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Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, eutrophication, food web, pathogen, trophic cascade

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  1. Anthropogenic stressors may influence hosts and their pathogens directly or may alter host–pathogen dynamics indirectly through interactions with other species. For example, in aquatic ecosystems, eutrophication may be associated with increased or decreased disease risk. Conversely, pathogens can influence community structure and function and are increasingly recognised as important members of the ecological communities in which they exist.
  2. In outdoor mesocosms, we experimentally manipulated nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and the presence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and examined the effects on Bd abundance on larval amphibian hosts (Pseudacris regilla: Hylidae), amphibian traits and community dynamics. We predicted that resource supplementation would mitigate negative effects of Bd on tadpole growth and development and that indirect effects of treatments would propagate through the community.
  3. Nutrient additions caused changes in algal growth, which benefitted tadpoles through increased mass, development and survival. Bd‐exposed tadpoles metamorphosed sooner than unexposed individuals, but their mass at metamorphosis was not affected by Bd exposure. We detected additive rather than interactive effects of nutrient supplementation and Bd in this experiment.
  4. Nutrient supplementation was not a significant predictor of infection load of larval amphibians. However, a structural equation model revealed that resource supplementation and exposure of amphibians to Bd altered the structure of the aquatic community. This is the first demonstration that sublethal effects of Bd on amphibians can alter aquatic community dynamics

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Freshwater Biology, v. 61, issue 1, p. 110-120

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Buck, J. C., Rohr, J. R. and Blaustein, A. R. (2016), Effects of nutrient supplementation on host‐pathogen dynamics of the amphibian chytrid fungus: a community approach. Freshw Biol, 61: 110-120. doi:10.1111/fwb.12685, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.