UV-pollutant combo hits tadpoles hard | Science News



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UV-pollutant combo hits tadpoles hard

9:35am, November 5, 2003

From New Orleans, at the e.hormone 2003 Conference

Many of the studies documenting a global decline in amphibians have linked the shrinking populations with exposure to excessive ultraviolet (UV) sunlight or to pollutants, especially ones with a hormonal effect. Biologists now find that slightly elevated UV exposure reduces the chance that tadpoles will become frogs. That chance declines even more with coincident exposure to an estrogen-mimicking pollutant.

Maxine Croteau's team at the University of Ottawa exposed leopard frogs to UV radiation for 8 months. Exposures started at hatching and lasted 12 hours a day at doses emulating what would occur 50 centimeters below the water surface at midday in May in northern North America. In the wild, only frogs in ditches or in small, evaporating ponds–and therefore without access to shielding plants–encounter such a constant UV exposure.

Ordinarily, between 6 and 11 percent of leopard frog tadpoles su

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