2013 Progress Report: Early Career: The hazards of Extreme Climatic Events: Predicting Impacts

EPA Grant Number: R835188
Title: Early Career: The hazards of Extreme Climatic Events: Predicting Impacts
Investigators: Rohr, Jason R.
Institution: University of South Florida
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2016
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 2, 2013 through January 1,2014
Project Amount: $374,936
RFA: Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Global Climate Change , Water and Watersheds , Climate Change , Air , Water

Objective:

 Although climatic extremes have regularly been linked to changes in water quality and disease outbreaks, few generalities have materialized for how temperature variability/extremes affect water quality. I hypothesize that the faster metabolism and smaller size of parasites than hosts allows them to acclimate more quickly to unpredictable temperature shifts and extremes, providing parasites with an advantage in a more climatically variable environment.  The goal of this grant is to more thoroughly test this hypothesis and to develop tools to predict how climatic variability and extremes, which are increasing with global climate change, will affect water quality by altering water-borne disease risk for wildlife and humans.  The specific objectives are to:

A.  Characterize climatic extremes and probabilities of extreme events occurring together.

B.   Determine the generality of the hypothesis that extreme events will increase water-borne pathogens by testing for associations between these factors across spatial and temporal scales and host and pathogen types, including zoonotic pathogens that infect humans.

C.   Quantify how extreme climatic events that occur together or with other stressors, such as pollution, affect disease risk.

D.  Develop predictive models to identify locations and times where water quality and disease risk are impacted so that mitigating measures can be appropriately targeted and sustainable systems can be developed.

By identifying how, when, and where climate change will compromise water quality by increasing wildlife and human exposure to pathogens, this proposal is directly relevant to Goal 4 of the U.S. EPA’s Strategic Plan and to the U.S. EPA’s responsibility to uphold the Safe Drinking Water and Clean Water Acts.

Progress Summary:

 We have made great progress on all four objectives.  In unpublished work, we have characterized extreme temperature and moisture events (Objective A).  We also have shown that temperature shifts benefited a bacterium, nematode, and fungal parasite of amphibians, and that the fungal pathogen benefited from temperature shifts in two amphibian host species and across two amphibian age classes (juveniles and adults).  These results demonstrate that our hypothesis is general across parasite taxa and host species, addressing Objective B.  We also have studied how temperature shifts affect chytridiomycosis (a fungal disease of amphibians that is causing worldwide declines) across moisture levels.  Interestingly, the temperature shifts only affected disease risk when the soil was considerably moist, which are the conditions that favor fungal growth.  This experiment addresses Objective C above, quantifying how extreme climatic events that occur together affect disease risk.  Finally, we have developed a series of predictive models to capture how climatic conditions will affect water quality and disease risk, thus beginning to tackle Objective D.  We developed a global predictive model for the amphibian chytrid fungus that includes climatic conditions, habitat variables, and international trade.  We also generated a heuristic model that evaluates how the magnitude and frequency of temperature shifts will affect host parasite interactions.  We just completed a dynamical SIR (susceptible-infected-recovered) model to evaluate how host and parasite populations will respond to various scales of temperature variability.  These and other manuscripts published with the support of EPA funding are described below.

 

 

Future Activities:

To evaluate how temperature shifts affect zoonotic pathogens that infect humans and compromise water quality, we will conduct experiments this August with ~200 juvenile water snakes challenged with the bacterial pathogens Aeromonas hydrophila, E. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella enterica.  We already have conducted preliminary trials with 30 watersnakes.  We intended to conduct these experiments last year but the snakes we received were not gravid.  We now have gravid snakes in the lab. This fall, we also have experiments planned to evaluate how the magnitude and direction of temperature shifts affect disease risk and, the following year, we intend to study how the frequency of temperature shifts affect disease risk.  We also will continue our modeling efforts and will work on writing manuscripts for the results described above that remain unpublished.


Journal Articles on this Report : 23 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 56 publications 56 publications in selected types All 56 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Boone MD, Bishop CA, Boswell LA, Brodman RD, Burger J, Davidson C, Gochfeld M, Hoverman JT, Neuman-Lee LA, Relyea RA, Rohr JR, Salice C, Semlitsch RD, Sparling D, Weir S. Pesticide regulation amid the influence of industry. BioScience 2014;64(10):917-922. R835188 (2013)
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  • Full-text: BioScience-Full Text-HTML
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  • Journal Article Civitello DJ, Rohr JR. Disentangling the effects of exposure and susceptibility on transmission of the zoonotic parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Journal of Animal Ecology 2014;83(6):1379-1386. R835188 (2013)
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  • Other: University of South Florida-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Halstead NT, McMahon TA, Johnson SA, Raffel TR, Romansic JM, Crumrine PW, Rohr JR. Community ecology theory predicts the effects of agrochemical mixtures on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem properties. Ecology Letters 2014;17(8):932-941. R835188 (2013)
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  • Journal Article Landis WG, Rohr JR, Moe SJ, Balbus JM, Clements W, Fritz A, Helm R, Hickey C, Hooper M, Stahl RG, Stauber J. Global climate change and contaminants, a call to arms not yet heard? Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 2014;10(4):483-484. R835188 (2013)
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  • Journal Article Leslie TW, Biddinger DJ, Rohr JR, Hulting AG, Mortensen DA, Fleischer SJ. Examining shifts in Carabidae assemblages across a forest-agriculture ecotone. Environmental Entomology 2014;43(1):18-28. R835188 (2013)
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  • Journal Article Li Y, Cohen JM, Rohr JR. Review and synthesis of the effects of climate change on amphibians. Integrative Zoology 2013;8(2):145-161. R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Liu X, Rohr JR, Li Y. Climate, vegetation, introduced hosts and trade shape a global wildlife pandemic. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 2013;280(1753):20122506. R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article McMahon TA, Brannelly LA, Chatfield MWH, Johnson PTJ, Joseph MB, McKenzie VJ, Richards-Zawacki CL, Venesky MD, Rohr JR. Chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has nonamphibian hosts and releases chemicals that cause pathology in the absence of infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2013;110(1):210-215. R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article McMahon TA, Romansic JM, Rohr JR. Nonmonotonic and monotonic effects of pesticides on the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in culture and on tadpoles. Environmental Science & Technology 2013;47(14):7958-7964. R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article McMahon TA, Sears BF, Venesky MD, Bessler SM, Brown JM, Deutsch K, Halstead NT, Lentz G, Tenouri N, Young S, Civitello DJ, Ortega N, Fites JS, Reinert LK, Rollins-Smith LA, Raffel TR, Rohr JR. Amphibians acquire resistance to live and dead fungus overcoming fungal immunosuppression. Nature 2014;511(7508):224-227. R835188 (2013)
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  • Full-text: Nature-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article McMahon TA, Rohr JR. Trypan blue dye is an effective and inexpensive way to determine the viability of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis zoospores. EcoHealth 2014;11(2):164-167. R835188 (2013)
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  • Abstract: Springer-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Raffel TR, Romansic JM, Halstead NT, McMahon TA, Venesky MD, Rohr JR. Disease and thermal acclimation in a more variable and unpredictable climate. Nature Climate Change 2013;3(2):146-151. R835188 (2012)
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  • Abstract: Nature Climate Change-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Rohr JR, Raffel TR, Blaustein AR, Johnson PTJ, Paull SH, Young S. Using physiology to understand climate-driven changes in disease and their implications for conservation. Conservation Physiology 2013;1(1):cot022 (15 pp.). R835188 (2013)
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  • Full-text: Conservation Physiology-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Rohr JR, Palmer BD. Climate change, multiple stressors, and the decline of ectotherms. Conservation Biology 2013;27(4):741-751. R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Rohr JR, Raffel TR, Halstead NT, McMahon TA, Johnson SA, Boughton RK, Martin LB. Early-life exposure to a herbicide has enduring effects on pathogen-induced mortality. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2013;280(1772):20131502. R835188 (2013)
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  • Journal Article Rohr JR, Johnson P, Hickey CW, Helm RC, Fritz A, Brasfield S. Implications of global climate change for natural resource damage assessment, restoration, and rehabilitation. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2013;32(1):93-101. R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Sears BF, Rohr JR. Loss of trematode parthenitae in Planorbella trivolvis (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Journal of Parasitology 2013;99(4):738-739. R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Sears BF, Snyder PW, Rohr JR. Infection deflection: hosts control parasite location with behaviour to improve tolerance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2013;280(1762):20130759 (5 pp.). R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Sears B, Snyder P, Rohr J. No effects of two anesthetic agents on circulating leukocyte counts or resistance to trematode infections in larval amphibians. Journal of Herpetology 2013;47(3):498-501. R835188 (2012)
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  • Full-text: University of South Florida-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Staley ZR, Rohr JR, Senkbeil JK, Harwood VJ. Agrochemicals indirectly increase survival of E. coli O157:H7 and indicator bacteria by reducing ecosystem services. Ecological Applications 2014;24(8):1945-1953. R835188 (2013)
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  • Journal Article Venesky MD, Hanlon SM, Lynch K, Parris MJ, Rohr JR. Optimal digestion theory does not predict the effect of pathogens on intestinal plasticity. Biology Letters 2013;9(2):20130038 (4 pp.). R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Venesky MD, Raffel TR, McMahon TA, Rohr JR. Confronting inconsistencies in the amphibian-chytridiomycosis system:implications for disease management. Biological Reviews 2014;89(2):477-483. R835188 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Venesky MD, Liu X, Sauer EL, Rohr JR. Linking manipulative experiments to field data to test the dilution effect. Journal of Animal Ecology 2014;83(3):557-565. R835188 (2013)
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  • Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
    2012 Progress Report
    2014 Progress Report
    Final Report