Ponds with more types of frogs are more resistant to infection, research from University of Colorado has found. The study adds strength to the theory that biodiversity protects communities from disease.
The researchers compared number of amphibian species at ponds with infection by a parasitic flatworm. Ponds with just one frog were vulnerable to disease, while ponds with six species of frogs, toads and salamanders were more healthy.
The number and type of species in a pond are predictable. At low diversity, frogs vulnerable to disease predominate. At higher levels more resistant species appear, increasing the health of the pond.