The Link Between Rapid Enigmatic Amphibian Decline and the Globally Emerging Chytrid Fungus
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- Lötters, S., Kielgast, J., Bielby, J. et al. EcoHealth (2009) 6: 358. doi:10.1007/s10393-010-0281-6
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Amphibians are globally declining and approximately one-third of all species are threatened with extinction. Some of the most severe declines have occurred suddenly and for unknown reasons in apparently pristine habitats. It has been hypothesized that these “rapid enigmatic declines” are the result of a panzootic of the disease chytridiomycosis caused by globally emerging amphibian chytrid fungus. In a Species Distribution Model, we identified the potential distribution of this pathogen. Areas and species from which rapid enigmatic decline are known significantly overlap with those of highest environmental suitability to the chytrid fungus. We confirm the plausibility of a link between rapid enigmatic decline in worldwide amphibian species and epizootic chytridiomycosis.