The herbicide atrazine has been suggested to cause gonadal deformities in frogs and could possibly impact on reproduction. Since the early 1960s, atrazine has been used in large amounts in maize production areas of South Africa. These areas overlap with populations of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) that has a wide distribution in southern Africa and is found in most water-bodies including those where atrazine residues are detected. The aim of this study was to compare various attributes of individual- and population-level responses of X. laevis from maize-growing and non-maize-growing areas. Xenopus laevis were studied in three reference and five maize-growing sites. Sex ratio, snout-vent length, body-mass and age profiles were found to be similar for populations in maize-growing and non-maize-growing areas. Our mark-recapture data indicated that all sites had robust populations. There were no significant relationships between exposure to atrazine and any of the parameters investigated in populations of X. laevis.
Additional publication details
Population structure of the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) in maize-growing areas with atrazine application versus non-maize-growing areas in South Africa