Global climate change leading to increased temperatures may affect shifts in physiological processes especially in ectothermic organisms. Temperature-dependent shifts in developmental rate in particular, may lead to life-long changes in adult morphology and physiology. Combined with anthropogenic changes in the chemical environment, changes in developmental outcomes may affect adult functionality. The purpose of this study is to determine 1) if small increases in diel water temperature affect the development of Arizona tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum) larvae, and 2) if this change interacts with exposure to the common environmental thyroid disrupting compound, perchlorate. Larvae between Watson and Russell developmental stages 8-13 were exposed to ammonium perchlorate (AP) at doses of 0, 20 or 200. ppb and then raised at either ambient or a 0.9. °C elevated above ambient temperature for 81. days in outdoor enclosures. During the first 5 treatment weeks, AP treatment induced slower development and smaller snout-vent length (SVL) of exposed larvae, but only in the elevated temperature group. During the later stages of development, the small increase in temperature, regardless of AP treatment, tended to decrease the time to metamorphosis and resulted in a significantly smaller body mass and worse body condition. Our results suggest that even small diel water temperature increases can affect the developmental process of salamanders and this shift in the water temperature may interact with a common environmental contaminant.
- Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum
- Ammonium perchlorate
- Climate change
- Endocrine disrupting compound
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