Prior studies have shown that macrogeographic gradients in temperature associated with latitude and altitude can lead to countergradient patterns of variation in a number of taxa: individuals from colder environments are known to grow or develop faster than their conspecifics from warmer environments when placed in a common setting. In this study, I hypothesized that countergradient variation also is important at microgeographic scales. The wood frog, Rana sylvatica, breeds in open-canopied, temporary wetlands as well as those heavily shaded by vegetation. Shading leads to cooler thermal environments that are associated with embryonic development rates as much as 50% slower than those in unshaded wetlands. Wetlands with contrasting canopy environments are often found within tens or hundreds of meters of each other. In a common garden experiment, embryos from nearby natural wetlands displayed countergradient variation: individuals collected from shaded wetlands developed up to 12% faster than those collected from relatively unshaded wetlands. The results of this study suggest that the concept of countergradient variation may be extended to small scales of space. In addition, the rate and scale of vegetation dynamics (the agent of wetland shading) imply that divergence in development among residents of nearby wetlands may be relatively rapid, on the order of decades.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 58 • No. 1