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1 January 2004 MICROGEOGRAPHIC COUNTERGRADIENT VARIATION IN THE WOOD FROG, RANA SYLVATICA
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Abstract
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.
and David K. Skelly "MICROGEOGRAPHIC COUNTERGRADIENT VARIATION IN THE WOOD FROG, RANA SYLVATICA," Evolution 58(1), (1 January 2004). https://doi.org/10.1554/03-425
Received: 17 July 2003; Accepted: 11 August 2003; Published: 1 January 2004
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