, Volume 162, Issue 1, pp 237–245 | Cite as

Experimental examination of the effects of ultraviolet-B radiation in combination with other stressors on frog larvae

  • Catherine Laura Searle
  • Lisa K. Belden
  • Betsy A. Bancroft
  • Barbara A. Han
  • Lindsay M. Biga
  • Andrew R. Blaustein
Global Change Ecology - Original Paper


Ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) is a ubiquitous stressor with negative effects on many aquatic organisms. In amphibians, ambient levels of UVB can result in impaired growth, slowed development, malformations, altered behavior and mortality. UVB can also interact with other environmental stressors to amplify these negative effects on individuals. In outdoor mesocosm and laboratory experiments we studied potential synergistic effects of UVB, a pathogenic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and varying temperatures on larval Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae). First, we compared survivorship, growth and development in two mesocosm experiments with UVB- and Bd-exposure treatments. We then investigated the effects of UVB on larvae in the laboratory under two temperature regimes, monitoring survival and behavior. We found reduced survival of R. cascadae larvae with exposure to UVB radiation in all experiments. In the mesocosm experiments, growth and development were not affected in either treatment, and no effect of Bd was found. In the laboratory experiment, larvae exposed to UVB demonstrated decreased activity levels. We also found a trend towards reduced survival when UVB and cold temperatures were combined. Our results show that amphibian larvae can suffer both lethal and sublethal effects when exposed to UVB radiation.


Rana cascadae Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Temperature UVB 



We would like to thank A. Pessier, J. Spatafora, J. Romansic, J. Longcore, T. Raffel, P. Bradley, A. Searle, J. Carey, and M. Christie for their assistance. This work was supported by National Science Foundation Integrated Research Challenges in Environmental Biology (NSF IRCEB) Program (DEB0213851 and IBN9977063). Suggestions by two anonymous reviewers greatly contributed to this paper. These experiments comply with the current laws of the United States and with Oregon State University animal care regulations. Animals were collected according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations.

Supplementary material

442_2009_1440_MOESM1_ESM.doc (110 kb)
Supplementary figure (DOC 109 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Laura Searle
    • 1
  • Lisa K. Belden
    • 2
  • Betsy A. Bancroft
    • 3
  • Barbara A. Han
    • 4
  • Lindsay M. Biga
    • 1
  • Andrew R. Blaustein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.College of Forest ResourcesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Odum School of EcologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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