Faculty Advisor

Dr. Tanya Matlaga

Start Date

April 2021

End Date

April 2021

Description

Atrazine is one of the most common herbicides used in the United States. Despite having a large spectrum of weed control, the herbicide has many negative consequences on stream integrity, specifically on aquatic organisms. Amphibians have many biological characteristics that make them highly susceptible to agricultural contaminants. Understanding the effects of herbicides on vulnerable species will allow for inferences to be made about the effects on the entire ecosystem. We investigated the hypothesis that herbicide exposure would affect the survival and growth of northern two lined salamander larvae (Eurycea bislineata). We exposed larvae to one of four different treatments of ecologically relevant atrazine concentrations (0 μg/L, 50 μg/L, 100 μg/L, 200μg/L) for four weeks. In the first trial in fall 2020, survival was high across all treatments and there was a significant difference in average total length between the highest concentration and the control (F3,27= 3.253; p= 0.037). Individuals exposed to 200μg/L of atrazine grew more than those in the control. A second trial ran in the spring of 2021 and those results are currently being analyzed. The results of this experiment will lead to a better understanding of the impacts of herbicide use on stream health.

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Apr 27th, 12:00 AM Apr 27th, 12:00 AM

The Impacts of Atrazine Exposure on the Performance of Northern Two-Lined Salamander Larvae (Eurycea bislineata)

Atrazine is one of the most common herbicides used in the United States. Despite having a large spectrum of weed control, the herbicide has many negative consequences on stream integrity, specifically on aquatic organisms. Amphibians have many biological characteristics that make them highly susceptible to agricultural contaminants. Understanding the effects of herbicides on vulnerable species will allow for inferences to be made about the effects on the entire ecosystem. We investigated the hypothesis that herbicide exposure would affect the survival and growth of northern two lined salamander larvae (Eurycea bislineata). We exposed larvae to one of four different treatments of ecologically relevant atrazine concentrations (0 μg/L, 50 μg/L, 100 μg/L, 200μg/L) for four weeks. In the first trial in fall 2020, survival was high across all treatments and there was a significant difference in average total length between the highest concentration and the control (F3,27= 3.253; p= 0.037). Individuals exposed to 200μg/L of atrazine grew more than those in the control. A second trial ran in the spring of 2021 and those results are currently being analyzed. The results of this experiment will lead to a better understanding of the impacts of herbicide use on stream health.

 

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