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Impact of Ammonium Nitrate on Growth and Survival of Six European Amphibians

AuthorsOrtíz, Manuel E.; Marco, Adolfo ; Saiz, Nelia; Lizana, Miguel
Issue Date2004
CitationArch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 47, 234-239 (2004)
AbstractWe conducted static experiments to assess the effects of ammonium nitrate fertilizer on embryos and larvae of six European amphibians: sharp-ribbed salamander (Pleurodeles waltl), Iberian painted frog (Discoglossus galganoi), western spadefoot toad (Pelobates cultripes), common toad (Bufo bufo), natterjack toad (Bufo calamita), and common tree frog (Hyla arborea). Embryos were exposed to different and environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium nitrate (0 to 200 mg NO3 –/L) for 15 days. Hatching took place during the experiments. H. arborea was extremely sensitive and had high mortality after 8 days of exposure even at the lower fertilizer levels. D. galganoi and B. bufo were also very sensitive and had significant mortality after 15 days of exposure. The rest of the species did not suffer lethal effects but suffered abnormalities or decreased growth at the highest fertilizer concentrations. Chemical fertilizers or manure could have contributed to the observed decrease of B. bufo and D. galganoi in agricultural areas of the Iberian Peninsula during recent years. H. arborea was the most sensitive species studied. The results of our study showed that environmentally relevant levels of ammonium nitrate can induce mortality and might affect population dynamics of this species in agricultural environments.
Publisher version (URL)http;//dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00244-004-2296-x
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