Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Matthew J Parris
Due to the displacement of natural habitats by anthropogenic landscapes (e.g. agricultural fields), the use of agrochemicals (e.g. pesticides) has increased exponentially and non-target organisms such as amphibians are often at risk of exposure through direct overspray, runoff, or spraydrift. Because agricultural landscapes are encroaching on amphibian habitats, interactions likely occur between environmental pressures such as disease and contamination. Accordingly, I assessed the effects of pesticides on the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) host-pathogen interactions. As Bd-infected individuals have been found in agricultural-adjacent landscapes, pesticides can potentially alter host-pathogen interactions. In chapter two I demonstrated that pesticides can kill Bd outside of hosts. Chapters three and four demonstrated that pesticides differentially affect Bd in hosts post-infection. Chapter five demonstrated that a fungicide used in chapters one and three causes trophic cascades in aquatic systems, potentially negating the ameliorative effects of the pesticide on Bd both within and outside of hosts. Collectively, the work from my dissertation suggests that pesticides may alter host-pathogen dynamics in amphibians.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Hanlon, Shane Michael, "Varying Effects of Agricultural Pesticides on Host-Pathogen Interactions and Aquatic Ecosystems in an Amphibian System" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 821.