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Nijmegen, Netherlands

Kik M.,Dutch Wildlife Health Center | Martel A.,Ghent University | Sluijs A.S.V.D.,Reptile | Pasmans F.,Ghent University | And 3 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2011

In 2010, a mass die-off of over 1000 wild water frogs (Pelophylax spp.) and at least 10 common newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) occurred in a pond in The Netherlands. Haemorrhagic disease with hepatomegaly and splenomegaly was evident. Microscopically, multiple organs presented cells with multifocal intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies, in which ranavirus-like particles were demonstrated ultrastructurally. All specimens examined tested positive for ranavirus by PCR. The sequence obtained showed a 100% identity with the one deposited for common midwife toad virus (CMTV). This is the first report of ranavirus-associated mortality in wild amphibian populations in The Netherlands. It is also the first time CMTV or a CMTV-like virus has been reported in these two species in the adult stage and outside of Spain. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Spikmans F.,Reptile | van Tongeren T.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van Alen T.A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | van der Velde G.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 2 more authors.
Aquatic Invasions | Year: 2013

The prevalence of Sphaerothecum destruens, a pathogenic parasite, was studied in two wild populations of topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva), an invasive freshwater fish non-native to the Netherlands. Using genetic markers and sequencing of the 18S r RNA gene, we showed the prevalence of this parasite to be 67 to 74%. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a high similarity with known sequences of S. destruens. The topmouth gudgeon, which functions as a healthy carrier of the pathogen, is rapidly colonizing the Netherlands, its expansion showing no signs of saturation yet. Both the presence of S. destruens and the rapid dispersal of the topmouth gudgeon are considered to constitute a high risk for native freshwater fish. © 2013 The Author(s). Source

Fedorenkova A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Vonk J.A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Vonk J.A.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | Lenders H.J.R.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2012

Populations of amphibians have been declining worldwide since the late 1960s. Despite global concern, no studies have quantitatively assessed the major causes of this decline. In the present study, species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were developed to analyze the sensitivity of anurans for ammonium, nitrate, heavy metals (cadmium, copper), pesticides (18 compounds), and acidification (pH) based on laboratory toxicity data. Ecological risk (ER) was calculated as the probability that a measured environmental concentration of a particular stressor in habitats where anurans were observed would exceed the toxic effect concentrations derived from the species sensitivity distributions. The assessment of ER was used to rank the stressors according to their potential risk to anurans based on a case study of Dutch freshwater bodies. The derived ERs revealed that threats to populations of anurans decreased in the sequence of pH, copper, diazinon, ammonium, and endosulfan. Other stressors studied were of minor importance. The method of deriving ER by combining field observation data and laboratory data provides insight into potential threats to species in their habitats and can be used to prioritize stressors, which is necessary to achieve effective management in amphibian conservation. © 2012 SETAC. Source

Martel A.,Ghent University | Blooi M.,Ghent University | Blooi M.,Center for Research and Conservation | Adriaensen C.,Ghent University | And 27 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Emerging infectious diseases are reducing biodiversity on a global scale. Recently, the emergence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans resulted in rapid declines in populations of European fire salamanders. Here, we screened more than 5000 amphibians from across four continents and combined experimental assessment of pathogenicity with phylogenetic methods to estimate the threat that this infection poses to amphibian diversity. Results show that B. salamandrivorans is restricted to, but highly pathogenic for, salamanders and newts (Urodela). The pathogen likely originated and remained in coexistence with a clade of salamander hosts for millions of years in Asia. As a result of globalization and lack of biosecurity, it has recently been introduced into naïve European amphibian populations, where it is currently causing biodiversity loss. Copyright © 2014 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved. Source

Meilink W.R.M.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center | Meilink W.R.M.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Meilink W.R.M.,University of Salford | Arntzen J.W.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center | And 3 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

Genetic pollution of a native species through hybridization with an invasive species poses an insidious conservation threat. To expose genetic pollution, molecular methods employing multilocus data are required. We present a case study of genetic pollution via hybridization of a native crested newt species, Triturus cristatus, by the invasive Triturus carnifex on the Veluwe in the Netherlands. We sequenced 50 nuclear markers by next generation sequencing and one mitochondrial marker by Sanger sequencing for four populations from the native range of both parent species and eleven ponds on the Veluwe. We use three population genetic approaches (HIest, BAPS and Structure) to determine the genetic composition of the Veluwe newts based on all nuclear markers, a subset of 18 diagnostic markers and the complementary 32 non-diagnostic markers, with and without parental populations. BAPS underestimates genetic pollution, whereas Structure is comparatively accurate compared to HIest, although Structure's relative advantage decreases with the diagnosticity of the markers. Data simulation confirms these findings. Genetic composition of the Veluwe ponds ranges from completely native, via different degrees of genetic admixture, to completely invasive. The observed hybrid zone appears to be bimodal, suggesting negative selection against hybrids. A genetic footprint of the native species is present in invasive populations, evidencing that the invasive locally replaced the native species. Genetic pollution is currently confined to a small area, but the possibility of further expansion cannot be excluded. Removal of genetic pollution will not be easy. We emphasize the need for legal guidance to manage genetic pollution. © 2015 The Authors. Source

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