Submitted to: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2005
Publication Date: 11/13/2005
Citation: Mcconnell, L.L., Drakeford, L., Fellers, G.M., Sparling, D.W., Cowman, D.F., Kleeman, P.M., Harner, T. 2005. Investigating pesticide exposure pathways in amphibian habitat of the sierra nevada mountains [abstract]. SETAC North America 26th Annual Meeting, 11/13-17/05. 170:41. Interpretive Summary: .
Technical Abstract: Wildlife biologists have observed severe declines in several amphibian populations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, USA. Disease, habitat loss, UV (ultraviolet) radiation, predation, and pollution are factors that have been hypothesized to be involved with the disappearance of amphibians over the last two decades. A number of recent studies have also illustrated the “cold-trap” effect occurring in alpine regions with respect to organic pollutants such as pesticides. Samples of water (n=130), sediment (n=104), snow (n=36), air (n=72), and adult Hyla Regilla (n=89) were collected from a number of locations along the Sierra Nevada Mountain range during 2000-2005 as part of a series of related studies to determine the exposure of tree frogs to agricultural pesticides and other legacy organochlorine insecticide contaminants. Initial results suggest that agricultural pesticides are deposited to the alpine amphibian habitat via snow and other atmospheric deposition processes. However, only the more persistent organochlorine pesticides were detected in the sediment, water, and amphibian tissue samples collected during the summer months while sites are accessible. Environmental conditions present in typical alpine amphibian habitat during the summer months (warm temperatures, high UV radiation, shallow ponds with significant animal and plant biomass) likely lead to rapid degradation of most current use pesticides.