Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Invasion of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on California islands.

Abstract

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), an amphibian fungal pathogen, has infected >500 species and caused extinctions or declines in >200 species worldwide. Despite over a decade of research, little is known about its invasion biology. To better understand this, we conducted a museum specimen survey (1910-1997) of Bd in amphibians on 11 California islands and found a pattern consistent with the emergence of Bd epizootics on the mainland, suggesting that geographic isolation did not prevent Bd invasion. We propose that suitable habitat, host diversity, and human visitation overcome isolation from the mainland and play a role in Bd invasion.