Maternal and genetic contributions to geographical variation in Rana temporaria larval life-history traits

Ane Laugen, A Laurila, J Merilä

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    The relative importance of genetic, environmental, and maternal effects as determinants of geographical variation in vertebrate life-histories has not often been explored. We examined the role of genetic and maternal effects as determinants of population divergence in survival and three important larval life-history traits (growth rate, age, and size at metamorphosis) using reciprocal crosses between two latitudinally separated populations of the common frog (Rana temporaria Linnaeus). Genetic effects were important in all three traits as indicated by the significant effect of male origin, but there was also evidence for nonadditive genetic contributions on metamorphic size and growth rate. Likewise, maternal effect contributions to population divergence were large, partially environment dependent, and apparently acting primarily through egg size in two of three traits. These results suggest that both genetic and maternal effects are important determinants of geographical variation in amphibian life-histories, and that much of the differentiation resulting from maternal effects is mediated through variation in egg size.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)61–70
    Number of pages10
    JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • adaptation
    • countergradient variation
    • egg size
    • genetic differentiation
    • latitudinal gradient
    • maternal effects
    • metamorphosis

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