Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 351-357

First online:

The Lethal Impacts of Roundup and Predatory Stress on Six Species of North American Tadpoles

  • R A RelyeaAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The decline in amphibians across the globe has sparked a search for the causes, and recent evidence suggests a connection with pesticides. However, for most pesticides, tests on amphibians are rare and conducted only for short durations (1 to 4 days) and without natural stressors. Recent studies have discovered that the stress of predator cues in the water can make insecticides much more lethal to larval amphibians, but it is unknown whether this phenomenon can be generalized to other types of pesticides. Using six species of North American amphibian larvae (Rana sylvatica, R. pipiens, R. clamitans, R. catesbeiana, Bufo americanus, and Hyla versicolor), I examined the impact of a globally common herbicide (Roundup) on the survival of tadpoles for 16 days with and without the chemical cues emitted by predatory newts (Notophthalmus viridescens). LC5016-d estimates varied from 0.55 to 2.52 mg of active ingredient (AI)/L, which was considerably lower than the few previous studies using Roundup (1.5 to 15.5 mg AI/L). Moreover, in one of the six species tested (R. sylvatica), the addition of predatory stress made Roundup twice as lethal. This discovery suggests that synergistic interactions between predatory stress and pesticides may indeed be a generalizable phenomenon in amphibians that occurs with a wide variety of pesticides.