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Old 01-27-2011, 04:30 PM
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Default Sunbathing tadpoles make easy prey

A small increase in exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun similar to that caused by thinning of the ozone layer that guards Earth from radiation can have a detrimental effect on tadpoles.

Medium-wavelength ultraviolet radiation, known as ultraviolet-B (UVB), makes tadpoles easier for predators to catch, suggesting that depletion of the ozone layer caused by humans releasing chemicals into the atmosphere could be contributing to declines in the populations of the world's amphibian species.

The study notes that reduced survival time in a predator environment was the only effect observed from the increased UVB exposure. UVB stress might be expected to cause changes in hatching time of embryos, hatching success, size, shape and 'burst swimming performance' (ability to sprint) for tadpoles, but these responses were not observed. The study suggests that it may be time to expand the typical suite of measured UVB responses.

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