Science.gov

Sample records for obstetricans boscai lataste

  1. Outbreak of common midwife toad virus in alpine newts (Mesotriton alpestris cyreni) and common midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) in northern Spain: a comparative pathological study of an emerging ranavirus.

    PubMed

    Balseiro, Ana; Dalton, Kevin P; del Cerro, Ana; Márquez, Isabel; Parra, Francisco; Prieto, José M; Casais, R

    2010-11-01

    This report describes the isolation and characterisation of the common midwife toad virus (CMTV) from juvenile alpine newts (Mesotriton alpestris cyreni) and common midwife toad (CMT) tadpoles (Alytes obstetricans) in the Picos de Europa National Park in Northern Spain in August 2008. A comparative pathological and immunohistochemical study was carried out using anti-CMTV polyclonal serum. In the kidneys, glomeruli had the most severe histological lesions in CMT tadpoles, while both glomeruli and renal tubular epithelial cells exhibited foci of necrosis in juvenile alpine newts. Viral antigens were detected by immunohistochemical labelling mainly in the kidneys of CMT tadpoles and in ganglia of juvenile alpine newts. This is the first report of ranavirus infection in the alpine newt, the second known species to be affected by CMTV in the past 2 years.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Exotic Fish in Exotic Plantations: A Multi-Scale Approach to Understand Amphibian Occurrence in the Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Joana; Sarmento, Pedro; Carretero, Miguel A.; White, Piran C. L.

    2015-01-01

    Globally, amphibian populations are threatened by a diverse range of factors including habitat destruction and alteration. Forestry practices have been linked with low diversity and abundance of amphibians. The effect of exotic Eucalyptus spp. plantations on amphibian communities has been studied in a number of biodiversity hotspots, but little is known of its impact in the Mediterranean region. Here, we identify the environmental factors influencing the presence of six species of amphibians (the Caudata Pleurodeles waltl, Salamandra salamandra, Lissotriton boscai, Triturus marmoratus and the anurans Pelobates cultripes and Hyla arborea/meridionalis) occupying 88 ponds. The study was conducted in a Mediterranean landscape dominated by eucalypt plantations alternated with traditional use (agricultural, montados and native forest) at three different scales: local (pond), intermediate (400 metres radius buffer) and broad (1000 metres radius buffer). Using the Akaike Information Criterion for small samples (AICc), we selected the top-ranked models for estimating the probability of occurrence of each species at each spatial scale separately and across all three spatial scales, using a combination of covariates from the different magnitudes. Models with a combination of covariates at the different spatial scales had a stronger support than those at individual scales. The presence of predatory fish in a pond had a strong effect on Caudata presence. Permanent ponds were selected by Hyla arborea/meridionalis over temporary ponds. Species occurrence was not increased by a higher density of streams, but the density of ponds impacted negatively on Lissotriton boscai. The proximity of ponds occupied by their conspecifics had a positive effect on the occurrence of Lissotriton boscai and Pleurodeles waltl. Eucalypt plantations had a negative effect on the occurrence of the newt Lissotriton boscai and anurans Hyla arborea/meridionalis, but had a positive effect on the presence of

  4. Pigmentation plasticity enhances crypsis in larval newts: associated metabolic cost and background choice behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Polo-Cavia, Nuria; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    In heterogeneous environments, the capacity for colour change can be a valuable adaptation enhancing crypsis against predators. Alternatively, organisms might achieve concealment by evolving preferences for backgrounds that match their visual traits, thus avoiding the costs of plasticity. Here we examined the degree of plasticity in pigmentation of newt larvae (Lissotriton boscai) in relation to predation risk. Furthermore, we tested for associated metabolic costs and pigmentation-dependent background choice behaviour. Newt larvae expressed substantial changes in pigmentation so that light, high-reflecting environment induced depigmentation whereas dark, low-reflecting environment induced pigmentation in just three days of exposure. Induced pigmentation was completely reversible upon switching microhabitats. Predator cues, however, did not enhance cryptic phenotypes, suggesting that environmental albedo induces changes in pigmentation improving concealment regardless of the perceived predation risk. Metabolic rate was higher in heavily pigmented individuals from dark environments, indicating a high energetic requirement of pigmentation that could impose a constraint to larval camouflage in dim habitats. Finally, we found partial evidence for larvae selecting backgrounds matching their induced phenotypes. However, in the presence of predator cues, larvae increased the time spent in light environments, which may reflect a escape response towards shallow waters rather than an attempt at increasing crypsis. PMID:28051112

  5. A new age model for the early-middle Miocene in the North Alpine Foreland Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichenbacher, Bettina; Krijgsman, Wout; Pippèrr, Martina; Sant, Karin; Kirscher, Uwe

    2016-04-01

    The establishment of high-resolution age models for sedimentary successions is crucial for numerous research questions in the geosciences and related disciplines. Such models provide an absolute chronology that permits precise dating of depositional episodes and related processes such as mountain uplift or climate change. Recently, our work in the Miocene sediments of the North Alpine Foreland Basin (NAFB) has revealed a significantly younger age (16.6 Myr) for sediments that were thought to have been deposited 18 Myr ago. This implies that a fundamentally revised new age model is needed for the entire suite of lower-middle Miocene sedimentary rocks in the NAFB (20 to 15-Myr). Our new data also indicate that previously published reconstructions of early-middle Miocene palaeogeography, sedimentation dynamics, mountain uplift and climate change in the NAFB all require a critical review and revision. Further, the time-span addressed is of special interest, since it encompasses the onset of a global warming phase. However, it appears that a fundamentally revised new age model for the entire suite of lower-middle Miocene sedimentary rocks in the NAFB can only be achieved based on a 500 m deep drilling in the NAFB for which we currently seek collaboration partners to develop a grant application to the International Continental Deep Drilling Program (ICDP). Reference: Reichenbacher, B., W. Krijgsman, Y. Lataster, M. Pippèrr, C. G. C. Van Baak, L. Chang, D. Kälin, J. Jost, G. Doppler, D. Jung, J. Prieto, H. Abdul Aziz, M. Böhme, J. Garnish, U. Kirscher, and V. Bachtadse. 2013. A new magnetostratigraphic framework for the Lower Miocene (Burdigalian/Ottnangian, Karpatian) in the North Alpine Foreland Basin. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 106:309-334.

  6. Environmental determinants of recent endemism of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infections in amphibian assemblages in the absence of disease outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Spitzen-Van Der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Martel, An; Hallmann, Caspar A; Bosman, Wilbert; Garner, Trenton W J; Van Rooij, Pascale; Jooris, Robert; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank

    2014-10-01

    The inconsistent distribution of large-scale infection mediated die-offs and the subsequent population declines of several animal species, urges us to understand how, when, and why species are affected by disease. It is often unclear when or under what conditions a pathogen constitutes a threat to a host. Often, variation of environmental conditions plays a role. Globally Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) causes amphibian declines; however, host responses are inconsistent and this fungus appears equally capable of reaching a state of endemism and subsequent co-existence with native amphibian assemblages. We sought to identify environmental and temporal factors that facilitate host-pathogen coexistence in northern Europe. To do this, we used molecular diagnostics to examine archived and wild amphibians for infection and general linear mixed models to explore relationships between environmental variables and prevalence of infection in 5 well-sampled amphibian species. We first detected infection in archived animals collected in 1999, and infection was ubiquitous, but rare, throughout the study period (2008-2010). Prevalence of infection exhibited significant annual fluctuations. Despite extremely rare cases of lethal chytridiomycosis in A. obstetricans, Bd prevalence was uncorrelated with this species' population growth. Our results suggest context dependent and species-specific host susceptibility. Thus, we believe recent endemism of Bd coincides with environmentally driven Bd prevalence fluctuations that preclude the build-up of Bd infection beyond the critical threshold for large-scale mortality and host population crashes.

  7. Developmental trajectories of amphibian microbiota: response to bacterial therapy depends on initial community structure.

    PubMed

    Davis, Leyla R; Bigler, Laurent; Woodhams, Douglas C

    2017-02-22

    Improving host health through microbial manipulation requires untangling factors that shape the microbiome. There is currently little understanding of how initial community structure may drive the microbiota trajectory across host development or influence bacterial therapy outcomes. Probiotic baths of surface symbionts, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Flavobacterium johnsoniae were administered to 240 tadpoles of the midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans in semi-natural outdoor mesocosms originating from geographically and genetically distinct populations in Switzerland. Host bacterial and fungal assemblages were compared in tadpoles from the pond of origin, across metamorphosis, and in toadlets via microbial fingerprinting. Bacterial and fungal community structures differed significantly among populations and a microbial population signature persisted from the tadpole stage, through metamorphosis, and following probiotic treatment. A minimal core surface microbiota is described by persistence through development and by shared membership across populations. The impact of F. johnsoniae on the tadpole surface microbiome was assessed with shotgun metagenomics. Bacterial therapy reduced abundance, diversity, and functional repertoire compared to untreated controls. A correlation between host skin peptides and microbiota suggests a mechanism of host-directed symbiosis throughout development. Early developmental stages are ideal targets for amphibian bacterial therapy that can govern a microbiome trajectory at critical timepoints and may impact susceptibility to disease.

  8. Impact of asynchronous emergence of two lethal pathogens on amphibian assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Gonçalo M.; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Laurentino, Telma G.; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Rebelo, Rui; Griffiths, Richard A.; Stöhr, Anke C.; Marschang, Rachel E.; Price, Stephen J.; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Bosch, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Emerging diseases have been increasingly associated with population declines, with co-infections exhibiting many types of interactions. The chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranaviruses have extraordinarily broad host ranges, however co-infection dynamics have been largely overlooked. We investigated the pattern of co-occurrence of these two pathogens in an amphibian assemblage in Serra da Estrela (Portugal). The detection of chytridiomycosis in Portugal was linked to population declines of midwife-toads (Alytes obstetricans). The asynchronous and subsequent emergence of a second pathogen - ranavirus - caused episodes of lethal ranavirosis. Chytrid effects were limited to high altitudes and a single host, while ranavirus was highly pathogenic across multiple hosts, life-stages and altitudinal range. This new strain (Portuguese newt and toad ranavirus – member of the CMTV clade) caused annual mass die-offs, similar in host range and rapidity of declines to other locations in Iberia affected by CMTV-like ranaviruses. However, ranavirus was not always associated with disease, mortality and declines, contrasting with previous reports on Iberian CMTV-like ranavirosis. We found little evidence that pre-existing chytrid emergence was associated with ranavirus and the emergence of ranavirosis. Despite the lack of cumulative or amplified effects, ranavirus drove declines of host assemblages and changed host community composition and structure, posing a grave threat to all amphibian populations. PMID:28240267

  9. Evaluation of MPEG-7-Based Audio Descriptors for Animal Voice Recognition over Wireless Acoustic Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Luque, Joaquín; Larios, Diego F; Personal, Enrique; Barbancho, Julio; León, Carlos

    2016-05-18

    Environmental audio monitoring is a huge area of interest for biologists all over the world. This is why some audio monitoring system have been proposed in the literature, which can be classified into two different approaches: acquirement and compression of all audio patterns in order to send them as raw data to a main server; or specific recognition systems based on audio patterns. The first approach presents the drawback of a high amount of information to be stored in a main server. Moreover, this information requires a considerable amount of effort to be analyzed. The second approach has the drawback of its lack of scalability when new patterns need to be detected. To overcome these limitations, this paper proposes an environmental Wireless Acoustic Sensor Network architecture focused on use of generic descriptors based on an MPEG-7 standard. These descriptors demonstrate it to be suitable to be used in the recognition of different patterns, allowing a high scalability. The proposed parameters have been tested to recognize different behaviors of two anuran species that live in Spanish natural parks; the Epidalea calamita and the Alytes obstetricans toads, demonstrating to have a high classification performance.

  10. 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.

  11. Elevated Corticosterone Levels and Changes in Amphibian Behavior Are Associated with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) Infection and Bd Lineage.

    PubMed

    Gabor, Caitlin R; Fisher, Matthew C; Bosch, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have examined the role hormones play in mediating clinical changes associated with infection by the parasite Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Glucocorticoid (GC) hormones such as corticosteroids (CORT) regulate homeostasis and likely play a key role in response to infection in amphibians. We explore the relationship between CORT release rates and Bd infection in tadpoles of the common midwife toad, Alytes obstetricians, using a non-invasive water-borne hormone collection method across seven populations. We further examined whether tadpoles of A. muletensis infected with a hypervirulent lineage of Bd, BdGPL, had greater CORT release rates than those infected with a hypovirulent lineage, BdCAPE. Finally, we examined the relationship between righting reflex and CORT release rates in infected metamorphic toads of A. obstetricans. We found an interaction between elevation and Bd infection status confirming that altitude is associated with the overall severity of infection. In tandem, increasing elevation was associated with increasing CORT release rates. Tadpoles infected with the hypervirulent BdGPL had significantly higher CORT release rates than tadpoles infected with BdCAPE showing that more aggressive infections lead to increased CORT release rates. Infected metamorphs with higher CORT levels had an impaired righting reflex, our defined experimental endpoint. These results provide evidence that CORT is associated with an amphibian's vulnerability to Bd infection, and that CORT is also affected by the aggressiveness of infection by Bd. Together these results indicate that CORT is a viable biomarker of amphibian stress.

  12. Demography of common toads after local extirpation of co-occurring midwife toads

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bosch, Jaime; Fernandez-Beaskoetxea, S; Scherer, R.; Amburgey, Staci; Muths, Erin L.

    2014-01-01

    Estimating demographic parameters like survival or recruitment provides insight into the state and trajectory of populations, but understanding the contexts influencing those parameters, including both biotic and abiotic factors, is particularly important for management and conservation. At a high elevation national park in Central Spain, common toads (Bufo bufo) are apparently taking advantage of the near-extirpation of the midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans), as colonization into new breeding ponds is evident. Within this scenario, we expected demographic parameters of common toad populations tobe affected favorably by the putative release from competition. However, we found the population growth rate was negative in 4 of 5 years at the long-standing population; survival probability at the long-standing population and newly-colonised breeding ponds was lower than reported for other toads living at high elevations and the probability of recruitment was inadequate to compensate for the survival rate in maintaining a positive trajectory for either of the breeding ponds. We assessed weather covariates and disease for their contribution to the context that may be limiting the common toad’s successful use of the niche vacated by the midwife toad.

  13. Impact of asynchronous emergence of two lethal pathogens on amphibian assemblages.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Gonçalo M; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Laurentino, Telma G; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Rebelo, Rui; Griffiths, Richard A; Stöhr, Anke C; Marschang, Rachel E; Price, Stephen J; Garner, Trenton W J; Bosch, Jaime

    2017-02-27

    Emerging diseases have been increasingly associated with population declines, with co-infections exhibiting many types of interactions. The chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranaviruses have extraordinarily broad host ranges, however co-infection dynamics have been largely overlooked. We investigated the pattern of co-occurrence of these two pathogens in an amphibian assemblage in Serra da Estrela (Portugal). The detection of chytridiomycosis in Portugal was linked to population declines of midwife-toads (Alytes obstetricans). The asynchronous and subsequent emergence of a second pathogen - ranavirus - caused episodes of lethal ranavirosis. Chytrid effects were limited to high altitudes and a single host, while ranavirus was highly pathogenic across multiple hosts, life-stages and altitudinal range. This new strain (Portuguese newt and toad ranavirus - member of the CMTV clade) caused annual mass die-offs, similar in host range and rapidity of declines to other locations in Iberia affected by CMTV-like ranaviruses. However, ranavirus was not always associated with disease, mortality and declines, contrasting with previous reports on Iberian CMTV-like ranavirosis. We found little evidence that pre-existing chytrid emergence was associated with ranavirus and the emergence of ranavirosis. Despite the lack of cumulative or amplified effects, ranavirus drove declines of host assemblages and changed host community composition and structure, posing a grave threat to all amphibian populations.

  14. Elevated Corticosterone Levels and Changes in Amphibian Behavior Are Associated with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) Infection and Bd Lineage

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have examined the role hormones play in mediating clinical changes associated with infection by the parasite Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Glucocorticoid (GC) hormones such as corticosteroids (CORT) regulate homeostasis and likely play a key role in response to infection in amphibians. We explore the relationship between CORT release rates and Bd infection in tadpoles of the common midwife toad, Alytes obstetricians, using a non-invasive water-borne hormone collection method across seven populations. We further examined whether tadpoles of A. muletensis infected with a hypervirulent lineage of Bd, BdGPL, had greater CORT release rates than those infected with a hypovirulent lineage, BdCAPE. Finally, we examined the relationship between righting reflex and CORT release rates in infected metamorphic toads of A. obstetricans. We found an interaction between elevation and Bd infection status confirming that altitude is associated with the overall severity of infection. In tandem, increasing elevation was associated with increasing CORT release rates. Tadpoles infected with the hypervirulent BdGPL had significantly higher CORT release rates than tadpoles infected with BdCAPE showing that more aggressive infections lead to increased CORT release rates. Infected metamorphs with higher CORT levels had an impaired righting reflex, our defined experimental endpoint. These results provide evidence that CORT is associated with an amphibian’s vulnerability to Bd infection, and that CORT is also affected by the aggressiveness of infection by Bd. Together these results indicate that CORT is a viable biomarker of amphibian stress. PMID:25893675

  15. Evaluation of MPEG-7-Based Audio Descriptors for Animal Voice Recognition over Wireless Acoustic Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Luque, Joaquín; Larios, Diego F.; Personal, Enrique; Barbancho, Julio; León, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Environmental audio monitoring is a huge area of interest for biologists all over the world. This is why some audio monitoring system have been proposed in the literature, which can be classified into two different approaches: acquirement and compression of all audio patterns in order to send them as raw data to a main server; or specific recognition systems based on audio patterns. The first approach presents the drawback of a high amount of information to be stored in a main server. Moreover, this information requires a considerable amount of effort to be analyzed. The second approach has the drawback of its lack of scalability when new patterns need to be detected. To overcome these limitations, this paper proposes an environmental Wireless Acoustic Sensor Network architecture focused on use of generic descriptors based on an MPEG-7 standard. These descriptors demonstrate it to be suitable to be used in the recognition of different patterns, allowing a high scalability. The proposed parameters have been tested to recognize different behaviors of two anuran species that live in Spanish natural parks; the Epidalea calamita and the Alytes obstetricans toads, demonstrating to have a high classification performance. PMID:27213375

  16. Interacting symbionts and immunity in the amphibian skin mucosome predict disease risk and probiotic effectiveness.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the timings of seasonality as a result of anthropogenic climate change are predicted to occur over the coming decades. While this is expected to have widespread impacts on the dynamics of infectious disease through environmental forcing, empirical data are lacking. Here, we investigated whether seasonality, specifically the timing of spring ice-thaw, affected susceptibility to infection by the emerging pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) across a montane community of amphibians that are suffering declines and extirpations as a consequence of this infection. We found a robust temporal association between the timing of the spring thaw and Bd infection in two host species, where we show that an early onset of spring forced high prevalences of infection. A third highly susceptible species (the midwife toad, Alytes obstetricans) maintained a high prevalence of infection independent of time of spring thaw. Our data show that perennially overwintering midwife toad larvae may act as a year-round reservoir of infection with variation in time of spring thaw determining the extent to which infection spills over into sympatric species. We used future temperature projections based on global climate models to demonstrate that the timing of spring thaw in this region will advance markedly by the 2050s, indicating that climate change will further force the severity of infection. Our findings on the effect of annual variability on multi-host infection dynamics show that the community-level impact of fungal infectious disease on biodiversity will need to be re-evaluated in the face of climate change. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience’. PMID:28080980

  18. Climate and environment of the earliest West European hominins inferred from amphibian and squamate reptile assemblages: Sima del Elefante Lower Red Unit, Atapuerca, Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Bailon, Salvador; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Bennàsar, Maria; Rofes, Juan; López-García, Juan Manuel; Huguet, Rosa; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Bermúdez de Castro, José Maria; Carbonell, Eudald

    2010-11-01

    The Sima del Elefante cave, in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain), is famous for the fact that level TE9 of its Lower Red Unit recently delivered the oldest hominin remains of Western Europe, identified as Homo antecessor and dated by biostratigraphy and radiometric methods to ca 1.2 Ma. Given the importance of this discovery, every effort is being made to reconstruct the landscapes where these hominins once thrived. The amphibian and squamate reptile assemblage of the Sima del Elefante Lower Red Unit is here studied for the first time. The faunal list comprises at least 17 species (roughly 12,000 bone fossil remains): Salamandra salamandra, Triturus cf. marmoratus, Alytes obstetricans, Pelobates cultripes, Pelodytes punctatus, Bufo bufo, Bufo calamita, Hyla arborea, Rana sp., cf. Pelophylax sp., Lacerta s.l., small-sized indeterminate lacertids, Anguis fragilis, Natrix cf. natrix, Natrix cf. maura, Coronella cf. girondica and Vipera sp. As the amphibians and squamate reptiles do not differ at species level from the extant herpetofauna of the Iberian Peninsula, they can contribute to the reconstruction of the landscape and climate. In this paper, the mutual climatic range and habitat weighting methods are applied to the amphibian and squamate reptile assemblages in order to estimate quantitative data. The results from the squamate and amphibian study indicate that during the hominin presence the mean annual temperature (MAT = 10-13 °C) was always slightly warmer than at present and the mean annual precipitation (MAP = 800-1000 mm) was greater than today in the Burgos area. The landscape had open habitats in the vicinity of the Atapuerca caves throughout the sequence, with wet points in the surrounding area, and a predominance of humid meadows and open woodlands. These results mainly agree with those for large mammals, small mammals and the pollen analysis. The climate and landscape of TE-LRU are very similar to those reconstructed for the TD6 "Aurora Stratum