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Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans

(2017) NATURE. 544(7650). p.353-356
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Abstract
The recent arrival of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe was followed by rapid expansion of its geographical distribution and host range, confirming the unprecedented threat that this chytrid fungus poses to western Palaearctic amphibians1, 2. Mitigating this hazard requires a thorough understanding of the pathogen’s disease ecology that is driving the extinction process. Here, we monitored infection, disease and host population dynamics in a Belgian fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) population for two years immediately after the first signs of infection. We show that arrival of this chytrid is associated with rapid population collapse without any sign of recovery, largely due to lack of increased resistance in the surviving salamanders and a demographic shift that prevents compensation for mortality. The pathogen adopts a dual transmission strategy, with environmentally resistant non-motile spores in addition to the motile spores identified in its sister species B. dendrobatidis. The fungus retains its virulence not only in water and soil, but also in anurans and less susceptible urodelan species that function as infection reservoirs. The combined characteristics of the disease ecology suggest that further expansion of this fungus will behave as a ‘perfect storm’ that is able to rapidly extirpate highly susceptible salamander populations across Europe.
Keywords
INFECTION DYNAMICS, AMPHIBIANS, PATHOGEN, DENDROBATIDIS, DECLINE, DISEASE, MODELS

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Chicago
Stegen, Gwij, Frank Pasmans, Benedikt R Schmidt, Lieze Rouffaer, Sarah Van Praet, Michael Schaub, Stefano Canessa, et al. 2017. “Drivers of Salamander Extirpation Mediated by Batrachochytrium Salamandrivorans.” Nature 544 (7650): 353–356.
APA
Stegen, G., Pasmans, F., Schmidt, B. R., Rouffaer, L., Van Praet, S., Schaub, M., Canessa, S., et al. (2017). Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. NATURE, 544(7650), 353–356.
Vancouver
1.
Stegen G, Pasmans F, Schmidt BR, Rouffaer L, Van Praet S, Schaub M, et al. Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. NATURE. 2017;544(7650):353–6.
MLA
Stegen, Gwij, Frank Pasmans, Benedikt R Schmidt, et al. “Drivers of Salamander Extirpation Mediated by Batrachochytrium Salamandrivorans.” NATURE 544.7650 (2017): 353–356. Print.
@article{8520645,
  abstract     = {The recent arrival of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe was followed by rapid expansion of its geographical distribution and host range, confirming the unprecedented threat that this chytrid fungus poses to western Palaearctic amphibians1, 2. Mitigating this hazard requires a thorough understanding of the pathogen{\textquoteright}s disease ecology that is driving the extinction process. Here, we monitored infection, disease and host population dynamics in a Belgian fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) population for two years immediately after the first signs of infection. We show that arrival of this chytrid is associated with rapid population collapse without any sign of recovery, largely due to lack of increased resistance in the surviving salamanders and a demographic shift that prevents compensation for mortality. The pathogen adopts a dual transmission strategy, with environmentally resistant non-motile spores in addition to the motile spores identified in its sister species B. dendrobatidis. The fungus retains its virulence not only in water and soil, but also in anurans and less susceptible urodelan species that function as infection reservoirs. The combined characteristics of the disease ecology suggest that further expansion of this fungus will behave as a {\textquoteleft}perfect storm{\textquoteright} that is able to rapidly extirpate highly susceptible salamander populations across Europe.},
  author       = {Stegen, Gwij and Pasmans, Frank and Schmidt, Benedikt R and Rouffaer, Lieze and Van Praet, Sarah and Schaub, Michael and Canessa, Stefano and Laudelout, Arnaud and Kinet, Thierry and Adriaensen, Connie and Haesebrouck, Freddy and Bert, Wim and Bossuyt, Franky and Martel, An},
  issn         = {0028-0836},
  journal      = {NATURE},
  keyword      = {INFECTION DYNAMICS,AMPHIBIANS,PATHOGEN,DENDROBATIDIS,DECLINE,DISEASE,MODELS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7650},
  pages        = {353--356},
  title        = {Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature22059},
  volume       = {544},
  year         = {2017},
}

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