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Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata)

Abstract

Mercury (Hg) causes a range of deleterious effects in wildlife, but little is known about its effects on amphibians. Our objective was to determine whether Hg affects performance and behavior in two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata). We collected salamanders from Hg-contaminated and reference sites and assessed speed, responsiveness, and prey capture ability. Mercury concentrations were >17x higher in salamanders from the contaminated sites and were among the highest documented in amphibians. In the first, but not in the second, locomotion trial, we found a significant effect of Hg on speed and responsiveness. In the prey capture experiment, reference salamanders ate approximately twice as many prey items as the contaminated salamanders. Together, our results suggest that sublethal Hg concentrations may negatively affect salamanders by reducing their ability to successfully execute tasks critical to survival. Future work is warranted to determine whether Hg has other sublethal effects on salamanders and whether other amphibians are similarly affected. - Mercury contamination may alter behavior and performance in the northern two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata).
Authors:
Burke, John N; Bergeron, Christine M; Todd, Brian D; [1]  Hopkins, William A., E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.ed [1] 
  1. Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 100 Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States)
Publication Date:
Dec 15, 2010
Product Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Pollution (1987); Journal Volume: 158; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.08.017; PII: S0269-7491(10)00370-2; Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.
Subject:
07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; BIOLOGICAL ACCUMULATION; MERCURY; PERFORMANCE; POLLUTION; SALAMANDERS; AMPHIBIANS; ANIMALS; AQUATIC ORGANISMS; ELEMENTS; METALS; VERTEBRATES
OSTI ID:
21454239
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: ISSN 0269-7491; ENPOEK; TRN: GB10R5825048688
Availability:
Available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2010.08.017
Submitting Site:
GBN
Size:
page(s) 3546-3551
Announcement Date:
Jul 16, 2011

Citation Formats

Burke, John N, Bergeron, Christine M, Todd, Brian D, and Hopkins, William A., E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.ed. Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata). United Kingdom: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2010.08.017.
Burke, John N, Bergeron, Christine M, Todd, Brian D, & Hopkins, William A., E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.ed. Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata). United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2010.08.017.
Burke, John N, Bergeron, Christine M, Todd, Brian D, and Hopkins, William A., E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.ed. 2010. "Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata)." United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2010.08.017. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10.1016/j.envpol.2010.08.017.
@misc{etde_21454239,
title = {Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata)}
author = {Burke, John N, Bergeron, Christine M, Todd, Brian D, and Hopkins, William A., E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.ed}
abstractNote = {Mercury (Hg) causes a range of deleterious effects in wildlife, but little is known about its effects on amphibians. Our objective was to determine whether Hg affects performance and behavior in two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata). We collected salamanders from Hg-contaminated and reference sites and assessed speed, responsiveness, and prey capture ability. Mercury concentrations were >17x higher in salamanders from the contaminated sites and were among the highest documented in amphibians. In the first, but not in the second, locomotion trial, we found a significant effect of Hg on speed and responsiveness. In the prey capture experiment, reference salamanders ate approximately twice as many prey items as the contaminated salamanders. Together, our results suggest that sublethal Hg concentrations may negatively affect salamanders by reducing their ability to successfully execute tasks critical to survival. Future work is warranted to determine whether Hg has other sublethal effects on salamanders and whether other amphibians are similarly affected. - Mercury contamination may alter behavior and performance in the northern two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata).}
doi = {10.1016/j.envpol.2010.08.017}
journal = {Environmental Pollution (1987)}
issue = {12}
volume = {158}
place = {United Kingdom}
year = {2010}
month = {Dec}
}