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Effects of the disinfectant Virkon S on early life-stages of the moor frog (Rana arvalis)

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Emerging diseases, such as the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, contribute to global population declines of amphibians. Virkon S is one of the most commonly used disinfectants to reduce risk of spreading such pathogens. Virkon S is classified as harmful to aquatic organisms, but until today no negative effects on tadpoles have been reported. We studied the effects of three concentrations of Virkon S on early life-stages (embryos and hatchlings) of the moor frog Rana arvalis. Overall, Virkon S had no significant effects. However, hatching success was highest in the control treatment, suggesting that Virkon S may have weak negative effects on amphibian embryos. We suggest that further studies are needed to assess the negative effect of Virkon S on amphibians, and recommend that Virkon S is used with care and a minimized run-off into natural wetlands.

Affiliations: 1: 1EAWAG, Department of Aquatic Ecology and ETH-Zurich, Institute of Integrative Biology (IBZ), Ueberlandstrasse 133, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland; 2: 2Population and Conservation Biology/Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology Center, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden


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