Wetland characteristics influence disease risk for a threatened amphibian
Geoffrey W Heard, Michael P Scroggie, Nick Clemann, David SL Ramsey
Ecological Applications | Ecological Society of America | Published : 2014
Identifying determinants of the probability and intensity of infections is important for understanding the epidemiology of wildlife diseases, and for managing their impact on threatened species. Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has decimated populations of some amphibians. However, recent studies have identified important environmental constraints on the disease, related to the pathogen's physiological tolerances. In this study, we identified several intrinsic and extrinsic determinants of the probability and intensity of chytrid infections for the threatened growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis) in southeastern Australia, and used mark–recap..View full abstract
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Awarded by ARC
Fieldwork by G. W. Heard was supported by a David Myers Research Scholarship and Dean's Top UP Award from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, with additional funding from the growling grass frog trust fund (GGFTF, administered by Trust for Nature) and the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). We thank landholders in the Merri Creek catchment who allowed us access to their properties for sampling purposes. Swab analyses were funded by the Port Phillip Regional Office of DEPI. We thank Shirley Diez for securing and administering this funding. Manuscript preparation was funded by an ARC Linkage Grant (LP0990161) with the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, DEPI, GGFTF, Museums Victoria, Melbourne Water, and Parks Victoria. G. W. Heard thanks Brian Malone (La Trobe University) and Peter Robertson (Wildlife Profiles P/L) for guidance, and John Baumgartner (University of Melbourne) for coding assistance. M. P. Scroggie, N. Clemann, and D. S. L. Ramsey thank staff of the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research for their support, particularly Lindy Lumsden and David Forsyth. Charles Todd (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research) and two anonymous reviewers provided constructive criticism of an earlier draft of the manuscript.