Chytridiomycosis in Sri Lanka: Predicting the future of a global amphibian hotspot

Article


de Mel, Ruvinda K., Dayananda, H. G. Salindra K., Wijayasekara, G. A. Sanoj, Ranasinghe, Tharindu, Sumanapala, Amila P. S, Cabral de Mel, Surendranie Judith, Narayan, Edward, Gabadage, Dinesh E. and Ukuwela, Kanishka D. B.. 2023. "Chytridiomycosis in Sri Lanka: Predicting the future of a global amphibian hotspot." Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 33 (8), pp. 773-783. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3951
Article Title

Chytridiomycosis in Sri Lanka: Predicting the future of a global amphibian hotspot

ERA Journal ID4150
Article CategoryArticle
Authorsde Mel, Ruvinda K., Dayananda, H. G. Salindra K., Wijayasekara, G. A. Sanoj, Ranasinghe, Tharindu, Sumanapala, Amila P. S, Cabral de Mel, Surendranie Judith, Narayan, Edward, Gabadage, Dinesh E. and Ukuwela, Kanishka D. B.
Journal TitleAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Journal Citation33 (8), pp. 773-783
Number of Pages11
Year2023
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1052-7613
1099-0755
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3951
Web Address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aqc.3951
Abstract

1. Chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), constitutes a major threat to many amphibian species worldwide. Predicting the species and regions of highest geographical risk is critical for the early detection and mitigation of chytrid emergence.
2. In this study, using a niche modelling approach, the most conducive habitat for Bd within Sri Lanka (a high-risk zone) was modelled. The distribution of 69 amphibian species was then modelled and their overlap with the high-risk zone (areaBd) was calculated.
3. Using areaBd and a biotic index (BI), created using ecological traits of each species, a risk index (RI) was calculated. Using this RI, a high-risk species index (HRSI) was developed to identify the species most at risk.
4. The results indicate that the high elevations of Sri Lanka (>600 m a.s.l.) are highly conducive for Bd. The HRSI includes 35 species, with Minervarya greenii being the species most at risk. All species in the HRSI are globally Critically Endangered (n = 14) or Endangered (n = 21).
5. We propose active conservation measures such as the routine monitoring of HRSI species and other proactive measures to identify and prevent the spread of Bd. We believe our findings would promote the establishment of pre-emptive mitigation measures both within Sri Lanka and elsewhere, to counter the threat of chytridiomycosis and to conserve amphibian species.

Keywordsamphibians
ANZSRC Field of Research 20203099. Other agricultural, veterinary and food sciences
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of New England
National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka
Guangxi University, China
University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Foundation for Ecology and Research on Nature, Sri Lanka
Butterfly Conservation Society of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment
University of Queensland
Biodiversity Conservation Society, Sri Lanka
Rajarata University, Sri Lanka
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