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Old 02-16-2011, 05:00 PM
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Default Pesticides and frog population declines

Atmospherically deposited pesticides from the intensively cultivated Central Valley of California, USA, have been implicated as a cause for population declines of several amphibian species, with the strongest evidence for the frogs Rana muscosa and Rana sierrae at high elevation in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Previous studies on these species have relied on correlations between frog population status and either a metric for amount of upwind pesticide use or limited measurements of pesticide concentrations in the field. The present study tested the hypothesis that pesticide concentrations are negatively correlated with frog population status (i.e. fraction of suitable water bodies occupied within 2 km of a site) by measuring pesticide concentrations in multiple media twice at 28 sites at high elevation in the southern Sierra Nevada. Media represented were air, sediment, and Pseudacris sierra tadpoles. Total cholinesterase (ChE), which has been used as an indicator for organophosphorus and carbamate pesticide exposure, was also measured in P. sierra tadpoles. Results do not support the pesticide-site occupancy hypothesis. Among 46 pesticide compounds analyzed, nine were detected with >=30% frequency, representing both historically and currently used pesticides. In stepwise regressions with a chemical metric and linear distance from the Central Valley as predictor variables, no negative association was found between frog population status and the concentration of any pesticide or tadpole ChE activity level. By contrast, frog population status showed a strong positive relationship with linear distance from the Valley, a pattern that is consistent with a general west-to-east spread across central California of the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis observed by other researchers.

Pesticide distributions and population declines of California, USA, alpine frogs, Rana muscosa and Rana sierrae. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2011 Mar;30(3):682-91. doi: 10.1002/etc.425. Jan 5 2011

What does this mean?
Although this study did not find a link between the pesticides examined, many other studies have, e.g. this one.

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