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Ecotoxicology (London, England)

Impacts of the herbicide butachlor on the larvae of a paddy field breeding frog (Fejervarya limnocharis) in subtropical Taiwan.


PMID 21210217

Abstract

Butachlor is the most commonly used herbicide on paddy fields in Taiwan and throughout Southeast Asia. Since paddy fields provide habitat for pond breeding amphibians, we examined growth, development, time to metamorphosis, and survival of alpine cricket frog tadpoles (Fejervarya limnocharis) exposed to environmentally realistic concentrations of butachlor. We documented negative impacts of butachlor on survival, development, and time to metamorphosis, but not on tadpole growth. The 96 h LC(50) for tadpoles was 0.87 mg/l, much lower than the 4.8 mg/l recommended dosage for application to paddy fields. Even given the rapid breakdown of butachlor, tadpoles would be exposed to concentrations in excess of their 96 h LC(50) for an estimated 126 h. We also documented DNA damage (genotoxicity) in tadpoles exposed to butachlor at concentrations an order of magnitude less than the 4.8 mg/l recommended application rate. We did not find that butachlor depressed cholinesterase activity of tadpoles, unlike most organophosphorus insecticides. We conclude that butachlor is likely to have widespread negative impacts on amphibians occupying paddy fields with traditional herbicide application.

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