The interaction of multiple environmental stressors affects adaptation to a novel habitat in the natterjack toad Bufo calamita
2009 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 22, no 11, 2267-2277 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The potential to adapt to novel environmental conditions is a key area of interest for evolutionary biology. However, the role of multiple selection pressures on adaptive responses has rarely been investigated in natural populations. In Sweden, the natterjack toad Bufo calamita inhabits two separate distribution areas, one in southernmost Sweden and one on the west coast. We characterized the larval habitat in terms of pond size and salinity in the two areas, and found that the breeding ponds of the western populations run higher desiccation risk and had higher salinity than the ponds used by the southern populations. In a common garden experiment manipulating salinity and temperature, we found that toads from the west coast populations were locally adapted to shorter pond duration as indicated by their higher development and growth rates. However, despite being subjected to higher salinity stress in nature, west coast toads had a poorer performance in saline treatments. We found that survival in the saline treatments in the west coast populations was positively affected by larger body mass and longer larval period. Furthermore, we found negative genetic correlations between body mass and growth rate and their non-adaptive plastic responses to salinity. These results implicate that the occurrence of multiple environmental stressors needs to be accounted for when assessing the adaptive potential of organisms and suggest that genetic correlations may play a role in constraining adaptation of natural populations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 22, no 11, 2267-2277 p.
Trade-offs, genetic correlations, evolutionary change, natural selection, life-history traits
Research subject Population Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107340DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01842.xISI: 000271049500013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107340DiVA: diva2:228825