The present study examined the adverse effects of fluoride exposure on embryos and larvae of Rana chensinensis. Survival, morphological abnormalities, growth and development, time to metamorphosis and size at metamorphic climax of R. chensinensis were examined. Our results showed that embryos malformation occurred in all fluoride treatments. Morphological abnormalities of embryos are characterized by axial flexures, the extrusion of fin axis, edema, and ruffled dorsal and ventral fin. Additionally, 4.1mg F(-)/L and above could significantly inhibit embryos growth and development. On day 15, total length and weight of tadpole were significantly lower in 19.6 and 42.4 mg F(-)/L treatments compared to control. However, significant reductions in total length and weight were observed only at 42.4 mg F(-)/L on day 30. Moreover, significant metamorphic delay and decrease in the size at metamorphic climax were found in larvae exposed to 42.4 mg F(-)/L. Taken together, embryos of R. chensinensis are more vulnerable to fluoride exposure than their tadpoles. Our results suggested that the presence of high concentrations fluoride might increase mortality risk and a reduction in juvenile recruitment in the field by increasing embryos malformation, delaying metamorphosis and decreasing size at metamorphosis.
Keywords: Embryo; Fluoride; Growth; Metamorphosis; Rana chensinensis.
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