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Sample records for pool-breeding amphibians predicting

  1. Demographic consequences of terrestrial habitat loss for pool-breeding amphibians: predicting extinction risks associated with inadequate size of buffer zones.

    PubMed

    Harper, Elizabeth B; Rittenhouse, Tracy A G; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2008-10-01

    Much of the biodiversity associated with isolated wetlands requires aquatic and terrestrial habitat to maintain viable populations. Current federal wetland regulations in the United States do not protect isolated wetlands or extend protection to surrounding terrestrial habitat. Consequently, some land managers, city planners, and policy makers at the state and local levels are making an effort to protect these wetland and neighboring upland habitats. Balancing human land-use and habitat conservation is challenging, and well-informed land-use policy is hindered by a lack of knowledge of the specific risks of varying amounts of habitat loss. Using projections of wood frog (Rana sylvatica) and spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) populations, we related the amount of high-quality terrestrial habitat surrounding isolated wetlands to the decline and risk of extinction of local amphibian populations. These simulations showed that current state-level wetland regulations protecting 30 m or less of surrounding terrestrial habitat are inadequate to support viable populations of pool-breeding amphibians. We also found that species with different life-history strategies responded differently to the loss and degradation of terrestrial habitat. The wood frog, with a short life span and high fecundity, was most sensitive to habitat loss and isolation, whereas the longer-lived spotted salamander with lower fecundity was most sensitive to habitat degradation that lowered adult survival rates. Our model results demonstrate that a high probability of local amphibian population persistence requires sufficient terrestrial habitat, the maintenance of habitat quality, and connectivity among local populations. Our results emphasize the essential role of adequate terrestrial habitat to the maintenance of wetland biodiversity and ecosystem function and offer a means of quantifying the risks associated with terrestrial habitat loss and degradation.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Powell, Jessica S Veysey; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  6. 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)

  7. Isocline analysis of competition predicts stable coexistence of two amphibians.

    PubMed

    Gazzola, Andrea; Van Buskirk, Josh

    2015-05-01

    We investigated the interaction between larvae of two anuran amphibian species (Rana temporaria and Bufo bufo) to test models of two-species competition. The study had a response surface experimental design with four replicates, each consisting of 24 density combinations. Larval performance-and, by assumption, change in population size-was defined by a linear combination of survival, growth, and development. We fit six competition models from the literature and discovered that density dependence was strongly non-linear, with the highest support for the Hassel-Comins model. Rana temporaria was competitively superior to B. bufo; the impacts of both species on growth and development were about five- to tenfold greater than those on survival. Isocline analysis predicted a stable configuration, which agrees with the observation that these two species are syntopic in nature. The results of this study confirm competition theory by identifying a model structure that agrees with data and making predictions that are broadly supportive of the observations.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Martin, Leigh J; Murray, Brad R

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Amphibian breeding phenology trends under climate change: predicting the past to forecast the future.

    PubMed

    Green, David M

    2017-02-01

    Global climate warming is predicted to hasten the onset of spring breeding by anuran amphibians in seasonal environments. Previous data had indicated that the breeding phenology of a population of Fowler's Toads (Anaxyrus fowleri) at their northern range limit had been progressively later in spring, contrary to generally observed trends in other species. Although these animals are known to respond to environmental temperature and the lunar cycle to commence breeding, the timing of breeding should also be influenced by the onset of overwintering animals' prior upward movement through the soil column from beneath the frost line as winter becomes spring. I used recorded weather data to identify four factors of temperature, rainfall and snowfall in late winter and early spring that correlated with the toads' eventual date of emergence aboveground. Estimated dates of spring emergence of the toads calculated using a predictive model based on these factors, as well as the illumination of the moon, were highly correlated with observed dates of emergence over 24 consecutive years. Using the model to estimate of past dates of spring breeding (i.e. retrodiction) indicated that even three decades of data were insufficient to discern any appreciable phenological trend in these toads. However, by employing weather data dating back to 1876, I detected a significant trend over 140 years towards earlier spring emergence by the toads by less than half a day/decade, while, over the same period of time, average annual air temperature and annual precipitation had both increased. Changes in the springtime breeding phenology for late-breeding species, such as Fowler's Toads, therefore may conform to expectations of earlier breeding under global warming. Improved understanding of the environmental cues that bring organisms out of winter dormancy will enable better interpretation of long-term phenological trends.

  15. Assessment of the risk of solar ultraviolet radiation to amphibians. III. Prediction of impacts in selected northern midwestern wetlands.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Stephen A; Peterson, Gregory S; Tietge, Joseph E; Ankley, Gerald T

    2002-07-01

    Solar ultraviolet radiation, especially UVB (280-320 nm), has been hypothesized to be at least partially responsible for adverse effects (e.g., declines and malformations) in amphibian species throughout the world. Evaluation of this hypothesis has been limited by the paucity of high-quality UV dose-response data and reliable estimates of typical UV doses that occur in amphibian habitats. In this preliminary risk assessment for effects of UV radiation on amphibians, dose-response relationships quantified in outdoor experiments were compared with UV exposure estimates for 26 wetlands in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. A comparison of wetland doses, derived from model prediction, historical data, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) characterization, with experimental effects levels for green (R. clamitans), northern leopard (R. pipiens), and mink (R. septentrionalis) frogs indicated that the risk of mortality and malformations due to UV exposure is low for the majority of wetlands evaluated. Wetland UV dose, averaged over the entire breeding season, exceeded effects doses for mortality for all three species in two of the 26 wetlands examined and for one species in an additional wetland. On the basis of evidence that shorter term doses caused mortality in amphibian larvae, 3-day doses were also evaluated. In three of the wetlands examined, 3-day doses in excess of 85% of full sunlight (the level that appeared to trigger effects in controlled experimentation) occurred at frequencies ranging 22-100% for all three species and at frequencies ranging from 15% to 58% for R. pipiens and R. septentrionalis in three additional wetlands. Risk of malformation in R. pipiens was apparent in five of the 26 wetlands evaluated. Overall, estimated UVB doses in 21 of the wetlands never exceeded experimental effects doses for mortality or malformations. These results suggest that most amphibians are not currently at significant risk for UVB effects in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin

  16. Wetland habitat disturbance best predicts metrics of an amphibian index of biotic integrity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

    Regression and classification trees were used to identify the best predictors of the five component metrics of the Ohio Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity (AmphIBI) in 54 wetlands in Ohio, USA. Of the 17 wetland- and surrounding landscape-scale variables considered, the best predictor for all AmphIBI metrics was habitat alteration and development within the wetland. The results were qualitatively similar to the best predictors for a wetland vegetation index of biotic integrity, suggesting that similar management practices (e.g., reducing or eliminating nutrient enrichment from agriculture, mowing, grazing, logging, and removing down woody debris) within the boundaries of the wetland can be applied to effectively increase the quality of wetland vegetation and amphibian communities.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hartel, Tibor; von Wehrden, Henrik

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. Amphibian gut microbiota shifts differentially in community structure but converges on habitat-specific predicted functions

    PubMed Central

    Bletz, Molly C.; Goedbloed, Daniel J.; Sanchez, Eugenia; Reinhardt, Timm; Tebbe, Christoph C.; Bhuju, Sabin; Geffers, Robert; Jarek, Michael; Vences, Miguel; Steinfartz, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Complex microbial communities inhabit vertebrate digestive systems but thorough understanding of the ecological dynamics and functions of host-associated microbiota within natural habitats is limited. We investigate the role of environmental conditions in shaping gut and skin microbiota under natural conditions by performing a field survey and reciprocal transfer experiments with salamander larvae inhabiting two distinct habitats (ponds and streams). We show that gut and skin microbiota are habitat-specific, demonstrating environmental factors mediate community structure. Reciprocal transfer reveals that gut microbiota, but not skin microbiota, responds differentially to environmental change. Stream-to-pond larvae shift their gut microbiota to that of pond-to-pond larvae, whereas pond-to-stream larvae change to a community structure distinct from both habitat controls. Predicted functions, however, match that of larvae from the destination habitats in both cases. Thus, microbial function can be matched without taxonomic coherence and gut microbiota appears to exhibit metagenomic plasticity. PMID:27976718

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. Agricultural ponds support amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. [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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background. Mexico has the world’s fifth largest population of amphibians and the second country with the highest quantity of threatened amphibian species. About 10% of Mexican amphibians lack enough data to be assigned to a risk category by the IUCN, so in this paper we want to test a statistical tool that, in the absence of specific demographic data, can assess a species’ risk of extinction, population trend, and to better understand which variables increase their vulnerability. Recent studies have demonstrated that the risk of species decline depends on extrinsic and intrinsic traits, thus including both of them for assessing extinction might render more accurate assessment of threats. Methods. We harvested data from the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and the published literature for Mexican amphibians, and used these data to assess the population trend of some of the Mexican species that have been assigned to the Data Deficient category of the IUCN using Random Forests, a Machine Learning method that gives a prediction of complex processes and identifies the most important variables that account for the predictions. Results. Our results show that most of the data deficient Mexican amphibians that we used have decreasing population trends. We found that Random Forests is a solid way to identify species with decreasing population trends when no demographic data is available. Moreover, we point to the most important variables that make species more vulnerable for extinction. This exercise is a very valuable first step in assigning conservation priorities for poorly known species. PMID:25548736

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Min-Yi; Varela, Sara

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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, ...

  8. 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.

  9. Terrestrial habitat selection and strong density-dependent mortality in recently metamorphosed amphibians.

    PubMed

    Patrick, David A; Harper, Elizabeth B; Hunter, Malcolm L; Calhoun, Aram J K

    2008-09-01

    To predict the effects of terrestrial habitat change on amphibian populations, we need to know how amphibians respond to habitat heterogeneity, and whether habitat choice remains consistent throughout the life-history cycle. We conducted four experiments to evaluate how the spatial distribution of juvenile wood frogs, Rana sylvatica (including both overall abundance and localized density), was influenced by habitat choice and habitat structure, and how this relationship changed with spatial scale and behavioral phase. The four experiments included (1) habitat manipulation on replicated 10-ha landscapes surrounding breeding pools; (2) short-term experiments with individual frogs emigrating through a manipulated landscape of 1 m wide hexagonal patches; and habitat manipulations in (3) small (4-m2); and (4) large (100-m2) enclosures with multiple individuals to compare behavior both during and following emigration. The spatial distribution of juvenile wood frogs following emigration resulted from differences in the scale at which juvenile amphibians responded to habitat heterogeneity during active vs. settled behavioral phases. During emigration, juvenile wood frogs responded to coarse-scale variation in habitat (selection between 2.2-ha forest treatments) but not to fine-scale variation. After settling, however, animals showed habitat selection at much smaller scales (2-4 m2). This resulted in high densities of animals in small patches of suitable habitat where they experienced rapid mortality. No evidence of density-dependent habitat selection was seen, with juveniles typically choosing to remain at extremely high densities in high-quality habitat, rather than occupying low-quality habitat. These experiments demonstrate how prediction of the terrestrial distribution of juvenile amphibians requires understanding of the complex behavioral responses to habitat heterogeneity. Understanding these patterns is important, given that human alterations to amphibian habitats

  10. Multiple stressors in amphibian communities: Effects of chemical contamination, bullfrogs, and fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.; Little, E.E.; Doyle, M.C.

    2007-01-01

    A leading hypothesis of amphibian population declines is that combinations of multiple stressors contribute to declines. We examined the role that chemical contamination, competition, and predation play singly and in combination in aquatic amphibian communities. We exposed larvae of American toads (Bufo americanus), southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) to overwintered bullfrog tadpoles (R. catesbeiana), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), the insecticide carbaryl, and ammonium nitrate fertilizer in 1000-L mesocosms. Most significantly, our study demonstrated that the presence of multiple factors reduced survival of B. americanus and A. maculatum and lengthened larval periods of R. sphenocephala. The presence of bluegill had the largest impact on the community; it eliminated B. americanus and A. maculatum and reduced the abundance of R. sphenocephala. Chemical contaminants had the second strongest effect on the community with the insecticide, reducing A. maculatum abundance by 50% and increasing the mass of anurans (frogs and toads) at metamorphosis; the fertilizer positively influenced time and mass at metamorphosis for both anurans and A. maculatum. Presence of overwintered bullfrogs reduced mass and increased time to metamorphosis of anurans. While both bluegill and overwintered bullfrog tadpoles had negative effects on the amphibian community, they performed better in the presence of one another and in contaminated habitats. Our results indicate that predicting deleterious combinations from single-factor effects may not be straightforward. Our research supports the hypothesis that combinations of factors can negatively impact some amphibian species and could contribute to population declines. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. 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."

  12. 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

  13. [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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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).

  6. Effects of nutrient supplementation on host-pathogen dynamics of the amphibian chytrid fungus: a community approach

    PubMed Central

    BUCK, JULIA C.; ROHR, JASON R.; BLAUSTEIN, ANDREW R.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Anthropogenic stressors may influence hosts and their pathogens directly or may alter host–pathogen dynamics indirectly through interactions with other species. For example, in aquatic ecosystems, eutrophication may be associated with increased or decreased disease risk. Conversely, pathogens can influence community structure and function and are increasingly recognised as important members of the ecological communities in which they exist.In outdoor mesocosms, we experimentally manipulated nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and the presence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and examined the effects on Bd abundance on larval amphibian hosts (Pseudacris regilla: Hylidae), amphibian traits and community dynamics. We predicted that resource supplementation would mitigate negative effects of Bd on tadpole growth and development and that indirect effects of treatments would propagate through the community.Nutrient additions caused changes in algal growth, which benefitted tadpoles through increased mass, development and survival. Bd-exposed tadpoles metamorphosed sooner than unexposed individuals, but their mass at metamorphosis was not affected by Bd exposure. We detected additive rather than interactive effects of nutrient supplementation and Bd in this experiment.Nutrient supplementation was not a significant predictor of infection load of larval amphibians. However, a structural equation model revealed that resource supplementation and exposure of amphibians to Bd altered the structure of the aquatic community. This is the first demonstration that sublethal effects of Bd on amphibians can alter aquatic community dynamics. PMID:25432573

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Incorporating incorporating economic models into seasonal pool conservation planning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Loftin, Cyndy; Bell, Kathleen P.; Freeman, Robert C.; Calhoun, Aram J. K.

    2012-01-01

    Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine have adopted regulatory zones around seasonal (vernal) pools to conserve terrestrial habitat for pool-breeding amphibians. Most amphibians require access to distinct seasonal habitats in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems because of their complex life histories. These habitat requirements make them particularly vulnerable to land uses that destroy habitat or limit connectivity (or permeability) among habitats. Regulatory efforts focusing on breeding pools without consideration of terrestrial habitat needs will not ensure the persistence of pool-breeding amphibians. We used GIS to combine a discrete-choice, parcel-scale economic model of land conversion with a landscape permeability model based on known habitat requirements of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) in Maine (USA) to examine permeability among habitat elements for alternative future scenarios. The economic model predicts future landscapes under different subdivision open space and vernal pool regulatory requirements. Our model showed that even “no build” permit zones extending 76 m (250 ft) outward from the pool edge were insufficient to assure permeability among required habitat elements. Furthermore, effectiveness of permit zones may be inconsistent due to interactions with other growth management policies, highlighting the need for local and state planning for the long-term persistence of pool-breeding amphibians in developing landscapes.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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'.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Anna C.; McKenzie, Valerie J.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Grassland fire and cattle grazing regulate reptile and amphibian assembly among patches.

    PubMed

    Larson, Danelle M

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Danelle M.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Origin of amphibian and avian chromosomes by fission, fusion, and retention of ancestral chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Voss, Stephen R; Kump, D Kevin; Putta, Srikrishna; Pauly, Nathan; Reynolds, Anna; Henry, Rema J; Basa, Saritha; Walker, John A; Smith, Jeramiah J

    2011-08-01

    Amphibian genomes differ greatly in DNA content and chromosome size, morphology, and number. Investigations of this diversity are needed to identify mechanisms that have shaped the evolution of vertebrate genomes. We used comparative mapping to investigate the organization of genes in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a species that presents relatively few chromosomes (n = 14) and a gigantic genome (>20 pg/N). We show extensive conservation of synteny between Ambystoma, chicken, and human, and a positive correlation between the length of conserved segments and genome size. Ambystoma segments are estimated to be four to 51 times longer than homologous human and chicken segments. Strikingly, genes demarking the structures of 28 chicken chromosomes are ordered among linkage groups defining the Ambystoma genome, and we show that these same chromosomal segments are also conserved in a distantly related anuran amphibian (Xenopus tropicalis). Using linkage relationships from the amphibian maps, we predict that three chicken chromosomes originated by fusion, nine to 14 originated by fission, and 12-17 evolved directly from ancestral tetrapod chromosomes. We further show that some ancestral segments were fused prior to the divergence of salamanders and anurans, while others fused independently and randomly as chromosome numbers were reduced in lineages leading to Ambystoma and Xenopus. The maintenance of gene order relationships between chromosomal segments that have greatly expanded and contracted in salamander and chicken genomes, respectively, suggests selection to maintain synteny relationships and/or extremely low rates of chromosomal rearrangement. Overall, the results demonstrate the value of data from diverse, amphibian genomes in studies of vertebrate genome evolution.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. [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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Investigating potential for effects of environmental endocrine disrupters on wild populations of amphibians in UK and Japan: status of historical databases and review of methods.

    PubMed

    Pickford, Daniel B; Larroze, Severine; Takase, Minoru; Mitsui, Naoko; Tooi, Osamu; Santo, Noriaki

    2007-01-01

    Concern over global declines among amphibians has resulted in increased interest in the effects of environmental contaminants on amphibian populations, and more recently, this has stimulated research on the potential adverse effects of environmental endocrine disrupters in amphibians. Laboratory studies of the effects of single chemicals on endocrine-relevant endpoints in amphibian, mainly anuran, models are valuable in characterizing sensitivity at the individual level and may yield useful bioassays for screening chemicals for endocrine toxicity (for example, thyroid disrupting activity). Nevertheless, in the UK and Japan as in many other countries, it has yet to be demonstrated unequivocally that the exposure of native amphibians to endocrine disrupting environmental contaminants results in adverse effects at the population level. Assessing the potential of such effects is likely to require an ecoepidemiological approach to investigate associations between predicted or actual exposure of amphibians to (endocrine disrupting) environmental contaminants and biologically meaningful responses at the population level. In turn, this demands recent but relatively long-term population trend data. We review two potential sources of such data for widespread UK anurans that could be used in such investigations: records for common frogs and common toads in several databases maintained by the Biological Records Centre (UK Government Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), and adult toad count data from 'Toads on Roads' schemes registered with the UK wildlife charity 'Froglife'. There were little abundance data in the BRC databases that could be used for this purpose, while count data from the Toads on Roads schemes is potentially confounded by the effects of local topology on the detection probabilities and operation of nonchemical anthropogenic stressors. For Japan, local and regional surveys of amphibians and national ecological censuses gathering amphibian data were reviewed to

  20. 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.

  1. Hot bodies protect amphibians against chytrid infection in nature

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Linking Ecology and Epidemiology to Understand Predictors of Multi-Host Responses to an Emerging Pathogen, the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.

    PubMed

    Gervasi, Stephanie S; Stephens, Patrick R; Hua, Jessica; Searle, Catherine L; Xie, Gisselle Yang; Urbina, Jenny; Olson, Deanna H; Bancroft, Betsy A; Weis, Virginia; Hammond, John I; Relyea, Rick A; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2017-01-01

    Variation in host responses to pathogens can have cascading effects on populations and communities when some individuals or groups of individuals display disproportionate vulnerability to infection or differ in their competence to transmit infection. The fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been detected in almost 700 different amphibian species and is implicated in numerous global amphibian population declines. Identifying key hosts in the amphibian-Bd system-those who are at greatest risk or who pose the greatest risk for others-is challenging due in part to many extrinsic environmental factors driving spatiotemporal Bd distribution and context-dependent host responses to Bd in the wild. One way to improve predictive risk models and generate testable mechanistic hypotheses about vulnerability is to complement what we know about the spatial epidemiology of Bd with data collected through comparative experimental studies. We used standardized pathogen challenges to quantify amphibian survival and infection trajectories across 20 post-metamorphic North American species raised from eggs. We then incorporated trait-based models to investigate the predictive power of phylogenetic history, habitat use, and ecological and life history traits in explaining responses to Bd. True frogs (Ranidae) displayed the lowest infection intensities, whereas toads (Bufonidae) generally displayed the greatest levels of mortality after Bd exposure. Affiliation with ephemeral aquatic habitat and breadth of habitat use were strong predictors of vulnerability to and intensity of infection and several other traits including body size, lifespan, age at sexual maturity, and geographic range also appeared in top models explaining host responses to Bd. Several of the species examined are highly understudied with respect to Bd such that this study represents the first experimental susceptibility data. Combining insights gained from experimental studies with observations of

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Linking Ecology and Epidemiology to Understand Predictors of Multi-Host Responses to an Emerging Pathogen, the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, Patrick R.; Hua, Jessica; Searle, Catherine L.; Xie, Gisselle Yang; Urbina, Jenny; Olson, Deanna H.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Weis, Virginia; Hammond, John I.; Relyea, Rick A.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2017-01-01

    Variation in host responses to pathogens can have cascading effects on populations and communities when some individuals or groups of individuals display disproportionate vulnerability to infection or differ in their competence to transmit infection. The fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been detected in almost 700 different amphibian species and is implicated in numerous global amphibian population declines. Identifying key hosts in the amphibian-Bd system–those who are at greatest risk or who pose the greatest risk for others–is challenging due in part to many extrinsic environmental factors driving spatiotemporal Bd distribution and context-dependent host responses to Bd in the wild. One way to improve predictive risk models and generate testable mechanistic hypotheses about vulnerability is to complement what we know about the spatial epidemiology of Bd with data collected through comparative experimental studies. We used standardized pathogen challenges to quantify amphibian survival and infection trajectories across 20 post-metamorphic North American species raised from eggs. We then incorporated trait-based models to investigate the predictive power of phylogenetic history, habitat use, and ecological and life history traits in explaining responses to Bd. True frogs (Ranidae) displayed the lowest infection intensities, whereas toads (Bufonidae) generally displayed the greatest levels of mortality after Bd exposure. Affiliation with ephemeral aquatic habitat and breadth of habitat use were strong predictors of vulnerability to and intensity of infection and several other traits including body size, lifespan, age at sexual maturity, and geographic range also appeared in top models explaining host responses to Bd. Several of the species examined are highly understudied with respect to Bd such that this study represents the first experimental susceptibility data. Combining insights gained from experimental studies with observations of

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The amphibians Xenopus laevis and Silurana tropicalis possess a family of activating KIR-related Immunoglobulin-like receptors.

    PubMed

    Guselnikov, Sergey V; Reshetnikova, Evdokiya S; Najakshin, Alexander M; Mechetina, Ludmila V; Robert, Jacques; Taranin, Alexander V

    2010-03-01

    In this study, we searched the amphibian species Xenopus laevis and Silurana (Xenopus) tropicalis for the presence of genes homologous to mammalian KIRs and avian CHIRs (KRIR family). By experimental and computational procedures, we identified four related ILR (Ig-like Receptors) genes in S. tropicalis and three in X. laevis. ILRs encode type I transmembrane receptors with 3-4 Ig-like extracellular domains. All predicted ILR proteins appear to be activating receptors. ILRs have a broad expression pattern, the gene transcripts were found in both lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the amphibian KRIR family receptors evolved independently from their mammalian and avian counterparts. The only conserved structural element of tetrapod KRIRs is the NxxR motif-containing transmembrane domain that facilitates association with FcRgamma subunit. Our findings suggest that if KRIRs of various vertebrates have any common function at all, such a function is activating rather than inhibitory.

  9. 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Luiz, Amom Mendes; Leão-Pires, Thiago Augusto; Sawaya, Ricardo J.

    2016-01-01

    Beta diversity patterns are the outcome of multiple processes operating at different scales. Amphibian assemblages seem to be affected by contemporary climate and dispersal-based processes. However, historical processes involved in present patterns of beta diversity remain poorly understood. We assess and disentangle geomorphological, climatic and spatial drivers of amphibian beta diversity in coastal lowlands of the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that geomorphological factors are more important in structuring anuran beta diversity than climatic and spatial factors. We obtained species composition via field survey (N = 766 individuals), museum specimens (N = 9,730) and literature records (N = 4,763). Sampling area was divided in four spatially explicit geomorphological units, representing historical predictors. Climatic descriptors were represented by the first two axis of a Principal Component Analysis. Spatial predictors in different spatial scales were described by Moran Eigenvector Maps. Redundancy Analysis was implemented to partition the explained variation of species composition by geomorphological, climatic and spatial predictors. Moreover, spatial autocorrelation analyses were used to test neutral theory predictions. Beta diversity was spatially structured in broader scales. Shared fraction between climatic and geomorphological variables was an important predictor of species composition (13%), as well as broad scale spatial predictors (13%). However, geomorphological variables alone were the most important predictor of beta diversity (42%). Historical factors related to geomorphology must have played a crucial role in structuring amphibian beta diversity. The complex relationships between geomorphological history and climatic gradients generated by the Serra do Mar Precambrian basements were also important. We highlight the importance of combining spatially explicit historical and contemporary predictors for understanding

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

    PubMed

    Luiz, Amom Mendes; Leão-Pires, Thiago Augusto; Sawaya, Ricardo J

    2016-01-01

    Beta diversity patterns are the outcome of multiple processes operating at different scales. Amphibian assemblages seem to be affected by contemporary climate and dispersal-based processes. However, historical processes involved in present patterns of beta diversity remain poorly understood. We assess and disentangle geomorphological, climatic and spatial drivers of amphibian beta diversity in coastal lowlands of the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that geomorphological factors are more important in structuring anuran beta diversity than climatic and spatial factors. We obtained species composition via field survey (N = 766 individuals), museum specimens (N = 9,730) and literature records (N = 4,763). Sampling area was divided in four spatially explicit geomorphological units, representing historical predictors. Climatic descriptors were represented by the first two axis of a Principal Component Analysis. Spatial predictors in different spatial scales were described by Moran Eigenvector Maps. Redundancy Analysis was implemented to partition the explained variation of species composition by geomorphological, climatic and spatial predictors. Moreover, spatial autocorrelation analyses were used to test neutral theory predictions. Beta diversity was spatially structured in broader scales. Shared fraction between climatic and geomorphological variables was an important predictor of species composition (13%), as well as broad scale spatial predictors (13%). However, geomorphological variables alone were the most important predictor of beta diversity (42%). Historical factors related to geomorphology must have played a crucial role in structuring amphibian beta diversity. The complex relationships between geomorphological history and climatic gradients generated by the Serra do Mar Precambrian basements were also important. We highlight the importance of combining spatially explicit historical and contemporary predictors for understanding

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Use of multiple dispersal pathways facilitates amphibian persistence in stream networks.

    PubMed

    Campbell Grant, Evan H; Nichols, James D; Lowe, Winsor H; Fagan, William F

    2010-04-13

    Although populations of amphibians are declining worldwide, there is no evidence that salamanders occupying small streams are experiencing enigmatic declines, and populations of these species seem stable. Theory predicts that dispersal through multiple pathways can stabilize populations, preventing extinction in habitat networks. However, empirical data to support this prediction are absent for most species, especially those at risk of decline. Our mark-recapture study of stream salamanders reveals both a strong upstream bias in dispersal and a surprisingly high rate of overland dispersal to adjacent headwater streams. This evidence of route-dependent variation in dispersal rates suggests a spatial mechanism for population stability in headwater-stream salamanders. Our results link the movement behavior of stream salamanders to network topology, and they underscore the importance of identifying and protecting critical dispersal pathways when addressing region-wide population declines.

  14. Use of multiple dispersal pathways facilitates amphibian persistence in stream networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Grant E.H.; Nichols, J.D.; Lowe, W.H.; Fagan, W.F.

    2010-01-01

    Although populations of amphibians are declining worldwide, there is no evidence that salamanders occupying small streams are experiencing enigmatic declines, and populations of these species seem stable. Theory predicts that dispersal through multiple pathways can stabilize populations, preventing extinction in habitat networks. However, empirical data to support this prediction are absent for most species, especially those at risk of decline. Our mark-recapture study of stream salamanders reveals both a strong upstream bias in dispersal and a surprisingly high rate of overland dispersal to adjacent headwater streams. This evidence of route-dependent variation in dispersal rates suggests a spatial mechanism for population stability in headwater-stream salamanders. Our results link the movement behavior of stream salamanders to network topology, and they underscore the importance of identifying and protecting critical dispersal pathways when addressing region-wide population declines.

  15. A necessarily complex model to explain the biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Cameron, Alison; Yoder, Anne D; Vences, Miguel

    2014-10-09

    Pattern and process are inextricably linked in biogeographic analyses, though we can observe pattern, we must infer process. Inferences of process are often based on ad hoc comparisons using a single spatial predictor. Here, we present an alternative approach that uses mixed-spatial models to measure the predictive potential of combinations of hypotheses. Biodiversity patterns are estimated from 8,362 occurrence records from 745 species of Malagasy amphibians and reptiles. By incorporating 18 spatially explicit predictions of 12 major biogeographic hypotheses, we show that mixed models greatly improve our ability to explain the observed biodiversity patterns. We conclude that patterns are influenced by a combination of diversification processes rather than by a single predominant mechanism. A 'one-size-fits-all' model does not exist. By developing a novel method for examining and synthesizing spatial parameters such as species richness, endemism and community similarity, we demonstrate the potential of these analyses for understanding the diversification history of Madagascar's biota.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Veysey Powell, Jessica S; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-06

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

  4. Amphibian dynamics in constructed ponds on a wildlife refuge: developing expected responses to hydrological restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.

    2017-01-01

    Management actions are based upon predictable responses. To form expected responses to restoration actions, I estimated habitat relationships and trends (2002–2015) for four pond-breeding amphibians on a wildlife refuge (Montana, USA) where changes to restore historical hydrology to the system greatly expanded (≥8 times) the flooded area of the primary breeding site for western toads (Anaxyrus boreas). Additional restoration actions are planned for the near future, including removing ponds that provide amphibian habitat. Multi-season occupancy models based on data from 15 ponds sampled during 7 years revealed that the number of breeding subpopulations increased modestly for Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) and was stationary for long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla). For these three species, pond depth was the characteristic that was associated most frequently with occupancy or changes in colonization and extinction. In contrast, a large decrease in colonization by western toads explained the decline from eight occupied ponds in 2002 to two ponds in 2015. This decline occurred despite an increase in wetland area and the colonization of a newly created pond. These changes highlight the challenges of managing for multiple species and how management responses can be unpredictable, possibly reducing the efficacy of targeted actions.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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,...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Serious threats to the health and sustainability of global amphibian populations have been well documented over the last few decades. Encroachment upon and destruction of primary habitat is the most critical threat, but some species have disappeared while their habitat remains. Additional stressor...

  1. 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...

  2. 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…

  3. Utricular otoconia of some amphibians have calcitic morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Moving into protected areas? Setting conservation priorities for Romanian reptiles and amphibians at risk from climate change.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brady, Steven P

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brady, Steven P.

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-25

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

  2. Biological responses to phenylurea herbicides in fish and amphibians: New directions for characterizing mechanisms of toxicity.

    PubMed

    Marlatt, Vicki L; Martyniuk, Christopher J

    2017-04-01

    Urea-based herbicides are applied in agriculture to control broadleaf and grassy weeds, acting to either inhibit photosynthesis at photosystem II (phenylureas) or to inhibit acetolactate synthase acetohydroxyacid synthase (sulfonylureas). While there are different chemical formulas for urea-based herbicides, the phenylureas are a widely used class in North America and have been detected in aquatic environments due to agricultural run-off. Here, we summarize the current state of the literature, synthesizing data on phenylureas and their biological effects in two non-target animals, fish and amphibians, with a primary focus on diuron and linuron. In fish, although the acutely lethal effects of diuron in early life stages appear to be >1mg/L, recent studies measuring sub-lethal behavioural and developmental endpoints suggest that diuron causes adverse effects at lower concentrations (i.e. <0.1mg/L). Considerably less toxicity data exist for amphibians, and this is a knowledge gap in the literature. In terms of sub-lethal effects and mode of action (MOA), linuron is well documented to have anti-androgenic effects in vertebrates, including fish. However, there are other MOAs that are not adequately assessed in toxicology studies. In order to identify additional potential MOAs, we conducted in silico analyses for linuron and diuron that were based upon transcriptome studies and chemical structure-function relationships (i.e. ToxCast™, Prediction of Activity Spectra of Substances). Based upon these analyses, we suggest that steroid biosynthesis, cholesterol metabolism and pregnane X receptor activation are common targets, and offer some new endpoints for future investigations of phenylurea herbicides in non-target animals.

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Stajich, Jason E

    2015-04-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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…

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Randler, Christoph; Ilg, Angelika; Kern, Janina

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 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,...

  15. 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,...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-13

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

  17. 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,...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. [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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Deanna H.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-07-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular cloning, sequence analysis and homology modeling of the first caudata amphibian antifreeze-like protein in axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Songyan; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Cai, Shasha; Qiao, Xue; Wang, Yipeng; Yu, Haining

    2013-08-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) refer to a class of polypeptides that are produced by certain vertebrates, plants, fungi, and bacteria and which permit their survival in subzero environments. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and three-dimensional structure of the axolotl antifreeze-like protein (AFLP) by homology modeling of the first caudate amphibian AFLP. We constructed a full-length spleen cDNA library of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). An EST having highest similarity (∼42%) with freeze-responsive liver protein Li16 from Rana sylvatica was identified, and the full-length cDNA was subsequently obtained by RACE-PCR. The axolotl antifreeze-like protein sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 93 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein were 10128.6 Da and 8.97, respectively. The molecular characterization of this gene and its deduced protein were further performed by detailed bioinformatics analysis. The three-dimensional structure of current AFLP was predicted by homology modeling, and the conserved residues required for functionality were identified. The homology model constructed could be of use for effective drug design. This is the first report of an antifreeze-like protein identified from a caudate amphibian.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. [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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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)

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Distinct Viral Lineages from Fish and Amphibians Reveal the Complex Evolutionary History of Hepadnaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Dill, Jennifer A.; Camus, Alvin C.; Leary, John H.; Di Giallonardo, Francesca; Holmes, Edward C.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Hepadnaviruses (hepatitis B viruses [HBVs]) are the only animal viruses that replicate their DNA by reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate. Until recently, the known host range of hepadnaviruses was limited to mammals and birds. We obtained and analyzed the first amphibian HBV genome, as well as several prototype fish HBVs, which allow the first comprehensive comparative genomic analysis of hepadnaviruses from four classes of vertebrates. Bluegill hepadnavirus (BGHBV) was characterized from in-house viral metagenomic sequencing. The African cichlid hepadnavirus (ACHBV) and the Tibetan frog hepadnavirus (TFHBV) were discovered using in silico analyses of the whole-genome shotgun and transcriptome shotgun assembly databases. Residues in the hydrophobic base of the capsid (core) proteins, designated motifs I, II, and III, are highly conserved, suggesting that structural constraints for proper capsid folding are key to capsid protein evolution. Surface proteins in all vertebrate HBVs contain similar predicted membrane topologies, characterized by three transmembrane domains. Most striking was the fact that BGHBV, ACHBV, and the previously described white sucker hepadnavirus did not form a fish-specific monophyletic group in the phylogenetic analysis of all three hepadnaviral genes. Notably, BGHBV was more closely related to the mammalian hepadnaviruses, indicating that cross-species transmission events have played a major role in viral evolution. Evidence of cross-species transmission was also observed with TFHBV. Hence, these data indicate that the evolutionary history of the hepadnaviruses is more complex than previously realized and combines both virus-host codivergence over millions of years and host species jumping. IMPORTANCE Hepadnaviruses are responsible for significant disease in humans (hepatitis B virus) and have been reported from a diverse range of vertebrates as both exogenous and endogenous viruses. We report the full-length genome of a

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. [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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhou, Haiming; Hanson, Timothy; Knapp, Roland

    2015-12-01

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