Diseases affecting biodiversity

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Introduction

(in progress)

ecologists have recently recognised the importance of diseases in the dynamics of populations, and there is increasing interest in the impact of diseases and parasites in conservation biology. Understanding animal diseases taking into account their ecological effects, could provide theoretical and practical tools contributing to manage the impact of pathology on biodiversity at both local and global scale.

Amphibian Chytridiomycosis

(in progress)

Chytridiomycosis is an emerging fungal disease considered the major cause for the extintion of about 200 frog species worldwide. It is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis(Bd) and Xenopus laevis - a natural reservoir of the Bd - represents the frog species that seems responsible for the global spreading of the disease, via the international trade in wild-caught individuals - which commenced in 1935 from southern Africa after the discovery of the pregnancy assay for humans, in 1934 - and for its use (also today) as an animal model in in several areas of scientific research.

The Microbial Coral Diseases

(in progress) At least Nineteen coral diseases have been described so far, affecting both warm- and cold-water species. Etiology of eleven diseases may involve pathogens including bacteria, cyanobacteria, fungi and protists. Ten diseases are associated with abiotic stressors including temperature extremes, sedimentation, eutrophication and pollution.Diseases affecting benthic marine species, such as corals, have shown to have amazing ecological impact, by altering marine habitat and ecosystem.


  • References (In progress)

Introduction

McCallum, H. and A. Dobson (1995), Detecting Disease and Parasite Threats to Endangered Species and Ecosystems. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10: 190- 194.

McCallum, H. and A. Dobson (2002), Disease, Habitat Fragmentation and Conservation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 269: 2041-2049.

Epstein, P.R., E. Chivian and K. Frith (2003), Emerging Diseases Threaten Conservation. Environmental Health Perspectives 111: 506-507.

Altzier, S., D. Harvell and E. Friedle (2003), Rapid Evolutionary Dynamics and Disease Threats to Biodiversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18: 589-596.

De Vico, G. and Carella, F.(2008), The Relevance of Pathology in Conservation Biology of Aquatic Animals. Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum Vol 101 (2): 181-187.

Amphibian Chytridiomycosis

Weldon, C., L.H. du Preez, A.D. Hyatt, R. Muller and R. Speare (2004), Origin of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus. Emerging Infectious Diseases 10: 2100-2105.

Skerratt, L.F., L. Berger, R. Speare, S. Cashind, K.R. McDonald, A.D. Phillott, H.B. Hines and N. Kenyon (2007), Spread of Chytridiomycosis Has Caused the Rapid Global Decline and Extinction of Frogs. EcoHealth DOI: 10.1007/ s10393-007-0093-5.

De Vico, G. and Carella, F.(2008), The Relevance of Pathology in Conservation Biology of Aquatic Animals. Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum Vol 101 (2): 181-187.

Microbial coral diseases

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