Maternally determined adaptation to acidity in Rana arvalis: are laboratory and field estimates of embryonic stress tolerance congruent?

M Persson, K Räsänen, A Laurila, Juha Merilä

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Geographic variation indicating local adaptation, as well as its quantitative genetic basis, is commonly investigated in common garden experiments in the laboratory. However, the applicability of laboratory results to the complex conditions experienced by populations in the wild may be limited. Our previous laboratory experiments showed maternally determined local adaptation in embryonic acid-stress tolerance (viz. survival) of the moor frog, Rana arvalis Nilsson, 1842. Here we tested whether this laboratory finding holds even when embryos are exposed to acid stress in the wild. We conducted reciprocal crosses between an acid-origin population and a neutral-origin population of R. arvalis and transplanted the embryos to an acid site (pH similar to 4) in the field. Embryonic survival was Much lower in the field experiment than in previous laboratory experiments, but, consistent with laboratory work, embryos from acid-origin females had threefold higher survival than embryos from neutral-origin females. These results suggest that laboratory tests can provide appropriate estimates of among population variation, as well as the quantitative genetic basis of acid-stress tolerance in amphibians.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Pages (from-to)832-838
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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