Hatching success, deformity rates, and survivorship of northern red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) and northwestern salamanders (Ambystoma gracile) were assessed at three agricultural and three reference sites in the Sumas Prairie, British Columbia, Canada. In 1997 and 1998, eggs of both species and eggs of R. aurora, respectively, were placed in Nytex mesh cages (Irwindale, CA, USA) in roadside ditches at each site. Concurrently in 1997, eggs of R. aurora were reared in the laboratory but were exposed to water samples from each of the study sites. Hatching success was significantly lower at all agricultural sites compared to the reference sites for both species. However, no differences were observed in hatching success among sites for eggs of R. aurora reared in the laboratory. Water chemistry differed among all sites, but the largest differences were between reference and agricultural sites. Ammonia (maximum of 1.27 mg/L), total phosphate (maximum of 8.14 mg/L), and biological oxygen demand (maximum of 79.00 mg/L) were high at some of the agricultural sites during the development period. Results suggest that agricultural runoff may contribute to lower reproductive success and ultimately to reduced population viability of amphibian populations in the Lower Fraser Valley (BC, Canada).
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