DAO 113:177-185 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02838

Predicting the potential distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in East and Southeast Asia

Sachiko Moriguchi1,5,*, Atsushi Tominaga2, Kelly J. Irwin3, Michael J. Freake4, Kazutaka Suzuki1, Koichi Goka

1Invasive Alien Species Research Team, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
2Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Education, University of the Ryukyus, Senbaru 1, Nishihara, Okinawa 901-0213, Japan
3Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, 915 East Sevier Street, Benton, Arkansas 72015, USA
4Department of Natural Science and Mathematics, Lee University, 1120 Ocoee Street, Cleveland, Tennessee 37311, USA
5Present address: Viral Diseases and Epidemiology Research Division, National Institute of Animal Health, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, 3-1-5, Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0856, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, a disease that is associated with a worldwide amphibian population decline. In this study, we predicted the potential distribution of Bd in East and Southeast Asia based on limited occurrence data. Our goal was to design an effective survey area where efforts to detect the pathogen can be focused. We generated ecological niche models using the maximum-entropy approach, with alleviation of multicollinearity and spatial autocorrelation. We applied eigenvector-based spatial filters as independent variables, in addition to environmental variables, to resolve spatial autocorrelation, and compared the model’s accuracy and the degree of spatial autocorrelation with those of a model estimated using only environmental variables. We were able to identify areas of high suitability for Bd with accuracy. Among the environmental variables, factors related to temperature and precipitation were more effective in predicting the potential distribution of Bd than factors related to land use and cover type. Our study successfully predicted the potential distribution of Bd in East and Southeast Asia. This information should now be used to prioritize survey areas and generate a surveillance program to detect the pathogen.


KEY WORDS: Bd · Chytrid fungus · Chytridiomycosis · Eigenvector-based spatial filtering · Species distribution model · Niche modeling · MaxEnt


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Cite this article as: Moriguchi S, Tominaga A, Irwin KJ, Freake MJ, Suzuki K, Goka K (2015) Predicting the potential distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in East and Southeast Asia. Dis Aquat Org 113:177-185. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02838

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