The need for water quality criteria for frogs

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Journal: Environ Health Perspect 1995/04/01
Published: 1995
Authors: Boyer, R.;Grue, C. E.
Address: Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Fisheries, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.

Amphibians are considered reliable indicators of environmental quality. In the western United States, a general decline of frog populations parallels an apparent worldwide decline. The factors thought to be contributing to declines in frog populations include habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, overexploitation, disease, climate change, and decreasing water quality. With respect to water quality, agroecosystems use 80-90% of the water resources in the western United States, frequently resulting in highly eutrophic conditions. Recent investigations suggest that these eutrophic conditions (elevated pH, water temperature, and un-ionized ammonia) may be associated with frog embryo mortality or malformations. However, water quality criteria for frogs and other amphibians do not currently exist. Here, we briefly review data that support the need to develop water quality parameters for frogs in agroecosystems and other habitats.

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