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Thermally induced parental effects influence life history traits and covary with an environmental cline in common frog populations
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7247-3742
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Across latitudinal clines, the juvenile developmental rates of ectotherms often covary with the length of the growing season, due to life-history trade-offs imposed by time-constrained environments. However, as the start of the growing season often varies substantially across years, adaptive parental effects on juvenile developmental rates may mediate the costs of a delayed spring. By employing a meta-analysis, we tested whether larval developmental rates across a latitudinal cline of common frogs (Rana temporaria) are affected by fluctuating onsets of breeding, across years. We predicted that larval developmental rate will be inversely related to the onset of breeding, and that northern populations will be more prone to shorten their developmental rate in response to late breeding, as the costs of delayed metamorphosis should be highest in areas with a shorter growing season. We found that the larval period of both northern and southern populations responded to parental environmental conditions to similar degree in absolute terms, but in different directions. In northern populations, a late season start correlated with decreased development time, suggesting that the evolution of parental effects aid population persistence in time-constrained environments. In southern populations, late season start correlated with increased development time, which could potentially be explained as a predator avoidance strategy. Our findings suggest that local ecological variables can induce adaptive parental effects, but responses are complex, and likely trade-off with other ecological factors.

Keywords [en]
maternal effects, phenology, local adaptation, temperature, trade-offs
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175583OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175583DiVA, id: diva2:1367811
Projects
Evolutionary consequences of maternal effects and stress
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-05064
Note

This publication is under review.

Available from: 2019-11-05 Created: 2019-11-05 Last updated: 2019-11-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Evolutionary consequences of maternal effects and stress
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolutionary consequences of maternal effects and stress
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Maternal effects occur when maternal environment or phenotype influence offspring phenotype, in addition to genetic contribution of the mother. As maternal effects often influence phenotypes that are under natural selection, they hence have evolutionary consequences. Further, the expression of both maternal effects and evolutionary potential has been argued to depend on environmental conditions, but the evidence of this dependency for the process of adaptation has been inconclusive. The main objective of this thesis was to investigate evolutionary consequences of maternal effects and stressful or variable environmental conditions.

I started by performing a meta-analysis of quantitative genetic studies that investigated expression of additive genetic, maternal, and residual variance under both stressful and benign environmental conditions (Paper I). Data spanning over many animal taxa and stress types revealed that high levels of environmental stress correlated with increased expression of genetic and residual variances. However, against our predictions, maternal effects were relatively unaffected by stress.

In Paper II and III, I explored the evolutionary divergences of traits previously shown to be under maternal control. Specifically, in Paper II, I performed a second meta-analysis, that investigated if parents of common frogs (Rana temporaria) influenced offspring development time to mediate the effects of time constraints, across a latitudinal cline. I found that reproductive delay in the parental generation correlated with decreased development time in tadpoles of northern R. temporaria populations, suggesting that parental effects may further decrease development time in populations from time-constrained environments.

In Paper III, I used an annual killifish system, to explore if environmental unpredictability, measured by variation in precipitation during rainy season, correlated with maternally mediated variation in embryo development time (bet-hedging). Although I found significant among-species differences in variation in development time, there was no clear linear relationship between variation in development time and precipitation. The results suggest that either bet-hedging is not important for persistence in the unpredictable annual killifish habitats, or that other ecological factors, rather than precipitation unpredictability, influenced evolution of variation in development times.

Lastly, I investigated if occurrence of placenta correlated with increased offspring brain size among poeciliid fish (Paper IV). In contrast to our prediction, I did not find any consistent differences in relative brain size between the fry of placental and non-placental species. It is possible that either the poeciliid placental structures do not have a sufficient capacity to transfer resources necessary for increased brain development, or that other factors, such as sexual selection, or differences in food abundance and competition, shaped brain evolution among poeciliids.

In conclusion, the results of this thesis suggest that environmental stress may influence evolutionary potential by increasing genetic variation available for selection, that time-constrained habitats may be conducive to evolution of parental effects on offspring development times, and that maternal influence on offspring traits may be difficult to detect, as many ecological factors may potentially influence evolution of life-history and morphology traits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 19
Keywords
parental effects, meta-analysis, development time, bet-hedging, brain size, evolutionary potential, unpredictable environments
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175589 (URN)978-91-7797-907-4 (ISBN)978-91-7797-908-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-12-20, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen) NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-05064
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-11-27 Created: 2019-11-05 Last updated: 2019-11-15Bibliographically approved

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Rowiński, PiotrGotthard, KarlSowersby, WillEckerström-Liedholm, SimonRogell, Björn
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