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Natural disturbance reduces disease risk in endangered rainforest frog populations.

Roznik EA, Sapsford SJ, Pike DA, Schwarzkopf L, Alford RA - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Here we show that a reduction of rainforest canopy cover caused by a severe tropical cyclone decreased the risk of endangered rainforest frogs (Litoria rheocola) becoming infected by a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).This could increase host survival and reduce the probability of epidemic disease outbreaks.For amphibian populations under immediate threat from this pathogen, targeted manipulation of canopy cover could increase the availability of warmer, drier microclimates and therefore tip the balance from host extinction to coexistence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Natural disturbances can drive disease dynamics in animal populations by altering the microclimates experienced by hosts and their pathogens. Many pathogens are highly sensitive to temperature and moisture, and therefore small changes in habitat structure can alter the microclimate in ways that increase or decrease infection prevalence and intensity in host populations. Here we show that a reduction of rainforest canopy cover caused by a severe tropical cyclone decreased the risk of endangered rainforest frogs (Litoria rheocola) becoming infected by a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Reductions in canopy cover increased the temperatures and rates of evaporative water loss in frog microhabitats, which reduced B. dendrobatidis infection risk in frogs by an average of 11-28% in cyclone-damaged areas, relative to unaffected areas. Natural disturbances to the rainforest canopy can therefore provide an immediate benefit to frogs by altering the microclimate in ways that reduce infection risk. This could increase host survival and reduce the probability of epidemic disease outbreaks. For amphibian populations under immediate threat from this pathogen, targeted manipulation of canopy cover could increase the availability of warmer, drier microclimates and therefore tip the balance from host extinction to coexistence.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Relationships between canopy cover (%) and (a) mean temperature during the warmest part of the day (10:00–16:00), and (b) relative desiccation rate (percent of initial mass lost by models over 24 hr).These responses were estimated using physical models that mimic the thermal and hydric properties of frogs, which were placed on rocks in the stream that are similar to those used by Litoria rheocola.
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f3: Relationships between canopy cover (%) and (a) mean temperature during the warmest part of the day (10:00–16:00), and (b) relative desiccation rate (percent of initial mass lost by models over 24 hr).These responses were estimated using physical models that mimic the thermal and hydric properties of frogs, which were placed on rocks in the stream that are similar to those used by Litoria rheocola.

Mentions: Canopy cover significantly influenced the microclimatic conditions available to frogs on rocks in the streambed, in terms of both temperature and evaporative water loss, as estimated by data from our physical models (Fig. 3). Canopy cover was inversely related to both temperature (F1,95 = 41.874, R2 = 0.306, P < 0.001) and evaporative water loss (F1,93 = 41.874, R2 = 0.256, P < 0.001), indicating that increased canopy cover lowered temperature and increased moisture retention in frog microhabitats (Fig. 3).


Natural disturbance reduces disease risk in endangered rainforest frog populations.

Roznik EA, Sapsford SJ, Pike DA, Schwarzkopf L, Alford RA - Sci Rep (2015)

Relationships between canopy cover (%) and (a) mean temperature during the warmest part of the day (10:00–16:00), and (b) relative desiccation rate (percent of initial mass lost by models over 24 hr).These responses were estimated using physical models that mimic the thermal and hydric properties of frogs, which were placed on rocks in the stream that are similar to those used by Litoria rheocola.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4544035&req=5

f3: Relationships between canopy cover (%) and (a) mean temperature during the warmest part of the day (10:00–16:00), and (b) relative desiccation rate (percent of initial mass lost by models over 24 hr).These responses were estimated using physical models that mimic the thermal and hydric properties of frogs, which were placed on rocks in the stream that are similar to those used by Litoria rheocola.
Mentions: Canopy cover significantly influenced the microclimatic conditions available to frogs on rocks in the streambed, in terms of both temperature and evaporative water loss, as estimated by data from our physical models (Fig. 3). Canopy cover was inversely related to both temperature (F1,95 = 41.874, R2 = 0.306, P < 0.001) and evaporative water loss (F1,93 = 41.874, R2 = 0.256, P < 0.001), indicating that increased canopy cover lowered temperature and increased moisture retention in frog microhabitats (Fig. 3).

Bottom Line: Here we show that a reduction of rainforest canopy cover caused by a severe tropical cyclone decreased the risk of endangered rainforest frogs (Litoria rheocola) becoming infected by a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).This could increase host survival and reduce the probability of epidemic disease outbreaks.For amphibian populations under immediate threat from this pathogen, targeted manipulation of canopy cover could increase the availability of warmer, drier microclimates and therefore tip the balance from host extinction to coexistence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Natural disturbances can drive disease dynamics in animal populations by altering the microclimates experienced by hosts and their pathogens. Many pathogens are highly sensitive to temperature and moisture, and therefore small changes in habitat structure can alter the microclimate in ways that increase or decrease infection prevalence and intensity in host populations. Here we show that a reduction of rainforest canopy cover caused by a severe tropical cyclone decreased the risk of endangered rainforest frogs (Litoria rheocola) becoming infected by a fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Reductions in canopy cover increased the temperatures and rates of evaporative water loss in frog microhabitats, which reduced B. dendrobatidis infection risk in frogs by an average of 11-28% in cyclone-damaged areas, relative to unaffected areas. Natural disturbances to the rainforest canopy can therefore provide an immediate benefit to frogs by altering the microclimate in ways that reduce infection risk. This could increase host survival and reduce the probability of epidemic disease outbreaks. For amphibian populations under immediate threat from this pathogen, targeted manipulation of canopy cover could increase the availability of warmer, drier microclimates and therefore tip the balance from host extinction to coexistence.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus