Journal article

Reservoir-host amplification of disease impact in an endangered amphibian

Ben C Scheele, David A Hunter, Laura A Brannelly, Lee F Skerratt, Don A Driscoll



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; some species tolerate infection, whereas 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 investigated the role of res..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by the Australian Academy of Science and a Taronga Zoo Field Conservation Grant. B. Scheele was supported by Australian Research Council grant LP110200240 during the revisions of this manuscript. In-kind field support and monitoring data were provided by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and NSW National Parks. Field assistance was provided by C. Scheele, R. Pietsch, and C. Portway. W. Blanchard provided valuable statistical advice. C. Foster provided valuable comments on a draft.