Effect of temperature on subclinical infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in three species of plethodontid salamanders
We assessed the effect of temperature on subclinical Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) infection in three species of plethodontids. Collected individuals were tested for Bd in the field during the dry and rainy season and randomly assigned to 15º and 18 ºC treatments for 30 days. We collected 129 salamanders, of these nine individuals tested positive for Bd in the field. At the two temperature trials, 12 individuals that were Bd-negative in the field, tested positive for Bd. Near the end of the temperature trials, 18 of 21 Bd-positive individuals tested negative for Bd. Three individuals that were Bd positive in the field and assigned to the 18ºC trial died during the experiment. Our results suggest that at 15 ºC the most of plethodontids present subclinical infection, whereas at higher temperatures, Bd infection can increase to detectable levels. The processes underlying plethodontids’s recovery from Bd infection warrants further study.