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Evolutionary implications of acidification: a frog’s eye view
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology.
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding the diversity of life is one of the main aims of evolutionary biology, and requires knowledge of the occurrence and causes of adaptive genetic differentiation among geographically distinct populations. Environmental stress caused by acidity may cause strong directional selection in natural populations, but is little explored from an evolutionary perspective. In this thesis, a series of laboratory experiments and field data was used to study evolutionary and ecological responses of amphibians to environmental acidity.

Local adaptation to acid stress was studied in the moor frog (Rana arvalis).The results show that acid origin populations have higher acid stress tolerance during the embryonic stages than neutral origin populations, and that acid and neutral origin populations have diverged in embryonic and larval life-histories. The mechanisms underlying adaptive differentiation are partially mediated by maternal effects related to extra-embryonic membranes and egg size. Acid origin females invest in larger eggs and have a stronger egg size-fecundity trade-off than females from neutral areas, likely reflecting adaptive differentiation in maternal investment patterns.

Potential carry-over effects of low pH, and the effects of UV-b/pH interaction were investigated in the common frog (R. temporaria). The results suggest that amphibian larvae are able to compensate for the negative effects of acidity experienced early in life, if conditions later turn beneficial. R. temporaria populations differed in their sensitivity to synergistic effects of low pH/UV-B, indicating variation in population responses to environmental stress.

In conclusion, these results suggest rapid evolution in response to human induced environmental change, much of which may be mediated via adaptive maternal effects. Acidification may be a powerful selective force shaping life-history evolution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2002. , p. 32
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 764
Keywords [en]
Biology, acid stress, amphibians, local adaptation, maternal effects, maternal investment
Keywords [sv]
Biologi
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Population Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-2873ISBN: 91-554-5441-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-2873DiVA, id: diva2:162135
Public defence
2002-11-22, Friessalen, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Norbyvägen 14, 752 36 Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:00
Opponent
Available from: 2002-10-31 Created: 2002-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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