are differences in the pattern of hepatic histological components in the amphibians examined at this time. We discussed their diverged mode of living that can be categorized into three groups: aquatic, aqua-terrestrial and fully terrestrial group.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  8. Bioinformatic and molecular characterization of beta-defensins-like peptides isolated from the green lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    PubMed

    Dalla Valle, Luisa; Benato, Francesca; Maistro, Silvia; Quinzani, Stefano; Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2012-01-01

    The high resistance of lizards to infections indicates that anti-microbial peptides may be involved. Through the analysis of the green lizard (Anolis carolinensis) genome and the expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries 32 beta-defensin-like-peptides have been identified. The level of expression of some of these genes in different tissues has been determined by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Gene expression and structure analysis suggest the presence of alternative splicing mechanisms, with a number of exons ranging from two to four, similar to that for beta-defensins genes in mammals. Lizard beta-defensin-like peptides present the characteristic cysteine-motif identified in mammalian and avian beta-defensins. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that some lizard beta-defensins-like peptides are related to crotamine and crotamin-like peptides of snakes and lizards suggesting that beta-defensins and venomous peptides have a common ancestor gene.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  10. Ecology and pathology of amphibian ranaviruses.

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-03

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Brain regeneration in anuran amphibians.

    PubMed

    Endo, Tetsuya; Yoshino, Jun; Kado, Koji; Tochinai, Shin

    2007-02-01

    Urodele amphibians are highly regenerative animals. After partial removal of the brain in urodeles, ependymal cells around the wound surface proliferate, differentiate into neurons and glias and finally regenerate the lost tissue. In contrast to urodeles, this type of brain regeneration is restricted only to the larval stages in anuran amphibians (frogs). In adult frogs, whereas ependymal cells proliferate in response to brain injury, they cannot migrate and close the wound surface, resulting in the failure of regeneration. Therefore frogs, in particular Xenopus, provide us with at least two modes to study brain regeneration. One is to study normal regeneration by using regenerative larvae. In this type of study, the requirement of reconnection between a regenerating brain and sensory neurons was demonstrated. Functional restoration of a regenerated telencephalon was also easily evaluated because Xenopus shows simple responses to the stimulus of a food odor. The other mode is to compare regenerative larvae and non-regenerative adults. By using this mode, it is suggested that there are regeneration-competent cells even in the non-regenerative adult brain, and that immobility of those cells might cause the failure of regeneration. Here we review studies that have led to these conclusions.

  15. Ossification sequence heterochrony among amphibians.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Sean M; Harrison, Luke B; Sheil, Christopher A

    2013-01-01

    Heterochrony is an important mechanism in the evolution of amphibians. Although studies have centered on the relationship between size and shape and the rates of development, ossification sequence heterochrony also may have been important. Rigorous, phylogenetic methods for assessing sequence heterochrony are relatively new, and a comprehensive study of the relative timing of ossification of skeletal elements has not been used to identify instances of sequence heterochrony across Amphibia. In this study, a new version of the program Parsimov-based genetic inference (PGi) was used to identify shifts in ossification sequences across all extant orders of amphibians, for all major structural units of the skeleton. PGi identified a number of heterochronic sequence shifts in all analyses, the most interesting of which seem to be tied to differences in metamorphic patterns among major clades. Early ossification of the vomer, premaxilla, and dentary is retained by Apateon caducus and members of Gymnophiona and Urodela, which lack the strongly biphasic development seen in anurans. In contrast, bones associated with the jaws and face were identified as shifting late in the ancestor of Anura. The bones that do not shift late, and thereby occupy the earliest positions in the anuran cranial sequence, are those in regions of the skull that undergo the least restructuring throughout anuran metamorphosis. Additionally, within Anura, bones of the hind limb and pelvic girdle were also identified as shifting early in the sequence of ossification, which may be a result of functional constraints imposed by the drastic metamorphosis of most anurans.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. [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.

  1. Chytridiomycosis: a global threat to amphibians.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Ecotoxicology of organic contaminants to amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Sparling, Donald W.; Linder, Greg L.; Bishop, Christine A.

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Mining online genomic resources in Anolis carolinensis facilitates rapid and inexpensive development of cross-species microsatellite markers for the Anolis lizard genus.

    PubMed

    Wordley, Claire; Slate, Jon; Stapley, Jessica

    2011-01-01

    Online sequence databases can provide valuable resources for the development of cross-species genetic markers. In particular, mining expressed tag sequences (EST) for microsatellites and developing conserved cross-species microsatellite markers can provide a rapid and relatively inexpensive method to develop new markers for a range of species. Here, we adopt this approach to develop cross-species microsatellite markers in Anolis lizards, which is a model genus in evolutionary biology and ecology. Using EST sequences from Anolis carolinensis, we identified 127 microsatellites that satisfied our criteria, and tested 49 of these in five species of Anolis (carolinensis, distichus, apletophallus, porcatus and sagrei). We identified between 8 and 25 new variable genetic markers for five Anolis species. These markers will be a valuable resource for studies of population genetics, comparative mapping, mating systems, behavioural ecology and adaptive radiations in this diverse lineage.

  5. Amphibian resources on the internet.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Michael W; Smith, Stephen A

    2007-01-01

    The use of amphibians in classrooms and research laboratories has increased, along with a corresponding increase in the amount of information about these animals on the Internet. This review is intended to aid both novices and experts in the search of such information. The bibliography of Internet resources is organized by discipline and includes general and selected species information, taxonomy, natural history, anatomy and histology, physiology, ontogeny, genetics, conservation, toxicology, medicine and surgery, sources (for animals, housing, and research tools), listservs, databases, associations, educational sources, and husbandry. For each web site, descriptive titles, web addresses, and a brief review are provided. Note that the authors of this review cannot assure the accuracy of content in these web resources.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Agents from amphibians with anticancer properties.

    PubMed

    Lu, Chuang-Xin; Nan, Ke-Jun; Lei, Yan

    2008-11-01

    Amphibians have been found to be a source of agents with anticancer properties. Bufalin, for example, is an anticancer agent that may induce apoptosis by its interaction with other genes and cellular components. Certain peptides with anticancer activities have been found in amphibian skin; they include magainins, aureins, citropin 1.1 and gaegurins. These peptides may exert a cytotoxic effect on human cancer cells through various mechanisms. Onconase, amphinase, cSBL (sialic acid-binding lectin purified from Rana catesbeiana eggs) and jSBL (sialic acid-binding lectin purified from Rana japonica eggs), which belong to the RNase A family, were purified from the oocyte cells and eggs of three amphibians, and they induce cytotoxicity by degrading cellular RNA. This paper discusses the medical and pharmaceutical significance of products derived from amphibians.

  9. 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.

  10. The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. [abstract

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, J.

    1998-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Surveys of calling amphibians in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.; Batie, R.D.

    2001-01-01

    Amphibians have received increased attention in recent years from the scientific community and general public alike. Many populations throughout the world have declined, or have been extirpated, often without an apparent cause. Concern about the status of amphibians has translated into a growing interest in systematic and statistically sound monitoring programs. Several extensive efforts to monitor populations of calling amphibians are in place, and more are under development. Necessary for the design of appropriate surveys is an understanding of the behavior, especially vocalization, of the various species, and how it varies by geographic location and environmental conditions. In 1995 we conducted roadside surveys of calling amphibians along 44 routes in North Dakota. We describe results of that survey, with special attention given to variables that influence detectability of calling amphibians. Unlike similar studies, we accounted for the amount of time observers spent listening for amphibians under different conditions. We found that the optimal conditions for a single survey for North Dakota in that year would be in early June, between the hours of 2300 and 0130, with ambient temperatures above 13 deg. C, and with no rain and little or no wind or moonlight. Multiple surveys in a year would yield better results, of course, especially for the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), which is most active earlier in the season. Studies such as ours should be replicated in space and time to ensure a well-designed survey.

  13. An examination of amphibian sensitivity to environmental contaminants: are amphibians poor canaries?

    PubMed

    Kerby, Jacob L; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Storfer, Andrew; Skelly, David K

    2010-01-01

    Nearly two decades ago, the global biodiversity crisis was catapulted to the front pages of newspapers with the recognition of worldwide amphibian declines. Amphibians earned their appellation, 'canaries in a coal mine', because of apparent high sensitivity to human-mediated environmental change. The most frequently cited causes for high susceptibility include permeable skin, a dual aquatic-terrestrial life cycle and a relatively rudimentary immune system. While some researchers have questioned the basis for the canary assertion, there has been no systematic evaluation of amphibian sensitivity to environmental challenges relative to other taxa. Here, we apply a database representing thousands of toxicity tests to compare the responses of amphibians relative to that of other taxonomic groups. The use of standardized methods combined with large numbers of identical challenges enables a particularly powerful test of relative effect size. Overall, we found that amphibians only exhibit moderate relative responses to water-borne toxins. Our findings imply that, as far as chemical contaminants are concerned, amphibians are not particularly sensitive and might more aptly be described as 'miners in a coal mine'. To the extent that amphibian declines have been mediated by chemical contaminants, our findings suggest that population losses and extinctions may have already occurred in a variety of taxa much more sensitive than amphibians.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K.; 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  16. Skin-colour changes i the lizard, Anolis carolinensis, in response to localized electrical stimulation and lesions in the diencephalon.

    PubMed

    Hemer, J H; Salas, M A; LaPointe, J L

    1981-05-01

    A study was made of changes in skin colour in the lizard, Anolis carolinensis, in response to deep electrical stimulation at 0.2 mm intervals throughout the periventricular region of the diencephalon and the anterior brain stem. Double-barrelled glass microelectrodes with tip diameters of 3 microns were used. A 20 microA pulse-train consisting of a 500 Hz signal lasting for 1 s yielded localized responses. Skin darkening occurred only in response to stimulation delivered in the anterior and dorsal region of the diencephalon and skin lightening only in response to stimulation in a small area in the posterior and ventral region of the hypothalamus. Electrical lesions in the latter region resulted in permanent skin darkening. Surgical interruption of the hypothalamo-hypophysial neurosecretory tract did not block skin-colour change in response to dark or light backgrounds. It was concluded that MSH release is under tonic inhibitory control by hypothalamic neurones in Anolis. Both inhibitory and stimulatory neurones can be localized stereotaxically in the diencephalon and neither type corresponds with the neurosecretory neurones of the hypothalamo-hypophysial tract. The functional relationship between the stimulatory neurones and the inhibitory neurones and pars intermedia remains unclear.

  17. Abundance and temporal distribution of Ornithonyssus sylviarum Canestrini and Fanzago (Acarina: Mesostigmata) in gray catbird (Dumatella carolinensis) nests.

    PubMed

    Garvin, Mary C; Scheidler, Lydia C; Cantor, Dara G; Bell, Kristen E

    2004-06-01

    The northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum Canestrini and Fanzago, is a common ectoparasite of wild birds. Despite its ability to transmit eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus under laboratory conditions and potential for involvement in the natural EEE virus cycle, we know little about its abundance or temporal distribution in nature. From June to August 2000, we studied the abundance of O. sylviarum in the nests of gray catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis), a reservoir host for EEE virus, at Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area (KMWA), a known EEE virus focus in Wayne County, Ohio. A total of 7,883 O. sylviarum, including 1,910 adults and 5,973 protonymphs, were recovered from 23 of 26 gray catbird nests collected during various phases of the nesting cycle. We found no association between mite abundance and number of catbird nestlings in successful nests. However, mite abundance increased significantly with date of nest collection and peaked in late July when transmission of EEE virus is likely to occur at KMWA. We therefore suggest that O. sylviarum may contribute to the transmission of EEE virus among gray catbirds at KMWA.

  18. Using GPS telemetry to validate least-cost modeling of gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) movement within a fragmented landscape

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Claire D; Ferryman, Mark; Nevin, Owen T; Ramsey, Andrew D; Bailey, Sallie; Watts, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    In Britain, the population of native red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris has suffered population declines and local extinctions. Interspecific resource competition and disease spread by the invasive gray squirrel Sciurus carolinensis are the main factors behind the decline. Gray squirrels have adapted to the British landscape so efficiently that they are widely distributed. Knowledge on how gray squirrels are using the landscape matrix and being able to predict their movements will aid management. This study is the first to use global positioning system (GPS) collars on wild gray squirrels to accurately record movements and land cover use within the landscape matrix. This data were used to validate Geographical Information System (GIS) least-cost model predictions of movements and provided much needed information on gray squirrel movement pathways and network use. Buffered least-cost paths and least-cost corridors provide predictions of the most probable movements through the landscape and are seen to perform better than the more expansive least-cost networks which include all possible movements. Applying the knowledge and methodologies gained to current gray squirrel expansion areas, such as Scotland and in Italy, will aid in the prediction of potential movement areas and therefore management of the invasive gray squirrel. The methodologies presented in this study could potentially be used in any landscape and on numerous species. PMID:23919175

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Squirrel poxvirus (SQPV) is highly pathogenic to red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris), and is a significant contributing factor to the local extinction of the species in most parts of England and Wales, where infection is endemic in Eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) populations. Although a nested PCR assay has been used successfully to study the epidemiology of SQPV, samples have a long processing time and the assay is not quantifiable. Results This project describes the design and optimization of a real-time PCR for SQPV. Comparison with the nested PCR showed the real-time assay to be more sensitive by one log and able to detect approximately 144 genome copies per mg of tissue. Conclusions The real-time PCR has been used to quantify viral genome load in tissues from diseased and apparently healthy red and grey squirrels, and suggests that the titre of virus in tissues from diseased red squirrels is considerably higher than that found even in a grey squirrel with cutaneous lesions. PMID:20529323

  20. Transcriptomic Analysis of Tail Regeneration in the Lizard Anolis carolinensis Reveals Activation of Conserved Vertebrate Developmental and Repair Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies. PMID:25140675

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-01

    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Aquatic eutrophication promotes pathogenic infection in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Chase, Jonathan M; Dosch, Katherine L; Hartson, Richard B; Gross, Jackson A; Larson, Don J; Sutherland, Daniel R; Carpenter, Stephen R

    2007-10-02

    The widespread emergence of human and wildlife diseases has challenged ecologists to understand how large-scale agents of environmental change affect host-pathogen interactions. Accelerated eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems owing to nitrogen and phosphorus enrichment is a pervasive form of environmental change that has been implicated in the emergence of diseases through direct and indirect pathways. We provide experimental evidence linking eutrophication and disease in a multihost parasite system. The trematode parasite Ribeiroia ondatrae sequentially infects birds, snails, and amphibian larvae, frequently causing severe limb deformities and mortality. Eutrophication has been implicated in the emergence of this parasite, but definitive evidence, as well as a mechanistic understanding, have been lacking until now. We show that the effects of eutrophication cascade through the parasite life cycle to promote algal production, the density of snail hosts, and, ultimately, the intensity of infection in amphibians. Infection also negatively affected the survival of developing amphibians. Mechanistically, eutrophication promoted amphibian disease through two distinctive pathways: by increasing the density of infected snail hosts and by enhancing per-snail production of infectious parasites. Given forecasted increases in global eutrophication, amphibian extinctions, and similarities between Ribeiroia and important human and wildlife pathogens, our results have broad epidemiological and ecological significance.

  7. Amphibians used in research and teaching.

    PubMed

    O'Rourke, Dorcas P

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians have long been utilized in scientific research and in education. Historically, investigators have accumulated a wealth of information on the natural history and biology of amphibians, and this body of information is continually expanding as researchers describe new species and study the behaviors of these animals. Amphibians evolved as models for a variety of developmental and physiological processes, largely due to their unique ability to undergo metamorphosis. Scientists have used amphibian embryos to evaluate the effects of toxins, mutagens, and teratogens. Likewise, the animals are invaluable in research due to the ability of some species to regenerate limbs. Certain species of amphibians have short generation times and genetic constructs that make them desirable for transgenic and knockout technology, and there is a current national focus on developing these species for genetic and genomic research. This group of vertebrates is also critically important in the investigation of the inter-relationship of humans and the environment based on their sensitivity to climatic and habitat changes and environmental contamination.

  8. Sex-linked genes and linkage maps in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Sumida, M; Nishioka1, M

    2000-06-01

    This paper reviews sex-linked genes and linkage maps in amphibians. It appears that there is no common ancestral or conserved sex-linkage group in amphibians, whereas an important proportion of other linkage groups has been conserved in amphibians. Comparisons of amphibian linkage maps with those of fishes and mammals reveal several syntenic associations apparently conserved over a very long period of vertebrate divergence.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Emesis and space motion sickness in amphibians.

    PubMed

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

    2000-01-01

    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.

  12. Biological Scaling Problems and Solutions in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Levy, Daniel L; Heald, Rebecca

    2015-08-10

    Size is a primary feature of biological systems that varies at many levels, from the organism to its constituent cells and subcellular structures. Amphibians populate some of the extremes in biological size and have provided insight into scaling mechanisms, upper and lower size limits, and their physiological significance. Body size variation is a widespread evolutionary tactic among amphibians, with miniaturization frequently correlating with direct development that occurs without a tadpole stage. The large genomes of salamanders lead to large cell sizes that necessitate developmental modification and morphological simplification. Amphibian extremes at the cellular level have provided insight into mechanisms that accommodate cell-size differences. Finally, how organelles scale to cell size between species and during development has been investigated at the molecular level, because subcellular scaling can be recapitulated using Xenopus in vitro systems.

  13. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Estivation in South American amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Abe, A S

    1995-01-01

    A number of amphibians and reptiles have cyclic behavior, becoming inactive with the coming of the dry season. In South America this pattern of activity is common, particularly in savannah-like vegetation. During the dry season amphibians burrow into the mud or soil, and either form a cocoon or increase the osmotic concentration of body fluids to reduce evaporative water loss. Some phyllomedusid tree frogs coat their body surface with skin secretion and excrete uric acid to minimize water loss. Reptiles also retreat into shelter deep enough to avoid temperature fluctuation during estivation or reduce metabolic response to temperature. Reduction of temperature sensitivity of the metabolism seems to be a strategy common to estivating amphibians and reptiles. Despite seasonal change of the environment, some species of reptiles are active all year round.

  16. 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

  17. Amphibians as model to study endocrine disrupters.

    PubMed

    Kloas, Werner; Lutz, Ilka

    2006-10-13

    Environmental compounds can interfere with endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. These so-called endocrine disrupters (ED) are known to affect reproductive biology and thyroid system. The classical model species for these endocrine systems are amphibians and therefore they can serve as sentinels for detection of the modes of action (MOAs) of ED. Recently, amphibians are being reviewed as suitable models to assess (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic MOAs influencing reproductive biology as well as (anti)thyroidal MOAs interfering with the thyroid system. The development of targeted bioassays in combination with adequate chemical analyses is the prerequisite for a concise risk assessment of ED.

  18. Common procedures in reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    de la Navarre, Byron J S

    2006-05-01

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

  19. Multi-Locus Phylogeographic and Population Genetic Analysis of Anolis carolinensis: Historical Demography of a Genomic Model Species

    PubMed Central

    Tollis, Marc; Ausubel, Gavriel; Ghimire, Dhruba; Boissinot, Stéphane

    2012-01-01

    The green anole (Anolis carolinensis) has been widely used as an animal model in physiology and neurobiology but has recently emerged as an important genomic model. The recent sequencing of its genome has shed new light on the evolution of vertebrate genomes and on the process that govern species diversification. Surprisingly, the patterns of genetic diversity within natural populations of this widespread and abundant North American lizard remain relatively unknown. In the present study, we use 10 novel nuclear DNA sequence loci (N = 62 to 152) and one mitochondrial locus (N = 226) to delimit green anole populations and infer their historical demography. We uncovered four evolutionarily distinct and geographically restricted lineages of green anoles using phylogenetics, Bayesian clustering, and genetic distance methods. Molecular dating indicates that these lineages last shared a common ancestor ∼2 million years ago. Summary statistics and analysis of the frequency distributions of DNA polymorphisms strongly suggest range-wide expansions in population size. Using Bayesian Skyline Plots, we inferred the timing of population size expansions, which differ across lineages, and found evidence for a relatively recent and rapid westward expansion of green anoles across the Gulf Coastal Plain during the mid-Pleistocene. One surprising result is that the distribution of genetic diversity is not consistent with a latitudinal shift caused by climatic oscillations as is observed for many co-distributed taxa. This suggests that the most recent Pleistocene glacial cycles had a limited impact on the geographic distribution of the green anole at the northern limits of its range. PMID:22685573

  20. Novel X-Linked Genes Revealed by Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction in the Green Anole, Anolis carolinensis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The green anole, Anolis carolinensis (ACA), is the model reptile for a vast array of biological disciplines. It was the first nonavian reptile to have its genome fully sequenced. During the genome project, the XX/XY system of sex chromosomes homologous to chicken chromosome 15 (GGA15) was revealed, and 106 X-linked genes were identified. We selected 38 genes located on eight scaffolds in ACA and having orthologs located on GGA15, then tested their linkage to ACA X chromosome by using comparative quantitative fluorescent real-time polymerase chain reaction applied to male and female genomic DNA. All tested genes appeared to be X-specific and not present on the Y chromosome. Assuming that all genes located on these scaffolds should be localized to the ACA X chromosome, we more than doubled the number of known X-linked genes in ACA, from 106 to 250. While demonstrating that the gene content of chromosome X in ACA and GGA15 is largely conserved, we nevertheless showed that numerous interchromosomal rearrangements had occurred since the splitting of the chicken and anole evolutionary lineages. The presence of many ACA X-specific genes localized to distinct contigs indicates that the ACA Y chromosome should be highly degenerated, having lost a large amount of its original gene content during evolution. The identification of novel genes linked to the X chromosome and absent on the Y chromosome in the model lizard species contributes to ongoing research as to the evolution of sex determination in reptiles and provides important information for future comparative and functional genomics. PMID:25172916

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-28

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

  2. The state of amphibians in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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)

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Ware, Joy L.; Duncan, Karen L.

    2008-01-01

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

  5. The role of amphibian antimicrobial peptides in protection of amphibians from pathogens linked to global amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2009-08-01

    Amphibian species have experienced population declines and extinctions worldwide that are unprecedented in recent history. Many of these recent declines have been linked to a pathogenic skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or to iridoviruses of the genus Ranavirus. One of the first lines of defense against pathogens that enter by way of the skin are antimicrobial peptides synthesized and stored in dermal granular glands and secreted into the mucus following alarm or injury. Here, I review what is known about the capacity of amphibian antimicrobial peptides from diverse amphibians to inhibit B. dendrobatidis or ranavirus infections. When multiple species were compared for the effectiveness of their in vitro antimicrobial peptides defenses against B. dendrobatidis, non-declining species of rainforest amphibians had more effective antimicrobial peptides than species in the same habitat that had recently experienced population declines. Further, there was a significant correlation between the effectiveness of the antimicrobial peptides and resistance of the species to experimental infection. These studies support the hypothesis that antimicrobial peptides are an important component of innate defenses against B. dendrobatidis. Some amphibian antimicrobial peptides inhibit ranavirus infections and infection of human T lymphocytes by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). An effective antimicrobial peptide defense against skin pathogens appears to depend on a diverse array of genes expressing antimicrobial peptides. The production of antimicrobial peptides may be regulated by signals from the pathogens. However, this defense must also accommodate potentially beneficial microbes on the skin that compete or inhibit growth of the pathogens. How this delicate balancing act is accomplished is an important area of future research.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bletz, Molly; Kueneman, Jordan; McKenzie, Valerie

    2016-01-16

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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, ...

  12. Life history of amphibians and gravity.

    PubMed

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

    2004-11-01

    Anurans hold a unique position in vertebrate phylogeny, as they made the major transition from water to land. Through evolution they have acquired fundamental mechanisms to adapt to terrestrial gravity. Such mechanisms are now shared among other terrestrial vertebrates derived from ancestral amphibians. Space research, using amphibians as a model animal, is significant based on the following aspects: (1) Anuran amphibians show drastic changes in their living niche during their metamorphosis. Environments for tadpoles and for terrestrial life of frogs are quite different in terms of gravity and its associated factors. (2) Certain tadpoles, such as Rhacophorus viridis amamiensis, have a transparent abdominal wall. Thus visceral organs and their motion can be observed in these animals in non-invasive manner through their transparent abdominal skin. This feature enables biologists to evaluate the physiological state of these amphibians and study the autonomic control of visceral organs. It is also feasible for space biologists to examine how such autonomic regulation could be altered by microgravity and exposure to the space environment.

  13. Out of Florida: mtDNA reveals patterns of migration and Pleistocene range expansion of the Green Anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis)

    PubMed Central

    Campbell-Staton, Shane C; Goodman, Rachel M; Backström, Niclas; Edwards, Scott V; Losos, Jonathan B; Kolbe, Jason J

    2012-01-01

    Anolis carolinensis is an emerging model species and the sole member of its genus native to the United States. Considerable morphological and physiological variation has been described in the species, and the recent sequencing of its genome makes it an attractive system for studies of genome variation. To inform future studies of molecular and phenotypic variation within A. carolinensis, a rigorous account of intraspecific population structure and relatedness is needed. Here, we present the most extensive phylogeographic study of this species to date. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequence data support the previous hypothesis of a western Cuban origin of the species. We found five well-supported, geographically distinct mitochondrial haplotype clades throughout the southeastern United States. Most Florida populations fall into one of three divergent clades, whereas the vast majority of populations outside Florida belong to a single, shallowly diverged clade. Genetic boundaries do not correspond to major rivers, but may reflect effects of Pleistocene glaciation events and the Appalachian Mountains on migration and expansion of the species. Phylogeographic signal should be examined using nuclear loci to complement these findings. PMID:23139885

  14. Amphibians as animal models for laboratory research in physiology.

    PubMed

    Burggren, Warren W; Warburton, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    The concept of animal models is well honored, and amphibians have played a prominent part in the success of using key species to discover new information about all animals. As animal models, amphibians offer several advantages that include a well-understood basic physiology, a taxonomic diversity well suited to comparative studies, tolerance to temperature and oxygen variation, and a greater similarity to humans than many other currently popular animal models. Amphibians now account for approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of lower vertebrate and invertebrate research, and this proportion is especially true in physiological research, as evident from the high profile of amphibians as animal models in Nobel Prize research. Currently, amphibians play prominent roles in research in the physiology of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, reproductive, and sensory systems. Amphibians are also used extensively in physiological studies aimed at generating new insights in evolutionary biology, especially in the investigation of the evolution of air breathing and terrestriality. Environmental physiology also utilizes amphibians, ranging from studies of cryoprotectants for tissue preservation to physiological reactions to hypergravity and space exploration. Amphibians are also playing a key role in studies of environmental endocrine disruptors that are having disproportionately large effects on amphibian populations and where specific species can serve as sentinel species for environmental pollution. Finally, amphibian genera such as Xenopus, a genus relatively well understood metabolically and physiologically, will continue to contribute increasingly in this new era of systems biology and "X-omics."

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. [Application of ND-FISH in amphibians].

    PubMed

    Chang, Xiao-Ai; Xia, Yun; Zeng, Xiao-Mao

    2013-12-01

    The recently popularized non-denaturing fluorescence in situ hybridization (ND-FISH) is a new technique that is both quick and efficient, in part because denaturing of both of the probes and the chromosomes is unnecessary. Synthetic simple sequence repeats (SSRs) labeled with fluorescein are used as probes to detect SSR-enriched chromosome regions and provide markers to identify the chromosomes. To date this method has not been applied to amphibians, even though the polymorphism of the distribution of SSRs may help to advance genetic polymorphism research. This paper also improved the double-colour FISH method by simultaneously using probes labelled with fluorescein and probes labelled with DIG to get double-color signals. This study found 5 SSRs markers that may be useful in the polymorphism research, and that the amphibian chromosomes must be denatured in ND-FISH.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Environmental persistence of amphibian and reptilian ranaviruses.

    PubMed

    Nazir, J; Spengler, M; Marschang, R E

    2012-04-26

    Ranaviruses infect fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The present study was conducted to compare the persistence of amphibian and reptilian ranaviruses in a pond habitat. The 4 viruses used in this study included 2 amphibian ranaviruses, Frog virus 3 (FV3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus) and an isolate from a frog, and 2 ranaviruses of reptilian origin (from a tortoise and from a gecko). A sandwich germ-carrier technique was used to study the persistence of these viruses in sterile and unsterile pond water (PW) and soil obtained from the bank of a pond. For each virus, virus-loaded carriers were placed in each of the 3 substrates, incubated at 4 and 20°C, and titrated at regular intervals. Serial data were analyzed using a linear regression model to calculate T-90 values (time required for 90% reduction in the virus titer). Resistance of the viruses to drying was also studied. All 4 viruses were resistant to drying. At 20°C, T-90 values of the viruses were 22 to 31 d in sterile PW and 22 to 34 d in unsterile PW. Inactivation of all 4 viruses in soil at this temperature appeared to be non-linear. T-90 values at 4°C were 102 to 182 d in sterile PW, 58 to 72 d in unsterile PW, and 30 to 48 d in soil. Viral persistence was highest in the sterile PW, followed by the unsterile PW, and was lowest in soil. There were no significant differences in the survival times between the amphibian and reptilian viruses. The results of the present study suggest that ranaviruses can survive for long periods of time in pond habitats at low temperatures.

  3. 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

  4. Langerhans-like cells in amphibian epidermis.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Farga, J; Castell, A; Pérez, A; Rondán, A

    1990-10-01

    Langerhans cells have been described in epidermis and other stratified epithelia of mammals. In other vertebrates equivalent cells have not been found. Amphibians show skin graft rejection, so it is possible that these animals have epidermal cells homologous to Langerhans cells. In this work we demonstrate the existence of ATPase-positive dendritic cells in frog epidermis that are similar ultrastructurally to mammalian Langerhans cells, except for the absence of Birbeck granules.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2015-10-01

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

  8. United States Marine Corps Assault Amphibian Vehicle Egress Study

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    CORPS ASSAULT AMPHIBIAN VEHICLE EGRESS STUDY by Jason T. Ford June 2014 Thesis Advisor: Lawrence G. Shattuck Second Reader: Lyn R...COVERED Master’s Thesis 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS ASSAULT AMPHIBIAN VEHICLE EGRESS STUDY 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6. AUTHOR(S...program, the Marine Corps have begun developing the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) to replace the 42-year-old Assault Amphibian Vehicle (AAV). Because

  9. 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).

  10. Analgesia in Amphibians: Preclinical Studies and Clinical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Variation in salinity tolerance among larval anurans: implications for community composition and the spread of an invasive, non-native species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Mary E.; Walls, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians in freshwater coastal wetlands periodically experience acute exposure to salinity from hurricane-related overwash events, as well as chronic exposure associated with rising sea levels. In a comparative experimental approach, we examined whether seven species of anuran amphibians vary in their tolerance to changes in salinity. In a laboratory study, we exposed larval Hyla cinerea (Green Treefrog), H. squirella (Squirrel Treefrog), Lithobates catesbeianus (American Bullfrog), L. sphenocephalus (Southern Leopard Frog), Anaxyrus terrestris (Southern Toad), and Gastrophryne carolinensis (Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad) from an inland population in north central Florida, USA, and Osteopilus septentrionalis (Cuban Treefrog) tadpoles from an inland population in southwest Florida, to acute salinity for 72 h. For each species, we replicated trials in which tadpoles were exposed to salinities of 0.2 (control), 5, 10, 12, 14, and 16 ppt. For all species, tadpoles reared in the control and 5 ppt treatments had 96.7–100% survival. No individuals of G. carolinensis survived at salinities exceeding 5 ppt and no individuals of any species survived in the 14 or 16 ppt treatments. For all other native species, survival at 10 ppt ranged from 46.7 to 80%, but declined to 0% at 12 ppt (except for H. cinerea, of which only 3.3% survived at 12 ppt). In contrast, all individuals of the invasive, non-native O. septentrionalis survived exposure to a salinity of 10 ppt, and survival in this species remained relatively high at 12 ppt. Our results illustrate that the non-native O. septentrionalis has a higher salinity tolerance than the native species tested, which may contribute to its invasion potential. Moreover, species commonly associated with coastal freshwater wetlands differ in their salinity tolerances, suggesting that salt water intrusion due to storm surges and sea level rise may affect the species composition of these ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    Ilg, Christiane; Oertli, Beat

    2017-04-01

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

  20. Macroparasite infections of amphibians: what can they tell us?

    PubMed

    Koprivnikar, Janet; Marcogliese, David J; Rohr, Jason R; Orlofske, Sarah A; Raffel, Thomas R; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2012-09-01

    Understanding linkages between environmental changes and disease emergence in human and wildlife populations represents one of the greatest challenges to ecologists and parasitologists. While there is considerable interest in drivers of amphibian microparasite infections and the resulting consequences, comparatively little research has addressed such questions for amphibian macroparasites. What work has been done in this area has largely focused on nematodes of the genus Rhabdias and on two genera of trematodes (Ribeiroia and Echinostoma). Here, we provide a synopsis of amphibian macroparasites, explore how macroparasites may affect amphibian hosts and populations, and evaluate the significance of these parasites in larger community and ecosystem contexts. In addition, we consider environmental influences on amphibian-macroparasite interactions by exploring contemporary ecological factors known or hypothesized to affect patterns of infection. While some macroparasites of amphibians have direct negative effects on individual hosts, no studies have explicitly examined whether such infections can affect amphibian populations. Moreover, due to their complex life cycles and varying degrees of host specificity, amphibian macroparasites have rich potential as bioindicators of environmental modifications, especially providing insights into changes in food webs. Because of their documented pathologies and value as bioindicators, we emphasize the need for broader investigation of this understudied group, noting that ecological drivers affecting these parasites may also influence disease patterns in other aquatic fauna.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians.

    PubMed

    Lips, Karen R

    2016-12-05

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Estrogens Can Disrupt Amphibian Mating Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Frauke; Kloas, Werner

    2012-01-01

    The main component of classical contraceptives, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), has high estrogenic activity even at environmentally relevant concentrations. Although estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds are assumed to contribute to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations by adverse effects on sexual differentiation, evidence for EE2 affecting amphibian mating behaviour is lacking. In this study, we demonstrate that EE2 exposure at five different concentrations (0.296 ng/L, 2.96 ng/L, 29.64 ng/L, 2.96 µg/L and 296.4 µg/L) can disrupt the mating behavior of adult male Xenopus laevis. EE2 exposure at all concentrations lowered male sexual arousal, indicated by decreased proportions of advertisement calls and increased proportions of the call type rasping, which characterizes a sexually unaroused state of a male. Additionally, EE2 at all tested concentrations affected temporal and spectral parameters of the advertisement calls, respectively. The classical and highly sensitive biomarker vitellogenin, on the other hand, was only induced at concentrations equal or higher than 2.96 µg/L. If kept under control conditions after a 96 h EE2 exposure (2.96 µg/L), alterations of male advertisement calls vanish gradually within 6 weeks and result in a lower sexual attractiveness of EE2 exposed males toward females as demonstrated by female choice experiments. These findings indicate that exposure to environmentally relevant EE2 concentrations can directly disrupt male mate calling behavior of X. laevis and can indirectly affect the mating behavior of females. The results suggest the possibility that EE2 exposure could reduce the reproductive success of EE2 exposed animals and these effects might contribute to the global problem of amphibian decline. PMID:22355410

  15. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Langerhans-like cells in amphibian epidermis.

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo-Farga, J; Castell, A; Pérez, A; Rondán, A

    1990-01-01

    Langerhans cells have been described in epidermis and other stratified epithelia of mammals. In other vertebrates equivalent cells have not been found. Amphibians show skin graft rejection, so it is possible that these animals have epidermal cells homologous to Langerhans cells. In this work we demonstrate the existence of ATPase-positive dendritic cells in frog epidermis that are similar ultrastructurally to mammalian Langerhans cells, except for the absence of Birbeck granules. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 PMID:2148747

  17. Captive breeding, reintroduction, and the conservation of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2008-08-01

    The global amphibian crisis has resulted in renewed interest in captive breeding as a conservation tool for amphibians. Although captive breeding and reintroduction are controversial management actions, amphibians possess a number of attributes that make them potentially good models for such programs. We reviewed the extent and effectiveness of captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians through an analysis of data from the Global Amphibian Assessment and other sources. Most captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians have focused on threatened species from industrialized countries with relatively low amphibian diversity. Out of 110 species in such programs, 52 were in programs with no plans for reintroduction that had conservation research or conservation education as their main purpose. A further 39 species were in programs that entailed captive breeding and reintroduction or combined captive breeding with relocations of wild animals. Nineteen species were in programs with relocations of wild animals only. Eighteen out of 58 reintroduced species have subsequently bred successfully in the wild, and 13 of these species have established self-sustaining populations. As with threatened amphibians generally, amphibians in captive breeding or reintroduction programs face multiple threats, with habitat loss being the most important. Nevertheless, only 18 out of 58 reintroduced species faced threats that are all potentially reversible. When selecting species for captive programs, dilemmas may emerge between choosing species that have a good chance of surviving after reintroduction because their threats are reversible and those that are doomed to extinction in the wild as a result of irreversible threats. Captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians require long-term commitments to ensure success, and different management strategies may be needed for species earmarked for reintroduction and species used for conservation

  18. The First Gene-encoded Amphibian Neurotoxin*

    PubMed Central

    You, Dewen; Hong, Jing; Rong, Mingqiang; Yu, Haining; Liang, Songping; Ma, Yufang; Yang, Hailong; Wu, Jing; Lin, Donghai; Lai, Ren

    2009-01-01

    Many gene-encoded neurotoxins with various functions have been discovered in fish, reptiles, and mammals. A novel 60-residue neurotoxin peptide (anntoxin) that inhibited tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) was purified and characterized from the skin secretions of the tree frog Hyla annectans (Jerdon). This is the first gene-encoded neurotoxin found in amphibians. The IC50 of anntoxin for the TTX-S channel was about 3.4 μm. Anntoxin shares sequence homology with Kunitz-type toxins but contains only two of three highly conserved cysteine bridges, which are typically found in these small, basic neurotoxin modules, i.e. snake dendrotoxins. Anntoxin showed an inhibitory ability against trypsin with an inhibitory constant (Ki) of 0.025 μm. Anntoxin was distributed in skin, brain, stomach, and liver with a concentration of 25, 7, 3, and 2 μg/g wet tissue, respectively. H. annectans lives on trees or other plants for its entire life cycle, and its skin contains the largest amount of anntoxin, which possibly helps defend against various aggressors or predators. A low dose of anntoxin was found to induce lethal toxicity for several potential predators, including the insect, snake, bird, and mouse. The tissue distribution and functional properties of the current toxin may provide insights into the ecological adaptation of tree-living amphibians. PMID:19535333

  19. Computational modeling of the amphibian thyroid axis ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    In vitro screening of chemicals for bioactivity together with computational modeling are beginning to replace animal toxicity testing in support of chemical risk assessment. To facilitate this transition, an amphibian thyroid axis model has been developed to describe thyroid homeostasis during Xenopus laevis pro-metamorphosis. The model simulates the dynamic relationships of normal thyroid biology throughout this critical period of amphibian development and includes molecular initiating events (MIEs) for thyroid axis disruption to allow in silico simulations of hormone levels following chemical perturbations. One MIE that has been formally described using the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework is thyroperoxidase (TPO) inhibition. The goal of this study was to refine the model parameters and validate model predictions by generating dose-response and time-course biochemical data following exposure to three TPO inhibitors, methimazole, 6-propylthiouracil and 2-mercaptobenzothiazole. Key model variables including gland and blood thyroid hormone (TH) levels were compared to empirical values measured in biological samples at 2, 4, 7 and 10 days following initiation of exposure at Nieuwkoop and Faber (NF) stage 54 (onset of pro-metamorphosis). The secondary objective of these studies was to relate depleted blood TH levels to delayed metamorphosis, the adverse apical outcome. Delayed metamorphosis was evaluated by continuing exposure with a subset of larvae until a

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Cleavage plane determination in amphibian eggs.

    PubMed

    Sawai, T; Yomota, A

    1990-01-01

    In the present study using eggs of Cynops pyrrhogaster and Xenopus laevis, we examined (1) structural changes in the cytoplasm before the appearance of the cleavage furrow using a cytochemical method, (2) the time of cleavage plane determination depending on the mitotic apparatus (MA), by changing the shape of the eggs, and (3) the time of arrival of the "cleavage stimulus" at the cortex, by injecting colchicine solution or removing cytoplasm. Results were as follows: (1) In amphibian eggs the diastema was formed after development of the MA, appearing between the two asters after the MA had begun to degenerate. (2) The cleavage plane was preliminarily determined by the MA in the meta- to anaphase of karyokinesis. At this time, however, the egg cortex had not yet received the "cleavage stimulus" indispensable for furrow formation. (3) The egg cortex was really prepared to establish the furrow just after the edge of the diastema arrived at the cortex, when the MA had already degenerated. These results imply that the cleavage plane of the amphibian eggs is determined in two steps: the first, depending on the MA, is the determination of the direction of the growth of the diastema, and the second is the arrival of the "cleavage stimulus" at the cortex in association with the diastema.

  4. 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

  5. Amphibian skin may select for rare environmental microbes.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  6. Amphibians as a model for the study of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed

    Kloas, Werner

    2002-01-01

    Evidence shows that environmental compounds can interfere with the endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. The main sink of such substances, called endocrine disruptors (EDs), which are mainly of anthropogenic origin, is surface water; thus, aquatic vertebrates such as fishes and amphibians are most endangered. Despite numerous reports on EDs in fishes, information about EDs in amphibians is scarce, and this paucity of information is of particular concern in view of the worldwide decline of amphibians. EDs could contribute to changes of amphibian populations via adverse effects on reproduction and the thyroid system. In amphibians, EDs can affect reproduction by (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic modes of action that produce severe effects including abnormal sexual differentiation. ED actions on the thyroid system cause acceleration or retardation of metamorphosis, which may also affect population levels. Our broad knowledge of amphibian biology and endocrinology indicates that amphibians are very suitable models for the study of EDs. In particular, effects of EDs on the thyroid system triggering metamorphosis can be determined easily and most sensitively in amphibians compared to other vertebrates. A new classification of EDs according to their biological modes of action is proposed because EDs have quite heterogeneous chemical structures, which do not allow prediction of their biological effects. Methods and strategies are proposed for identification and risk assessment of EDs, whether as pure test substances or as mixtures from environmental samples. Effects of EDs on the thyroid system of amphibians can be assessed by a single animal model (Xenopus laevis), whereas the various types of reproduction need comparative studies to investigate whether general endocrine principles do exist among several species of anurans and urodeles. Thus, at least one anuran and one urodelean model are needed to determine ED interference with reproduction.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. [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.

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

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

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

  11. Sound source perception in anuran amphibians.

    PubMed

    Bee, Mark A

    2012-04-01

    Sound source perception refers to the auditory system's ability to parse incoming sensory information into coherent representations of distinct sound sources in the environment. Such abilities are no doubt key to successful communication in many taxa, but we know little about their function in animal communication systems. For anuran amphibians (frogs and toads), social and reproductive behaviors depend on a listener's ability to hear and identify sound signals amid high levels of background noise in acoustically cluttered environments. Recent neuroethological studies are revealing how frogs parse these complex acoustic scenes to identify individual calls in noisy breeding choruses. Current evidence highlights some interesting similarities and differences in how the auditory systems of frogs and other vertebrates (most notably birds and mammals) perform auditory scene analysis.

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Cusuco National Park, Honduras.

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Padgett-Flohr, Gretchen E; Field, Richard

    2010-11-01

    Amphibian population declines in Honduras have long been attributed to habitat degradation and pollution, but an increasing number of declines are now being observed from within the boundaries of national parks in pristine montane environments. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in these declines and was recently documented in Honduras from samples collected in Pico Bonito National Park in 2003. This report now confirms Cusuco National Park, a protected cloud forest reserve with reported amphibian declines, to be the second known site of infection for Honduras. B. dendrobatidis infection was detected in 5 amphibian species: Craugastor rostralis, Duellmanohyla soralia, Lithobates maculata, Plectrohyla dasypus, and Ptychohyla hypomykter. D. soralia, P. dasypus, and P. hypomykter are listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and have severely fragmented or restricted distributions. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether observed infection levels indicate an active B. dendrobatidis epizootic with the potential to cause further population declines and extinction.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2014-07-30

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

  20. 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...

  1. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  2. 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...

  3. 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 ...

  4. A database of life-history traits of European amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Moulherat, Sylvain; Calvez, Olivier; Stevens, Virginie M; Clobert, Jean; Schmeller, Dirk S

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In the current context of climate change and landscape fragmentation, efficient conservation strategies require the explicit consideration of life history traits. This is particularly true for amphibians, which are highly threatened worldwide, composed by more than 7400 species, which is constitute one of the most species-rich vertebrate groups. The collection of information on life history traits is difficult due to the ecology of species and remoteness of their habitats. It is therefore not surprising that our knowledge is limited, and missing information on certain life history traits are common for in this species group. We compiled data on amphibian life history traits from literature in an extensive database with morphological and behavioral traits, habitat preferences and movement abilities for 86 European amphibian species (50 Anuran and 36 Urodela species). When it were available, we reported data for males, females, juveniles and tadpoles. Our database may serve as an important starting point for further analyses regarding amphibian conservation. PMID:25425939

  5. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Resistance to cancer in amphibians: a role for apoptosis?

    PubMed

    Ruben, Laurens N; Johnson, Rachel O; Clothier, Richard H; Balls, Michael

    2013-07-01

    The rarity of spontaneous cancer in amphibians, and the difficulty of inducing cancer in these lower vertebrates, suggest that they possess an effective system for resistance to the development of cancer. The first part of this narrative presents evidence for cancer resistance in amphibians, and then a variety of studies designed to help understand the physiological basis for this resistance are reviewed. Here, our emphasis is on evidence with regard to the role that apoptosis might play.

  7. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats

    PubMed Central

    Becker, C. Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines. PMID:21628560

  8. 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

  9. Monitoring amphibians in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sloggett, John J

    2012-07-18

    Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups.

  13. Why amphibians are more sensitive than mammals to xenobiotics.

    PubMed

    Quaranta, Angelo; Bellantuono, Vito; Cassano, Giuseppe; Lippe, Claudio

    2009-11-04

    Dramatic declines in amphibian populations have been described all over the world since the 1980s. The evidence that the sensitivity to environmental threats is greater in amphibians than in mammals has been generally linked to the observation that amphibians are characterized by a rather permeable skin. Nevertheless, a numerical comparison of data of percutaneous (through the skin) passage between amphibians and mammals is lacking. Therefore, in this investigation we have measured the percutaneous passage of two test molecules (mannitol and antipyrine) and three heavily used herbicides (atrazine, paraquat and glyphosate) in the skin of the frog Rana esculenta (amphibians) and of the pig ear (mammals), by using the same experimental protocol and a simple apparatus which minimizes the edge effect, occurring when the tissue is clamped in the usually used experimental device.The percutaneous passage (P) of each substance is much greater in frog than in pig. LogP is linearly related to logKow (logarithm of the octanol-water partition coefficient). The measured P value of atrazine was about 134 times larger than that of glyphosate in frog skin, but only 12 times in pig ear skin. The FoD value (Pfrog/Ppig) was 302 for atrazine, 120 for antipyrine, 66 for mannitol, 29 for paraquat, and 26 for glyphosate.The differences in structure and composition of the skin between amphibians and mammals are discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Brand, Adrianne B; Snodgrass, Joel W

    2010-02-01

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

  15. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Becker, C Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-06-14

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines.

  16. 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.

  17. Biodiversity threats from outside to inside: effects of alien grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) on helminth community of native red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Romeo, Claudia; Ferrari, Nicola; Lanfranchi, Paolo; Saino, Nicola; Santicchia, Francesca; Martinoli, Adriano; Wauters, Lucas A

    2015-07-01

    Biological invasions are among the major causes of biodiversity loss worldwide, and parasites carried or acquired by invaders may represent an added threat to native species. We compared gastrointestinal helminth communities of native Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in the presence and absence of introduced Eastern grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) to detect alterations induced by the alien species. In particular, we investigated whether spillover of a North American nematode Strongyloides robustus occurs and whether prevalence of a local parasite Trypanoxyuris sciuri in red squirrels is affected by grey squirrel presence. The probability of being infected by both parasites was significantly higher in areas co-inhabited by the alien species, where 61 % of examined red squirrels (n = 49) were infected by S. robustus and 90 % by T. sciuri. Conversely, in red-only areas, the two parasites infected only 5 and 70 % of individuals (n = 60). Overall, our findings support the hypothesis that red squirrels acquire S. robustus via spillover from the alien congener and suggest that invaders' presence may also indirectly affect infection by local parasites through mechanisms diverse than spill-back and linked to the increased competitive pressure to which red squirrels are subjected. These results indicate that the impact of grey squirrel on red squirrels may have been underestimated and highlight the importance of investigating variation in macroparasite communities of native species threatened by alien competitors.

  18. Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene sequence variation and melanism in the gray (Sciurus carolinensis), fox (Sciurus niger), and red (Sciurus vulgaris) squirrel.

    PubMed

    McRobie, Helen R; King, Linda M; Fanutti, Cristina; Coussons, Peter J; Moncrief, Nancy D; Thomas, Alison P M

    2014-01-01

    Sequence variations in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene are associated with melanism in many different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. The gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), found in the British Isles, was introduced from North America in the late 19th century. Melanism in the British gray squirrel is associated with a 24-bp deletion in the MC1R. To investigate the origin of this mutation, we sequenced the MC1R of 95 individuals including 44 melanic gray squirrels from both the British Isles and North America. Melanic gray squirrels of both populations had the same 24-bp deletion associated with melanism. Given the significant deletion associated with melanism in the gray squirrel, we sequenced the MC1R of both wild-type and melanic fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) (9 individuals) and red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) (39 individuals). Unlike the gray squirrel, no association between sequence variation in the MC1R and melanism was found in these 2 species. We conclude that the melanic gray squirrel found in the British Isles originated from one or more introductions of melanic gray squirrels from North America. We also conclude that variations in the MC1R are not associated with melanism in the fox and red squirrels.

  19. An Invasive Mammal (the Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis) Commonly Hosts Diverse and Atypical Genotypes of the Zoonotic Pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato.

    PubMed

    Millins, Caroline; Magierecka, Agnieszka; Gilbert, Lucy; Edoff, Alissa; Brereton, Amelia; Kilbride, Elizabeth; Denwood, Matt; Birtles, Richard; Biek, Roman

    2015-07-01

    Invasive vertebrate species can act as hosts for endemic pathogens and may alter pathogen community composition and dynamics. For the zoonotic pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, the agent of Lyme borreliosis, recent work shows invasive rodent species can be of high epidemiological importance and may support host-specific strains. This study examined the role of gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) (n = 679), an invasive species in the United Kingdom, as B. burgdorferi sensu lato hosts. We found that gray squirrels were frequently infested with Ixodes ricinus, the main vector of B. burgdorferi sensu lato in the United Kingdom, and 11.9% were infected with B. burgdorferi sensu lato. All four genospecies that occur in the United Kingdom were detected in gray squirrels, and unexpectedly, the bird-associated genospecies Borrelia garinii was most common. The second most frequent infection was with Borrelia afzelii. Genotyping of B. garinii and B. afzelii produced no evidence for strains associated with gray squirrels. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) identified tick infestation and date of capture as significant factors associated with B. burgdorferi sensu lato infection in gray squirrels, with infection elevated in early summer in squirrels infested with ticks. Invasive gray squirrels appear to become infected with locally circulating strains of B. burgdorferi sensu lato, and further studies are required to determine their role in community disease dynamics. Our findings highlight the fact that the role of introduced host species in B. burgdorferi sensu lato epidemiology can be highly variable and thus difficult to predict.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  1. Multiple stressor effects in relation to declining amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2003-01-01

    This book represents the work of several authors who participated in the symposium entitled 'Multiple Stressor Effects in Relation to Declining Amphibian Populations' convened 16-17 April, 2002, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Declines of amphibian populations of varying severity have been observed for many years, and in the last 8 to 10 years considerable progress has been made in documenting the status and distribution of a range of amphibian species. Habitat alteration and destruction are likely linked to many amphibian declines, but a variety of other factors, both anthropogenic and natural, have been observed or proposed to have caused declines or extinctions of amphibian populations. Unfortunately, determining the environmental causes for the decline of many species has proven difficult. The goals of this symposium were three-fold. First, highlight ASTM's historic role in providing a forum for the standardization of amphibian toxicity test methods and the characterization of adverse effects potentially associated with chemical stressors. Second, demonstrate through case studies the current state of technical 'tools' available to biologists, ecologists, environmental scientists and natural resource professionals for assessing amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors. And third, characterize a process that brings a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis, especially as those relate to a multiple stressor risk assessment 'mind-set.' As part of the symposium, scientists and resource management professionals from diverse fields including ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource management and policy contributed oral presentations and posters that addressed topics related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors have in those losses. The papers contained in this publication reflect the commitment of ASTM

  2. Deciphering amphibian diversity through DNA barcoding: chances and challenges.

    PubMed

    Vences, Miguel; Thomas, Meike; Bonett, Ronald M; Vieites, David R

    2005-10-29

    Amphibians globally are in decline, yet there is still a tremendous amount of unrecognized diversity, calling for an acceleration of taxonomic exploration. This process will be greatly facilitated by a DNA barcoding system; however, the mitochondrial population structure of many amphibian species presents numerous challenges to such a standardized, single locus, approach. Here we analyse intra- and interspecific patterns of mitochondrial variation in two distantly related groups of amphibians, mantellid frogs and salamanders, to determine the promise of DNA barcoding with cytochrome oxidase subunit I (cox1) sequences in this taxon. High intraspecific cox1 divergences of 7-14% were observed (18% in one case) within the whole set of amphibian sequences analysed. These high values are not caused by particularly high substitution rates of this gene but by generally deep mitochondrial divergences within and among amphibian species. Despite these high divergences, cox1 sequences were able to correctly identify species including disparate geographic variants. The main problems with cox1 barcoding of amphibians are (i) the high variability of priming sites that hinder the application of universal primers to all species and (ii) the observed distinct overlap of intraspecific and interspecific divergence values, which implies difficulties in the definition of threshold values to identify candidate species. Common discordances between geographical signatures of mitochondrial and nuclear markers in amphibians indicate that a single-locus approach can be problematic when high accuracy of DNA barcoding is required. We suggest that a number of mitochondrial and nuclear genes may be used as DNA barcoding markers to complement cox1.

  3. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seigel, Richard A.; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Applying Metabolomics to differentiate amphibian responses ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Introduction/Objectives/Methods One of the biggest challenges in ecological risk assessment is determining the impact of multiple stressors on individual organisms and populations in ‘real world’ scenarios. Emerging ‘omic technologies, notably, metabolomics, provides an opportunity to address the uncertainties surrounding ecological risk assessment of multiple stressors. The objective of this study was to use a metabolomics biomarker approach to investigate the effect of multiple stressors on amphibian metamorphs. To this end, metamorphs of Rana pipiens (northern leopard frogs) were exposed to the insecticide Carbaryl (0.32 μg/L), a conspecific predator alarm call (Lithobates catesbeianus), Carbaryl and the predator alarm call, and a control with no stressor. In addition to metabolomic fingerprinting, we measured corticosterone levels in each treatment to assess general stress response. We analyzed relative abundances of endogenous metabolites collected in liver tissue with gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Support vector machine (SVM) methods with recursive feature elimination (RFE) were applied to rank the metabolomic profiles produced. Results/Conclusions SVM-RFE of the acquired metabolomic spectra demonstrated 85-96% classification accuracy among control and all treatment groups when using the top 75 ranked retention time bins. Biochemical fluxes observed in the groups exposed to carbaryl, predation threat, and the combined treatmen

  6. Comparison of amphibian and mammalian thyroperoxidase ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Hoffman, David J.; Rattner, Barnett A.; Burton, G. Allen; Cairns, John=

    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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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...

  13. Potential causes for amphibian declines in Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burrowes, P.A.; Joglar, R.L.; Green, David E.

    2004-01-01

    We monitored 11 populations of eight species of Eleutherodactylus in Puerto Rico from 1989 through 2001. We determined relative abundance of active frogs along transects established in the Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque), Carite Forest, San Lorenzo, and in the vicinity of San Juan. Three species (Eleutherodactylus karlschmidti, E. jasperi, and E. eneidae) are presumed to be extinct and eight populations of six different species of endemic Eleutherodactylus are significantly declining at elevations above 400 m. Of the many suspected causes of amphibian declines around the world, we focused on climate change and disease. Temperature and precipitation data from 1970a??2000 were analyzed to determine the general pattern of oscillations and deviations that could be correlated with amphibian declines. We examined a total of 106 tissues taken from museum specimens collected from 1961a??1978 and from live frogs in 2000. We found chytrid fungi in two species collected at El Yunque as early as 1976, this is the first report of chytrid fungus in the Caribbean. Analysis of weather data indicates a significant warming trend and an association between years with extended periods of drought and the decline of amphibians in Puerto Rico. The 1970's and 1990's, which represent the periods of amphibian extirpations and declines, were significantly drier than average. We suggest a possible synergistic interaction between drought and the pathological effect of the chytrid fungus on amphibian populations.

  14. Estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide body burden through dermal exposure.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    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 ingredients through contact with contaminated soil: imidacloprid (logKow = 0.57), atrazine (logKow = 2.5), triadimefon (logKow = 3.0), fipronil (logKow = 4.11) or pendimethalin (logKow = 5.18). All amphibians had measurable body burdens at the end of the exposure in concentrations ranging from 0.019 to 14.562 μg/g across the pesticides tested. Atrazine produced the greatest body burdens and bioconcentration factors, but fipronil was more permeable to amphibian skin when application rate was considered. Soil partition coefficient and water solubility were much better predictors of pesticide body burden, bioconcentration factor, and skin permeability than logKow. Dermal uptake data can be used to improve risk estimates of pesticide exposure among amphibians as non-target organisms.

  15. Frog virus 3-like infections in aquatic amphibian communities.

    PubMed

    Duffus, A L J; Pauli, B D; Wozney, K; Brunetti, C R; Berrill, M

    2008-01-01

    Frog virus 3 (FV3) and FV3-like viruses, are members of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae), and they have been associated with infectious diseases that may be contributing to amphibian population declines. We examined the mode of transmission of an FV3-like virus, and potential hosts and reservoirs of the virus in a local amphibian community. Using the polymerase chain reaction to detect infected animals, we found an FV3-like virus in south-central Ontario, Canada, amphibian communities, where it infects sympatric amphibian species, including ranid and hylid tadpoles (Rana sylvatica, Hyla versicolor, and Pseudacris spp.), larval salamanders (Ambystoma spp.), and adult eastern-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens). The high prevalence of FV3-like infections in caudate larvae suggests that salamanders are likely to be both hosts and reservoirs. In laboratory FV3 challenges of R. sylvatica, the rate of infection was dependent on the amount of virus to which the animals were exposed. In addition, although vertical transmission was suspected, horizontal transmission through exposure to infected pond water is the most likely route of infection in tadpoles. Based on our observations, a simple model of FV3/FV3-like virus transmission postulates that, in aquatic amphibian communities, transmission of the virus occurs between anuran and urodele species, with ambystomatid salamanders the most likely reservoir for the ranavirus in our study.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A multilocus timescale for the origin of extant amphibians.

    PubMed

    San Mauro, Diego

    2010-08-01

    One of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution is the origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia). The recent contribution of molecular data is shedding new light on this debate, but many important questions still remain unresolved. I have assembled a large and comprehensive multilocus dataset (the largest to date in terms of number and heterogeneity of sequence characters) combining mitogenomic and nuclear information from 23 genes for a sufficiently dense taxon sampling with the key major lineages of extant amphibians. This dataset has been used to infer a robust phylogenetic framework and molecular timescale for the origin of extant amphibians employing the most recent phylogenetic and dating methods, as well as several alternative calibration schemes. The monophyly of each extant amphibian order and the sister group relationship between frogs and salamanders (Batrachia hypothesis) are all strongly supported. Dating analyses (all methods and calibration schemes used) suggest that the origin of extant amphibians (divergence between caecilian and batrachians) occurred in the Late Carboniferous, around 315 Mya, and the divergence between frogs and salamanders occurred in the Early Permian, around 290 Mya. These age estimates are more consistent with the fossil record than previous older estimates, and more in line with the Temnospondyli or the Lepospondyli hypotheses of lissamphibian ancestry (although the polyphyly hypothesis cannot be completely ruled out).

  20. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; McKenzie, D J; Wang, T

    2010-05-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 76 FR 45603 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request for the North American Amphibian...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-29

    ... 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 Paperwork... the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. Volunteers use an on-line data entry system to...

  6. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Peel, Alison J; Hartley, Matt; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-03-20

    The international amphibian trade is implicated in the emergence and spread of the amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which has resulted in amphibian declines and extinctions globally. The establishment of the causal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), in the UK could negatively affect the survival of native amphibian populations. In recognition of the ongoing threat that it poses to amphibians, Bd was recently included in the World Organisation for Animal Health Aquatic Animal Health Code, and therefore is in the list of international notifiable diseases. Using standardised risk analysis guidelines, we investigated the likelihood that Bd would be introduced to and become established in wild amphibians in the UK through the importation of live amphibians. We obtained data on the volume and origin of the amphibian trade entering the UK and detected Bd infection in amphibians being imported for the pet and private collection trade and also in amphibians already held in captive pet, laboratory and zoological collections. We found that current systems for recording amphibian trade into the UK underestimate the volume of non-European Union trade by almost 10-fold. We identified high likelihoods of entry, establishment and spread of Bd in the UK and the resulting major overall impact. Despite uncertainties, we determined that the overall risk estimation for the introduction of Bd to the UK through the importation of live amphibians is high and that risk management measures are required, whilst ensuring that negative effects on legal trade are minimised.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. The invasive chytrid fungus of amphibians paralyzes lymphocyte responses

    PubMed Central

    Fites, J. Scott; Ramsey, Jeremy P.; Holden, Whitney M.; Collier, Sarah P.; Sutherland, Danica M.; Reinert, Laura K.; Gayek, A. Sophia; Dermody, Terence S.; Aune, Thomas M.; Oswald-Richter, Kyra; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2013-01-01

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernantants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide. PMID:24136969

  11. 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.

  12. The invasive chytrid fungus of amphibians paralyzes lymphocyte responses.

    PubMed

    Fites, J Scott; Ramsey, Jeremy P; Holden, Whitney M; Collier, Sarah P; Sutherland, Danica M; Reinert, Laura K; Gayek, A Sophia; Dermody, Terence S; Aune, Thomas M; Oswald-Richter, Kyra; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2013-10-18

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernatants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  14. The current status of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Bishop, C.A.; Linder, G.; Sparling, Donald W.; Linder, Greg L.; Bishop, Christine A.

    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.

  15. Measuring and monitoring biological diversity: Standard methods for amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heyer, W. Ronald; Donnelly, Maureen A.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Hayek, Lee-Ann C.; Foster, Mercedes S.

    1994-01-01

    Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity is the first book to provide comprehensive coverage of standard methods for biodiversity sampling of amphibians, with information on analyzing and using data that will interest biologists in general.In this manual, nearly fifty herpetologists recommend ten standard sampling procedures for measuring and monitoring amphibian and many other populations. The contributors discuss each procedure, along with the circumstances for its appropriate use. In addition, they provide a detailed protocol for each procedure's implementation, a list of necessary equipment and personnel, and suggestions for analyzing the data.The data obtained using these standard methods are comparable across sites and through time and, as a result, are extremely useful for making decisions about habitat protection, sustained use, and restoration—decisions that are particularly relevant for threatened amphibian populations.

  16. Muscle regeneration in amphibians and mammals: passing the torch.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Bruce M

    2003-02-01

    Skeletal muscle in both amphibians and mammals possesses a high regenerative capacity. In amphibians, a muscle can regenerate in two distinct ways: as a tissue component of an entire regenerating limb (epimorphic regeneration) or as an isolated entity (tissue regeneration). In the absence of epimorphic regenerative ability, mammals can regenerate muscles only by the tissue mode. This review focuses principally on the regeneration of entire muscles and covers what is known and what remains to be elucidated about fundamental mechanisms underlying muscle regeneration at this level.

  17. The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative in the Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians have been disappearing from many locations around the world with reports of declines increasing in recent decades. Some of the most dramatic declines have occurred in areas that were thought to be protected from human disturbance. For example, the once-common boreal toad has virtually disappeared from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Although there has been debate on whether these declines represent a short-term fluctuation in populations or major sustained losses, there is now general scientific consensus that something really is amiss with amphibian populations.

  18. 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.

  19. Amphibian decline: An integrated analysis of multiple stressor effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    Capturing the attention and imagination of the public and the scientific community alike, the mysterious decline in amphibian populations drew scientists and resource managers from ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource policy to a SETAC–Johnson Foundation workshop. Facilitating environmental stewardship, increasing capacity of the sciences to explain complex stressors, and educating the public on relationships among communities of all types motivated these experts to address amphibian decline and the role of various stressors in these losses.

  20. Forecasting changes in amphibian biodiversity: aiming at a moving target.

    PubMed

    Collins, James P; Halliday, Tim

    2005-02-28

    Amphibian population declines and sudden species' extinctions began to be noted at the beginning of the 1980s. Understanding the causes of the losses is hampered by our poor knowledge of the amphibian fauna in many parts of the world. Amphibian taxa are still being described at a high rate, especially in the tropics, which means that even quantifying species lost as a percentage of the current fauna can be a misleading statistic in some parts of the globe. The number of species that have gone missing is only one measure of the loss of biodiversity. Long-term studies of single-species populations are needed, but this approach has its limits. Amphibian populations often show great annual variation in population size making it difficult, if not impossible, to use short-term studies as a basis for deciding if a population is increasing or decreasing in the long term. Aggregating single studies into databases and searching for patterns of variation is a way of overcoming this limitation. Several databases on species and population time series are available or in development. These records show that declines are continuing worldwide with some species and populations, especially in the tropics and at higher elevations, at greater risk of extinction than others. Unfortunately, amphibian databases with population time series have much less information for the tropics compared to the temperate zone, and less for Africa and Asia compared with Europe and North America. Focusing limited resources using comprehensive statistical designs is a way to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring efforts. It is clear that, in the first decades of the twenty-first century, the regions of the globe with the highest diversity of amphibian species will experience the greatest rates of decrease of forests and increase in human population size, fertilizer use, agricultural production, creation of new croplands and irrigation. Many of these changes are likely negatively to

  1. 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.

  2. The amphibian diversity of bukit jana, taiping, perak.

    PubMed

    Shahrudin, Shahriza; Jaafar, Ibrahim

    2012-12-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection of amphibians in the Doñana National Park, Spain.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo-Vila, Judit; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Marchand, Marc A; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-03-20

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the non-hyphal, zoosporic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emerging infectious disease recognised as a cause of recent amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. The Doñana National Park (DNP) is located in southwestern Spain, a country with widespread Bd infection. This protected area has a great diversity of aquatic habitats that constitute important breeding habitats for 11 native amphibian species. We sampled 625 amphibians in December 2007 and February to March 2008, months that correspond to the early and intermediate breeding seasons for amphibians, respectively. We found 7 of 9 sampled species to be infected with Bd and found differences in prevalence between sampling periods. Although some amphibians tested had higher intensities of infection than others, all animals sampled were apparently healthy and, so far, there has been no evidence of either unusually high rates of mortality or amphibian population declines in the DNP.

  6. 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

  7. Demonstration and Certification of Amphibian Ecological Risk Assessment Protocol

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-04-01

    25 3.5.3 Amount/Treatment Rate of Material to be Treated................................................26 3.5.4 Residuals...ARMI Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative ASTM American Society of Testing and Materials AVS Acid Volatile Sulfides CEC...to derive safe soil levels for particular compounds. 1.0 Introduction The Department of Defense (DoD) Environmental Security Technology

  8. 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

  9. [Electrophoresis of native cardiac myosin in Anura amphibians].

    PubMed

    Dutartre, P; Mougin, D; Bride, M

    1983-01-01

    Electrophoresis in non dissociating conditions of native cardiac myosin was adapted to the study of Amphibian myosin. Utilization of potassium ion has allowed to obtain a good separation of myosin isoenzymes. An evolution of isoenzymic composition of cardiac myosin during metamorphosis and aging in Xenopus laevis (Daudin) was observed.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION DOSE AND AMPHIBIAN DISTRIBUTIONS IN NATIONAL PARKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ultraviolet Radiation Dose and Amphibian Distributions in National Parks. Diamond, S. A., Detenbeck, N. E., USEPA, Duluth, MN, USA, Bradford, D. F., USEPA, Las Vegas, NV, USA, Trenham, P. C., University of California, Davis, CA., USA, Adams, M. J., Corn, P. S., Hossack, B., USGS,...

  13. A PCR survey for posterior Hox genes in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Mannaert, An; Roelants, Kim; Bossuyt, Franky; Leyns, Luc

    2006-02-01

    Hox genes encode transcription factors that play a key role in specifying the body plan in metazoans and are therefore essential in explaining patterns of evolutionary diversity. As an ancient tetrapod group with diverse limb types, amphibians are important for understanding the origin and diversification of limbs in land vertebrates. We conducted a PCR survey in two species of each amphibian order to identify Hox-9 to Hox-13, known to function in limb development. Fifteen distinct posterior Hox genes and one retro-pseudogene were identified, and the former confirm the existence of four Hox clusters in each amphibian order. Some genes expected to occur in all tetrapods, based on the posterior Hox complement of mammals, fishes and coelacanth, were not recovered from our survey, and may have been lost. Hoxd-12 is absent in frogs and possibly other amphibians. Considering its function in autopodial development, the loss of this gene may be related to the absence of the fifth finger in frogs and salamanders.

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

    PubMed

    Cannatella, David C

    2008-05-16

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-17

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  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. Glyphosate applications on arable fields considerably coincide with migrating amphibians.

    PubMed

    Berger, Gert; Graef, Frieder; Pfeffer, Holger

    2013-01-01

    Glyphosate usage is increasing worldwide and the application schemes of this herbicide are currently changing. Amphibians migrating through arable fields may be harmed by Glyphosate applied to field crops. We investigated the population-based temporal coincidence of four amphibian species with Glyphosate from 2006 to 2008. Depending on a) age- and species-specific main migration periods, b) crop species, c) Glyphosate application mode for crops, and d) the presumed DT50 value (12 days or 47 days) of Glyphosate, we calculated up to 100% coincidence with Glyphosate. The amphibians regularly co-occur with pre-sowing/pre-emerging Glyphosate applications to maize in spring and with stubble management prior to crop sowing in late summer and autumn. Siccation treatment in summer coincides only with early pond-leaving juveniles. We suggest in-depth investigations of both acute and long-term effects of Glyphosate applications on amphibian populations not only focussed on exposure during aquatic periods but also terrestrial life stages.

  8. Effects of terrestrial buffer zones on amphibians on golf courses.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Bioaccumulation and maternal transfer of mercury and selenium in amphibians.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    Amphibian population declines have been documented worldwide and environmental contaminants are believed to contribute to some declines. Maternal transfer of bioaccumulated contaminants to offspring may be an important and overlooked mechanism of impaired reproductive success that affects amphibian populations. Mercury (Hg) is of particular concern due to its ubiquity in the environment, known toxicity to other wildlife, and complex relationships with other elements, such as selenium (Se). The objectives of the present study were to describe the relationships between total Hg (THg), methlymercury (MMHg), and Se in three amphibian species (Plethodon cinereus, Eurycea bislineata cirrigera, and Bufo americanus) along a Hg-polluted river and floodplain, and to determine if B. americanus maternally transfers Hg and Se to its eggs in a tissue residue-dependent manner. Total Hg and MMHg concentrations in all species spanned two orders of magnitude between the reference and contaminated areas, while Se concentrations were generally low in all species at both sites. Strong positive relationships between THg and MMHg in tissues of all species were observed throughout. Both Hg and Se were maternally transferred from females to eggs in B. americanus, but the percentage of the females' Hg body burden transferred to eggs was low compared with Se. In addition, Hg concentrations appeared to positively influence the amount of Se transferred from female to eggs. The present study is the first to confirm a correlation between Hg concentrations in female carcass and eggs in amphibians and among the first to describe co-transference of Se and Hg in an anamniotic vertebrate. The results suggest future work is needed to determine whether maternal transfer of Hg has transgenerational implications for amphibian progeny.

  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. Assessment of the risk of solar ultraviolet radiation to amphibians. II. In situ characterzation of exposure in amphibian habitats.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Gregory S; Johnson, Lucinda B; Axler, Richard P; Diamond, Stephen A

    2002-07-01

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has been hypothesized as a potential cause of amphibian population declines and increased incidence of malformations. Realistic studies documenting UV irradiance or dose have rarely been conducted in wetlands used by amphibians. Our data indicates that 99% of UVB is attenuated in the top 5-20 cm of wetlands in our study region (northern Minnesota and Wisconsin). Furthermore, vegetation and other habitat features have substantial impacts on local UVB irradiance levels and dose. UVB attenuation in the water columns of our wetlands is controlled by the specific absorption of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and consequently, UVB attenuation is best predicted by simple laboratory absorbance measurements such as bulk water color (absorbance at 440 nm) or wavelength-specific absorbance coefficients. Seasonal data indicate thatthe UVB absorption by early and mid-season DOC is higher than that of late summer and fall DOC, suggesting increased protection from UVB during the potentially sensitive stages of amphibian development. In addition to dissolved components, our model indicates that suspended solids play a small role in UVB attenuation in our wetlands but apparently only at high concentrations. Models predicting UV attenuation in wetlands should be used cautiously and should consider temporal variability, given the volatility and dynamic nature of water column characteristics in wetlands. Organism behavior is a critical but poorly understood phenomenon that must be addressed for development of an accurate UV exposure risk model for amphibians.

  16. Survival of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on bare hands and gloves: hygiene implications for amphibian handling.

    PubMed

    Mendez, Diana; Webb, Rebecca; Berger, Lee; Speare, Rick

    2008-11-20

    Hygiene protocols for handling amphibians in the field and in laboratories have been proposed to decrease the transmission of chytridiomycosis caused by infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is responsible for global amphibian declines. However, these protocols are mainly based on theoretical principles. The aim of this study was to develop an evidence-based approach to amphibian handling hygiene protocols by testing the survival of B. dendrobatidis on human hands and various gloves. Bare or gloved human fingers were exposed to cultured zoospores and zoosporangia of B. dendrobatidis. Survival of B. dendrobatidis on hands and gloves was tested for up to 10 min post-exposure by inoculation onto tryptone/gelatin hydrolysate/lactose (TGhL) agar plates. The effects of repeated hand washings with water and with 70% ethanol and of washing gloves with water were also tested. Bare human skin demonstrated a fungicidal effect on B. dendrobatidis by 2 min and killed 100% of cells by 6 min, but this killing effect was reduced by repeated washing with water and ethanol. Nitrile gloves killed all B. dendrobatidis on contact, but washing in water decreased this effect. Latex and polyethylene gloves had no killing effect, and B. dendrobatidis survived for over 6 min. The killing effect of vinyl gloves varied with brands and batches. These results support the use of an unused pair of gloves for each new amphibian handled in either the field or the laboratory, and if this is not possible, bare hands are a preferable, although imperfect, alternative to continual use of the same pair of gloves.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. A metazoan parasitological research of some Iraqi amphibians.

    PubMed

    Saeed, Isam; Al-Barwari, Shlemon E; Al-Harmni, Kawther I

    2007-01-01

    The incidence and intensity of metazoan parasites in 3 species of Iraqi amphibians were studied. The amphibians were Rana ridibunda, Bufo viridis and Hyla arborea. Twenty-four species of helminths were encountered, including 16 trematodes, 1 cestode and 7 nematodes. Their respective names are: Polystoma integerrimum, Prosotocus confusus, P. fuelleborni, Pleurogenoides gastroporus, P. medians, Sonsinotrema tacapense, Opisthioglyphe ranae, Haplometra cylindracea, Haematoloechus volgensis, H. vitelloconfluentum, H. similis, H. asper, Gorgoderina vitelliloba, Gorgodera euzeti, G. amplicava, Nematotaenia dispar, Cosmocerca ornata, C. commutata, Aplectana acuminata, Aplectana sp., Oxysomatium sp., Ozwaldocruzia filiformis and Rhabdias bufonis. Collection localities, infection sites and rates and parasite burdens were determined throughout the species list. The highest and lowest rates of infection were for R. bufonis in B. viridis and O. ranae in R. ridibunda, while the highest and lowest worm burdens were for C. ornata in R. ridibunda and P. integerrimum in B. viridis. Seven of the species included in this study are thought to be new for Iraq.

  2. Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians.

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-14

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

  3. Temporal learning of predation risk by embryonic amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Manek, Aditya K; Chivers, Douglas P

    2010-06-23

    For prey species that rely on learning to recognize their predators, natural selection should favour individuals able to learn as early as possible. The earliest point at which individuals can gather information about the identity of their potential predators is during the embryonic stage. Indeed, recent experiments have demonstrated that amphibians can learn to recognize predators prior to hatching. Here, we conditioned woodfrog embryos to recognize predatory salamander cues either in the morning or in the evening, and subsequently exposed the two-week-old tadpoles to salamander cues either in the morning or in the evening, and recorded the intensity of their antipredator behaviour. The data indicate that amphibians learn to recognize potential predators while still in the egg, and also learn the temporal component of this information, which they use later in life, to adjust the intensity of their antipredator responses throughout the day.

  4. Isosmotic media prevent edema in amphibian larvae without cardiac function.

    PubMed

    Smith, S C

    2000-03-01

    The absence of cardiac and circulatory function causes severe edema in amphibian embryos. Analyzing the roles of embryonic and larval circulation in respiration may thus be confounded by the increased diffusion distance and decreased surface area/volume ratio caused by edema. Similarly, detailed morphological analyses of embryos/larvae with defective circulatory or renal function is difficult or impossible due to the gross morphological anomalies engendered by edematous swelling. To circumvent these problems, two media have been developed which are isosmotic with the plasma of a common experimental amphibian species (Ambystoma mexicanun). These media are remarkably effective in preventing fluid accumulation in embryos and larvae lacking heart function and, when used in slightly lower concentrations, cause no apparent harm to embryos and larvae with normal circulation for periods up to 3 weeks. These media should prove useful for a variety of studies on the developmental physiology of the circulatory system and possibly also when examining the development of renal function and ionoregulation.

  5. 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.

  6. Congenital malformations of the vertebral column in ancient amphibians.

    PubMed

    Witzmann, F; Rothschild, B M; Hampe, O; Sobral, G; Gubin, Y M; Asbach, P

    2014-04-01

    Temnospondyls, the largest group of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic amphibians, primitively possess rhachitomous vertebrae with multipartite centra (consisting of one horse-shoe-shaped inter- and paired pleurocentra). In a group of temnospondyls, the stereospondyls, the intercentra became pronounced and disc-like, whereas the pleurocentra were reduced. We report the presence of congenital vertebral malformations (hemi, wedge and block vertebrae) in Permian and Triassic temnospondyls, showing that defects of formation and segmentation in the tetrapod vertebral column represent a fundamental failure of somitogenesis that can be followed throughout tetrapod evolution. This is irrespective of the type of affected vertebra, that is, rhachitomous or stereospondylous, and all components of the vertebra can be involved (intercentrum, pleurocentrum and neural arch), either together or independently on their own. This is the oldest known occurrence of wedge vertebra and congenital block vertebra described in fossil tetrapods. The frequency of vertebral congenital malformations in amphibians appears unchanged from the Holocene.

  7. Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, H Bradley; Gidiş, Müge; McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Neal, Kevin M; Oyamaguchi, Hilton M; Tellez, Marisa; Toffelmier, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles as a group are often secretive, reach their greatest diversity often in remote tropical regions, and contain some of the most endangered groups of organisms on earth. Particularly in the past decade, genetics and genomics have been instrumental in the conservation biology of these cryptic vertebrates, enabling work ranging from the identification of populations subject to trade and exploitation, to the identification of cryptic lineages harboring critical genetic variation, to the analysis of genes controlling key life history traits. In this review, we highlight some of the most important ways that genetic analyses have brought new insights to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Although genomics has only recently emerged as part of this conservation tool kit, several large-scale data sources, including full genomes, expressed sequence tags, and transcriptomes, are providing new opportunities to identify key genes, quantify landscape effects, and manage captive breeding stocks of at-risk species.

  8. Relationships of lipids to ovum size in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Komoroski, M J; Nagle, R D; Congdon, J D

    1998-01-01

    Relative to small embryos, large embryos may have longer developmental periods and, subsequently, relatively greater maintenance budgets. Because of the potentially increased metabolic costs of maintaining large embryos for long embryonic periods, Salthe and Mecham (1974) suggested that as ovum size increases among amphibians, ovum lipids (the primary stored metabolic energy reserves) should increase at a proportionally greater rate. To test Salthe and Mecham's hypothesis, we quantified egg lipids for 13 amphibian species from the southeastern United States. As ovum size increased among species, total, nonpolar, and polar lipids increased at rates uniform with or relatively lower than rates of increase in ovum size, in contrast to the hypothesis of Salthe and Mecham. However, variation in ovum lipids among species may be related to differences in breeding biology. Our results indicate that the amount of lipids allocated to ova do not merely depend on ovum size, but rather on the selective environments of the embryo and neonate.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Pharmacology of the GABAB receptor in amphibian retina.

    PubMed

    Tian, N; Slaughter, M M

    1994-10-17

    Amacrine and ganglion cells in the amphibian retina contain GABAB, as well as GABAA, receptors. Baclofen, a GABAB agonist, hyperpolarizes the dark membrane potential of these third order neurons and makes their light responses more transient. GABAB receptors in the retina have a similar agonist profile to GABAB receptors described at other sites in the brain. Namely, preferential activation by the R-enantiomer of baclofen, and agonist sensitivity in the order 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid > baclofen > 3-aminopropylphosphonic acid. The GABAB receptor was not activated by 4-aminobutylphosphonic acid. Several antagonists, such as phaclofen, saclofen, and 2-hydroxysaclofen, were ineffective in the amphibian retina. However, CGP35348 blocked the action of applied baclofen and produced effects on the light response that were opposite to those of baclofen. Applied agonists and antagonists support the hypothesis that GABAB receptors serve to regulate the balance of sustained and transient signals to the inner retina.

  12. Amphibian commerce as a likely source of pathogen pollution.

    PubMed

    Picco, Angela M; Collins, James P

    2008-12-01

    The commercial trade of wildlife occurs on a global scale. In addition to removing animals from their native populations, this trade may lead to the release and subsequent introduction of nonindigenous species and the pathogens they carry. Emerging infectious diseases, such as chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and ranaviral disease have spread with global trade in amphibians and are linked to amphibian declines and die-offs worldwide, which suggests that the commercial trade in amphibians may be a source of pathogen pollution. We screened tiger salamanders involved in the bait trade in the western United States for both ranaviruses and Bd with polymerase chain reaction and used oral reports from bait shops and ranavirus DNA sequences from infected bait salamanders to determine how these animals and their pathogens are moved geographically by commerce. In addition, we conducted 2 surveys of anglers to determine how often tiger salamanders are used as bait and how often they are released into fishing waters by anglers, and organized bait-shop surveys to determine whether tiger salamanders are released back into the wild after being housed in bait shops. Ranaviruses were detected in the tiger salamander bait trade in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, and Bd was detected in Arizona bait shops. Ranaviruses were spread geographically through the bait trade. All tiger salamanders in the bait trade were collected from the wild, and in general they moved east to west and north to south, bringing with them their multiple ranavirus strains. Finally, 26-73% of anglers used tiger salamanders as fishing bait, 26-67% of anglers released tiger salamanders bought as bait into fishing waters, and 4% of bait shops released tiger salamanders back into the wild after they were housed in shops with infected animals. The tiger salamander bait trade in the western United States is a useful model for understanding the consequences of the

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Landscape-stream interactions and habitat conservation for amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Marziali, Laura; Rossaro, Bruno; De Bernardi, Fiorenza; Padoa-Schioppa, Emilio

    2011-06-01

    Semiaquatic organisms depend on the features of both water bodies and landscapes; the interplay between terrestrial and aquatic systems might influence the semiaquatic communities, determining the scale at which management would be more effective. However, the consequences of such interplay are not frequently quantified, particularly at the community level. We analyzed the distribution of amphibians to evaluate whether the influence of landscape features on freshwater ecosystems can have indirect consequences at both the species and community level. We surveyed 74 streams in northern Italy to obtain data on breeding amphibians, water, and microhabitat features; we also measured features of surrounding landscapes. We used an information-theoretic approach and structural equation models to compare hypotheses on causal relationships between species distribution and variables measured at multiple levels. We also used a constrained redundancy analyses to evaluate causal relationships between multivariate descriptors of habitat features and community composition. Distribution of Salamandra salamandra was related to landscape, hydrological, and water characteristics: salamanders were more frequent in permanent streams with low phosphate concentration within natural landscapes. Water characteristics were dependent on landscape: streams in natural landscapes had less phosphates. Landscape influenced the salamander both directly and indirectly through its influence on phosphates. Community structure was determined by both landscape and water characteristics. Several species were associated with natural landscapes, and with particular water characteristics. Landscape explained a significant proportion of variability of water characteristics; therefore it probably had indirect effects on community. Upland environments play key roles for amphibians, for example, as the habitat of adults, but upland environments also have indirect effects on the aquatic life stages, mediated

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-09-01

    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 approximately 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.

  1. Xenopus laevis and Emerging Amphibian Pathogens in Chile.

    PubMed

    Soto-Azat, Claudio; Peñafiel-Ricaurte, Alexandra; Price, Stephen J; Sallaberry-Pincheira, Nicole; García, María Pía; Alvarado-Rybak, Mario; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2016-12-01

    Amphibians face an extinction crisis with no precedence. Two emerging infectious diseases, ranaviral disease caused by viruses within the genus Ranavirus and chytridiomycosis due to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), have been linked with amphibian mass mortalities and population declines in many regions of the globe. The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) has been indicated as a vector for the spread of these pathogens. Since the 1970s, this species has been invasive in central Chile. We collected X. laevis and dead native amphibians in Chile between 2011 and 2013. We conducted post-mortem examinations and molecular tests for Ranavirus and Bd. Eight of 187 individuals (4.3 %) tested positive for Ranavirus: seven X. laevis and a giant Chilean frog (Calyptocephallela gayi). All positive cases were from the original area of X. laevis invasion. Bd was found to be more prevalent (14.4 %) and widespread than Ranavirus, and all X. laevis Bd-positive animals presented low to moderate levels of infection. Sequencing of a partial Ranavirus gene revealed 100 % sequence identity with Frog Virus 3. This is the first report of Ranavirus in Chile, and these preliminary results are consistent with a role for X. laevis as an infection reservoir for both Ranavirus and Bd.

  2. 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.

  3. Cardiac performance correlates of relative heart ventricle mass in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Kluthe, Gregory J; Hillman, Stanley S

    2013-08-01

    This study used an in situ heart preparation to analyze the power output and stroke work of spontaneously beating hearts of four anurans (Rhinella marina, Lithobates catesbeianus, Xenopus laevis, Pyxicephalus edulis) and three urodeles (Necturus maculosus, Ambystoma tigrinum, Amphiuma tridactylum) that span a representative range of relative ventricle mass (RVM) found in amphibians. Previous research has documented that RVM correlates with dehydration tolerance and maximal aerobic capacity in amphibians. The power output (mW g(-1) ventricle mass) and stroke work (mJ g(-1) ventricle muscle mass) were independent of RVM and were indistinguishable from previously published results for fish and reptiles. RVM was significantly correlated with maximum power output (P max, mW kg(-1) body mass), stroke volume, cardiac output, afterload pressure (P O) at P max, and preload pressure (P I) at P max. P I at P max and P O at P max also correlated very closely with each other. The increases in both P I and P O at maximal power outputs in large hearts suggest that concomitant increases in blood volume and/or increased modulation of vascular compliance either anatomically or via sympathetic tone on the venous vasculature would be necessary to achieve P max in vivo. Hypotheses for variation in RVM and its concomitant increased P max in amphibians are developed.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-08-01

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

  7. Minimising exposure of amphibians to pathogens during field studies.

    PubMed

    Phillott, A D; Speare, R; Hines, H B; Skerratt, L F; Meyer, E; McDonald, K R; Cashins, S D; Mendez, D; Berger, L

    2010-11-01

    Many of the recent global amphibian mass mortalities, declines and extinctions have been attributed to the emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis. There have been mass mortalities due to ranaviral disease but no major declines or extinctions. Controlling the transmission and spread of disease is of utmost importance, especially where there is the potential for human involvement. We have reviewed current hygiene guidelines for working with wild frogs, identified potential flaws and recommended those most suitable and effective for the field environment. Our within-site hygiene measures aim to reduce the risk of transmission among individuals. These measures encompass the capture, handling and holding of amphibians, skin disinfection before and after invasive procedures, marking frogs, sealing open wounds and treatment of accessory equipment. Our between-site hygiene measures aim to mitigate the risk of pathogen spread among populations. We have designed a risk calculator to help simplify and standardise the decision-making process for determining the level of risk and appropriate risk mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of increasing pathogen spread above background levels. Calculation of an overall risk score for pathogen spread takes into account the prior activity of field workers, the proposed activity, remoteness of the site, presence of known pathogens and the consequences of increased pathogen spread for amphibians in a given area.

  8. Pentastomiasis and other parasitic zoonoses from reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Pantchev, Nikola; Tappe, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles are growing in popularity as pets.The colonization of reptiles and amphibians by parasites and the resulting disease conditions are the most common problems seen in captive animals.This review focuses on pentastomiasis and sparganosis, important parasitic zoonoses of reptiles and amphibians, respectively, and free living-amoebae. Humans are suitable accidental hosts for some pentastomid species (particularly Armillifer and Porocephalus). In geographical areas with special ethnics, such as in West and Central Africa, and East Asia, 8-45% of the human population can be affected. Usually the larvae are coincidentally found during abdominal surgeries. However, fatalities have been described. Extreme caution is necessary when handling infected reptiles. Ocular or cerebral sparganosis is not uncommonly found in humans in East Asia. This disease is caused by spargana, tapeworm larvae (plerocercoids) of Spirometra sp. The infection occurs when uncooked meat from reptiles or amphibians is applied to wounds or eyes and the parasites migrate directly to human tissue, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. As a consequence of the reptile's predatory behaviour, the full spectrum of endo- and ectoparasites from potential prey animals can be found as transiting parasites in the intestinal tract, e. g. Hymenolepis nana, Cryptosporidium (C.) muris, C parvum or Capillaria hepatica. Occasionally, free-living amoebae are also found in reptile faeces (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmanella, Vahlkampfia or Echinamoeba sp.).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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).

  13. Analyzing the radiation of the melanocortins in amphibians: cloning of POMC cDNAs from the pituitary of the urodele amphibians, Amphiuma means and Necturus maculosus.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Katarzyna; Costantino, David; Lecaude, Stephanie; Sollars, Cristina; Danielson, Phillip; Dores, Robert M

    2005-10-01

    Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) cDNAs were cloned and sequenced from brain extracts of two species of urodele amphibians: Amphiuma means and Necturus maculosus. Although the two species of urodele amphibians belong to separate families, and do not share a direct common ancestor, the level of primary sequence identity for the open reading of the POMC cDNAs was 90% at the amino acid level and 79% at the nucleotide level. It appears that the POMC gene in these urodele amphibians has been accumulating mutations at the amino acid level at a slower rate than the POMC gene in other sarcopterygian orders.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  16. 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...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-07-01

    benchmarks, conducting laboratory toxicity tests, and performing field surveys to evaluate habitat and amphibian populations. Not all methods will be...demonstration sites. Both have amphibian habitat co-located with contamination and associated with firing ranges. The field demonstration focused on lead...include: comparing media concentrations to benchmarks, conducting laboratory toxicity tests, and performing field surveys to evaluate habitat and

  18. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis with bioaugmentation: characteristics of effective probiotics and strategies for their selection and use.

    PubMed

    Bletz, Molly C; Loudon, Andrew H; Becker, Matthew H; Bell, Sara C; Woodhams, Douglas C; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Harris, Reid N

    2013-06-01

    Probiotic therapy through bioaugmentation is a feasible disease mitigation strategy based on growing evidence that microbes contribute to host defences of plants and animals. Amphibians are currently threatened by the rapid global spread of the pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. Bioaugmentation of locally occurring protective bacteria on amphibians has mitigated this disease effectively in laboratory trials and one recent field trial. Areas still naïve to Bd provide an opportunity for conservationists to proactively implement probiotic strategies to prevent further amphibian declines. In areas where Bd is endemic, bioaugmentation can facilitate repatriation of susceptible amphibians currently maintained in assurance colonies. Here, we synthesise the current research in amphibian microbial ecology and bioaugmentation to identify characteristics of effective probiotics in relation to their interactions with Bd, their host, other resident microbes and the environment. To target at-risk species and amphibian communities, we develop sampling strategies and filtering protocols that result in probiotics that inhibit Bd under ecologically relevant conditions and persist on susceptible amphibians. This filtering tool can be used proactively to guide amphibian disease mitigation and can be extended to other taxa threatened by emerging infectious diseases.

  19. 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...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  1. 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…

  2. 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,...

  3. Phase-II conjugation ability for PAH metabolism in amphibians: characteristics and inter-species differences.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Haruki; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Nakayama, Shouta M M; Tanaka-Ueno, Tomoko; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2011-10-01

    The present study examines amphibian metabolic activity - particularly conjugation - by analysis of pyrene (a four ring, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) metabolites using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detector (FD), a mass spectrometry detector (MS) system and kinetic analysis of conjugation enzymes. Six amphibian species were exposed to pyrene (dissolved in water): African claw frog (Xenopus laevis); Tago's brown frog (Rana tagoi); Montane brown frog (Rana ornativentris); Wrinkled frog (Rana rugosa); Japanese newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster); and Clouded salamander (Hynobius nebulosus); plus one fish species, medaka (Oryzias latipes); and a fresh water snail (Clithon retropictus), and the resultant metabolites were collected. Identification of pyrene metabolites by HPLC and ion-trap MS system indicated that medaka mainly excreted pyrene-1-glucuronide (PYOG), while pyrene-1-sulfate (PYOS) was the main metabolite in all amphibian species. Pyrene metabolites in amphibians were different from those in invertebrate fresh water snails. Inter-species differences were also observed in pyrene metabolism among amphibians. Metabolite analysis showed that frogs relied more strongly on sulfate conjugation than did Japanese newts and clouded salamanders. Furthermore, urodelan amphibians, newts and salamanders, excreted glucose conjugates of pyrene that were not detected in the anuran amphibians. Kinetic analysis of conjugation by hepatic microsomes and cytosols indicated that differences in excreted metabolites reflected differences in enzymatic activities. Furthermore, pyrenediol (PYDOH) glucoside sulfate was detected in the Japanese newt sample. This novel metabolite has not been reported previously to this report, in which we have identified unique characteristics of amphibians in phase II pyrene metabolism.

  4. 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,...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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,...

  8. 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,...

  9. 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.

  10. 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,...

  11. 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...

  12. A meta-analysis of the effects of pesticides and fertilizers on survival and growth of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Baker, Nick J; Bancroft, Betsy A; Garcia, Tiffany S

    2013-04-01

    The input of agrochemicals has contributed to alteration of community composition in managed and associated natural systems, including amphibian biodiversity. Pesticides and fertilizers negatively affect many amphibian species and can cause mortality and sublethal effects, such as reduced growth and increased susceptibility to disease. However, the effect of pesticides and fertilizers varies among amphibian species. We used meta-analytic techniques to quantify the lethal and sublethal effects of pesticides and fertilizers on amphibians in an effort to review the published work to date and produce generalized conclusions. We found that pesticides and fertilizers had a negative effect on survival of -0.9027 and growth of -0.0737 across all reported amphibian species. We also observed differences between chemical classes in their impact on amphibians: inorganic fertilizers, organophosphates, chloropyridinyl, phosphonoglycines, carbamates, and triazines negatively affected amphibian survival, while organophosphates and phosphonoglycines negatively affected amphibian growth. Our results suggest that pesticides and fertilizers are an important stressor for amphibians in agriculturally dominated systems. Furthermore, certain chemical classes are more likely to harm amphibians. Best management practices in agroecosystems should incorporate amphibian species-specific response to agrochemicals as well as life stage dependent susceptibility to best conserve amphibian biodiversity in these landscapes.

  13. Pesticides in amphibian habitats of Central and Northern California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fellers, Gary M.; Sparling, W; McConnell, Laura; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Drakeford, Leticia

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have indicated that toxicity from pesticide exposure may be contributing to amphibian declines in California and that atmospheric deposition could be a primary pathway for pesticides to enter amphibian habitats. We report on a survey of California wetlands sampled along transects associated with Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia National Park. Each transect ran from the Pacific coast to the Cascades or Sierra Nevada mountains. Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla), water, and sediment were collected from wetlands in 2001 and 2002. Twenty-three pesticides were found in frog, water, or sediment samples. Six contaminants including trifluralin, α-endosulfan, chlordanes, and trans-nonachlor were found in adult P. regilla. Seventeen contaminants were found in sediments, including endosulfan sulfate, chlordanes, 1-chloro-4-[2,2-dichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethenyl]benzene (4,4′-DDE), and chlorpyrifos. The mean number of chemicals detected per pond in sediments was 2.4 (2.5, standard deviation). In water, 17 chemicals were detected, with β-endosulfan being present in almost all samples. Trifluralin, chlordanes, and chlorpyrifos were the next most common. The mean number of chemicals in water per pond was 7.8 (2.9). With the possible exception of chlorpyrifos oxon in sediments and total endosulfans, none of the contaminants exceeded known lethal or sublethal concentrations in P. regilla tissue. Endosulfans, chlorpyrifos, and trifluralin were associated with historic and present day population status of amphibians. Cholinesterase, an essential neurological enzyme that can be depressed by certain pesticides, was reduced in tadpoles from areas with the greatest population declines.

  14. 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

  15. [Amphibian skin as a source of therapeutic peptides].

    PubMed

    Amiche, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    The search for new bioactive molecules that could be used in therapeutics is a major public health issue, particularly in the treatment of certain diseases such as cancer. In this context the exploration of the venom of animals (snakes, amphibians, cones, scorpions, insects...) that produce molecules of various structures and biological activities, is a very promising direction. Research in this area led to the discovery of neuropeptides, hormones, toxins, antimicrobial peptides and other extremely potent mediators. These are now used in many areas both in fundamental research and in translational research, respectively, to understand biochemical and physiological mechanisms, or to use as medical diagnostic tools and for therapeutic purposes. Pr. V. Erspamer is the first researcher to have shown, in the 1930s, that in addition to biogenic amines and alkaloids, granular glands from the skin of amphibians also produced huge amounts of peptides with various structures and biological activities. He also showed that these peptides had their counterparts, most often in the form of identical or similar peptides, in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract of mammals. These observations are summarized in the form of a triangle concept of "brain-gut-skin" that states that any peptide found in a compartment should be present in the other two. In addition, abundance, ease of extraction and identification of peptides from amphibian skin make this model a means to search for their counterparts in mammals where they are present in minute quantities. This approach has two advantages: (i) at the fundamental level, the large peptide diversity, ubiquity and multiplicity of functions to which they participate, constitute a true chemical library to understand the mechanisms of recognition and signal transduction and study the physicochemical basic of the specificity; and (ii) in terms of applications, the relative simplicity of these peptides and the rise of the

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  17. The respiratory consequences of feeding in amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Wang, T; Busk, M; Overgaard, J

    2001-03-01

    Many ectothermic vertebrates ingest very large meals at infrequent intervals. The digestive processes associated with these meals, often coupled with an extensive hypertrophy of the gastrointestinal organs, are energetically expensive and metabolic rate, therefore, increases substantially after feeding (specific dynamic action, SDA). Here, we review the cardio-respiratory consequences of SDA in amphibians and reptiles. For some snakes, the increased oxygen uptake during SDA is of similar magnitude to that of muscular exercise, and the two physiological states, therefore, exert similar and profound demands on oxygen transport by the cardiorespiratory systems. In several species, SDA is attended by increases in heart rate and overall systemic blood flows, but changes in blood flow distribution remain to be investigated. In snakes, the regulation of heart rate appears to involve a non-adrenergic-non-cholinergic mechanism, which may be a regulatory peptide released from the gastrointestinal system during digestion. Digestion is also associated with a net acid secretion to the stomach that causes an increase in plasma HCO3- concentration (the 'alkaline tide'). Experiments on chronically cannulated amphibians and reptiles, show that this metabolic alkalosis is countered by an increased P(CO2), so that the change in arterial pH is reduced. This respiratory compensation of arterial pH is accomplished through a reduction in ventilation relative to metabolism, but the estimated reductions in lung P(O2) are relatively small. The SDA response is also associated with haematological changes, but large interspecific differences exist. The studies on cardiorespiratory responses to digestion may allow for a further understanding of the physiological and structural constraints that limits the ability of reptiles and amphibians to sustain high metabolic rates.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-15

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

  19. Traits, not origin, explain impacts of plants on larval amphibians.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Jillian S; Maerz, John C; Blossey, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    Managing habitats for the benefit of native fauna is a priority for many government and private agencies. Often, these agencies view nonnative plants as a threat to wildlife habitat, and they seek to control or eradicate nonnative plant populations. However, little is known about how nonnative plant invasions impact native fauna, and it is unclear whether managing these plants actually improves habitat quality for resident animals. Here, we compared the impacts of native and nonnative wetland plants on three species of native larval amphibians; we also examined whether plant traits explain the observed impacts. Specifically, we measured plant litter quality (carbon : nitrogen : phosphorus ratios, and percentages of lignin and soluble phenolics) and biomass, along with a suite of environmental conditions known to affect larval amphibians (hydroperiod, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH). Hydroperiod and plant traits, notably soluble phenolics, litter C:N ratio, and litter N:P ratio, impacted the likelihood that animals metamorphosed, the number of animals that metamorphosed, and the length of larval period. As hydroperiod decreased, the likelihood that amphibians achieved metamorphosis and the percentage of tadpoles that successfully metamorphosed also decreased. Increases in soluble phenolics, litter N:P ratio, and litter C:N ratio decreased the likelihood that tadpoles achieved metamorphosis, decreased the percentage of tadpoles metamorphosing, decreased metamorph production (total metamorph biomass), and increased the length of larval period. Interestingly, we found no difference in metamorphosis rates and length of larval period between habitats dominated by native and nonnative plants. Our findings have important implications for habitat management. We suggest that to improve habitats for native fauna, managers should focus on assembling a plant community with desirable traits rather than focusing only on plant origin.

  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.

  1. 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

    2016-06-30

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2012-05-04

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.; Linder, Gregory L.; Krest, Sherry K.; Sparling, Donald W.; Little, Edward E.

    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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ricci, M

    1999-12-01

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

  10. Turtle isochore structure is intermediate between amphibians and other amniotes.

    PubMed

    Chojnowski, Jena L; Braun, Edward L

    2008-10-01

    Vertebrate genomes are comprised of isochores that are relatively long (>100 kb) regions with a relatively homogenous (either GC-rich or AT-rich) base composition and with rather sharp boundaries with neighboring isochores. Mammals and living archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) have heterogeneous genomes that include very GC-rich isochores. In sharp contrast, the genomes of amphibians and fishes are more homogeneous and they have a lower overall GC content. Because DNA with higher GC content is more thermostable, the elevated GC content of mammalian and archosaurian DNA has been hypothesized to be an adaptation to higher body temperatures. This hypothesis can be tested by examining structure of isochores across the reptilian clade, which includes the archosaurs, testudines (turtles), and lepidosaurs (lizards and snakes), because reptiles exhibit diverse body sizes, metabolic rates, and patterns of thermoregulation. This study focuses on a comparative analysis of a new set of expressed genes of the red-eared slider turtle and orthologs of the turtle genes in mammalian (human, mouse, dog, and opossum), archosaurian (chicken and alligator), and amphibian (western clawed frog) genomes. EST (expressed sequence tag) data from a turtle cDNA library enriched for genes that have specialized functions (developmental genes) revealed using the GC content of the third-codon-position to examine isochore structure requires careful consideration of the types of genes examined. The more highly expressed genes (e.g., housekeeping genes) are more likely to be GC-rich than are genes with specialized functions. However, the set of highly expressed turtle genes demonstrated that the turtle genome has a GC content that is intermediate between the GC-poor amphibians and the GC-rich mammals and archosaurs. There was a strong correlation between the GC content of all turtle genes and the GC content of other vertebrate genes, with the slope of the line describing this relationship also

  11. Tachykinin peptides and receptors: putting amphibians into perspective.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lu; Burcher, Elizabeth

    2005-08-01

    The tachykinins form one of the largest peptide families in nature. In this review, we describe the comparative features of the tachykinin peptides and their receptors, focusing particularly on amphibians. We also summarize our systematic studies of the localization, characteristics, and actions of bufokinin, a toad substance P-related peptide, in its species of origin. In addition, we discuss the establishment of multiple isoforms of the NK1-like receptor in the toad, and their structure, pharmacology and tissue distributions. We conclude that tachykinin peptides and receptors are well conserved in terms of their structures, physiological functions and coupling mechanisms during tetrapod evolution.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Development of the larval amphibian growth and development ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a Tier II test guideline being developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure on growth, thyroid-mediated amphibian metamorphosis and reproductive development. To evaluate the assay’s performance, two model chemicals targeting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis were tested; a weak estrogen receptor agonist, 4-tert-octylphenol (tOP), and an androgen receptor agonist, 17β-trenbolone (TB). Xenopus laevis embryos were constantly exposed in flow-through conditions to various test concentrations of tOP (nominal: 6.25, 12.5, 25, 50 μg/L) or TB (nominal: 12.5, 25, 50, 100 ng/L) and clean water controls until 8 weeks post-metamorphosis, at which time growth measurements were taken and histopathology assessments were made on gonads, reproductive ducts, liver and kidneys. There were no effects on growth in either study and no signs of overt toxicity, sex reversal or gonad dysgenesis at the concentrations tested. Exposure to tOP caused a treatment-related decrease in circulating thyroxine and an increase in thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia (25, 50 μg/L). Müllerian duct development was clearly affected following exposure to both chemicals; tOP exposure caused dose-dependent maturation of oviducts in both male and female frogs, whereas TB exposure ca

  18. Development of the larval amphibian growth and development ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized chemical testing guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Environment to support risk assessment. The assay is employed as a higher tiered approach to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure throughout multiple life stages in model amphibian species Xenopus laevis. To evaluate the utility of the initial LAGDA design, the assay was performed using a mixed mode of action endocrine disrupting chemical, benzophenone-2 (BP-2). X. laevis embryos were exposed in flow-through conditions to 0, 1.5, 3.0 or 6.0 mg/L BP-2 until two months post-metamorphosis. Overt toxicity was evident throughout the exposure period in the 6.0 mg/L treatment due to elevated mortality rates and observed liver and kidney pathologies. Concentration-dependent increases in severity of thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia occurred in larval tadpoles indicating BP-2-induced impacts on the thyroid axis. Additionally, gonads were impacted in all treatments with some genotypic males showing both testis and ovary tissues (1.5 mg/L) and 100% of the genotypic males in the higher treatments (3.0 and 6.0 mg/L) experiencing complete male-to-female sex reversal. Concentration-dependent vitellogenin (Vtg) induction occurred in both genders with associated accumulations of protein in the livers, kidneys and gonads, which was likely Vtg

  19. 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

  20. Immunocytochemistry of the amphibian embryo--from overview to ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Kurth, Thomas

    2003-06-01

    Amphibian embryos are standard research objects to study pattern formation and morphogenesis. Due to their external development and robust nature, experimental manipulations such as microinjections or transplantations can be easily performed. However, most immunocytochemical approaches addressing the specific localization of proteins are hampered by the fragility of the large and yolky embryonic cells which render high resolution staining difficult. Immunocytochemical data are therefore often restricted to either overall patterns in whole embryo preparations or to immunofluorescent localization with limited resolution on sections. High resolution or ultrastructural protein localization data are rare and can be achieved only with time consuming procedures. Here, a comparative study of immunocytochemical methods suitable for light and electron microscopy using different kinds of plastic resins is presented. Three main approaches are described: preembedding staining of whole embryos, postembedding staining of ultrathin sections and preembedding staining of vibratome sections. All the procedures are designed to study protein expression in early amphibian embryos en gros as well as en detail and the described techniques are suitable to combine two or three levels of resolution on the very same biological specimen. Examples are presented and advantages and disadvantages of the different protocols are discussed.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J

    2014-11-22

    The evolution of climatic niche specialization has important implications for many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation. The climatic niche reflects the set of temperature and precipitation conditions where a species can occur. Thus, specialization to a limited set of climatic conditions can be important for understanding patterns of biogeography, species richness, community structure, allopatric speciation, spread of invasive species and responses to climate change. Nevertheless, the factors that determine climatic niche width (level of specialization) remain poorly explored. Here, we test whether species that occur in more extreme climates are more highly specialized for those conditions, and whether there are trade-offs between niche widths on different climatic niche axes (e.g. do species that tolerate a broad range of temperatures tolerate only a limited range of precipitation regimes?). We test these hypotheses in amphibians, using phylogenetic comparative methods and global-scale datasets, including 2712 species with both climatic and phylogenetic data. Our results do not support either hypothesis. Rather than finding narrower niches in more extreme environments, niches tend to be narrower on one end of a climatic gradient but wider on the other. We also find that temperature and precipitation niche breadths are positively related, rather than showing trade-offs. Finally, our results suggest that most amphibian species occur in relatively warm and dry environments and have relatively narrow climatic niche widths on both of these axes. Thus, they may be especially imperilled by anthropogenic climate change.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. The effects of hydropattern and predator communities on amphibian occupancy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amburgey, Staci; Bailey, L.L.; Murphy, M.A.; Muths, Erin L.; Funk, W.C.

    2014-01-01

    Complex, interactive ecological constraints regulate species distributions, and understanding these factors is crucial for predicting species persistence. We used occupancy analysis, which corrects for imperfect detection, to test the importance of abiotic and biotic habitat and landscape factors on probability of occupancy by Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata (Agassiz, 1850)) tadpoles. We hypothesized that hydropattern and predators are primarily important because they affect desiccation and predation risk and can interact in ways difficult to predict. We surveyed 62 wetland sites across an elevational gradient in Colorado, USA, and modeled patterns in P. maculata occupancy. Tadpoles were most frequently present in intermediate-length hydropattern systems with lower desiccation risk and no predatory fish because of occasional drying. Pseudacris maculata occupancy had a strong negative relationship with fish presence, while tadpoles, odonate larvae, and Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma mavortium mavortium Baird, 1850) frequently co-occurred. Dry seasonal conditions will likely result in fewer intermediate-length hydropattern ponds available for amphibian breeding. We hypothesize that this will force P. maculata to breed in habitats with fish. As habitats shrink, predators that co-occur with P. maculata are expected to concentrate in the remaining habitat and increase predation risk for developing tadpoles (assuming predators are similarly constricted in their habitat use as amphibians are).

  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. Life history linked to immune investment in developing amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Woodhams, Douglas C.; Bell, Sara C.; Bigler, Laurent; Caprioli, Richard M.; Chaurand, Pierre; Lam, Brianna A.; Reinert, Laura K.; Stalder, Urs; Vazquez, Victoria M.; Schliep, Klaus; Hertz, Andreas; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2016-01-01

    The broad diversity of amphibian developmental strategies has been shaped, in part, by pathogen pressure, yet trade-offs between the rate of larval development and immune investment remain poorly understood. The expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in skin secretions is a crucial defense against emerging amphibian pathogens and can also indirectly affect host defense by influencing the composition of skin microbiota. We examined the constitutive or induced expression of AMPs in 17 species at multiple life-history stages. We found that AMP defenses in tadpoles of species with short larval periods (fast pace of life) were reduced in comparison with species that overwinter as tadpoles and grow to a large size. A complete set of defensive peptides emerged soon after metamorphosis. These findings support the hypothesis that species with a slow pace of life invest energy in AMP production to resist potential pathogens encountered during the long larval period, whereas species with a fast pace of life trade this investment in defense for more rapid growth and development. PMID:27928507

  10. Stress, reproduction, and adrenocortical modulation in amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Moore, Ignacio T; Jessop, Tim S

    2003-01-01

    While the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) response to stress appears to be conserved in vertebrates, the manner in which it is activated and its actions vary. We examine two trends in the stress biology literature that have been addressed in amphibian and reptilian species: (1). variable interactions among stress, corticosterone, and reproduction and (2). adrenocortical modulation. In the first topic we examine context-dependent interactions among stress, corticosterone, and reproduction. An increasing number of studies report positive associations between reproduction and corticosterone that contradict the generalization that stress inhibits reproduction. Moderately elevated levels of stress hormones appear to facilitate reproduction by mobilizing energy stores. In contrast, pronounced activation of the HPA axis and extremely elevated levels of stress hormones appear to inhibit reproduction. Much of these contrasting effects of stress and reproduction can be explained by expanding the Energetics-Hormone Vocalization Model, proposed for anuran calling behavior, to other taxa. In the second topic, a number of amphibians and reptiles modulate their HPA stress response. Adrenocortical modulation can occur at multiple levels and due to a variety of factors. However, we have little information as to the physiological basis for the variability. We suggest that several ecologically based ideas, such as variability in the length of the breeding season and lifetime reproductive opportunities, can be used to explain the utility of adrenocortical modulation in these taxa.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Roelants, Kim; Fry, Bryan G; Ye, Lumeng; Stijlemans, Benoit; Brys, Lea; Kok, Philippe; Clynen, Elke; Schoofs, Liliane; Cornelis, Pierre; Bossuyt, Franky

    2013-01-01

    The skin secretion of many amphibians contains an arsenal of bioactive molecules, including hormone-like peptides (HLPs) acting as defense toxins against predators, and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) providing protection against infectious microorganisms. Several amphibian taxa seem to have independently acquired the genes to produce skin-secreted peptide arsenals, but it remains unknown how these originated from a non-defensive ancestral gene and evolved diverse defense functions against predators and pathogens. We conducted transcriptome, genome, peptidome and phylogenetic analyses to chart the full gene repertoire underlying the defense peptide arsenal of the frog Silurana tropicalis and reconstruct its evolutionary history. Our study uncovers a cluster of 13 transcriptionally active genes, together encoding up to 19 peptides, including diverse HLP homologues and AMPs. This gene cluster arose from a duplicated gastrointestinal hormone gene that attained a HLP-like defense function after major remodeling of its promoter region. Instead, new defense functions, including antimicrobial activity, arose by mutation of the precursor proteins, resulting in the proteolytic processing of secondary peptides alongside the original ones. Although gene duplication did not trigger functional innovation, it may have subsequently facilitated the convergent loss of the original function in multiple gene lineages (subfunctionalization), completing their transformation from HLP gene to AMP gene. The processing of multiple peptides from a single precursor entails a mechanism through which peptide-encoding genes may establish new functions without the need for gene duplication to avoid adaptive conflicts with older ones.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  14. Equilibrium of Global Amphibian Species Distributions with Climate

    PubMed Central

    Munguía, Mariana; Rahbek, Carsten; Rangel, Thiago F.; Diniz-Filho, Jose Alexandre F.; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2012-01-01

    A common assumption in bioclimatic envelope modeling is that species distributions are in equilibrium with contemporary climate. A number of studies have measured departures from equilibrium in species distributions in particular regions, but such investigations were never carried out for a complete lineage across its entire distribution. We measure departures of equilibrium with contemporary climate for the distributions of the world amphibian species. Specifically, we fitted bioclimatic envelopes for 5544 species using three presence-only models. We then measured the proportion of the modeled envelope that is currently occupied by the species, as a metric of equilibrium of species distributions with climate. The assumption was that the greater the difference between modeled bioclimatic envelope and the occupied distribution, the greater the likelihood that species distribution would not be at equilibrium with contemporary climate. On average, amphibians occupied 30% to 57% of their potential distributions. Although patterns differed across regions, there were no significant differences among lineages. Species in the Neotropic, Afrotropics, Indo-Malay, and Palaearctic occupied a smaller proportion of their potential distributions than species in the Nearctic, Madagascar, and Australasia. We acknowledge that our models underestimate non equilibrium, and discuss potential reasons for the observed patterns. From a modeling perspective our results support the view that at global scale bioclimatic envelope models might perform similarly across lineages but differently across regions. PMID:22511938

  15. 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

  16. Life history linked to immune investment in developing amphibians.

    PubMed

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bell, Sara C; Bigler, Laurent; Caprioli, Richard M; Chaurand, Pierre; Lam, Brianna A; Reinert, Laura K; Stalder, Urs; Vazquez, Victoria M; Schliep, Klaus; Hertz, Andreas; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2016-01-01

    The broad diversity of amphibian developmental strategies has been shaped, in part, by pathogen pressure, yet trade-offs between the rate of larval development and immune investment remain poorly understood. The expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in skin secretions is a crucial defense against emerging amphibian pathogens and can also indirectly affect host defense by influencing the composition of skin microbiota. We examined the constitutive or induced expression of AMPs in 17 species at multiple life-history stages. We found that AMP defenses in tadpoles of species with short larval periods (fast pace of life) were reduced in comparison with species that overwinter as tadpoles and grow to a large size. A complete set of defensive peptides emerged soon after metamorphosis. These findings support the hypothesis that species with a slow pace of life invest energy in AMP production to resist potential pathogens encountered during the long larval period, whereas species with a fast pace of life trade this investment in defense for more rapid growth and development.

  17. Local and landscape determinants of amphibian communities in urban ponds.

    PubMed

    Hamer, Andrew J; Parris, Kirsten M

    2011-03-01

    Urbanization is currently responsible for widespread declines of amphibian populations globally through the loss, isolation, and degradation of habitat. However, it is not clear how urbanization affects amphibian communities at both local (pond) and landscape scales. We assessed the breeding distribution of frogs in ponds along an urban-rural gradient in Greater Melbourne, Australia, and examined community relationships with habitat quality and landscape context. We sampled frog larvae at 65 ponds on four separate occasions and collected data on local pond and landscape variables. Using Bayesian Poisson regression modeling we found that species richness decreased at ponds surrounded by high densities of human residents and at ponds with high water conductivity, whereas species richness increased substantially at ponds surrounded by a high proportion of green open space. Ordination of individual species presence-absence data by canonical correspondence analysis largely confirmed these findings. Ordination also highlighted the negative influences of pond shading and density of predatory fish, and the positive influence of aquatic vegetation, on community composition. Individual species' responses to urbanization varied. Urbanization had strong negative effects on species that were associated with well-vegetated, sunny, fish-free ponds. Our study highlights the importance of strategic management actions in urban landscapes to improve terrestrial habitat and connectivity around ponds and other wetlands, and local management actions to improve water quality, remove predatory fish, and plant aquatic vegetation at breeding sites.

  18. 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

  19. Vitamin A (retinoid) metabolism and actions: What we know and what we need to know about amphibians.

    PubMed

    Clugston, Robin D; Blaner, William S

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Estimating occupancy dynamics in an anuran assemblage from Louisiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walls, Susan C.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Dorazio, Robert M.

    2011-01-01

    Effective monitoring programs are designed to track changes in the distribution, occurrence, and abundance of species. We developed an extension of Royle and Kéry's (2007) single species model to estimate simultaneously temporal changes in probabilities of detection, occupancy, colonization, extinction, and species turnover using data on calling anuran amphibians, collected from 2002 to 2006 in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley of Louisiana, USA. During our 5-year study, estimates of occurrence probabilities declined for all 12 species detected. These declines occurred primarily in conjunction with variation in estimates of local extinction probabilities (cajun chorus frog [Pseudacris fouquettei], spring peeper [P. crucifer], northern cricket frog [Acris crepitans], Cope's gray treefrog [Hyla chrysoscelis], green treefrog [H. cinerea], squirrel treefrog [H. squirella], southern leopard frog [Lithobates sphenocephalus], bronze frog [L. clamitans], American bullfrog [L. catesbeianus], and Fowler's toad [Anaxyrus fowleri]). For 2 species (eastern narrowmouthed toad [Gastrophryne carolinensis] and Gulf Coast toad [Incilius nebulifer]), declines in occupancy appeared to be a consequence of both increased local extinction and decreased colonization events. The eastern narrow-mouthed toad experienced a 2.5-fold increase in estimates of occupancy in 2004, possibly because of the high amount of rainfall received during that year, along with a decrease in extinction and increase in colonization of new sites between 2003 and 2004. Our model can be incorporated into monitoring programs to estimate simultaneously the occupancy dynamics for multiple species that show similar responses to ecological conditions. It will likely be an important asset for those monitoring programs that employ the same methods to sample assemblages of ecologically similar species, including those that are rare. By combining information from multiple species to decrease the variance on estimates

  1. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Amphibians Imported into the UK for the Pet Trade.

    PubMed

    Wombwell, Emma Louise; Garner, Trenton W J; Cunningham, Andrew A; Quest, Robert; Pritchard, Susie; Rowcliffe, J Marcus; Griffiths, Richard A

    2016-09-01

    There is increasing evidence that the global spread of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been facilitated by the international trade in amphibians. Bd was first detected in the UK in 2004, and has since been detected in multiple wild amphibian populations. Most amphibians imported into the UK for the pet trade from outside the European Union enter the country via Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC), where Bd-positive animals have been previously detected. Data on the volume, diversity and origin of imported amphibians were collected for 59 consignments arriving at HARC between November 2009 and June 2012, along with a surveillance study to investigate the prevalence of Bd in these animals. Forty-three amphibian genera were recorded, originating from 12 countries. It was estimated that 5000-7000 amphibians are imported through HARC into the UK annually for the pet trade. Bd was detected in consignments from the USA and Tanzania, in six genera, resulting in an overall prevalence of 3.6%. This suggests that imported amphibians are a source of Bd within the international pet trade.

  2. 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.

  3. Testing wetland features to increase amphibian reproductive success and species richness for mitigation and restoration.

    PubMed

    Shulse, Christopher D; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Trauth, Kathleen M; Gardner, James E

    2012-07-01

    Aquatic habitat features can directly influence the abundance, species richness, and quality of juvenile amphibians recruited into adult populations. We examined the influences of within-wetland slope, vegetation, and stocked mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) on amphibian metamorph production and species richness during the first two years post-construction at 18 experimental wetlands in northeast Missouri (U.S.A.) grasslands. We used an information theoretic approach (AICc) to rank regression models representing total amphibian metamorph production, individual amphibian species metamorph production, and larval amphibian species richness. Total amphibian metamorph production was greatest at shallow-sloped, fish-free wetlands during the first year, but shallow-sloped wetlands with high vegetation cover were best the second year. Species richness was negatively associated with fish and positively associated with vegetation in both survey years. Leopard frog (Rana blairi/sphenocephala complex) metamorph quality, based on average metamorph size, was influenced by slope and the number of cohorts in the wetland. However, the tested variables had little influence on the size of American toads (Bufo americanus) or boreal chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata). Our results indicate that wetlands designed to act as functional reproductive habitat for amphibians should incorporate shallows, high amounts of planted or naturally established vegetation cover, and should be fish-free.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2013-03-11

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Health evaluation of amphibians in and near Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado, USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, D.E.; Muths, E.

    2005-01-01

    We conducted a health survey of amphibians in and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to document current disease presence inside RMNP and identify disease outside RMNP with the potential to spread to the Park's amphibians. Amphibians from five sites within RMNP and seven sites within 60 km of Park boundaries were collected and examined. Necropsies (n - 238), virus isolation, bacterial and fungal cultures, and histological examinations were carried out on amphibian egg masses (outside RMNP/within RMNP: 26/22), larvae (30/42), imagos (recently metamorphosed individuals) (0/3) and adults (61/67) of five species. Marked infections by a pathogenic chytrid fungus (chyridiomycosis), Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, were detected in three species (Bufo boreas, Pseudacris maculata and Rana sylvatica) from three of five sites within RMNP and in one of three species (P. maculata) from three sites outside RMNP. Of the fully metamorphosed individuals tested (B. boreas, P. maculata and R. sylvatica), chytridiomycosis was found in 60 % (n = 3), 46 % (n = 37) and 54 % (n = 7), respectively. Chytridiomycosis was the principal lethal pathogenic infectious disease detected in three amphibian species within or adjacent to RMNP. Higher fungi were isolated from the cloaca and skin of all five amphibian species. Watermolds (Oomycetes) were isolated from amphibian eggs or skin of all five species. No evidence of Ranavirus was found in cultures and histological examinations of 176 and 142 amphibians, respectively. Fifteen genera of bacteria were identified in larval and just metamorphosed amphibians, and a potentially pathogenic lungworm, Rhabdias sp, was identified in 61.1 % (n = 11) of B. woodhousii outside RMNP, but in only 2 (15.4 %) R. sylvatica within the Park.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Inactivation of viruses infecting ectothermic animals by amphibian and piscine antimicrobial peptides.

    PubMed

    Chinchar, V G; Bryan, L; Silphadaung, U; Noga, E; Wade, D; Rollins-Smith, L

    2004-06-01

    The ability of five purified amphibian antimicrobial peptides (dermaseptin-1, temporin A, magainin I, and II, PGLa), crude peptide fractions isolated from the skin of Rana pipiens and R. catesbeiana, and four antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from hybrid striped bass (piscidin-1N, -1H, -2, and -3) were examined for their ability to reduce the infectivity of channel catfish virus (CCV) and frog virus 3 (FV3). All compounds, with the exception of magainin I, markedly reduced the infectivity of CCV. In contrast to CCV, FV3 was 2- to 4-fold less sensitive to these agents. Similar to an earlier study employing two other amphibian peptides, the agents used here acted rapidly and over a wide, physiologically relevant, temperature range to reduce virus infectivity. These results extend our previous findings and strongly suggest that various amphibian and piscine AMPs may play important roles in protecting fish and amphibians from pathogenic viruses.

  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. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. [Nested species subsets of amphibians and reptiles in Thousand Island Lake].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xi; Wang, Yan-Ping; Ding, Ping

    2012-10-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a main cause for the loss of biological diversity. Combining line-transect methods to survey the amphibians and reptiles on 23 islands on Thousand Island Lake in Zhejiang province, along with survey data on nearby plant species and habitat variables collected by GIS, we used the"BINMATNEST (binary matrix nestedness temperature calculator)" software and the Spearman rank correlation to examine whether amphibians and reptiles followed nested subsets and their influencing factors. The results showed that amphibians and reptiles were significantly nested, and that the island area and habitat type were significantly associated with their nested ranks. Therefore, to effectively protect amphibians and reptiles in the Thousand Islands Lake area we should pay prior attention to islands with larger areas and more habitat types.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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...

  13. 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)

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Amphibians and agricultural chemicals: review of the risks in a complex environment.

    PubMed

    Mann, Reinier M; Hyne, Ross V; Choung, Catherine B; Wilson, Scott P

    2009-11-01

    Agricultural landscapes, although often highly altered in nature, provide habitat for many species of amphibian. However, the persistence and health of amphibian populations are likely to be compromised by the escalating use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. This review examines some of the issues relating to exposure of amphibian populations to these chemicals and places emphasis on mechanisms of toxicity. Several mechanisms are highlighted, including those that may disrupt thyroid activity, retinoid pathways, and sexual differentiation. Special emphasis is also placed on the various interactions that may occur between different agro-chemicals and between chemicals and other environmental factors. We also examine the indirect effects on amphibian populations that occur when their surrounding pond communities are altered by chemicals.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. The value of well-designed experiments in studying diseases with special reference to amphibians.

    PubMed

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Alford, Ross A; Harris, Reid N

    2009-09-01

    Relatively few studies of amphibian diseases have employed standard ecological experimental designs. We discuss what constitutes a well-designed ecological experiment and encourage their use in disease studies. We illustrate how well-designed experiments can be used to determine the effects of pathogens on amphibians and we illustrate how ancillary information, including that collected using molecular tools, can be used to enhance the value of such experiments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-06

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Influence of forest management on headwater stream amphibians at multiple spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stoddard, Margo; Hayes, John P.; Erickson, Janet L.

    2004-01-01

    Background Amphibians are important components of headwater streams in forest ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). They comprise the highest vertebrate biomass and density in these systems and are integral to trophic dynamics both as prey and as predators. The most commonly encountered amphibians in PNW headwater streams include the Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), the tailed frog (Ascaphus truei), the southern torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton variegatus), and the Columbia torrent salamander (R. kezeri).

  5. The Performance of a Small 14 Ton Tracked Amphibian in Calm and Rough Water.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-01-01

    OF A SMALL 14 TON TRACKED AMPHIBIAN IN CALM AND ROUGH WATER by 0. FRIDSMA AND W.E. KLOSINSKI APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE: DISTRIBUTION UNLIMITED _ DT’O...TYPE OF REPORT It PERIOD COVERED THE PERFORMANCE OF A SMALL 14 TON TRACKED Final August 1981-January 1982 AMPHIBIAN IN CALM AND ROUGH WATER 6...Block 20, II dill and from Report) I. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 19. KEY WORDS (Continue on favee side i1 necessary and Identify by block number) Amphibious

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shimalov, V V

    2009-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-05

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

  11. 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

  12. Molecular cloning and characterization of ligand- and species-specificity of amphibian estrogen receptors.

    PubMed

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Taniguchi, Ena; Urushitani, Hiroshi; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Takase, Minoru; Kubokawa, Kaoru; Tooi, Osamu; Oka, Tomohiro; Santo, Noriaki; Myburgh, Jan; Matsuno, Akira; Iguchi, Taisen

    2010-09-01

    Estrogens are essential for normal reproductive activity in both males and females as well as for ovarian differentiation during a critical developmental stage in most vertebrates. To understand the molecular mechanisms of estrogen action and to evaluate estrogen receptor ligand interactions in amphibians, we isolated cDNAs encoding the estrogen receptors (ERalpha and ERbeta) from the Japanese firebelly newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster), Tokyo salamander (Hynobius tokyoensis), axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and Raucous toad (Bufo rangeri). Full-length amphibian ER cDNAs were obtained using 5' and 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The predicted amino acid sequences of these amphibian ERs showed a high degree of amino acid sequence identity (over 70%) to each other. We analyzed the relationships of these amphibian ER sequences to other vertebrate ER sequences by constructing a phylogenetic tree. We verified that these were bona fide estrogen receptors using receptor dependent reporter gene assays. We analyzed the effects of natural estrogens, ethinylestradiol, and DDT and its metabolites on the transactivation of the four amphibian species listed above, and Xenopus tropicalis ERs and found that there were species-specific differences in the sensitivity of these ERs to hormones and environmental chemicals. These findings will expand our knowledge of endocrine-disrupting events in amphibians.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Han, Barbara A; Searle, Catherine L; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2011-02-02

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

  15. 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.

  16. DNA BARCODING: CO1 DNA barcoding amphibians: take the chance, meet the challenge.

    PubMed

    Smith, M Alex; Poyarkov, Nikolai A; Hebert, Paul D N

    2008-03-01

    Although a mitochondrial DNA barcode has been shown to be of great utility for species identification and discovery in an increasing number of diverse taxa, caution has been urged with its application to one of the most taxonomically diverse vertebrate groups - the amphibians. Here, we test three of the perceived shortcomings of a CO1 DNA barcode's utility with a group of Holarctic amphibians: primer fit, sequence variability and overlapping intra- and interspecific variability. We found that although the CO1 DNA barcode priming regions were variable, we were able to reliably amplify a CO1 fragment from degenerate primers and primers with G-C residues at the 3' end. Any overlap between intra- and interspecific variation in our taxonomic sampling was due to introgressive hybridization (Bufo/Anaxyrus), complex genetics (Ambystoma) or incomplete taxonomy (Triturus). Rates of hybridization and species discovery are not expected to be greater for amphibians than for other vertebrate groups, and thus problems with the utility of using a single mitochondrial gene for species identification will not be specific to amphibians. Therefore, we conclude that there is greater potential for a CO1 barcode's use with amphibians than has been reported to date. A large-scale effort to barcode the amphibians of the world, using the same primary barcode region of CO1, will yield important findings for science and conservation.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Do frogs really eat cardamom? Understanding the myth of crop damage by amphibians in the Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Kanagavel, Arun; Parvathy, Sethu; Nirmal, Nithula; Divakar, Nithin; Raghavan, Rajeev

    2017-02-23

    In the Western Ghats of India, amphibians are culled at cardamom plantations since they are perceived to consume cardamom. To better understand the relationship between amphibians and cardamom, a study was undertaken at these plantations, which harbor numerous threatened and range-restricted amphibians. We undertook questionnaire surveys with 298 respondents at 148 plantations across southern India. Time-activity budget and diet analysis surveys were undertaken to determine whether amphibians really consumed cardamom. The conception that amphibians eat cardamom was found to be widespread especially among small-sized plantations, leading to negative perceptions and a lack of interest in amphibian conservation. The plantation community perceives a substantial economic loss due to amphibians, even though this is non-existent as revealed by our field surveys. These perceptions would lead to a continued intolerance of amphibian presence in plantations. A suitable outreach initiative re-affirming facts and spreading awareness on the positive role of amphibians would need to be conducted to negate this age-old myth.

  6. RELATION BETWEEN METAMORPHOSIS AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL PHENOMENA IN AMPHIBIANS

    PubMed Central

    Uhlenhuth, Eduard

    1919-01-01

    1. The difference in time existing between the first shedding of the skin and the reduction of the gills to mere stubs without fringes is constant and unchangeable, which indicates that the fundamental cause for both is a common one. 2. This common cause is the action of iodine, and consequently both phenomena constitute, or at least are part of, the metamorphosis of the salamanders. 3. The development of the adult skin coloration and of the legs may take place either before or after metamorphosis. Iodine cannot enforce either of these phenomena. 4. The same is true of the development of the sex organs. 5. Development of the tongue and palatal teeth can be checked even in animals in which metamorphosis takes place. 6. Consequently development of the skin coloration, as well as development of the legs, sex organs, tongue, and palatal teeth are all caused by substances not identical with the substances causing metamorphosis and, since they are also all independent of each other in their development, it is probable that special chemical mechanisms exist for the development of each one of these six groups of organs. 7. This assumption is also supported by the fact that the order of development in several of these organ pairs can be changed by a difference in temperature, which would indicate that the development of each of these groups of organs is caused by chemical reactions with different temperature coefficients. 8. That the germ cells can develop in amphibians either before or after metamorphosis does not mean that the germ plasma is opposed as a unit to the somatic plasma, since other organs which are believed to be part of the somatic plasma behave in this respect like the germ cells. 9. The noteworthy feature of the amphibian metamorphosis is that instead of being controlled and kept in harmony by the organic individual the development of at least six groups of organs is controlled separately by the action of probably six different chemical mechanisms, each of

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Forces driving cell sorting in the amphibian embryo.

    PubMed

    Winklbauer, Rudolf; Parent, Serge E

    2017-04-01

    Adhesion differences are the main driver of cell sorting and related processes such as boundary formation or tissue positioning. In the early amphibian embryo, graded variations in cadherin density and localized expression of adhesion-modulating factors are associated with regional differences in adhesive properties including overall adhesion strength. The role of these differences in embryonic boundary formation has not been studied extensively, but available evidence suggests that adhesion strength differentials are not essential. On the other hand, the inside-out positioning of the germ layers is correlated with adhesion strength, although the biological significance of this effect is unclear. By contrast, the positioning of dorsal mesoderm tissues along the anterior-posterior body axis is essential for axis elongation, but the underlying sorting mechanism is not correlated with adhesion strength, and may rely on specific cell adhesion. Formation of the ectoderm-mesoderm boundary is the best understood sorting related process in the frog embryo. It relies on contact-induced cell repulsion at the tissue interface, driven by Eph-ephrin signaling and paraxial protocadherin-dependent self/non-self recognition.

  14. IgX antibodies in the urodele amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum.

    PubMed

    Schaerlinger, Bérénice; Frippiat, Jean-Pol

    2008-01-01

    Until recently, it was believed that urodele amphibians are able to synthesize only two immunoglobulin isotypes, IgM and IgY. We reinvestigated this issue in the Iberian ribbed newt Pleurodeles waltl and reported recently that this urodele expresses at least three isotypes: IgM, IgP and IgY. In this study, we demonstrate that another urodele, Ambystoma mexicanum, has also a third isotype whose amino acid sequence presents the highest homology with the amino acid sequence of Xenopus IgX. This isotype has typical Ig H-chain characteristics, could form multimers and is mainly expressed in mucosal tissues thereby indicating that it is likely the physiological counterpart of Xenopus IgX and mammalian IgA. Interestingly, no IgP could be found in A. mexicanum, in contrast to P. waltl, in which IgX was not found in previous investigations. These data indicate, for the first time, that different families of urodeles can express different immunoglobulin isotypes.

  15. 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.

  16. Infectious personalities: behavioural syndromes and disease risk in larval amphibians.

    PubMed

    Koprivnikar, Janet; Gibson, Chris H; Redfern, Julia C

    2012-04-22

    Behavioural consistency or predictability through time and/or different contexts ('syndromes' or 'personality types') is likely to have substantial influence on animal life histories and fitness. Consequently, there is much interest in the forces driving and maintaining various syndromes. Individual host behaviours have been associated with susceptibility to parasitism, yet the role of pre-existing personality types in acquiring infections has not been investigated experimentally. Using a larval amphibian-trematode parasite model system, we report that tadpoles generally showed consistency in their activity level in response to both novel food and parasite exposure. Not only were individual activity level and exploration in the novel food context correlated with each other and with anti-parasite behaviour, all three were significant predictors of host parasite load. This is the first empirical demonstration that host behaviours in other contexts are related to behaviours mitigating infection risk and, ultimately, host parasite load. We suggest that this system illustrates how reliably high levels of activity and exploratory behaviour in different contexts might maximize both energy acquisition and resistance to trematode parasites. Such benefits could drive selection for the behavioural syndrome seen here owing to the life histories and ecological circumstances typical of wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) larvae.

  17. 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

  18. Pesticides and amphibian population declines in California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, Donald W.; Fellers, Gary M.; McConnell, Laura L.

    2001-01-01

    Several species of anuran amphibians have undergone drastic population declines in the western United States over the last 10 to 15 years. In California, the most severe declines are in the Sierra Mountains east of the Central Valley and downwind of the intensely agricultural San Joaquin Valley. In contrast, coastal and more northern populations across from the less agrarian Sacramento Valley are stable or declining less precipitously. In this article, we provide evidence that pesticides are instrumental in declines of these species. Using Hyla regilla as a sentinel species, we found that cholinesterase (ChE) activity in tadpoles was depressed in mountainous areas east of the Central Valley compared with sites along the coast or north of the Valley. Cholinesterase was also lower in areas where ranid population status was poor or moderate compared with areas with good ranid status. Up to 50% of the sampled population in areas with reduced ChE had detectable organophosphorus residues, with concentrations as high as 190 ppb wet weight. In addition, up to 86% of some populations had measurable endosulfan concentrations and 40% had detectable 4,4'- dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, 4,4'-DDT, and 2,4'-DDT residues.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).