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Amphibians as environmental omen disputed
Date:11/11/2009

of the findings, Skelly said, scientists should evaluate the absence, presence or abundance of amphibians in wild populations as "signals" of potential exposure to different chemicals in the environment. "If we have such an understanding for several species, we may be able to use their responses, collectively, as a means of narrowing potential causes of environmental degradation," he said.

The EPA, according to the paper, uses African Clawed Frogs as a proxy for biological diversity when determining a species' sensitivity to chemical exposures, even though that particular species does not occur naturally in North America. "Our knowledge of amphibians' sensitivity to particular chemicals or classes of chemicals has not been used to design assays for effects in nature," Skelly said.

The paper is titled "An examination of amphibian sensitivity to environmental contaminants: are amphibians poor canaries?"


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Contact: David DeFusco
david.defusco@yale.edu
203-436-4842
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert

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