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Local adaptation and genetics of acid-stress tolerance in the moor frog, Rana arvalis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Population Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Population Biology.
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2004 (English)In: Conservation Genetics, ISSN 1566-0621, E-ISSN 1572-9737, Vol. 5, no 4, 513-527 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As potential to adapt to environmental stress can be essential for population persistence, knowledge on the genetic architecture of local adaptation is important for conservation genetics. We investigated the relative importance of additive genetic, dominance and maternal effects contributions to acid stress tolerance in two moor frog (Rana arvalis) populations originating from low and neutral pH habitats. Experiments with crosses obtained from artificial matings revealed that embryos from the acid origin population were more tolerant to low pH than embryos from the neutral origin population in embryonic survival rates, but not in terms of developmental stability, developmental and growth rates. Strong maternal effect and small additive genetic contributions to variation were detected in all traits in both populations. In general, dominance contributions to variance in different traits were of similar magnitude to the additive genetic effects, but dominance effects outweighed the additive genetic and maternal effects contributions to early growth in both populations. Furthermore, the expression of additive genetic variance was independent of pH treatment, suggesting little additive genetic variation in acid stress tolerance. The results suggest that although local genetic adaptation to acid stress has taken place, the current variation in acid stress tolerance in acidified populations may owe largely to non-genetic effects. However, low but significant heritabilities ( h(2) approximate to 0.07 - 0.22) in all traits - including viability itself - under a wide range of pH conditions suggests that environmental stress created by low pH is unlikely to lower moor frog populations' ability to respond to selection in the traits studied. Nevertheless, acid conditions could lower populations' ability to respond to selection in the long run through reduction in effective population size.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 5, no 4, 513-527 p.
Keyword [en]
acidification, Bayesian statistics, dominance, heritability, maternal effects
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-94391DOI: 10.1023/B:COGE.0000041026.71104.0aISI: 000223770700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-94391DiVA: diva2:168224
Available from: 2006-04-18 Created: 2006-04-18 Last updated: 2012-10-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Comparative Population Ecology in Moor Frogs with Particular Reference to Acidity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Comparative Population Ecology in Moor Frogs with Particular Reference to Acidity
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is an attempt to describe how different environmental factors influence life history traits in different populations, sexes and developmental stages in the moor frog, Rana arvalis. The studied populations are located along 1100 km latitudinal gradient, with pH varying between 4.0 and 8.5. I have used data from both natural populations and common garden experiments.

Reproducing moor frogs were larger and older at high latitudes, indicating a selective advantage of large size at high latitudes and/or earlier reproduction at low latitudes. When controlling for age I found that frogs were older and smaller at low pH, which may be a result of a reduced growth rate due to acid stress. The both sexes respond differently to different environments, with the lowest sexual dimorphism in body size found in the acid environments. This is possibly caused by a trade-off between growth and reproduction. Being large is considered to be advantageous, in females due to increased fecundity, and in males due to higher ability to compete for mates, while the cost of high growth is a reduced possibility to survive until the next mating season. Moor frog embryos originating from an acid population survived better under acid stress than embryos from a neutral population. Using quantitative genetic techniques I found strong maternal effects and small additive genetic variation for the traits in acid and non acid populations. The variation in acid stress tolerance owed largely to non-genetic effects. Females from acid localities lay larger eggs, which probably improves the performance of tadpoles under acid conditions. The trade-off between egg size and fecundity was stronger in acid populations indicating that females in acid populations reduced fecundity to increase offspring size. Finally, frogs from acidified environments were more asymmetric in skeletal traits further indicating the developmental stress created by acidification.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. 28 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 172
Biology, Amphibians, Life-history, Trade-off, Environmental stress, Local adaptation, Acidity, Biologi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6828 (URN)91-554-6547-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-05-19, Zootissalen, Villa vägen 9, Villa vägen 9, 752 36 Uppsala, 13:00
Available from: 2006-04-18 Created: 2006-04-18Bibliographically approved

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