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Keywords:

  • Activity;
  • Ambystoma;
  • pH;
  • Predation;
  • Salamander

Abstract

Swimming activity of larval Ambystoma laterale increased linearly with pH between pH 4.0 and 6.5; near inactivity occurred at pH 4.0. Ambystoma maculatum exhibited a weaker relationship between activity and pH, and overall was less active than A. laterale. However, survival of larval A. maculatum declined linearly with pH in the presence of adult diving beetles (Dytiscus verticalis), with significantly lower survival below pH 4.8. These results suggest that, as with embryos, salamander larvae may suffer from pH levels below 5.0, even though these levels are not directly lethal. Because of their sensitivity, ease, and short duration, activity tests are recommended with amphibian larvae for use in other risk assessments.