DAO 118:259-265 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02975

Filling a gap in the distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: evidence in amphibians from northern China

Wei Zhu1,2,*, Liqing Fan3,*, Claudio Soto-Azat4, Shaofei Yan1,2,5, Xu Gao1,2, Xuan Liu1, Supen Wang1,2, Conghui Liu1,2, Xuejiao Yang1,2, Yiming Li1,**

1Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, PR China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 19 Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, PR China
3Institute of Plateau Ecology, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry College of Tibet University, No. 8 Xueyuan Street, Bayi Town, Linzhi County, Xizang Province 860000, PR China
4Centro de Investigación para la Sustentabilidad, Facultad de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Andres Bello, Republica 440, Santiago 8370251, Chile
5Department of Ecology, School of Resources & Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, PR China
*These authors contributed equally to this work
**Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been recognized as a major driver of amphibian declines worldwide. Central and northern Asia remain as the greatest gap in the knowledge of the global distribution of Bd. In China, Bd has recently been recorded from south and central regions, but areas in the north remain poorly surveyed. In addition, a recent increase in amphibian farming and trade has put this region at high risk for Bd introduction. To investigate this, we collected a total of 1284 non-invasive skin swabs from wild and captive anurans and caudates, including free-ranging, farmed, ornamental, and museum-preserved amphibians. Bd was detected at low prevalence (1.1%, 12 of 1073) in live wild amphibians, representing the first report of Bd infecting anurans from remote areas of northwestern China. We were unable to obtain evidence of the historical presence of Bd from museum amphibians (n = 72). Alarmingly, Bd was not detected in wild amphibians from the provinces of northeastern China (>700 individuals tested), but was widely present (15.1%, 21 of 139) in amphibians traded in this region. We suggest that urgent implementation of measures is required to reduce the possibility of further spread or inadvertent introduction of Bd to China. It is unknown whether Bd in northern China belongs to endemic and/or exotic genotypes, and this should be the focus of future research.

KEY WORDS: Chytridiomycosis · Andrias davidianus · Museum specimens · Asia

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Cite this article as: Zhu W, Fan L, Soto-Azat C, Yan S and others (2016) Filling a gap in the distribution of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: evidence in amphibians from northern China. Dis Aquat Org 118:259-265. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02975

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