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A chytrid-infected frog [Photo: Forrest Brem, PLoS Biology]
What is Chytridiomycosis?
Chytridiomycosis is a disease caused by the fungal pathogen (
), also known as Bd and commonly referred to as the chytrid fungus. The disease is responsible for many amphibian deaths and extinctions around the world.
Origins of Chytridiomycosis The chytrid fungus is an emerging pathogen that causes the disease chytridiomycosis in many amphibian species. The fungus is thought to have originated from Africa and may have been spread by human activities and through infected invasive species such as African Clawed Frogs and American Bullfrogs.
Ecological Significance of Chytridiomycosis Chytridiomycosis has a very high mortality rate among many amphibians and is undoubtedly responsible for many amphibian declines and extinctions, particularly in western North America, Central America, and Australia. Chytridiomycosis is perhaps second only to habitat loss as the greatest threat facing amphibians today. Moreover, there is concern that the interactive effects of chytrid and other stressors such as habitat degradation, pollution, and climate change, may be responsible for many amphibian population declines world-wide.
Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, United States Geological Survey,
Detecting Amphibian-Killing Fungus Helps Scientists Study Amphibian Declines
. Retrieved August 16, 2010, from United States Geological Survey Web site: http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/chytrid_water.html
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