The majority of studies on pesticide impacts have evaluated the effects of single exposures. However, multiple exposures to a pesticide may be more prevalent. The objective of our study was to determine how multiple exposures versus single exposure at different times during development affected survival to metamorphosis, tadpole survival, tadpole mass, and tadpole developmental stage of green frog (Rana clamitans) tadpoles reared at low and high density in outdoor cattle tank ponds. Tadpoles were exposed to carbaryl zero, one, two, or three times at 14-d intervals. We applied single doses of carbaryl at one of three times, specifically during early, mid, or late development. Overall, we found that multiple exposures had a greater impact than single exposures during development. More individuals reached metamorphosis in ponds exposed to multiple doses of carbaryl compared with controls, indicating that the presence of carbaryl stimulated metamorphosis. The presence of carbaryl in the aquatic environment also resulted in more developed tadpoles compared with controls. Tadpoles in control ponds did not reach metamorphosis and were less developed than individuals exposed to carbaryl; this effect indicates that, under ideal conditions, green frogs could overwinter in ponds so that greater size could be attained before metamorphosis in the following spring or summer. Our study demonstrated the importance of including realistic application procedures when evaluating the effects of a pesticide and that multiple exposures to a short-lived pesticide are more likely to affect an amphibian population.
Additional publication details
Effects of carbaryl on green frog (Rana clamitans) tadpoles: Timing of exposure versus multiple exposures