Adaptiv diversifiering längs miljögradienter: vikten av en kandidatgen och ekologiska begränsningar
Tidsperiod: 2014-01-01 till 2016-12-31
Projektledare: Anssi Laurila
Budget: 2 100 000 SEK
The importance of divergent natural selection in creating and maintaining biological diversity is increasingly being realized in ecological and evolutionary studies. Here we will investigate the role of a key candidate gene in local adaptation at different spatial scales and how different selective agents and trade-offs between these agents shape the phenotypic variation in natural populations of the moor frog. We will investigate the genetic basis of larval growth and development rate along a latitudinal gradient using a recently discovered candidate gene and estimate the ecological tradeoffs associated with this gene in a network of local wetlands. We will also launch a novel study system focusing on the interactions between trematode parasites and their tadpole hosts, and characterize the parasite communities infecting tadpoles in two empirical systems. Furthermore, we will investigate variation in susceptibility to parasites and immune function in relation to local adaptation in terms of tadpole growth and development rates and acidity tolerance. This research will shed novel insight on the role of a candidate gene in local adaptation across different spatial scales in an important ecological and evolutionary model system. Similarly, while both disease and habitat destruction are strongly implicated in global amphibian declines no studies have attempted to understand the ecological and evolutionary interplay between habitat gradients, parasites and amphibian populations.