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Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans Threat to the Iberian Urodele Hotspot

Biodiversity Research Institute (IMIB), University of Oviedo-Principality of Asturias-CSIC, 33600 Mieres, Spain
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Wildlife Health Ghent, Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Poultry Diseases, Ghent University, B9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra 2601, Australia
Asociación Herpetologica Española, 28006 Madrid, Spain
CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
Grupo GEA, Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Universidade de Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These author contributed equally to this paper.
Academic Editor: Daniel Elad
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 644;
Received: 2 July 2021 / Revised: 2 August 2021 / Accepted: 5 August 2021 / Published: 7 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemic Mycoses Devastating Wild Animal Populations)
The recent introduction of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans into northeastern Spain threatens salamander diversity on the Iberian Peninsula. We assessed the current epidemiological situation with extensive field sampling of urodele populations. We then sought to delineate priority regions and identify conservation units for the Iberian Peninsula by estimating the susceptibility of Iberian urodeles using laboratory experiments, evidence from mortality events in nature and captivity and inference from phylogeny. None of the 1395 field samples, collected between 2015 and 2021 were positive for Bsal and no Bsal-associated mortality events were recorded, in contrast to the confirmed occurrence of Bsal outbreak previously described in 2018. We classified five of eleven Iberian urodele species as highly susceptible, predicting elevated mortality and population declines following potential Bsal emergence in the wild, five species as intermediately susceptible with variable disease outcomes and one species as resistant to disease and mortality. We identified the six conservation units (i.e., species or lineages within species) at highest risk and propose priority areas for active disease surveillance and field biosecurity measures. The magnitude of the disease threat identified here emphasizes the need for region-tailored disease abatement plans that couple active disease surveillance to rapid and drastic actions. View Full-Text
Keywords: chytridiomycosis; amphibian chytrid fungus; salamanders; Spain; Portugal; threat; conservation-units; surveillance; biosecurity chytridiomycosis; amphibian chytrid fungus; salamanders; Spain; Portugal; threat; conservation-units; surveillance; biosecurity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bosch, J.; Martel, A.; Sopniewski, J.; Thumsová, B.; Ayres, C.; Scheele, B.C.; Velo-Antón, G.; Pasmans, F. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans Threat to the Iberian Urodele Hotspot. J. Fungi 2021, 7, 644.

AMA Style

Bosch J, Martel A, Sopniewski J, Thumsová B, Ayres C, Scheele BC, Velo-Antón G, Pasmans F. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans Threat to the Iberian Urodele Hotspot. Journal of Fungi. 2021; 7(8):644.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bosch, Jaime, An Martel, Jarrod Sopniewski, Barbora Thumsová, Cesar Ayres, Ben C. Scheele, Guillermo Velo-Antón, and Frank Pasmans. 2021. "Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans Threat to the Iberian Urodele Hotspot" Journal of Fungi 7, no. 8: 644.

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