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    The development of anuran larvae from hatchling through metamorphosis is a particularly sensitive life stage that often is studied to assess adverse effects of water pollution, such as metal contamination. As an integral part of the food chain, high metal exposure and accumulation in developing anuran larvae may not only affect their survival but also pose a threat to secondary consumers. The presented work examines metal accumulation in wood frog tadpoles (Lithobates sylvaticus) before and after reaching metamorphic climax at emergence of the forelimbs. Metal levels were determined in whole tadpoles pre- and post-metamorphic climax in tadpole tissue excluding the stomach and intestines, as well as in water, via inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Wood frog tadpoles concentrated metals in their gut coil, with a rapid decline coincident with metamorphic climax. Tadpoles raised in a diluted bitumen-contaminated environment had higher levels of vanadium, molybdenum and cadmium, but not at levels expected to negatively impact development. In conclusion, metal accumulation in wood frog tadpoles varies greatly depending on developmental stage surrounding metamorphic climax. Metabolic changes and intestinal remodelling must be considered when studying pollutants in developing anuran larvae.


    Regina M Krohn, Vince Palace, Judit E G Smits. Metal Changes in Pre- and Post-metamorphic Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) Tadpoles: Implications for Ecotoxicological Studies. Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology. 2021 May;80(4):760-768

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    PMID: 32313976

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