2014 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: June 1, 2014 through May 31,2015
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:

  1. Characterize climatic extremes and probabilities of extreme events occurring together.
  2. 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.
  3. Quantify how extreme climatic events that occur together or with other stressors, such as pollution, affect disease risk.
  4. 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 is the condition that favors 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 in the list of publications. 


Journal Articles on this Report : 17 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)
R835188 (2014)
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R833835 (2012)
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  • Full-text: BioScience-Full Text-HTML
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  • Journal Article Boone MD, Rohr JR. The trouble with risk assessment lies at the foundation. BioScience 2015;65(3):227-228. R835188 (2014)
    R835188 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Buck JC, Scholz KI, Rohr JR, Blaustein AR. Trophic dynamics in an aquatic community: interactions among primary producers, grazers, and a pathogenic fungus. Oecologia 2015;178(1):239-248. R835188 (2014)
    R835188 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Buck JC, Rohr JR, Blaustein AR. Effects of nutrient supplementation on host-pathogen dynamics of the amphibian chytrid fungus: a community approach. Freshwater Biology 2016;61(1):110-120. R835188 (2014)
    R835188 (Final)
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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)
    R835188 (2014)
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  • Journal Article Civitello DJ, Cohen J, Fatima H, Halstead NT, Liriano J, McMahon TA, Ortega CN, Sauer EL, Sehgal T, Young S, Rohr JR. Biodiversity inhibits parasites:broad evidence for the dilution effect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2015;112(28):8667-8671. R835188 (2014)
    R835188 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Douglas MR, Rohr JR, Tooker JF. Neonicotinoid insecticide travels through a soil food chain, disrupting biological control of non-target pests and decreasing soya bean yield Journal of Applied Ecology 2015;52(1):250-260. R835188 (2014)
    R835188 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Halstead NT, Civitello DJ, Rohr JR. Comparative toxicities of organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides to aquatic macroarthropods. Chemosphere 2015;135:265-271. R835188 (2014)
    R835188 (Final)
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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)
    R835188 (2014)
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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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  • Journal Article McMahon TA, Rohr JR. Transition of chytrid fungus infection from mouthparts to hind limbs during amphibian metamorphosis. EcoHealth 2015;12(1):188-193. R835188 (2014)
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  • Journal Article Raffel TR, Halstead NT, McMahon TA, Davis AK, Rohr JR. Temperature variability and moisture synergistically interact to exacerbate an epizootic disease. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 2015;282(1801):20142039 (6 pp.). R835188 (2014)
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  • Journal Article Rohr JR, Civitello DJ, Crumrine PW, Halstead NT, Miller AD, Schotthoefer AM, Stenoien C, Johnson LB, Beasley VR. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2015;112(10):3008-3013. R835188 (2014)
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  • Journal Article Rohr JR, Farag AM, Cadotte MW, Clements WH, Smith JR, Ulrich CP, Woods R. Transforming ecosystems:when, where, and how to restore contaminated sites. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management September 2016;12(2):273-283. R835188 (2014)
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  • Journal Article Sears BF, Snyder PW, Rohr JR. Host life history and host-parasite syntopy predict behavioural resistance and tolerance of parasites. Journal of Animal Ecology 2015;84(3):625-636. R835188 (2014)
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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 Staley ZR, Harwood VJ, Rohr JR. A synthesis of the effects of pesticides on microbial persistence in aquatic ecosystems. Critical Reviews in Toxicology 2015;45(10):813-836. R835188 (2014)
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  • Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
    2012 Progress Report
    2013 Progress Report
    Final Report