Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Document Type



FEMS Microbiology Reviews

Publication Date




First Page



This review summarizes the role of environmental factors on amphibian microbiotas at the organismal, population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere levels. At the organismal-level, tissue source, disease status, and experimental manipulations were the strongest predictors of variation in amphibian microbiotas. At the population-level, habitat quality, disease status, and ancestry were commonly documented as drivers of microbiota turnover. At the community-level, studies focused on how species’ niche influence microbiota structure and function. At the ecosystem-level, abiotic and biotic reservoirs were important contributors to microbiota structure. At the biosphere-level, databases, sample banks, and semi-natural experiments were commonly used to describe microbiota assembly mechanisms among temperate and tropical amphibians. Collectively, our review demonstrates that environmental factors can influence microbiotas through diverse mechanisms at all biological scales. Importantly, while environmental mechanisms occurring at each of the different scales can interact to shape microbiotas, the past ten years of research have mostly been characterized by targeted approaches at individual scales. Looking forward, efforts considering how environmental factors at multiple organizational levels interact to shape microbiota diversity and function are paramount. Generating opportunities for meaningful cross-disciplinary interactions and supporting infrastructure for research that spans biological scales are imperative to addressing this gap.


© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of FEMS.