Are emerging infectious disease and climate change threats to high-latitude amphibians?

Together with Anssi Lauila, Uppsala and Jonas Waldenström, Linnaeus University and funded by Formas.

Amphibians constitute an important part of the Swedish fauna and a reduction in numbers has serious consequences for wetlands and ecosystems. Research on the factors affecting amphibian diseases  is therefore crucial for managing these environments, and goes hand in hand with the government's environmental quality objectives of a rich plant and wildlife, living lakes and streams and thriving wetlands.

A lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused extinction of over 100 species of amphibians globally. Our studies have shown that it is lethal also to Swedish amphibians. However we do not know why some species and populations are more sensitive than others. In the project we study two rare species: green toad and fire-bellied toad, as well as two common species: common toad and moor frog. The purpose is to study the presence of Bd in different species and study i) intra-specific differences in resistance and how this relates to elevated temperatures due to global warming effects, ii) differences in gene expression of experimentally infected individuals from southern and northern Sweden in the common toad, and iii) species specific genetic adaptations linked to resistance.

Niki Chondrelli PhD-student
Gunilla Engström, Research engineer
Anders Forsgren, assistant

Simon Kärvemo post-doc
Maria Cortazar-Chinarro PhD-student
Sara Meurling PhD-student
David Åhlén masters student
Marie Svensson masters student

Laurens Schroyens masters student

Lucas Bolender masters student

Filip Thörn masters student

Hugo Pajelowski masters student

Last modified: 2021-05-21