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The amphibian chytrid fungus in Bavarian populations of Alytes obstetricans: past absence, current presence, and metamorph mortality

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In three Bavarian populations of Alytes obstetricans that were studied for the occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the pathogen was detected. This is the first account of chytridiomycosis in Bavaria, Germany. Infected tadpoles had low infection loads mostly of 101 to 102 genome equivalents. Under high-density rearing conditions in the laboratory mortality rates were high after metamorphosis. Some individuals, however, showed no infection with Bd, while others survived metamorphosis in spite of low Bd loads. A new approach was chosen to get historical data on Bd occurrence in one of these populations: skeletochronological phalanx cross sections of 248 individuals that had been collected in the late 1980s were used to analyse the epidermis for chytrid sporangia. No sporangia were detected, thus we conclude that this population was not affected by Bd in the past.

Affiliations: 1: 1Agency for Population Ecology and Nature Conservancy, Gerbrunn, Germany; 2: 2Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland; 3: 3Bavarian Environment Agency (LfU), Augsburg, Germany

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853812x651856
2012-01-03
2016-12-07

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