Compensating for delayed hatching across consecutive life-history stages in an amphibian
2010 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 119, no 6, 980-987 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Environmental conditions experienced early in the ontogeny can have a strong impact on individual fitness and performance later in life. Organisms may counteract the negative effects of poor developmental conditions by developing compensatory responses in growth and development. However, previous studies on compensatory responses have largely ignored the effects that poor embryonic conditions could have during the later life stages. In this study, we examined the effects of artificially delayed development in early life over two later life history transitions by investigating the compensatory growth of larval moor frogs Rana arvalis in response to temperature variation during embryonic development, and the associated costs during the larval 'and postmetamorphic stages. Low temperature during embryonic stage lead to delayed hatching at smaller size. The groups with delayed embryonic development showed strong compensatory growth during the larval stage, and reached similar metamorphic size than the controls in a shorter time. However, the most strongly delayed group was not able to fully catch up the total development time. These compensatory responses were found in the absence of photoperiod cues indicating that the delay in embryonic development was sufficient to initiate the compensatory response in larval growth and development. No apparent costs of compensatory growth were detected in terms of morphology or locomotor performance at the juvenile stage. We found that compensatory responses can be activated as early as at the embryonic stage and extend over several consecutive life history transitions, mitigating the effects of poor conditions experienced early in development. Potential short-term costs in natural environments and the occurrence of long-term costs, which prevent the generalisation of a faster larval life style, are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 119, no 6, 980-987 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-136203DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2009.17956.xISI: 000278036500010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-136203DiVA: diva2:376453