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Research article2022Peer reviewed

Effects of the agricultural pollutant 178-trenbolone on morphology and behaviour of tadpoles (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)

Orford, Jack T.; Ozeki, Shiho; Brand, Jack A.; Henry, Jason; Wlodkowic, Donald; Alton, Lesley A.; Martin, Jake M.; Wong, Bob B. M.


Pollutants, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), are increasingly being detected in organisms and ecosystems globally. Agricultural activities, including the use of hormonal growth promotants (HGPs), are a major source of EDC contamination. One potent EDC that enters into the environment through the use of HGPs is 178-trenbolone. Despite EDCs being repeatedly shown to affect reproduction and development, comparatively little is known regarding their effects on behaviour. Amphibians, one of the most imperilled vertebrate taxa globally, are at particular risk of exposure to such pollutants as they often live and breed near agricultural op-erations. Yet, no previous research on amphibians has explored the effects of 178-trenbolone exposure on foraging or antipredator behaviour, both of which are key fitness-related behavioural traits. Accordingly, we investigated the impacts of 28-day exposure to two environmentally realistic concentrations of 178-trenbolone (average measured concentrations: 10 and 66 ng/L) on the behaviour and growth of spotted marsh frog tadpoles (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis). Contrary to our predictions, there was no significant effect of 178-trenbolone exposure on tadpole growth, antipredator response, anxiety-like behaviour, or foraging. We hypothesise that the differences in effects found between this study and those conducted on fish may be due to taxonomic differences and/or the life stage of the animals used, and suggest further research is needed to investigate the potential for delayed manifestation of the effects of 178-trenbolone exposure.


Behavioural ecotoxicology; Agricultural contaminant; Amphibian; Hormonal growth promotant; Endocrine disrupting chemical; Trenbolone

Published in

Aquatic Toxicology
2022, Volume: 251, article number: 106289
Publisher: ELSEVIER

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Pharmacology and Toxicology
      Fish and Aquacultural Science

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