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The Infection Frequency and Severity of Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis in Northern Two-Lined Salamanders in Wooster Ohio

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Name: Vince Gilleylen
Major: Biology
Advisors: Dr. Rick Lehtinen, Dr, Stephanie Strand

The study of invasive species and their effects is often vital in the process of protecting endangered species. For instance, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (or Bd) is a fungus that induces the disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians. This invasive species has been a notable contributor to the globally observed decline in amphibian populations. Diseases generally have complex interactions between their host and the environment. Therefore, a longitudinal study has been conducted annually to observe the infection rate and severity of Bd in the Northern two-lined salamander population at Wooster Memorial Park. Of the 379 collected from the local population, 54 of those samples have come back positive for Bd with ranging levels of fungal load (14.2%). The infection rate and severity have been sectioned according to years, seasons, creeks, and life-stages respectively to create a lens to observe Bd’s interactions with abiotic and biotic factors. There was a significant difference in Bd Prevalence over years and across creeks; a significant difference was also observed in Bd load over the years and seasons, and across creeks. The study provides the opportunity to observe the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on the prevalence and load of Bd. Future research could have more in-depth sections on different biotic and abiotic factors such as the presence of natural defenses of the hosts and the effects of pesticides and canopy cover.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.


3 responses to “The Infection Frequency and Severity of Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis in Northern Two-Lined Salamanders in Wooster Ohio”

  1. Rick Lehtinen says:

    Nice work Vincent – I knew you could do it!

  2. Austrella Balley ‘21 says:

    Great Research Vincent 🙂

  3. Austin Piatt says:

    Fantastic job, Vincent! Congratulations