Aquatic Bacteria Samples

Aquatic Zooplankton: Savior of Frogs?

The fungi are striking back; amphibians are under a cancerous siege from the Chytrid Fungus.  This aggressive microorganism has killed off several  frog species and has infected myriads of other amphibian species.  Scientists have so far failed to counteract the ecosystem destroyer.  Multiple North American and Australian biomes have been poisoned; the Chytrid Fungus has already identified 343 countries around the world and 36 States of America.  Now, scientists have come forward, claiming that “Aquatic Fleas” will counteract the pandemic.

What is This Fungus?

Its scientific name is Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis.

Its origin is in the exotic jungles of Africa.  Merchants trading African Clawed Frogs spread these fungus across the world, unknowingly seeding spores in habitats unprepared for an invasive species.

Spores float in the water and latch on to animal’s skins.  They steal resources and clog up the pores of the amphibians.  The skin acts as the lung for amphibians and this parasitic attack disable it. Inability for hydration and respiration ensues, the amphibians suffer from heart attacks or death by their skin flaking off.  Small resilient populations and select species survive these purges.  Several species have been completely wiped out.

Metaphorically, this is Seal Team Six breaking into the Osama Compound: the advanced and evolutionary streamlined fungus was able to steamroll natural defenses of amphibians unprepared for such alien attacks.

The results have been about the same: the Chytrid Fungus and other environmental threats have killed 100 million amphibians.

What is The ” Aquatic Flea” Solution?

The protagonist in this article is Daphnia Magna.

Oregon researchers discovered this fresh water zooplankton eats Chytrid Fungus spores.  This plankton is a filter feeder: consuming spores is its purpose.  It eliminates Chytrid where it currently lives, pushing spores down to manageable levels.  These fleas are not a magic bullet, however they will be able to counteract the problem wherever they are introduced.  They are also the only effective counter agent.

How long Till the “Aquatic Fleas” Will Be Implemented?

Introducing invasive species was the origin of the fungus plague; scientists are unwilling to intentionally do the same thing unless they are sure the zooplankton are compatible with infected environments.  Quarantined experiments and months of analysis are to be expected.  Till then amphibians will continue to die in large numbers.  Even if the Chytrid Fungus does not consume too many species loss of natural habitats, the primary cause of amphibian annihilation.  Amphibians will survive, with sustained casualties.