Navigation Links
Road runoff spurring spotted salamander evolution
Date:2/1/2012

Spotted salamanders exposed to contaminated roadside ponds are adapting to their toxic environments, according to a Yale paper in Scientific Reports. This study provides the first documented evidence that a vertebrate has adapted to the negative effects of roads apparently by evolving rapidly.

Salamanders breeding in roadside ponds are exposed to a host of contaminants from road runoff. Chief among these is sodium chloride from road salt, which reaches average concentrations of 70 times higher in roadside ponds compared to woodland ponds located several hundred feet from the road.

"While the evolutionary consequences of roads are largely unknown, we know they are strong agents of natural selection and set the stage for fast evolution," said Steven Brady, the study's author and a doctoral student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "These animals are growing up in harsh environments where they face a cocktail of contaminants, and it appears that they are evolving to cope with them."

Brady found that salamanders in roadside ponds have higher mortality, grow at a slower rate and are more than likely to develop L-shaped spines and other disfigurements. In roadside ponds, only 56 percent of salamander eggs survive the first 10 weeks of development, whereas 87 percent survive in the woodland ponds. As roadside ponds become more toxic, the surviving salamanders may develop a genetic advantage over their counterparts living in woodland ponds.

The salamanders that survive year after year in the roadside ponds appear to have adapted to the harsh conditions. "The animals that come from roadside ponds actually do bettersubstantially betterthan the ones that originate from woodland ponds when they're raised together," Brady said.

That animals adapt to human activities is not altogether new. For example, fish have begun to mature at smaller sizes in response to commercial fishing. But whereas humans directly utilize fish for consumption, salamanders are just bystanders to human activities. This suggests that the majority of species, which are not specifically targeted for human use, may be experiencing profound evolutionary consequences. And it appears that even species not being driven to extinctionand seldom thought aboutare changing.

"This adaptation is certainly encouraging for conservation," said Brady. "But our modern footprint is fundamentally changing species in ways we don't understand and, critically, we don't know if these adaptive responses will keep pace with environmental change."


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

Related biology news :

1. Manure runoff depends on soil texture
2. Plant buffers can slow runoff of veterinary antibiotics
3. Pelletized manure reduces toxic runoff
4. Arsenic in field runoff linked to poultry litter
5. Super socks help stem pollution runoff
6. Compost filter socks improve runoff from croplands
7. Tracking phosphorus runoff from livestock manure
8. Cover crops reduce erosion, runoff
9. Storm runoff and sewage treatment outflow contaminated with household pesticides
10. Canna can: Ornamental eliminates pollutants from stormwater runoff
11. UNH: Pavement sealcoat a source of toxins in stormwater runoff
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On April ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s ... exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health and ... Hack the Genome is the ... been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... -- The report "Video Surveillance Market by ... Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, Installation ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued at ... reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR ... considered for the study is 2016 and the forecast ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth ... and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... WA (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... Leaders ... division of Quorum, will be featured in multiple sessions at this week’s Association ... from emerging trends to best practices in clinical research. , "We are excited to ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... Bank, today announced first round funding to three startups through the UConn Innovation ... support to new business startups affiliated with UConn. , The UConn Innovation Fund ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... this new webinar will explore challenging patient cases when screening for direct oral ... there may be a need for bridging parental anticoagulation especially for those at ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... NetDimensions appoints Bill Mastin, a learning technology veteran, ... of experience in the learning technologies industry, Mastin joins NetDimensions from the New York ... plc (LTG). At LEO, Mastin served as SVP of the North America offices and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: