Chronic exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide makes toad larvae more toxic

V. Bókony, Zsanett Mikó, A. Móricz, Dániel Krüzselyi, Attila Hettyey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chemical pollutants can exert various sublethal effects on wildlife, leading to complex fitness consequences. Many animals use defensive chemicals as protection from predators and diseases, yet the effects of chemical contaminants on this important fitness component are poorly known. Understanding such effects is especially relevant for amphibians, the globally most threatened group of vertebrates, because they are particularly vulnerable to chemical pollution. We conducted two experiments to investigate how exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides, the most widespread agrochemicals worldwide, affects the production of bufadienolides, the main compounds of chemical defence in common toads (Bufo bufo). In both experiments, herbicide exposure increased the amount of bufadienolides in toad tadpoles. In the laboratory, individuals exposed to 4 mg a.e./L glyphosate throughout their larval development had higher bufadienolide content at metamorphosis than non-exposed tadpoles, whereas exposure for 9 days to the same concentration or to 2 mg a.e./L throughout larval development or for 9 days had no detectable effect. In outdoor mesocosms, tadpoles from 16 populations exhibited elevated bufadienolide content after three-weeks exposure to both concentrations of the herbicide. These results show that pesticide exposure can have unexpected effects on non-target organisms, with potential consequences for the conservation management of toxin-producing species and their predators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170493
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume284
Issue number1858
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 12 2017

Fingerprint

glyphosate
bufadienolides
Poisons
toad
Bufanolides
Herbicides
toads
chronic exposure
Bufo bufo
Anura
Larva
herbicide
herbicides
tadpoles
larva
larvae
larval development
Agrochemicals
Amphibians
predators

Keywords

  • Bufadienolides
  • Chemical defence
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Pesticides
  • Phenotypic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Chronic exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide makes toad larvae more toxic. / Bókony, V.; Mikó, Zsanett; Móricz, A.; Krüzselyi, Dániel; Hettyey, Attila.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 284, No. 1858, 20170493, 12.07.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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