Behaviour 2019
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Impacts of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection on amphibian stress physiology and behavior
Samantha Shablin, Sofia Valencia Osorio, Ana Longo, Nick Keiser. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

Despite the systemic effects of disease on host physiology, measures of stress, behavior, and survival are not typically studied in tandem. Rather, most studies have focused on the exclusive interactions between disease and physiology, or disease and behavior. Here, we investigate this triad to determine the impacts that disease has on stress physiology and activity levels by focusing on the novel amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in Cuban treefrogs. We measured corticosterone, a hormone long considered as a stress marker, from urine samples over a period of Bd infection. Our results indicate that Bd infection contributes greatly to corticosterone levels, where higher infection loads are associated with higher corticosterone levels. In addition, data will be presented on effects of Bd infection on frog space use behavior. Our research highlights the joint relationships between disease, stress physiology, and behavior. Future research should continue examining these topics in conjunction with each other to understand ecological impacts on internal physiological mechanisms and external behavioral responses.