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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 144:133-142 (2021)  -  DOI:

Forest cover influences chytrid infections in populations of Boana curupi, a threatened treefrog of south Brazil

Francieli Delazeri1,*, Julia R. Ernetti2, Veluma I. M. De Bastiani3, Rodrigo Lingnau4, Luís Felipe Toledo2, Elaine M. Lucas5

1Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Ambientais, Universidade Comunitária da Região de Chapecó, Chapecó, Santa Catarina 89809-900, Brazil
2Laboratório de História Natural de Anfíbios Brasileiros (LaHNAB), Departamento de Biologia Animal, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo 13083-862, Brazil
3Programa de Pós-graduação em Biodiversidade Animal, Departamento de Ecologia e Evolução, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul 97105-900, Brazil
4Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Departamento Acadêmico de Química e Biologia, Francisco Beltrão, Paraná 85601-970, Brazil
5Departamento de Zootecnia e Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Palmeira da Missões Rio Grande do Sul, 97105-900, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Complex interactions among hosts, pathogens, and the environment affect the vulnerability of amphibians to the emergence of infectious diseases such as chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Boana curupi is a forest-dwelling amphibian endemic to the southern Atlantic Forest of South America, a severely fragmented region. Here, we evaluated whether abiotic factors (including air and water temperature, relative air humidity, and landscape) are correlated with chytrid infection intensity and prevalence in B. curupi. We found individuals infected with Bd in all populations sampled. Prevalence ranged from 25-86%, and the infection burden ranged from 1 to over 130000 zoospore genomic equivalents (g.e.) (mean ± SD: 4913 ± 18081 g.e.). The infection load differed among populations and was influenced by forest cover at scales of 100, 500, and 1000 m, with the highest infection rates recorded in areas with a higher proportion of forest cover. Our results suggest that the fungus is widely distributed in the populations of B. curupi in southern Brazil. Population and disease monitoring are necessary to better understand the relationships between host, pathogen, and environment, especially when, as in the case of B. curupi, threatened species are involved.

KEY WORDS: Amphibia · Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis · Conservation · Landscape · Wildlife diseases

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Cite this article as: Delazeri F, Ernetti JR, De Bastiani VIM, Lingnau R, Toledo LF, Lucas EM (2021) Forest cover influences chytrid infections in populations of Boana curupi, a threatened treefrog of south Brazil. Dis Aquat Org 144:133-142.

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