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Biotic Factors in Amphibian Population Declines

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Abstract:Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their environment have no observable relationship with amphibians. Over time, as amphibians have come into contact with new organisms as a result of range expansions, mutations, etc, novel relationships have become established that could be detrimental, neutral, or beneficial to amphibians. This process has occurred naturally over time, independent of human involvement. Success of amphibians during their 350-million year existence must have depended in part on their ability to deal with the occurrence of new species in their habitat. However, humans have contributed to this process by transporting novel pathogens or other organisms, such as predators or competitors, into new amphibian habitats and/or changing the environment in a manner that fosters the emergence of new pathogens, and/or by manipulating the environment in ways that increase the susceptibility to pathogens.
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Citation:Carey, C., D. F. Bradford, J. L. Brunner, J. P. Collins, E. W. Davidson, J. E. Longcore, A. P. Pessier, and D. M. Schock. Biotic Factors in Amphibian Population Declines.Greg Linder (ed.), Amphibian Decline: An Integrated Analysis of Multiple Stressor Effects, 1st, Chapter6. SETAC Press, Pensacola, FL, (2004).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Book Chaptr
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Published: 02/17/2004
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Development of Landscape Indicators for Use in Regional Ecological Risk Assessments
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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