DAO 107:49-59 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02662

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Germany: distribution, prevalences, and prediction of high risk areas

Torsten Ohst1,2,*, Yvonne Gräser1, Jörg Plötner2

1Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Universitätsklinikum Berlin-Charité, Hindenburgdamm 27, 12203 Berlin, Germany
2Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany

ABSTRACT: In Germany, the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was detected in 11 indigenous frog species, 4 newt species, and 1 salamander species in 64 out of the 181 locations (35%) investigated. Among the 3450 samples collected between 2003 and 2011, 284 (8.2%) were positive for Bd infections. The highest prevalences were observed in Alytes obstetricans (17.8% of individuals, 20% of populations), followed by Ichthyosaura alpestris (14.7%, 22.2%), Bombina variegata (13.9%, 38.5%), and water frogs comprising 2 species, Pelophylax lessonae and P. ridibundus, and their hybrid form P. esculentus (13.5%, 29.0%). Bd is widespread; areas of higher prevalence were detected in eastern, southeastern, western, and southwestern Germany. Our data indicate that drift fencing of amphibians is not a risk factor for the anthropogenic spread of Bd. Although chytridiomycosis outbreaks have never been observed in Germany, it cannot be excluded that Bd infections affect the dynamics of local amphibian populations. Among the questions still to be answered is whether juveniles are more susceptible to Bd infections than adults. Further work, especially long-term observations including capture-mark-recapture studies, is required to clarify the impact Bd has on amphibians in Germany and Central Europe.

KEY WORDS: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Chytridiomycosis · Germany · Distribution · Prevalence · Amphibian fencing

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Cite this article as: Ohst T, Gräser Y, Plötner J (2013) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Germany: distribution, prevalences, and prediction of high risk areas. Dis Aquat Org 107:49-59. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02662

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