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Latitudinal countergradient variation in the common frog (Rana temporaria) developmental rates: evidence for local adaptation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology.
2003 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 16, no 5, 996-1005 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adaptive genetic differentiation along a climatic gradient as a response to natural selection is not necessarily expressed at phenotypic level if environmental effects on population mean phenotypes oppose the genotypic effects. This form of cryptic evolution--called countergradient variation--has seldom been explicitly demonstrated for terrestrial vertebrates. We investigated the patterns of phenotypic and genotypic differentiation in developmental rates of common frogs (Rana temporaria) along a ca. 1600 km latitudinal gradient across Scandinavia. Developmental rates in the field were not latitudinally ordered, but displayed large variation even among different ponds within a given latitudinal area. In contrast, development rates assessed in the laboratory increased strongly and linearly with increasing latitude, suggesting a genetic capacity for faster development in the northern than the southern larvae. Experiments further revealed that environmental effects (temperature and food) could easily override the genetic effects on developmental rates, providing a possible mechanistic explanation as to why the genetic differentiation was not seen in the samples collected from the wild. Our results suggest that the higher developmental rates of the northern larvae are likely to be related to selection stemming from seasonal time constrains, rather than from selection dictated by low ambient temperatures per se. All in all, the results provide a demonstration of environmental effects concealing substantial latitudinally ordered genetic differentiation understandable in terms of adaptation to clinal variation in time constrains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 16, no 5, 996-1005 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90159DOI: 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2003.00560.xPubMedID: 14635915OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-90159DiVA: diva2:162410
Available from: 2003-03-06 Created: 2003-03-06 Last updated: 2013-09-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Local Adaptation, Countergradient Variation and Ecological Genetics of Life-history Traits in Rana Temporaria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local Adaptation, Countergradient Variation and Ecological Genetics of Life-history Traits in Rana Temporaria
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this work was to identify local adaptation processes in amphibian populations, thereby improving the general understanding of genetics and mechanisms behind the evolution and maintenance of biological diversity. Phenotypic and genetic variation in life-history traits was studied within and between populations common frog (Rana temporaria) populations along a 1600 km transect from southern Sweden to northern Finland.

Embryonic and larval development and growth was investigated both under field and laboratory conditions. The results suggest ample genetic diversity in larval life-history traits among Fennoscandian common frog populations. Larval developmental rate along the gradient has evolved a countergradient variation pattern of genotypes and phenotypes as indicated by the positive relationship between developmental rate and latitude under laboratory conditions and the lack of such a relationship in the field. The data suggest that this pattern has evolved because of time constraints due to decreasing length of growth season with latitude. Neither field-caught adults nor laboratory raised larvae displayed a linear latitudinal size cline as expected from the so called Bergmanns rule. Rather, size increased towards the mid-latitude populations and decreased thereafter, indicating that body size is a product of direct environmental induction or a trade-off with other life-history characters. Age and size at hatching showed no consistent latitudinal pattern, indicating that the embryonic stage is not as time constrained as the larval stage.

A large part of the variation in age and size at metamorphosis among populations was due to additive genetic effects. However, small, but significant maternal effects, mostly due to variation in egg size and non-additive genetic effects also contributed to among population variation. A comparison of divergence in presumably neutral molecular genetic markers (FST) and quantitative characters (QST) revealed that although both estimates of divergence were relatively high, estimates of QST was generally higher than those of FST, indicating that the genetic variation observed in larval traits is primarily a result of natural selection rather than genetic drift. Hence, our results reinforce the conclusion that intraspecific genetic heterogeneity in the young northern European ecosystems may be more widespread than previously anticipated

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2003. 33 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 818
Keyword
Ecology, amphibians, Bergmanns rule, body size clines, countergradient variation, developmental rate, FST, temperature, QST, Ekologi
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Population Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3332 (URN)91-554-5558-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-03-28, Zootissalen, Uppsala, 13:00
Opponent
Available from: 2003-03-06 Created: 2003-03-06Bibliographically approved

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