Metamorphosis and the impact of contaminants on ecological subsidies

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Animals with complex life histories such as aquatic insects and amphibians link freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems when they transition from water to land during development. This transition requires metamorphosis from juvenile to adult life stages. Metamorphosis is a stressful and ecologically sensitive life history event. Exposure to contaminants during juvenile development (before or during metamorphosis) can disrupt the complex process of metamorphosis, thereby altering the flow of organisms from water to land. This chapter reviews how ecological stressors impact the timing and success of metamorphosis. Key ideas include: (1) metamorphosis is a key event in the movement of subsidies from water to land, (2) mortality during metamorphosis is enhanced in the presence of contaminants, and (3) juvenile responses to contaminants may not predict adult responses, due to death during metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is a critical life history stage that should be accounted for in ecotoxicological studies.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Metamorphosis and the impact of contaminants on ecological subsidies
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-49480-3_6
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 15 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Contaminants and ecological subsidies
First page 111
Last page 125
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