Body Size and Life History Traits in Native and Introduced Populations of Coqui Frogs

Eric M. O'Neill, Karen H. Beard, Charles W. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduced populations often exhibit rapid phenotypic changes following colonization of new environments. These changes, which often contribute to the successful establishment and spread of introduced species, may result from evolution or phenotypic plasticity. We studied variation in adult body size across elevational gradients in native (Puerto Rico) and introduced (Hawaii) populations of Coquis (Eleutherodactylus coqui). To explore the possible mechanisms underlying variation in adult body size, we conducted a laboratory common-environment experiment to study the effects of temperature (19°C and 25°C), elevation (<300 m and >700 m), and area (two in Puerto Rico and one in Hawaii) on five size-related life history traits: clutch size, egg size, hatching size, size at 30 days, and growth rate. In the field in both Puerto Rico and Hawaii, body size was positively correlated with elevation, which is negatively correlated with temperature, but the magnitude of the slope was greater in Puerto Rico than in Hawaii. In the laboratory, egg size, hatching size, and body size at 30 days were positively correlated with elevation for populations from Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Egg size, hatching size, and body size at 30 days were negatively correlated with temperature for all populations. Clutch size and growth rate were positively correlated with elevation for populations from Puerto Rico but not for populations from Hawaii. Furthermore, both low and high elevation populations from Hawaii had life history traits more similar to low elevation populations than high elevation populations from Puerto Rico. Temperature effects in the laboratory suggest that plasticity in response to temperature contributes to the variation in adult body size with elevation in both Puerto Rico and Hawaii. However, temperature-induced plasticity cannot explain the difference in slopes between Puerto Rico and Hawaii, because temperature varies across elevations to the same degree in both regions. Variation in growth rate paralleled that for adult body size and, if heritable, provides a possible mechanism for the observed differences in adult body size across elevations between Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalCopeia
Volume106
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by the Jack H. Berryman Institute, USDA/APHIS/WS Hilo Field Station, and The American Philosophical Society. Permits were provided by the Puerto Rico Departemento de Recourses y Naturales (Permit number: 06-IC-019) and USU IACUC (#1145 and #1251). This research was supported by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University, and approved as journal paper number 8827. We thank E. D. Brodie, Jr. and M. E. Pfrender for advice, laboratory space, and supplies. We also thank L. Giovanetto, J. Poulos, A. Huff, G. Jones, M. Cooke, E. Lytle, Y. Kajita, K. Bakkegard, L. Latta, and K. Latta for assistance with animal collection or husbandry.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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