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Effect of exposure to contaminated pond sediments on survival, development, and enzyme and blood biomarkers in veined treefrog (Trachycephalus typhonius) tadpoles

Peltzer, Paola M., Lajmanovich, Rafael C., Attademo, Andrés M., Junges, Celina M., Cabagna-Zenklusen, Mariana C., Repetti, María R., Sigrist, María E., Beldoménico, Horacio
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2013 v.98 pp. 142-151
Hylidae, abnormal development, amphibians, aquatic ecosystems, biomarkers, catalase, digestive system, emaciation, enzyme activity, erythrocytes, forests, glutathione transferase, hatching, larval development, metals, metamorphosis, muscles, nutrients, pesticide residues, pollutants, ponds, risk, sediments, sublethal effects, tadpoles, tail, toxic substances, tropics
Sediments are important elements of aquatic ecosystems and in general sediments accumulate diverse toxic substances. Amphibians potentially have a greater risk of exposure to contaminants in sediments, and the test of sediments provides first lines of evidences. Sediment outdoor microcosm experiments were conducted to analyze biological endpoints (survival, development, growth, and morphological and organ malformation), enzyme activity (butyrylcholinesterase, BChE; glutathione-S-transferase, GST; and catalase, CAT) and blood biomarkers in veined treefrog Trachycephalus typhonius tadpoles, a widespread neotropical species. Hatching (stage 23) of T. thyphonius was exposed until they reached metamorphosis (stage 46). Sediment tests were performed and four different treatments were used: three ponds (LTPA, ISP, and SSP) influenced by industrial and agricultural activities and a reference treatment from a forest (RFS). Physical and chemical variables and concentration of nutrients, pesticide residues, and metals were determined. One treatment was metal-rich (LPTA) and two were nutrient-rich (ISP and SSP). Sediment treatments had no significant effect on survival; in contrast they had significant sublethal effects on T. typhonius larval development and growth rates, and affected overall size and shape at stage 38. Principally, in LPTA animals were significantly larger than in RFS, exhibiting swollen bodies, tail muscles and tail fin. In addition, metamorphs from LPTA, ISP, and SSP were smaller and showed signs of emaciation by the end of the experiment. Statistical comparisons showed that the proportions of each type of morphological abnormalities (swollen bodies and diamond shape, gut uncoiling, diverted gut, stiff tails, polydactyly, and visceral and hindlimb hemorrhaging) were significantly greater in metal- and nutrient-rich sediment treatments. Moreover, activities of BChE, GST and CAT, as well as and presence of micronuclei, immature, mitotic, anucleated erythrocytes varied significantly among treatments. Our biological effects-based sediment study highlights the use of different biological endpoints and biomarkers on anuran larvae at sites where pond sediment is risky and sediment management should be considered. Finally, the information of those biological endpoints and biomarkers would be useful as a management tool to decide if there are sufficient exposures of tadpoles to suspected pollutants on sediment.