John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Effects of tannin source and concentration from tree leaves on two species of tadpoles

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Vegetation in and around freshwater ecosystems can affect aquatic organisms through production of secondary compounds, which are retained in leaves after senescence and are biologically active. Tannins can be toxic to tadpoles, but in previous studies the plant source of tannins and tannin concentration have been confounded in experimental designs. To examine the effects of the concentration and source of tannins (tree species), we examined the effects of four factors on tadpole survival, growth and development: tannin source (red oak [Quercus rubra], white oak [Q. alba], or sugar maple [Acer saccharum]), tannin concentration (including a control), diet protein level, and tadpole species (American toad [Anaxyrus americanus] and spring peepers [Pseudacris crucifer]). Tannin source and concentration affected spring peeper survival, but American toads had uniformly high survival. Spring peepers had lower survival in high tannin concentrations of oak leachate but high survival in both concentrations of sugar maple leachate. These differences in survival did not correspond with changes in dissolved oxygen, and there was no effect of dietary protein level on tadpole performance. The presence of plant leachate resulted in increased tadpole growth in both species, but the mechanism for this is unclear. Our results show that tannin concentration and source are important factors for tadpole performance, adding further evidence that plant chemistry can affect aquatic organisms. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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