Ontogenic delays in effects of nitrite exposure on tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica)

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Abstract

Under certain conditions, nitrite can be present in freshwater systems in quantities that are toxic to the fauna. I exposed wood frog (Rana sylvatica) and eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) embryos and young tadpoles and larvae to elevated concentrations of nitrite in chronic toxicity tests: 0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.2, 2.1, 4.6, and 6.1 mg/L NO2-N, exposing individuals as both embryos and larvae. Nitrite caused significant declines in wood frog hatching success (3.4 mg/L NO2-N, wood frog), and lower concentrations caused significant mortality during the early larval stages (4.6 mg/L NO2-N, salamander; 0.5 mg/L NO2-N, wood frog). Later tests exposing individuals to nitrite only after hatching showed that both wood frog and tiger salamander vulnerability to nitrite declined shortly after hatching. Hence, examining a single life-history stage, especially later in development, may miss critical toxic effects on organisms, causing the researcher potentially to underestimate seriously the ecological consequences of nitrite exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523-1527
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2005

Keywords

  • Amphibian declines
  • Eastern tiger salamander
  • Nitrite
  • Ontogenic delays
  • Wood frog

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