Now a group of Wichita State University students has discovered evidence of the deadly chytrid fungus in the Wichita area. This is the first report of chytrid in Kansas.
The pathogenic fungus is found in all neighboring states and has caused the decline and extinction of amphibian species globally.
Wichita State's findings are based on two years of undergraduate and graduate research as part of a field ecology class in WSU's Department of Biology.
"This research is a wonderful collaboration between graduate and undergraduate students," said Mary Liz Jameson, associate biology professor in charge of the class. "The discovery is a classic example of the role of WSU in science education in Kansas and our community, helping us to understand this epidemic."
Jameson said the research results fill a gap in the middle portion of the United States where the fungus has never been reported. The only other study conducted in Kansas was in 2007. It studied five frogs in Johnson County, none of which tested positive.
The next step, Jameson said, is for the students to publish their findings in the peer-reviewed scientific journal "Herpetological Review."
And she hopes to spread word to the community as a whole. As with the white nose fungus in bats – which for years has been causing a severe decline in bats – education on how to prevent spreading chytrid is key.
'Potential trickle-down effect'
The research conducted by the group of 10 students was conducted at WSU field stations near Wichita, Viola and Waterloo.
It involved catching frogs and identifying them, swabbing them in a sterile fashion and recording water quality of the surrounding habitat. In addition, there's a molecular component of DNA extraction and amplification.
It has been a community effort, Jameson said, requiring the skills and participation of many students. It also builds on the aquatic toxicology research of WSU professor Karen Brown and students in her lab.
Graduate student Timothy Eberl, who conducted the DNA analyses this summer, hopes the new research will be valuable for the future of the state's amphibian populations.
"We are speaking of possible keystone species within the aquatic environments of this state, and the potential trickle-down effect may have a longer reach than even we realize."
Jameson said there are steps people can take to help prevent the spread of chytrid. Never move a frog from one lake or pond to another. Always clean wet or muddy boots and tires, and fishing, camping, gardening or frog-survey equipment. Avoid touching frogs. And use disposable gloves, sample bags and sterile equipment.
Contact: Mary Liz Jameson, 316-978-6798 or email@example.com
Timothy Eberl, student, 316-260-4654, 316-461-7634 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Liz Jameson | Source: Newswise
Further information: www.wichita.edu
More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:
Neue Akteure im Ökosystem der Arktis
12.12.2013 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
New rearing method may help control of the western bean cutworm
09.12.2013 | Entomological Society of America
A unique solar panel design made with a new ceramic material points the way to potentially providing sustainable power cheaper, more efficiently, and requiring less manufacturing time.
It also reaches a four-decade-old goal of discovering a bulk photovoltaic material that can harness energy from visible and infrared light, not just ultraviolet light.
Scaling up this new design from its tablet-size prototype to a full-size solar panel would be a large step toward making solar power affordable compared with ...
Atlantische Flohkrebse pflanzen sich jetzt auch in arktischen Gewässern fort
Biologen des Alfred-Wegener-Institutes, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), haben zum ersten Mal nachgewiesen, dass sich in den arktischen Gewässern westlich Spitzbergens auch Flohkrebse aus dem wärmeren Atlantik fortpflanzen.
Diese überraschende Entdeckung deute auf einen möglichen Wandel der arktischen Zooplankton-Gemeinschaft hin, berichten die Wissenschaftler und Wissenschaftlerinnen in der Fachzeitschrift Marine Ecology ...
The molecular architecture of three key proteins and their complexes reveals how plants fine-tune their immune response to pathogens
Plants rarely get sick in their natural environment. When the threat of infection arises, a quick decision is made about the necessary countermeasures. The course is set by a protein which forms complexes with its partner proteins for this purpose.
Jane Parker from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding ...
Researchers studying speciation of butterfly orchids on the Azores have been startled to discover that the answer to a long-debated question "Do the islands support one species or two species?" is actually "three species".
Hochstetter's Butterfly-orchid, newly recognized following application of a battery of scientific techniques and reveling in a complex taxonomic history worthy of Sherlock Holmes, is arguably Europe's rarest orchid species. Under threat in its mountain-top retreat, the orchid urgently requires conservation recognition.
A lavishly illustrated publication, titled "Systematic revision of Platanthera in ...
Researchers from Brown University and the University of Hawaii have found some mineralogical surprises in the Moon's largest impact crater.
Data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper that flew aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter shows a diverse mineralogy in the subsurface of the giant South Pole Aitken basin.
The differing mineral signatures could be reflective of the minerals dredged up at the time of the giant impact 4 billion years ago, ...
12.12.2013 | Life Sciences
12.12.2013 | Earth Sciences
12.12.2013 | Studies and Analyses
11.12.2013 | Event News
10.12.2013 | Event News
05.12.2013 | Event News