The Prevalence Of Chytridiomycosis In The Southern Appalachians

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shem Kearney Blackley IV (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Michael Osbourn

Abstract: Global amphibian population declines and extinctions have been well-documented over the past several decades. One of the most concerning biotic factors is the disease chytridiomycosis, which is caused by the fungal species Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis(Bd). Chytrid fungus has been documented across the United States with some areas having greater prevalence than others. The Southern Appalachian Mountains, particularly around Western North Carolina, are a diversity hot spot for salamanders including many endemic species. Historically Bd has been found only in relatively low densities in this area, however,there have been few surveys that focus on the prevalence of Bd in the region and the effects of chytridiomycosis on local amphibian populations. In 2014, 312 individuals were swabbed from 13 amphibian species at 19 study sites around Northwestern North Carolina. I used PCR-assays in triplicate and found that none of the samples had a confirmed presence of Bd. These data, along with past studies, suggest that Bd is very uncommon in this region of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Interestingly, there was no evidence of Bd at one study site that has historically contained positive animals. The difference in detection could be attributed to multiple factors including sample size, seasonal variations, and subpar DNA samples.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Blackley, S. (2016). The Prevalence Of Chytridiomycosis In The Southern Appalachians. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2016
Chytrid, amphibian, infectious disease, Ambystoma maculatum, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis

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