RACE: Risk Assessment of Chytridiomycosis to European amphibian biodiversity

Lead Research Organisation: Zoological Soc London Inst of Zoology
Department Name: Institute of Zoology


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Calboli FC (2011) The need for jumpstarting amphibian genome projects. in Trends in ecology & evolution

Description Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is in fact a composite of multiple diverged lineages, one of which (BdGPL) is predominantly responsible for chytrid-related global amphibian declines. However, the outcome of the amphibian host/BdGPL interaction is strongly mediated by factors intrinsic to the host species, developmental stage and the environment within which the interaction occurs. Through spatial surveillance and experimentation we have determined that one group of European amphibians (the clade including the families Alytidae and Bombinatoridae) is at greater risk of infection and, as a result, potential decline due to chytridiomycosis: this despite the fact that many other European amphibian species not contained within this clade are susceptible to infection and disease. Even highly susceptible species within these two families do not always exhibit infection and disease dynamics that should lead to population decline and loss. Overall, Europe's amphibian fauna appears to be less threatened by chytridiomycosis caused by B dendrobatidis. Many European species have not been appropriately sampled, though, and host/pathogen dynamics are not stable entities, so further research and monitoring is required.
Exploitation Route We have laid down the methodological groundwork for our and other teams to investigate risk in previously unstudied European amphibian species. Our baseline data for focal populations and species form the basis from which further patterns can be elucidated, given ongoing funding and research effort.

Our initial findings, though, do provide evidence that certain taxonomic groups and populations should be the subject of disease mitigation efforts.
Sectors Environment

Description Our findings have been used to develop a policy brief to the EU Parliament http://www.biodiversa.org/552
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Environment
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

Description Conference talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk given at the British Society for Parasitology Conference in London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://bsp.uk.net/2016/05/02/blog-bsp-2016-spring-meeting/
Description Presentation at ZSL scientific event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation regarding the potential impact of invasive species on emergence of threatening amphibian infectious diseases, delivered as part of the ZSL Scientific Event launching the 2016 Living Planet Report
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.zsl.org/science/whats-on/the-living-planet-report-2016-threats-pressures-and-addressing-...