Posted on April 29, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Alarming global amphibian decline
California's yellow-legged frogs have been nearly wiped out by the chytrid fungus. PHOTO COURTESY USGS.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — California-based biologists say their latest study on the deadly chytrid fungus that’s killing amphibians — including Colorado’s boreal toads — offers a “glimmer of hope” that there may be some sort of treatment that could help save threatened frogs and salamanders.
Around the world, the fungus has wiped out 200 species of amphibians. In some hard-hit parts of the West, frog numbers have dropped 95 percent in less than 10 years.
Scientists have known for a while that the fungus affects the highly permeable skin of amphibians and the latest study shows that thickening disrupts fluid and electrolyte balance, depleting sodium and potassium levels and causing cardiac arrest and death. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: amphibian decline, biodiversity, chytrid fungus, Chytridiomycota, San Francisco State University | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 27, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Could this tiny aquatic flea, (Daphnia magna) help save the world's amphibian populations? IMAGE COURTESY PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE.
Oregon State researchers say Daphnia magna may be able to control chytrid fungus levels
By Bob Berwyn
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SUMMIT COUNTY — Working in a laboratory setting, Oregon State researchers say they’ve discovered a freshwater organism that eats the free-swimming spores of a fungal pathogen that’s been devastating amphibian populations worldwide, including Colorado’s endangered boreal toad.
This tiny zooplankton, called Daphnia magna, could provide a desperately needed tool for biological control of this deadly fungus if field studies show that the same process works in a natural setting.
The research was was supported by the National Science Foundation and reported this week in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. Co-authors and researchers included Lisa Truong and Andrew R. Blaustein.
“These are just your average Daphnia,” zoologist and lead author Julia Buck said Friday in a telephone interview before heading into the field for more research. The small organisms are sometimes described as aquatic fleas. They’re native northern and western North America and have been used for decades to test water for toxins. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Summit County news | Tagged: Amphibian, amphibian extinction, biocontrol for chytrid fungus, biodiversity, chytrid fungus, Chytridiomycota, Daphnia, Environment, Oregon State University, Summit County News | 4 Comments »