Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Forestry (MF)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment



First Advisor

Dr. John Cox


Environmental and anthropogenic stressors negatively affect amphibians in a variety of ways, often increasing their vulnerability to pathogen infection and mortality. Sampling for the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) was conducted in order to: 1) determine the presence of chytrid infection in stream-associated plethodontid salamanders of southeastern Kentucky, and 2) evaluate differences in infection intensity between salamanders residing in intact forest streams, timber-harvested streams, and surface-mined streams. During 14 sampling sessions occurring between March, April and May of 2013, DNA samples from 306 individual salamanders within 8 species from the family Plethodontidae were collected; additional amphibians (i.e. frogs, newts) were opportunistically sampled when encountered. Approximately 2.1% of the salamanders and 50% of the frogs sampled from intact streams, 2.3% of the salamanders and 80% of the frogs sampled from the harvested streams, and none of the salamanders and 100% of the frogs sampled from the mined streams tested positive for Bd. No significant differences in occurrence of Bd or infection intensity were detected between the treatment sites (x2 = 0.59; p-value = 0.75), or between individuals of a species between different treatments (see tables). These findings are the first to demonstrate that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is present in amphibians of eastern Kentucky.