Reevaluating geographic variation in life-history traits of a widespread Nearctic amphibian

Journal of Zoology
By:  and 

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Abstract

Animals from cold environments are usually larger than animals from warm environments, which often produce clines in body size. Because variation in body size can lead to trade-offs between growth and reproduction, life-history traits should also vary across climatic gradients. To determine if life-history traits of wood frogs Rana sylvatica vary with climate, we examined female and male body length, clutch size, and ovum size from 37 locations across an unprecedented 32° of latitude. In conflict with recent research, body size, and ovum size decreased in cold climates and at higher latitudes. Clutch size did not vary with climate or latitude, but reproductive effort (clutch size:female size) did, suggesting selection for a life-history traits that favors maximizing propagule number over propagule size in cold climates. With accelerating climate change that will expose populations to novel environmental conditions, it is important to identify the limits of adaptation, which can be informed by greater understanding of variation in life-history traits.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Reevaluating geographic variation in life-history traits of a widespread Nearctic amphibian
Series title Journal of Zoology
DOI 10.1111/jzo.12352
Volume 299
Issue 4
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Zoological Society of London
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 304
Last page 310
Country Canada, United States
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N