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Acute toxicity of fungicide formulations to amphibians at environmentally relevant concentrations

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Abstract

Fungicide use on row crops is increasing dramatically due to promotion of these products for general plant health and increased yield even during low disease pressure. These fungicides are applied aerially, which may lead to amphibian exposure within fields or in nearby habitat. Exposure to three of these fungicides at environmentally relevant conditions resulted in mortality for Bufo tadpoles and juveniles for two of the fungicides. Headline®, the most commonly used on row crops, resulted in >50% mortality for juveniles at corn label application rates and 100% mortality for tadpoles at one-tenth the label rate for corn. Stratego® killed 40% of exposed tadpoles on average at the corn label rate, but only 7% of the juveniles. Overall, Quilt® appeared less toxic than the other fungicides, resulting in 7 to 10% mortality of tadpoles and 4 to 22% mortality of juveniles at all concentrations (from 0.1× to 10× label rate). These fungicides, especially Headline, may pose a major hazard for amphibians exposed as tadpoles and/or juveniles at environmentally relevant concentrations. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:2477–2480. © 2010 SETAC

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