Microgeographic variation in temperature-induced plasticity in an isolated amphibian metapopulation
2009 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, E-ISSN 1573-8477, Vol. 23, no 6, 979-991 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Variation in local environments may lead to variation in the selection pressures and differentiation among local populations even at microgeographic scale. We investigated variation in temperature-induced plasticity in larval life-history traits among populations of an isolated pool frog (Rana lessonae) metapopulation in Central Sweden. Successful breeding of this northern fringe metapopulation is highly dependent on early summer temperature, however, the metapopulation shows very little variation in molecular genetic markers suggesting limited potential for local differentiation. We exposed larvae from three closely-located populations to two temperatures (20 and 25A degrees C) in laboratory to investigate their growth and development responses to temperature variation. In general, larvae exposed to warmer temperature experienced higher survival and metamorphosed faster, but at a smaller size than those at low temperature. We found differences among the populations in both trait mean values and in the plastic responses. Among-family variation within populations was found in growth rate and time to metamorphosis, as well as in plasticity suggesting that these traits have a capacity to evolve. Our results indicate ample phenotypic variation within and among these closely-located populations despite the low molecular genetic variation. The differences in pond temperature characteristics detected in the study in the three localities may suggest that differential selection is acting in the populations. The strong differentiation found in the larval traits implies that understanding the factors that influence the potential of the populations to adapt to environmental changes may be essential for successful conservation strategies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 23, no 6, 979-991 p.
Environmental heterogeneity, Life history, Edge populations, Metamorphosis, Phenotypic plasticity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-127403DOI: 10.1007/s10682-008-9285-xISI: 000271949700011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-127403DiVA: diva2:329860