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Ultraviolet radiation, toxic chemicals and amphibian population declines

Authors

  • Andrew R. Blaustein,

    Corresponding author
    1. 1Department of Zoology, 3029 Cordley Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331–2914, U.S.A., e-mail: blaustea@bcc.orst.edu and 2Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 208 Mueller Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, U.S.A.
      * Corresponding author
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  • 1* John M. Romansic,

    1. 1Department of Zoology, 3029 Cordley Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331–2914, U.S.A., e-mail: blaustea@bcc.orst.edu and 2Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 208 Mueller Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, U.S.A.
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  • 1 Joseph M. Kiesecker,

    1. 1Department of Zoology, 3029 Cordley Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331–2914, U.S.A., e-mail: blaustea@bcc.orst.edu and 2Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 208 Mueller Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, U.S.A.
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  • and 2 Audrey C. Hatch 1

    1. 1Department of Zoology, 3029 Cordley Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331–2914, U.S.A., e-mail: blaustea@bcc.orst.edu and 2Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 208 Mueller Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, U.S.A.
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* Corresponding author

Abstract

Abstract. As part of an overall ‘biodiversity crisis’, many amphibian populations are in decline throughout the world. Numerous factors have contributed to these declines, including habitat destruction, pathogens, increasing ultraviolet (UV) radiation, introduced non-native species and contaminants. In this paper we review the contribution of increasing UV radiation and environmental contamination to the global decline of amphibian populations. Both UV radiation and environmental contaminants can affect amphibians at all life stages. Exposure to UV radiation and to certain contaminants can kill amphibians and induce sublethal affects in embryos, larvae and adults. Moreover, UV radiation and contaminants may interact with one another synergistically. Synergistic interactions of UV radiation with contaminants can enhance the detrimental effects of the contaminant and UV radiation.

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