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Chemosphere. 2000 Apr;40(8):803-9.

Bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls in ranid frogs and northern water snakes from a hazardous waste site and a contaminated watershed.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University, SC 29634, USA.


Livers of bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) from a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated watershed and hazardous waste site located in Pickens County, South Carolina, contained significantly higher concentrations of PCBs (2.33 and 2.26 ppm, respectively) than those from a reference site (0.05 ppm). Green frogs (R. clamitans) from the two contaminated sites also accumulated higher levels of PCBs (2.37 and 3.88 ppm, respectively) than those from the reference site (0.02 ppm). No temporal variation was observed in PCB concentrations of bullfrogs or green frogs from the contaminated sites between 1992 and 1993. Levels of PCBs in the livers of northern water snakes (Nerodia sipedon) were significantly higher in snakes from the contaminated watershed (13.70 ppm) than in those from the waste site (2.29 ppm) and two reference sites (2.50 and 1.23 ppm). When compared to frogs, significantly higher bioaccumulation occurred in water snakes from the contaminated watershed. No significant differences in PCB levels were found with respect to sex or body size (snout-vent length (SVL) or body mass) for frogs or snakes. PCBs were detected also in eggs of both frogs and snakes. Results of this study provide baseline data and document the bioaccumulation of PCB residues in frog and snake tissues; however, the significance of these tissue residues to reproduction, survival, growth/development, and population dynamics in contaminated habitats is unknown.

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