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Full Access No detection of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Sardinian cave salamanders, genus Hydromantes

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No detection of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Sardinian cave salamanders, genus Hydromantes

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Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide. Chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is one of the causes associated with these declines. Occurrence, rate of infection and mortality due to chytridiomycosis in amphibians depend on multiple factors including habitat and life-style (aquatic/terrestrial). Bd infection is lower in terrestrial than in aquatic species, but a fully terrestrial life-style alone may not explain the absence of Bd in some species. Low individual dispersal, decreasing the occurrence of contact with infected organisms, could also favour lower Bd infection. To survey the occurrence of Bd infection in fully terrestrial salamanders with low dispersal, we sampled the Sardinian Hydromantes species to measure their level of infection. Bd was not detected and likely absent in Sardinian Hydromantes. This phenomenon could be explained by a combination of terrestrial habitat, low dispersal, and occurrence mostly in habitats where other amphibians do not occur.

Affiliations: 1: 1Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Vairão, Portugal; 2: 2Gruppo Speleologico Sassarese, Sassari, Italy; 3: 3Biogeography Department, Trier University, 54286 Trier, Germany

Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide. Chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the aquatic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is one of the causes associated with these declines. Occurrence, rate of infection and mortality due to chytridiomycosis in amphibians depend on multiple factors including habitat and life-style (aquatic/terrestrial). Bd infection is lower in terrestrial than in aquatic species, but a fully terrestrial life-style alone may not explain the absence of Bd in some species. Low individual dispersal, decreasing the occurrence of contact with infected organisms, could also favour lower Bd infection. To survey the occurrence of Bd infection in fully terrestrial salamanders with low dispersal, we sampled the Sardinian Hydromantes species to measure their level of infection. Bd was not detected and likely absent in Sardinian Hydromantes. This phenomenon could be explained by a combination of terrestrial habitat, low dispersal, and occurrence mostly in habitats where other amphibians do not occur.

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685381-00002876
2013-01-01
2016-12-04

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