Impacts of thermal mismatches on chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence are moderated by life stage, body size, elevation and latitude
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Cohen, Jeremy M.
McMahon, Taegan A.
Sauer, Erin L.
Civitello, David J.
Delius, Bryan K.
Knutie, Sarah A.
Nguyen, Karena H.
Venesky, Matthew D.
Rohr, Jason R.
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SubjectAmphibian declines; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; climate change biology; disease ecology; thermal mismatch
Global climate change is increasing the frequency of unpredictable weather conditions; however, it remains unclear how species‐level and geographic factors, including body size and latitude, moderate impacts of unusually warm or cool temperatures on disease. Because larger and lower‐latitude hosts generally have slower acclimation times than smaller and higher‐latitude hosts, we hypothesised that their disease susceptibility increases under ‘thermal mismatches’ or differences between baseline climate and the temperature during surveying for disease. Here, we examined how thermal mismatches interact with body size, life stage, habitat, latitude, elevation, phylogeny and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) conservation status to predict infection prevalence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in a global analysis of 32 291 amphibian hosts. As hypothesised, we found that the susceptibility of larger hosts and hosts from lower latitudes to Bd was influenced by thermal mismatches. Furthermore, hosts of conservation concern were more susceptible than others following thermal mismatches, suggesting that thermal mismatches might have contributed to recent amphibian declines.