Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity

  title={Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity},
  author={Ben C. Scheele and Frank Pasmans and Lee F. Skerratt and Lee R. Berger and An Martel and Wouter Beukema and Aldemar A. Acevedo and Patricia A. Burrowes and Tamilie Carvalho and Alessandro Catenazzi and Ignacio J. De la Riva and Matthew C. Fisher and Sandra V Flechas and Claire N. Foster and Patricia Fr{\'i}as-{\'A}lvarez and Trenton W. J. Garner and Brian Gratwicke and Juan M. Guayasamin and Mareike Hirschfeld and Jonathan E. Kolby and Tiffany A. Kosch and Enrique La Marca and David B. Lindenmayer and Karen R. Lips and Ana V. Longo and Ra{\'u}l Maneyro and Cait A. McDonald and Joseph R. Mendelson and Pablo Palacios-Rodriguez and Gabriela Parra‐Olea and Corinne L. Richards‐Zawacki and Mark‐Oliver R{\"o}del and Sean M. Rovito and Claudio Soto-Azat and Lu{\'i}s Felipe Toledo and Jamie Voyles and Ch{\'e} Weldon and Steven M. Whitfield and M. Wilkinson and Kelly R. Zamudio and Stefano Canessa},
  pages={1459 - 1463}
The demise of amphibians? Rapid spread of disease is a hazard in our interconnected world. The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was identified in amphibian populations about 20 years ago and has caused death and species extinction at a global scale. Scheele et al. found that the fungus has caused declines in amphibian populations everywhere except at its origin in Asia (see the Perspective by Greenberg and Palen). A majority of species and populations are still experiencing decline… 

Niche Contraction of an Endangered Frog Driven by the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

This work estimated the effect of Bd on the geographic distribution and niche dynamics of the critically endangered lowland robber frog (Craugastor ranoides) in Costa Rica and quantified niche contraction, finding that the species is currently restricted to dry and warm environments that have been considered unsuitable for Bd.

Tropical snake diversity collapses after widespread amphibian loss

The collapse of a Neotropical snake community after the invasive fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis caused a chytridiomycosis epizootic leading to the catastrophic loss of amphibians, a food source for snakes is documented.

Presence of low virulence chytrid fungi could protect European amphibians from more deadly strains

Pre-exposure to some of these low virulence isolates protects against disease following subsequent exposure to highly virulent BdGPL in midwife toads and alters infection dynamics of its sister species B. salamandrivorans in newts, but not in salamanders.

Rapid spread of a virulent amphibian pathogen in nature

The introduction of infected amphibian hosts into previously naive A. dickhilleni breeding sites, and other anthropogenic processes, are seeming to be the most plausible way of Bd range expansion, motivating mass mortalities, population declines and extirpation events of this threatened amphibian species.

Species distribution models predict the geographic expansion of an enzootic amphibian pathogen

Globally, numerous amphibian species have declined due to the introduction of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). However, the understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics remains

Amphibian collapses increased malaria incidence in Central America

Biodiversity in ecosystems plays an important role in supporting human welfare, including regulating the transmission of infectious diseases. Many of these services are not fully-appreciated due to

Conservation translocations for amphibian species threatened by chytrid fungus: A review, conceptual framework, and recommendations

Emerging infectious diseases are an increasingly prominent threat to biodiversity. However, traditional methods in conservation generally have limited efficacy in the face of disease threats.

A deadly amphibian disease goes global

The consequences of globalized pathogen exchange are demonstrated by reconstructing the hidden history of disease-driven declines and extinctions for hundreds of amphibian species by demonstrating the risk to biodiversity of inadvertently introducing new pathogens to naïve evolutionary arenas.

Saprolegniosis in Amphibians: An Integrated Overview of a Fluffy Killer Disease

Amphibians constitute the class of vertebrates with the highest proportion of threatened species, with infectious diseases being considered among the greatest causes for their worldwide decline.

Chytridiomycosis in Asian Amphibians, a Global Resource for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) Research

It is emphasized that chytridiomycosis in Asia is an important wildlife disease and it needs focussed research, as it is a dynamic front of pathogen diversity and virulence.



Overview of chytrid emergence and impacts on amphibians

  • K. Lips
  • Environmental Science
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2016
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.

Enzootic and epizootic dynamics of the chytrid fungal pathogen of amphibians

Results suggest that host persistence versus extinction does not require differences in host susceptibility, pathogen virulence, or environmental conditions, and may be just epidemic and endemic population dynamics of the same host–pathogen system.

Historical amphibian declines and extinctions in Brazil linked to chytridiomycosis

The findings indicate that Brazil is post epizootic for chytridiomycosis and provide another piece to the puzzle to explain the origin of Bd globally.

Dramatic Declines of Montane Frogs in a Central African Biodiversity Hotspot

This analyses suggest that this may be the first disease-driven community-level decline in anuran biodiversity in Central Africa, and the disappearance of several species known to tolerate habitat degradation, and a trend of stronger declines at higher elevations, are consistent with Bd-induced declines in other regions.

Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycoses in nature

This article focuses on discussing options for mitigating the threats once disease emergence has occurred in wild amphibian populations, and assesses disease mitigation options critically and embeds them within more comprehensive strategies for the conservation of amphibians, communities and ecosystems.

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians

A unique chytrid fungus is isolated and characterized, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp.

Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama

A community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event is presented.

Epizootic to enzootic transition of a fungal disease in tropical Andean frogs: Are surviving species still susceptible?

It is found that three of the eight surviving species continue to be susceptible to Bd, and that their populations are declining, while only one species is growing in numbers and it was non-susceptible in trials.


Simple models of the dynamics of the disease within an individual lake are presented and it is asked whether the current understanding of chytridiomycosis is consistent with the field survey observations of extinction due to the disease over a wide range of host population sizes, and persistence of frog populations with the disease at some sites.

Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation

A range-wide species decline amongst the fastest ever recorded, with a loss of over 85% of the population in fewer than 18 months on Dominica and near extinction on Montserrat is reported.