Date: 23 May 2008

Organochlorine Pesticide Concentrations in Sediment and Amphibian Tissue in Playa Wetlands in the Southern High Plains, USA

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Playa wetlands are critical habitat for wildlife in the Southern High Plains (SHP), a region dominated by agriculture. Little information on pesticide levels exists for playas, and thus we measured organochlorine pesticide concentrations in sediment and amphibians collected from playas in cropland and grassland watersheds. Heptachlor, α- and β-BHC, γ-chlordane, and dieldrin were detected in sediment and/or tissue samples, typically at or below 1 ng/g, dry weight. However, mean DDT and DDE reached 19.7 and 4.1 ng/g in sediments and 6.3 and 2.4 ng/g in tissues, respectively. Land use did not influence pesticide levels in sediment or amphibians.