No Safe Space: Prevalence and Distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Amphibians in a Highly-Protected Landscape. Robinson, C. W, McNulty, S. A, & Titus, V. R Herpetological Conservation and Biology.
abstract   bibtex   
Amphibian populations have experienced widespread and severe declines resulting from, in part, emerging pathogens. The Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a fungal pathogen implicated in the decline of numerous amphibian species. Human land use and elevation are factors that may affect the distribution of this pathogen and resultant chytrid-related declines. We assessed prevalence and pathogen load of Bd related to recreation intensity throughout the Adirondack State Park, New York, USA, a 2.4 million ha, protected wildland that experiences often intense hiking pressure. We collected DNA samples from amphibians during 90-min searches of natural cover objects at 43 public hiking trails. We found robust evidence that Bd is geographically widespread and prevalent in amphibians, particularly salamanders, at trailheads and along trails. Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and Eastern Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) had the highest pathogen loads. Prevalence of Bd was not correlated with either elevation or recreation intensity, but was high in salamanders, which may serve as disease reservoirs and vectors in temperate forests and could additionally be adversely impacted by infection. Our results indicate amphibians are exposed to Bd, even in highly protected areas considered refugia, which has implications for conservation of amphibians and pathogen management in similar settings.
@article{robinson_no_nodate-1,
	title = {No {Safe} {Space}: {Prevalence} and {Distribution} of {Batrachochytrium} dendrobatidis in {Amphibians} in a {Highly}-{Protected} {Landscape}},
	abstract = {Amphibian populations have experienced widespread and severe declines resulting from, in part, emerging pathogens. The Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a fungal pathogen implicated in the decline of numerous amphibian species. Human land use and elevation are factors that may affect the distribution of this pathogen and resultant chytrid-related declines. We assessed prevalence and pathogen load of Bd related to recreation intensity throughout the Adirondack State Park, New York, USA, a 2.4 million ha, protected wildland that experiences often intense hiking pressure. We collected DNA samples from amphibians during 90-min searches of natural cover objects at 43 public hiking trails. We found robust evidence that Bd is geographically widespread and prevalent in amphibians, particularly salamanders, at trailheads and along trails. Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) and Eastern Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) had the highest pathogen loads. Prevalence of Bd was not correlated with either elevation or recreation intensity, but was high in salamanders, which may serve as disease reservoirs and vectors in temperate forests and could additionally be adversely impacted by infection. Our results indicate amphibians are exposed to Bd, even in highly protected areas considered refugia, which has implications for conservation of amphibians and pathogen management in similar settings.},
	language = {en},
	journal = {Herpetological Conservation and Biology},
	author = {Robinson, Charles W and McNulty, Stacy A and Titus, Valorie R},
	pages = {10}
}
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