Thursday Seminar: Fighting frog fungus?
The outcome of infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus (Bd = Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), can vary greatly between amphibian species, and in some cases between populations of the same species. In some amphibians, infection with Bd can lead to the disease chytridiomycosis, death of individuals, and declines and extirpation at the population level. Other amphibians, however, can become infected with Bd without experiencing negative effects at either the individual or population level. In California’s Sierra Nevada, both of these outcomes of Bd infection are occurring in populations of the mountain yellow-legged frog species complex (Rana muscosa & Rana sierrae): chytridiomycosis has led to the extirpation of mountain yellow-legged frogs from hundreds of lakes, while infected populations of the same species have persisted in other lakes for many years despite high Bd prevalence. Efforts are currently underway, both in the Sierra Nevada and worldwide, to attempt to control this pathogen and/or limit its impact on amphibian populations. Eradication of Bd is highly unlikely, therefore understanding the mechanisms that allow amphibian populations to persist with Bd is important for conservation efforts. In this talk, I will investigate which of the available control strategies have the greatest potential to protect amphibian populations from extinctions.
Coffee and cookies will be served at 4 p.m.