SREL Reprint #0392




Growth and Developmental Responses of Larval Toad Populations to Heated Effluent in a South Carolina Reservoir

David H. Nelson



Eggs of the Southern toad (Bufo terrestris Bonnaterre) were laid in a reservoir receiving heated effluent from a production reactor on the Savannah River Plant area.  Larvae were removed at weekly intervals from different thermal regimes in and around the reservoir for comparison of rates of development and growth.  Larvae were measured and staged according to the level of development.  Embryonic and larval mortality, which were high in an unprotected area along the reservoir shoreline, were negligible in shallows receiving cool-stream seepage.  Different growth and developmental rates reflected the extent of thermal loading imposed on the habitat.  Within the range of thermal tolerance, embryos living in habitats influenced by the thermal effluent developed more rapidly and metamorphosed at a smaller size than those living in unheated areas.

SREL Reprint #0392

Nelson, D.H. 1974. Growth and developmental responses of larval toad populations to heated effluent in a South Carolina reservoir. p. 264-276. In Thermal Ecology, edited by J.W. Gibbons and R.R. Sharitz. CONF 730505. Atomic Energy Commission.

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