As compared to other aquatic taxonomic groups, few studies have been conducted so far evaluating the potential risks of pesticides to amphibians. Furthermore, most existing studies with amphibians consist of acute laboratory toxicity tests that mostly only evaluated single peak pesticide exposure. In the present study, potential chronic effects of single and repeated abamectin applications on the survival and development of L. catesbeianus tadpoles under (semi-) field conditions were evaluated. To this end, tadpoles were housed in microcosms treated with single or repeated applications of abamectin (as the commercial product Vertimec® 18 EC). The single application level corresponded to the previously established laboratory 96 h LC50 of the test organism, whereas the repeated application was based on abamectin concentrations likely to occur in runoff water from agricultural areas where Vertimec® 18 EC is applied. Under semi-field conditions, toxicity after the single application was greater than would be expected from the laboratory toxicity value. Although the repeated application did not exert direct effects on tadpole survival, the observed delay in development may have pronounced effect on the fitness and survival of anuran populations in edge-of-field water bodies.
- Aquatic ecotoxicology
- Environmental risk assessment
- Lithobates catesbeianus