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Ecohealth. 2009 Jun;6(2):209-18. doi: 10.1007/s10393-009-0237-x. Epub 2009 Jun 13.

Widespread occurrence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa).

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  • 1Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, US Geological Survey, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been associated with amphibian declines in multiple continents, including western North America. We investigated Bd prevalence in Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa), a species that has declined across its range in the Pacific Northwest. Polymerase chain reaction analysis of skin swabs indicated that Bd was prevalent within populations (420 of 617 juvenile and adults) and widespread among populations (36 of 36 sites) where we sampled R. pretiosa in Oregon and Washington. We rarely detected Bd in R. pretiosa larvae (2 of 72). Prevalence of Bd in postmetamorphic R. pretiosa was inversely related to frog size. We found support for an interactive effect of elevation and sampling date on Bd: prevalence of Bd generally increased with date, but this effect was more pronounced at lower elevations. We also found evidence that the body condition of juvenile R. pretiosa with Bd decreased after their first winter. Our data indicate that some Oregon spotted frog populations are currently persisting with relatively high Bd prevalence, but the risk posed by Bd is unknown.

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