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Much work needs to be done to improve and develop techniques for contaminant studies with post-metamorphic, terrestrial amphibians. Evaluations also should be made of the impacts of multiple Stressors, because single-factor studies may underestimate environmental stress. Habitat contamination is one of the proposed causes of the global decline of amphibians. Hibernation is an annual period of natural stress when mortality can be very high. This paper describes methods for testing the combined effects of contamination and hibernation on terrestrial amphibians, and includes model species selection, culture practices, hibernation conditions, soil exposures, and food chain exposures. The guidelines provided are based on what works well with American toads (Bufo americanus), but should be useful for other amphibian species.
amphibian, contaminant, hibernation, oral uptake, soil toxicity
Doctoral candidate, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO