, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 1150–1159 | Cite as

Evaluation of the sensitivity of Microhyla fissipes tadpoles to aqueous cadmium

  • Ying-Chao Hu
  • Yun Tang
  • Zhi-Qiang Chen
  • Jing-Yi Chen
  • Guo-Hua DingEmail author


Cadmium (Cd) exposure is harmful to amphibians in natural environments and the Cd concentration is a key parameter in water monitoring. Cd pollution has been a severe issue in the Yangtze River and its southern reaches in recent years. Acute toxicity assays were employed to determine the tolerance limits of Cd for Microhyla fissipes tadpoles and five different concentrations of Cd (0, 50, 100, 200 and 300 μg/L) were involved to detect its chronic effects on metamorphosis, growth, locomotion, genotoxicity and enzymatic activities of M. fissipes tadpoles. The results showed that the 24-h and 48-h LC50 values of Cd on M. fissipes tadpoles were 2591.3 μg/L and 1567.9 μg/L, respectively, and the presumable non-lethal concentration obtained was 172.2 μg/L. During the 70-day chronic toxicity assays, Cd showed negative impacts on survival, growth, metamorphosis and the frequency of erythrocytes nuclear abnormality of M. fissipes tadpoles. However, the Cd exposure caused the increased body size and condition of tadpoles at complete metamorphosis (GS46). The tadpoles exposed to 200 μg/L of Cd exhibited degraded locomotor performance at GS46. Weight increments of tadpoles were inhibited at Day 14 and massive deaths were observed over the next 14 days. The enzymatic activities of tadpoles experienced a shock response stage (GS30-GS35) and a complete recovery stage (GS36-GS41) in all treatments. However, the enzymatic activities (except alkaline phosphatase) of tadpoles at GS46 increased after Cd exposure, especially at high concentrations. In summary, Cd is a threat to M. fissipes tadpoles as that causes reduced fitness.


Cadmium Development Locomotion Genotoxicity Enzymatic activities Tadpole 



This work was supported by grants from Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LQ16C040001, Y20C030006), National Science Foundation of China (31500308) and Zhejiang Science and Technology Innovation Program for College Students (2019R434006). We thank Sai-Nan Guo, Wen-Jun Chen, Mei-Ling Tong, Guo-Qing Cai for their help during the research.

Author contributions

YT, YCH, and GHD performed statistical analysis and wrote the paper. YCH and GHD conceived the idea and supervised the study, ZQC and JYC captured and raised the animals, YT and YCH collected the data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ADI, College of EcologyLishui UniversityLishuiPeople’s Republic of China

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