Geographic variation in maternal investment: Acidity affects egg size and fecundity in Rana arvalis
2008 (English)In: Ecology, ISSN 0012-9658, Vol. 89, no 9, 2553-2562 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Environmental-stress-mediated geographic variation in reproductive parameters has been little studied in natural vertebrate populations outside the context of climatic variation. Based on life-history theory, an increase in the degree of environmental stress experienced by a population should lead to (1) a shift in reproductive allocation from fecundity to offspring quality, (2) stronger trade-offs between reproductive parameters, and (3) changes in the relationship between female phenotype and maternal investment. To test these predictions, we investigated geographic variation in maternal investment of moor frogs (Rana arvalis) in relation to breeding site acidity (pH 4-8). We found that mean egg size increased and clutch size and total reproductive output (TRO) decreased with increasing acidity among 19 Swedish moor frog populations. Tests for variation and co-variation in maternal investment and female size and age in 233 females from a subset of four acid origin (AO) and four neutral origin (NO) populations revealed that clutch size and TRO increased with female size in both acid and neutral environments. However, in AO populations, egg size also increased with female size, and clutch size and TRO with female age, whereas in NO populations, egg size increased with female age. The strength of the egg-size-clutch-size trade-off tended to be stronger in AO than in NO females as expected if the former experience stronger environmental constraints. All in all, these results suggest that environmental acidfication selects for investment in larger eggs at a cost to fecundity, imposes negative effects on reproductive output, and alters the relationship between female phenotype and maternal investment.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 89, no 9, 2553-2562 p.
amphibians, egg size, environmental stress, fecundity, life history, pH, reproduction, trade-off
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107905DOI: 10.1890/07-0168.1ISI: 000259259300021PubMedID: 18831176OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107905DiVA: diva2:233516