Agricultural pollution linked to frog deformities New experimental evidence from a multi-university study indicates that frogs and other amphibian populations may be at risk from the large amounts of nutrient pollution generated by industrial agriculture. The authors of the study show that increased nutrients in bodies of water leads to excessive algal growth, which supports larger populations of certain snails. The snails carry parasites that cause severe limb deformities and death in frogs—and more snails mean more of the parasites. With the increasing industrialization of agriculture, ever more massive amounts of nutrients flow into waterways around the world each year, both from fields treated with synthetic fertilizers and manure from CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations). This new research suggests that the trend may intensify the pressure on amphibians, which are key species in many ecosystems.

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the abstract in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.