Journal article

Disease-associated change in an amphibian life-history trait

Benjamin C Scheele, Lee F Skerratt, David A Hunter, Sam C Banks, Jennifer C Pierson, Don A Driscoll, Philip G Byrne, Lee Berger

OECOLOGIA | SPRINGER | Published : 2017


Emerging pathogens can drive evolutionary shifts in host life-history traits, yet this process remains poorly documented in vertebrate hosts. Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is the worst recorded wildlife disease and has caused the extinction of over 100 species across multiple continents. A similar number of additional species have experienced mass declines and Bd remains a major source of mortality in many populations of declined species now persisting with the pathogen. Life-history theory predicts that increased extrinsic mortality in Bd-infected populations may alter amphibian life-history traits, but this has..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by a Taronga Zoo Field Conservation Grant and the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage. B.C.Scheele and L. Berger were supported by Australian Research Council Grants LP110200240 and FT100100375, which included additional funding from industry partners Taronga Zoo and New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage during the writing of this manuscript. C. Scheele and S. Kearney provided field assistance, K. Smith and L. Brannelly helped facilitate museum sampling, and C. Foster provided statistical advice and helped with figures. All applicable institutional and/or national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed, with research conducted under scientific permits SL100436 and SL10006052 issued by the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage and animal ethics approval from the Australian National University (A2011/19) and the University of Canberra (CEAE 98/7).