, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 145–150 | Cite as

Invasion of the Fungal Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on California Islands

  • Tiffany A. Yap
  • Lauren Gillespie
  • Silas Ellison
  • Sandra V. Flechas
  • Michelle S. Koo
  • Ari E. Martinez
  • Vance T. VredenburgEmail author
Short Communication


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.


amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis chytridiomycosis emerging infectious disease California islands 



This research was supported by a graduate fellowship from UCLA-Charles F. Scott Fellowship (TAY), National Science Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship PRFB1309320 (AEM), and National Science Foundation IOS-1258133 (VTV). We thank the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley for access to their permanent collection and technical support. We thank the anonymous reviewers. Specimens examined are listed in the Supplemental Materials.

Supplementary material

10393_2015_1071_MOESM1_ESM.doc (193 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 193 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiffany A. Yap
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lauren Gillespie
    • 3
  • Silas Ellison
    • 3
  • Sandra V. Flechas
    • 4
  • Michelle S. Koo
    • 2
  • Ari E. Martinez
    • 3
  • Vance T. Vredenburg
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of the Environment and SustainabilityUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Museum of Vertebrate ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologySan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesUniversidad de los AndesBogotáColombia

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