Nowadays the population of amphibian is decreasing due to disease, habitat loss and pollution. So, it’s become a major threat to their existence. In a recent study, scientists have found that pollution from fertilizers and pesticides increase the stress level of the tadpoles.
A research team from Lancaster University have found a technique to spot the certain changes could offer an early warning sign to save the frogs from the risk. During the three years of research, scientists analyzed the population of common frogs in urban and rural ponds and the rate of impact by pollution.
Scientists developed biochemical 'fingerprinting' method to look into the biochemical makeup of tadpoles as well as frogspawn via infrared spectroscopy. In the journal of Scientific Reports, scientists mentioned that levels of glycogen vary according to the level of stress. However, pollution directly impacts on the tadpoles than frogspawn embryos because the gel-like coating protects them from environmental stress.
Lead researcher and environmental chemist at Lancaster University, Dr. Crispin Halsall said in a report,“This is the first time we have been able to show that infrared spectroscopy of this kind can pick up on the differences between tadpole populations which have been exposed to low but varying levels of pollution”. it was next to impossible by using conventional biological toxicity tests and analytical chemistry to detect the subtle detrimental effects.
According to Science Daily, this advanced bio spectroscopy technique would help scientists to monitor the populations of frog and amphibian and indicate which freshwater system is at the risk of pollution. It will also warn scientists before a local population becomes extinct.
Dr. Halsal explained that Amphibians have very sensitive life-stages which make them so vulnerable to contamination. pesticides and fertilizers become lethal for frogs during their breeding season. Prof Frank Martin from the University of Central Lancashire said that their next step is to create a database to include all non-affected 'control' organisms that will help them to compare with pollutant-affected organisms.