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Effects of two organic wastewater contaminants on Xenopus laevis tadpoles

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image of Applied Herpetology

Recent surveys of various aquatic habitats have found detectable concentrations of several organic wastewater contaminants (OWCs). The effects of these OWCs on aquatic organisms are relatively unknown. We studied the effects of ecologically-relevant concentrations of two OWCs, acetaminophen and triclosan, on the behavior, growth, and survivorship of Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Xenopus laevis decreased activity with increased concentrations of acetaminophen, but acetaminophen had no effect on startle response, final mass, nor suvivorship. Triclosan had a negative effect on tadpole activity, but no effect on startle response. High concentrations of triclosan had a negative effect on final mass and intermediate concentrations had a positive effect on final mass relative to controls. Triclosan did not affect survivorship. Our results suggest that some aspects of amphibian larval ecology may be impacted by OWC levels currently observed in the environment, and that further increases in such concentrations could have even greater effects.


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