Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming

  title={Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming},
  author={J. Alan Pounds and Mart{\'i}n R. Bustamante and Luis A. Coloma and Jamie A. Consuegra and Michael P. L. Fogden and Prudence N. Foster and Enrique la Marca and Karen L. Masters and Andr{\'e}s Merino‐Viteri and Robert Puschendorf and Santiago R. Ron and Gerardo Arturo S{\'a}nchez-Azofeifa and Christopher J. Still and Bruce E. Young},
As the Earth warms, many species are likely to disappear, often because of changing disease dynamics. Here we show that a recent mass extinction associated with pathogen outbreaks is tied to global warming. Seventeen years ago, in the mountains of Costa Rica, the Monteverde harlequin frog (Atelopus sp.) vanished along with the golden toad (Bufo periglenes). An estimated 67% of the 110 or so species of Atelopus, which are endemic to the American tropics, have met the same fate, and a pathogenic… 
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  • J. Rohr, T. Raffel
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2010
It is suggested that changes to temperature variability associated with climate change might be as significant to biodiversity losses and disease emergence as changes to mean temperature.
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It is concluded that the survival of a cohort of overwintering toadlets is primarily driven by patterns of growth during the larval period rather than winter temperature or infectious disease.
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These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that widespread species declines, including possible extinctions, have been driven by an interaction between increasing temperatures and infectious disease and suggest that hosts adapted to relatively cool conditions will be most vulnerable to the combination of increases in mean temperature and emerging infectious diseases.
Life-history trade-offs influence disease in changing climates: strategies of an amphibian pathogen.
It is shown that the amphibian chytrid responds to decreasing temperatures with trade-offs that increase fecundity as maturation rate slows and increase infectivity as growth decreases, which help to explain why it is so successful in cold montane environments.


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Endemic Infection of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in a Frog Community Post-Decline
A longitudinal study of the fungus in individually marked frogs sheds new light on the effect of this threatening infectious process in field, as distinct from laboratory, conditions, and finds a seasonal peak of infection in the cooler months, with no evidence of interannual variation.
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Abstract. Global climates have been changing, sometimes rapidly and dramatically, throughout the evolutionary history of amphibians. Therefore, existing amphibian species have been derived from those
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It is argued that amphibian population declines are caused by different abiotic and biotic factors acting together in a context-dependent fashion, and different species and different populations of the same species may react in different ways to the same environmental insult.
Tests of Null Models for Amphibian Declines on a Tropical Mountain
Many of the recent, widespread declines and disappearances of amphibian populations have taken place in seemingly undisturbed, montane habitats. The question of whether the observed patterns differ
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A consistent temperature-related shift is revealed in species ranging from molluscs to mammals and from grasses to trees, suggesting that a significant impact of global warming is already discernible in animal and plant populations.
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Effect of season and temperature on mortality in amphibians due to chytridiomycosis.
Chytridiomycosis is a major cause of mortality in free-living and captive amphibians in Australia and mortality rate increases at lower temperatures.