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Bioclimatic and anthropogenic variables shape the occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis over a large latitudinal gradient

Alvarado-Rybak, M; Lepe-Lopez, M; Peñafiel-Ricaurte, A; Valenzuela-Sánchez, A; Valdivia, C; Mardones, FO; Bacigalupe, LD; ... Azat, C; + view all (2021) Bioclimatic and anthropogenic variables shape the occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis over a large latitudinal gradient. Scientific Reports , 11 , Article 17383. 10.1038/s41598-021-96535-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has caused the greatest known loss of biodiversity due to an infectious disease. We used Bd infection data from quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays of amphibian skin swabs collected across Chile during 2008–2018 to model Bd occurrence with the aim to determine bioclimatic and anthropogenic variables associated with Bd infection. Also, we used Bd presence/absence records to identify geographical Bd high-risk areas and compare Bd prevalence and infection loads between amphibian families, ecoregions, and host ecology. Data comprised 4155 Bd-specific qPCR assays from 162 locations across a latitudinal gradient of 3700 km (18º to 51ºS). Results showed a significant clustering of Bd associated with urban centres and anthropogenically highly disturbed ecosystems in central-south Chile. Both Bd prevalence and Bd infection loads were higher in aquatic than terrestrial amphibian species. Our model indicated positive associations of Bd prevalence with altitude, temperature, precipitation and human-modified landscapes. Also, we found that macroscale drivers, such as land use change and climate, shape the occurrence of Bd at the landscape level. Our study provides with new evidence that can improve the effectiveness of strategies to mitigate biodiversity loss due to amphibian chytridiomycosis.

Type: Article
Title: Bioclimatic and anthropogenic variables shape the occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis over a large latitudinal gradient
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-96535-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-96535-w
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135958
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