Amphibian chytrid prevalence in an amphibian community in arid Australia
The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has dramatically affected amphibians, causing population declines in over 200 species worldwide (Fisher et al. 2009). The disease is widespread, driving amphibian declines in North America (Muths et al. 2003; Briggs et al. 2005), Australia (Berger et al. 1998), Central America (Lips et al. 2006) and South America (Catenazzi et al. 2011). The variation in susceptibility to disease and mortality seen among host species, populations and locations is at least partially driven by interplay between external environmental and internal host-specific factors (Woodhams et al. 2007; Searle et al. 2011; Blaustein et al. 2012). While at a single location some species may be locally extirpated, others may persist (Lips et al. 2006). Amphibian infection prevalence and mortality rates due to chytridiomycosis are correlated with ambient environmental conditions: being highest during cooler months and at higher elevations (Berger et al. 1998; Woodhams and Alford 2005; Kriger and Hero 2008).