Developmental stability and genetic architecture: A comparison within and across thermal regimes in tadpoles
Olsson M., Uller T.
We investigated homogeneity of growth and development as indices of developmental stability in sibling tadpoles from two sampling regions of the common frog, Rana temporaria. One region is characterized by relatively warm breeding ponds with a short activity season ('north'), and one by relatively cool breeding ponds and a long activity season ('south'). Tadpoles from the two regions were raised in three different temperatures selected to mimic the natural variation throughout the range. The results show that (1) north tadpoles respond with a relatively greater increase in growth with increased temperature than south tadpoles, (2) mean growth rate and its coefficient of variation were negatively correlated in the temperature regime in which a population was primarily under selection in the wild, whereas no such correlation was found at temperatures more seldom encountered in the natural populations, (3) phenotypic and genetic correlations between morphological traits within individuals were positive and were relatively higher in north than south tadpoles in the warm treatment, but higher for south tadpoles in the cold treatment and (4) across thermal environments, south tadpoles showed significant genetic correlations, whereas the correlations for north tadpoles were not significantly different from zero. South tadpoles showed only positive genetic correlations (n = 30), whereas 14 of 30 correlation coefficients were negative in north tadpoles. In conclusion, developmental stability for growth and morphometry was higher at 'optimal' conditions and decreased at the tail ends of the reaction norms within regions, with marked differences reflecting selection history between regions.