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    Amphibian declines have been linked to numerous factors, including pesticide use and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Moreover, research has suggested a link between amphibian sensitivity to Bd and pesticide exposure. We simultaneously exposed postmetamorphic American toads (Anaxyrus americanus), western toads (A. boreas), spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), Pacific treefrogs (P. regilla), leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens), and Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae) to a factorial combination of two pathogen treatments (Bd+, Bd-) and four pesticide treatments (control, ethanol vehicle, herbicide mixture, and insecticide mixture) for 14 d to quantify survival and infection load. We found no interactive effects of pesticides and Bd on anuran survival and no effects of pesticides on infection load. Mortality following Bd exposure increased in spring peepers and American toads and was dependent upon snout-vent length in western toads, American toads, and Pacific treefrogs. Previous studies reported effects of early sublethal pesticide exposure on amphibian Bd sensitivity and infection load at later life stages, but we found simultaneous exposure to sublethal pesticide concentrations and Bd had no such effect on postmetamorphic juvenile anurans. Future research investigating complex interactions between pesticides and Bd should employ a variety of pesticide formulations and Bd strains and follow the effects of exposure throughout ontogeny.


    Devin K Jones, Trang D Dang, Jenny Urbina, Randall J Bendis, Julia C Buck, Rickey D Cothran, Andrew R Blaustein, Rick A Relyea. Effect of Simultaneous Amphibian Exposure to Pesticides and an Emerging Fungal Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Environmental science & technology. 2017 Jan 03;51(1):671-679

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    PMID: 28001054

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