Because declines within amphibian populations can seldom be attributed to a single cause, it is important to focus on multiple stressors, both natural and anthropogenic. Variables such as UV-B radiation and chemical contamination can interact with one another in ways that might not be predicted from single-factor studies. We exposed southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala) tadpoles to the insecticide carbaryl and varying intensities of UV-B radiation in artificial ponds and examined their effects on survival, size at metamorphosis, and the duration of the larval period. Tadpole survival to metamorphosis was positively influenced by UV-B intensity. Tadpoles in ponds exposed to carbaryl contained over three times more algae and yielded larger metamorphs than control ponds. Although previous laboratory studies have indicated carbaryl becomes more toxic in the presence of UV-B, we did not find such an effect, perhaps because of the protection afforded by dissolved organic carbon within the ponds. Our research emphasizes the importance of conducting field studies to more accurately predict what occurs under a natural setting. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
Additional publication details
The interactive effects of UV-B and insecticide exposure on tadpole survival, growth and development