Developmental toxicity of two common corn pesticides to the endangered southern bell frog (Litoria raniformis)

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Journal Article
Environmental Pollution, 2011, 159 (10), pp. 2648 - 2655
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To examine the link between corn agriculture and the observed decline of the endangered southern bell frog (SBF), the effects of two corn crop pesticides on larval growth and development were investigated. Tadpoles were exposed to terbufos sulfone (10 µg/L), a major breakdown product of the insecticide terbufos, and the herbicide atrazine (25 µg/L) individually and as a mixture until the completion of metamorphosis. Atrazine did not interact synergistically with terbufos sulfone or result in significant effects on growth and development alone, although there was some indication of accelerated metamorphosis in the pilot study. Terbufos sulfone alone and as a mixture (terbufos/atrazine) significantly slowed larval development and ultimately delayed metamorphosis. The observed developmental effects from an environmentally relevant concentration of terbufos sulfone indicates a risk posed by this persistent degradation product to the endangered SBF, which breeds and develops in the rice bays adjacent to corn fields treated with pesticides.
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