Multiple sublethal chemicals negatively affect tadpoles of the green frog, Rana clamitans

Environmental Toxicology
By: , and 



Many habitats may be exposed to multiple chemical contaminants, particularly in agricultural areas where fertilizer and pesticide use are common; however, the singular and interactive effects of contaminants are not well understood. The objective of our study was to examine how realistic, sublethal environmental levels of ammonium nitrate fertilizer (0, 10, 20 mg/L and ammonium chloride control) and the common insecticide carbaryl (0 or 2.5 mg/L) individually and interactively affect the development, size, and survival of green frog (Rana clamitans) tadpoles. We reared tadpoles for 95 d in outdoor 1,000-L polyethylene ponds. We found that the combination of carbaryl and nitrate had a negative effect on development and mass of tadpoles compared to the positive effect that either contaminant had alone. Presence of carbaryl was generally associated with short-term increases in algal resources, including ponds exposed to both carbaryl and nitrate. However, with exposure to nitrate and carbaryl, tadpole mass and development were not positively affected as with one chemical stressor alone. The combination of these sublethal contaminants may reduce the ability of amphibians to benefit from food-rich environments or have metabolic costs. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering multiple stressors when evaluating population-level responses.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Multiple sublethal chemicals negatively affect tadpoles of the green frog, Rana clamitans
Series title Environmental Toxicology
DOI 10.1897/04-319R.1
Volume 24
Issue 5
Year Published 2005
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 6 p.
First page 1267
Last page 1272
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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