Advances in Amphibian and Reptile Ecotoxicological Research pp. 173-200
Authors: (Manuel E. Ortiz-Santaliestra, Department of Animal Biology, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)
Abstract: Over the past three decades, considerable advances in ecotoxicology have been accomplished in many groups of organisms. However, amphibians and reptiles have been traditionally at the tail end of vertebrates with respect to ecotoxicological research. Both groups, but specially amphibians, are among the most affected by the global biodiversity crisis, and chemical pollution is nowadays assumed to be an important problem for perpetuation of these animals. Many scientists have suggested that a higher level of integration between ecology and toxicology would be desirable in order to gain a better understanding of the real impact of pollution on wildlife. Nevertheless, ecotoxicology of amphibians and reptiles has today reached an acceptable status of development and integration if we compare it to what was known a couple of decades ago, when the idea of the global decline of biodiversity was still in its embryonic stage. In this chapter, I try to illustrate how amphibian and reptile ecotoxicological studies have evolved since the simple laboratory assays with little ecological relevance and focused on a few well-known species, to today‘s more complex studies carried out under an ecological perspective that include a huge taxonomic spectrum.