Life History Factors Important in Incidence of White-nose Syndrome (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) Among North American Bats

Candace Siirila and Eric C. Atkinson, INBRE and Biology Department, Northwest College, 231 W. 6th Street, Powell, WY 82435

Life and History. How do the two of these go together? It seems that bats are affected by not one, but both of these things together. It is important to learn how the life history of bats can teach us about deadly fungal pathogens such as Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the causative agent of White-nose Syndrome, and how they might spread throughout the United States.  I investigated the life history characteristics of North American bats to elucidate patterns that may predispose certain species to infection by Pd. I classified bats by migratory pattern (fully migratory, partially migratory, or resident), roosting behavior (colonial versus singly), roosting habitat (cave, tree, or dispersed locations), and whether the species enters torpor.  I reduced this matrix via Principal Components Analysis yielding a model in which the first two factors accounted for over 63% of the variability in Pd infection status.  Hence, by studying the life history characteristics of bats, we can predict not only which species are susceptible to this disease but, with environmental information, also the geographical susceptibility each species may exhibit. Coupling metagenomics fungal and bat 18S rRNA we are beginning to test this hypothesis in the northeastern regions of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Candace Siirila

Institution: Northwest College

Type: Poster

Subject: Ecology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 5
Date/Time: Tue 12:30pm-1:30pm
Session Number: 4119