Reservoir-host amplification of disease impact in an endangered amphibian.

Scheele, Ben C., Hunter, David A., Brannelly, Laura A., Skerratt, Lee F. and Driscoll, Don A. 2017, Reservoir-host amplification of disease impact in an endangered amphibian., Conservation biology, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 592-600, doi: 10.1111/cobi.12830.

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Title Reservoir-host amplification of disease impact in an endangered amphibian.
Author(s) Scheele, Ben C.
Hunter, David A.
Brannelly, Laura A.
Skerratt, Lee F.
Driscoll, Don A.ORCID iD for Driscoll, Don A.
Journal name Conservation biology
Volume number 31
Issue number 3
Start page 592
End page 600
Total pages 9
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Hoboken, N. J.
Publication date 2017-06
ISSN 0888-8892
Keyword(s) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
chytrid fungus
frog decline
pathogen-mediated apparent competition
reservoir host
wildlife disease
competencia aparente mediada por patógenos
declinación de ranas
enfermedad de vida silvestre
hongo quitridio
vector Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
Summary Emerging wildlife pathogens are an increasing threat to biodiversity. One of the most serious wildlife diseases is chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been documented in over 500 amphibian species. Amphibians vary greatly in their susceptibility to Bd, with some species tolerating infection, while others experience rapid mortality. Reservoir hosts - species that carry infection while maintaining high abundance, but are rarely killed by disease - can increase extinction risk in highly susceptible, sympatric species. However, whether reservoir hosts amplify Bd in declining amphibian species has not been examined. We combine a laboratory study with field surveys, disease sampling, and statistical modeling to investigate the role of reservoir hosts in chytridiomycosis dynamics and species decline in an amphibian community in south-eastern Australia. We show that the non-declining common eastern froglet (Crinia signifera) is a reservoir host for Bd, with laboratory animals carrying intense infection burdens over 12 weeks and the majority of wild sampled individuals carrying intense infections. We find that the presence of C. signifera is strongly associated with Bd prevalence in the sympatric, IUCN red-listed northern corroboree frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyi). Consistent with disease amplification by a reservoir host, we find that P. pengilleyi has declined from areas with high C. signifera abundance. Our results suggest that when reservoir hosts are present, population declines can continue long after the initial emergence of Bd, highlighting an urgent need to assess extinction risk in remnant populations of other declined amphibian species. Reintroductions and in situ management strategies must focus on identifying reservoir hosts and minimizing exposure of threatened species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12830
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Wiley
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