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Known and estimated distribution in Mexico of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a pathogenic fungus of amphibians

Bolom‐Huet, René, Pineda, Eduardo, Díaz‐Fleischer, Francisco, Muñoz‐Alonso, Antonio L., Galindo‐González, Jorge
Biotropica 2019 v.51 no.5 pp. 731-746
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, altitude, amphibians, bioclimate, ecosystems, evapotranspiration, extinction, fungi, land use, models, population dynamics, risk, species diversity, temperature, tropical montane cloud forests, virulent strains, Mexico, South America
Chytridiomycosis caused by fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is one of the decline global causes of amphibians. Currently, it is distributed throughout a broad range of climates and ecosystems around the world. An epidemic wave of chytridiomycosis began in North America, resulting in population decline and local extinction of many species, reconfiguring species composition of amphibian communities in the Americas. In Mexico, Bd has caused an amphibian population decrease, and its potential distribution area has not been determined. We reviewed the number of species infected, obtaining Bd frequency of infection by land use and vegetation type, and by elevation range. We examined the known distribution of Bd, estimated the potential distribution, and obtained the bioclimate variables relevant for Bd. Our results indicate that in Mexico, Bd has been detected in 78 species of amphibians in 10 families, from 29 different land use and vegetation types, with cloud forest having the highest number of cases (139) and infected species (15). Bd occurs over an elevation range of 1–3,300 m asl and is most frequent at 1,200–1,500 m asl (36%). In addition to the regions previously described as suitable for Bd, our model included desert, coastal, and tropical forest regions, revealing an increase in the area where amphibians could be at risk of infection. Distribution of Bd is mainly associated with temperature of the wettest quarter and potential evapotranspiration of the warmer quarter. We offer an estimate of the ideal conditions for Bd in Mexico, also information for future studies on Bd and the conservation of amphibians. Abstract in Spanish is available with online material.