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Amphibians Harmed By Ozone Exposure

New study finds ozone depletion could be a factor in amphibian population decline.

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A new study has found that elevated ozone found in lower layers of the atmosphere could be a contributing factor to the ongoing decline and disappearance of many populations of amphibians. The study is published in the latest issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (Vol. 27.5 pg 1209-1216).

Declines of many amphibian populations over the past two decades have received significant attention from biologists, in part because amphibians are viewed as monitors or sentinels of pollution and other anthropogenic changes to the environment. Their importance as potential indicators of environmental health is well recognized for watersheds but is more problematic for air quality.


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In studying the feeding and escape/exploratory behavior of toads after acute and chronic exposure to O3, the researchers concluded that O3 affects many aspects of toad behavior and physiology. The study results indicate that exposure to oxidant air pollution might be a contributing factor to declines in amphibian populations.

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry is the monthly journal of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). For more information about the Society, click here.