Ecotoxicology and Genotoxicology: Non-traditional Aquatic Models
Chapter 16: The Use of Aquatic Life-stages of European Amphibians in Toxicological Studies
Published:05 Jul 2017
N. Wagner and B. Viertel, in Ecotoxicology and Genotoxicology: Non-traditional Aquatic Models, ed. M. L. Larramendy and M. L. Larramendy, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017, ch. 16, pp. 371-406.
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Environmental contamination is suggested to be one of six main drivers for the worldwide amphibian decline. Within European amphibians, anuran larvae are especially suitable for toxicity testing, more so than urodele larvae in respect of their biology. Embryos as well as larvae are sensitive to toxic agents and ontogeny provides measurable meaningful endpoints that are representative of toxic effects. The availability of eggs as well as efforts for breeding and husbandry of adults and larvae under laboratory conditions are beneficial. Rana temporaria larvae are proposed as European anuran test species to achieve basic knowledge on the impairment of developmental steps in amphibians (developmental toxicity studies). The phylogenetically basic anurans of the genera Bombina and Discoglossus could be used as model laboratory species. However, Xenopus laevis remains a standard species for comparison owing to the high amount of background data. Allover, there are few pesticide studies using European anuran larvae and especially less toxicological experience with larval urodeles. Furthermore, nearly nothing is known about real-world contamination of amphibian habitats in Europe. Due to this lack of knowledge and their fundamentally different biology and ecology, the use of fish larvae as adequate surrogates to assess toxic effects on amphibian larvae is questionable.