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Date:10/5/2009

When the snow melts in the spring, pesticides in the runoff contaminate areas where foothill yellow-legged frogs and Pacific treefrogs breed. In the study, the pesticides endosulfan and chlorpyrifos slowed tadpole growth and development. Chlorpyrifos also affected functioning of the nervous system, and endosulfan caused developmental abnormalities. These factors can alter behavior and make tadpoles more vulnerable to predators. The full report can be read at the USGS Western Ecological Center Web site at http://www.werc.usgs.gov/pt-reyes/pdfs/Sparling%20&%20Fellers%20-%202009.pdf. For more information contact Gary Fellers at gary_fellers@usgs.gov or (415) 464-5185.

Helping Plants and Animals Faced with Arctic Warming

The Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the last 150 years, and many questions remain unanswered as scientists work to forecast future events and develop plans to conserve the surrounding fragile ecosystems. Impacts from warming include a steady decline of terrestrial snow cover, warmer springs and rapid melting, lengthened growing seasons, sea ice retreat, and deaths of newborn seal pups and polar bears following melting of their under-snow birthing chambers. A study led by Penn State University, with the USGS as a collaborator, highlights areas of research that deserve priority as the Arctic continues to warm. This includes studies in the Arctic to monitor the physical drivers of climate change and the biological responses to them over the long term. This research was conducted during the 2008-2009 International Polar Year, and you can view the study at Science Magazine's site at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/325/5946/1355?rss=1. For more information, contact A. David McGuire at

Contact: Kara Capelli
kcapelli@usgs.gov
703-648-5086
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert

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