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Title: Copper-driven avoidance and mortality in temperate and tropical tadpoles
Author: Araújo, Cristiano V.M.
Shinn, Cândida
Moreira-Santos, Matilde
Lopes, Isabel
Espíndola, Evaldo L.G.
Ribeiro, Rui
Keywords: amphibian population decline
Anuran larvae
Environmental disruption
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Amphibians have experienced an accentuated population decline in the whole world due to many factors, one of them being anthropogenic contamination. The present study aimed to assess the potential effect of copper, as a worldwide and reference contaminant, on the immediate decline of exposed population due to avoidance and mortality responses in tadpoles of three species of amphibians across climatic zones: a South American species, Leptodactylus latrans, a North American species, Lithobates catesbeianus, and a European species, Pelophylax perezi. A non-forced exposure system with a copper gradient along seven compartments through which organisms could freely move was used to assess the ability of tadpoles to detect and avoid copper contamination. All species were able to avoid copper at a concentration as low as 100 ␮g L −1 . At the lowest (sublethal) concentrations (up to 200 ␮g L −1) avoidance played an exclu-sive role for the population decline, whereas at the highest concentrations (>450 ␮g L −1) mortality was the response determining population decline. The median concentrations causing exposed population immediate decline were 93, 106 and 180 ␮g L −1 for Le. latrans, Li. catesbeianus and P. perezi, respectively. Contaminants might, therefore, act as environmental disruptors both by generating low-quality habitats and by triggering avoidance of tadpoles, which could be an important response contributing to disper-sion patterns, susceptibility to future stressors and decline of amphibian populations (together with mortality).
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2013.10.030
ISSN: 0166-445X
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