Frog communities coexist with deadly chytrid fungus and are recovering

In 2004 a deadly chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, killed frogs in Panama by the thousands. This chytrid decimated the population of frogs within the span of a couple months, with half of the frogs species native to the area going extinct. however, this isn’t where the story ends. Within a decade the remaining frogs were able to coexist with the fungus with infected frogs having the same mortality rate as those that were not infected. This coexistence may be due in part to the change in the species found within the community. Species primarily responsible for transporting the disease are now gone and the entire ecosystem has now changed, favoring more resilient species. The community of remaining frogs in Panama have now stabilized and the ecosystem is in recovery. The researchers are hopeful that other frog communities afflicted with this chytrid fungus will respond similarly, leading to stable populations of these amphibians.


Link to article:

Journal Citation:

Graziella DiRenzo, Elise Zipkin, Evan Campbell Grant, J. Andrew Royle, Ana Longo, Kelly Zamudio and Karen Lips. Eco-Evolutionary Rescue Promotes Host-pathogen CoexistenceEcological Applications, 2018 DOI: 10.1002/eap.1792


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