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Pool desiccation and developmental thresholds in the common frog, Rana temporaria.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 275, no 1638, 1073-80 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The developmental threshold is the minimum size or condition that a developing organism must have reached in order for a life-history transition to occur. Although developmental thresholds have been observed for many organisms, inter-population variation among natural populations has not been examined. Since isolated populations can be subjected to strong divergent selection, population divergence in developmental thresholds can be predicted if environmental conditions favour fast or slow developmental time in different populations. Amphibian metamorphosis is a well-studied life-history transition, and using a common garden approach we compared the development time and the developmental threshold of metamorphosis in four island populations of the common frog Rana temporaria: two populations originating from islands with only temporary breeding pools and two from islands with permanent pools. As predicted, tadpoles from time-constrained temporary pools had a genetically shorter development time than those from permanent pools. Furthermore, the variation in development time among females from temporary pools was low, consistent with the action of selection on rapid development in this environment. However, there were no clear differences in the developmental thresholds between the populations, indicating that the main response to life in a temporary pool is to shorten the development time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 275, no 1638, 1073-80 p.
Keyword [en]
Acclimatization, Animal Feed, Animals, Breeding, Environment, Female, Housing; Animal, Male, Metamorphosis; Biological, Rana temporaria/*growth & development, Sweden, Time Factors
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11462DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1737PubMedID: 18252666OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-11462DiVA: diva2:151133
Available from: 2009-01-09 Created: 2009-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation in island populations of Rana temporaria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation in island populations of Rana temporaria
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a genotype to express different phenotypes in different environments. Despite its common occurrence, few have investigated differences in plasticity between populations, the selection pressures responsible for it, and costs and constraints associated with it. In this thesis, I investigated this by studying local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity in populations of the common frog Rana temporaria, inhibiting islands with different pool types (temporary, permanent or both). The tadpoles develop in these pools, and have to finish metamorphosis before the pool dries out.

I found that the tadpoles were locally adapted both in development time and in phenotypic plasticity of development time. Tadpoles from islands with temporary pools had a genetically shorter development time than tadpoles from islands with permanent pools. The population differentiation in development time, estimated as QST, was larger than the population differentiation in neutral molecular markers (FST), which suggest that divergent selection among the populations is responsible for the differentiation. Moreover, tadpoles from islands with more variation in pool drying regimes had higher phenotypic plasticity in development time than tadpoles from islands with only one pool type present. Interestingly, increased migration among populations did not select for increased plasticity, rather it was the local environmental variation that was important. This adaptation has occurred over a short time scale, as the islands are less than 300 generations old.

In temporary pools, it is adaptive to finish development before the pool dries out. This could be achieved by entering the metamorphosis at a smaller size, as a smaller size takes shorter time to reach. However, I found that there is a minimum threshold size below which tadpoles’ cannot enter metamorphosis, and that there had been no evolution of this threshold size in populations living in temporary environments. That suggests that this developmental threshold is tightly linked to physiological constraints in the developmental process.

Despite their expected importance as constrains on the evolution of plasticity, costs of plasticity are often not found in nature.  However, theories of why they are absent have not been tested empirically. In this thesis, I show that fitness costs of phenotypic plasticity are only found in populations with genotypes expressing high levels of phenotypic plasticity, while in populations with low-plastic genotypes, I find costs of not being plastic. This suggests that costs of plasticity increase with increased level of plasticity in the population, and that might be a reason why costs of plasticity are hard to detect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Department of Ecology & Environmental Science, Umeå University, 2009. 58 p.
Keyword
Costs of plasticity, Developmental threshold, FST, Local adaptation, Phenotypic plasticity, Pool drying, QST
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26936 (URN)978-91-7264-836-4 (ISBN)
Distributor:
Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap, 901 87, Umeå
Public defence
2009-11-27, KB3B1 (Stora Hörsalen), KBC, Umeå University, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-11-06 Created: 2009-11-03 Last updated: 2012-01-31Bibliographically approved

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