Chemical and biomonitoring to assess potential acute effects of Vision® herbicide on native amphibian larvae in forest wetlands


  • Presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, November 11–15, 2001.


In conjunction with operational forest herbicide spray programs in Ontario, Canada, chemical and biological monitoring studies were conducted in 51 different wetlands to quantify the probability and magnitude of contamination by a glyphosate herbicide formulation (Vision®). Wetlands were classified as oversprayed, adjacent, or buffered in relation to the operational target spray blocks. Results show that vegetated buffers significantly mitigated against exposure and thus potential for acute effects. Aqueous concentrations of glyphosate in buffered wetlands were below analytical limits of quantitation (0.02 mg acid equivalent [a.e.]/L) in 14 of 16 cases, with mean concentration (0.03 ± 0.02 mg a.e./L) significantly (p < 0.05) less than that of either adjacent (0.18 ± 0.06 mg a.e./L) or oversprayed wetlands (0.33 ± 0.11 mg a.e./L). Biomonitoring with caged amphibian larvae showed no significant differences among mean mortality (48 h) of either Rana pipiens (p = 0.194) or Rana clamitans larvae (p = 0.129) exposed in situ to Vision under these various wetland conditions. Percent mortality was not significantly (p = 0.05) correlated with exposure concentrations for either amphibian species tested. Results suggest that exposures typically occurring in forest wetlands are insufficient to induce significant acute mortality in native amphibian larvae.