Additive effects of mean temperature, temperature variability, and chlorothalonil to red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) larvae

Environ Toxicol Chem. 2016 Dec;35(12):2998-3004. doi: 10.1002/etc.3484. Epub 2016 Aug 30.


Amphibian populations are declining globally, and multiple anthropogenic stressors, including contamination by pesticides and shifting climates, are driving these declines. Climate change may increase average temperatures or increase temperature variability, either of which may affect the susceptibility of nontarget organisms to contaminants. Eight-day ecotoxicological assays were conducted with red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) larvae to test for additive and interactive effects of exposure to the fungicide chlorothalonil, average temperature, and temperature variability on tadpole growth and survival. Egg masses were collected from seasonal ponds at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica, and tadpoles were exposed to a series of chlorothalonil concentrations across a range of ecologically relevant mean temperatures (23.4-27.3 °C) and daily temperature fluctuations (1.1-9.9 °C). Survival was measured each day, and tadpole growth was measured at the end of each trial. Concentrations of chlorothalonil ≥60 µg/L reduced survival, although survival was not affected by mean temperature or daily temperature range, and there were no synergistic interactions between chlorothalonil and temperature regime on survival. Chlorothalonil suppressed tadpole growth at relatively low concentrations (∼15 µg/L). There were impacts of both average temperature and daily temperature range on tadpole growth, although there were no synergistic interactions between temperature regimes and chlorothalonil. The results should inform efforts to manage ecosystems impacted by multiple large-scale anthropogenic stressors as well as methods for the design of ecologically appropriate toxicology trials. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2998-3004. © 2016 SETAC.

Keywords: Amphibian; Climate change; Fungicide; Temperature variability.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anura / growth & development*
  • Climate Change
  • Fungicides, Industrial / toxicity*
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Nitriles / toxicity*
  • Temperature
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Fungicides, Industrial
  • Nitriles
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • tetrachloroisophthalonitrile