Impact of Water Quality on the Occurrence of Two Endangered Korean Anurans: Dryophytes suweonensis and Pelophylax chosenicus

Amaël Borzée, Choi Nak Kyong, Hye Kyung Kil, Yikweon Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Water contaminants play an important role in threatening amphibian species already in the midst of the sixth extinction. Species relying exclusively on agricultural habitats for breeding are under multiple, and sometimes synergistic, threats because of the high levels of contamination from chemicals used as plant fertilizers and pest control. In the Republic of Korea, two anuran species listed as endangered occur primarily in rice paddies: Suweon Treefrogs (Dryophytes suweonensis) and Gold-spotted Pond Frogs (Pelophylax chosenicus). The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship between the occurrence of these two species and water contaminants in rice paddies. Water quality and contaminants were assessed through multisite triplicate sampling. The rice paddies where the two anuran species occurred were characterized by higher concentrations of iron and lower concentrations of phosphate than rice paddies without the two species. Furthermore, low conductivity in the water was correlated to the occurrence of P. chosenicus, and low ammonium nitrate was a reliable predictor for the occurrence of D. suweonensis. These contaminants principally result from the application of chemical treatments on agricultural fields. The decline of these two endangered anuran species might be related to current agricultural practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments.—We are grateful to E. Kim and C. Didinger for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This work was supported financially by a research grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (#2017R1A2B2003579) and a Rural Development Administration grant (PJ012285) to YJ, and an education grant from the Rotary Club Lectoure-Fleurance to AB. The experiments in this study comply with the current laws of the Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.


  • Agricultural runoff
  • Anuran occurrence
  • Gold-spotted Pond Frogs
  • Suweon Treefrogs
  • Water contaminants


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