Wei CHEN,Liqing PENG,Lichun JIANG,et al.High Altitude Frogs (Rana kukonoris) Adopt a Diversified Bet-hedging Strategy in the Face of Environmental Unpredictability[J].Asian Herpetological Research(AHR),2018,9(1):43-49.[doi:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.170073]
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High Altitude Frogs (Rana kukonoris) Adopt a Diversified Bet-hedging Strategy in the Face of Environmental Unpredictability
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Asian Herpetological Research[ISSN:2095-0357/CN:51-1735/Q]

2018 VoI.9 No.1
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High Altitude Frogs (Rana kukonoris) Adopt a Diversified Bet-hedging Strategy in the Face of Environmental Unpredictability
Wei CHEN1* Liqing PENG1 Lichun JIANG1 David A. PIKE2 Christopher R. FRIESEN3 and Gregory BROWN3
1 Ecological Security and Protection Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Mianyang Normal University, Mianyang 621000, China
2 Department of Biology, Rhodes College, Memphis Tennessee 38111, USA
3 School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia
altitude bet-hedging strategy environmental quality egg size within-clutch variation unpredictable environment
Environmental unpredictability can influence strategies of maternal investment among eggs within a clutch. Models predict that breeding females should adopt a?diversified?bet-hedging strategy?in unpredictable environments, but empirical field evidence from Asia is scarce. Here we?tested?this hypothesis by exploring spatial patterns in egg size along an altitudinal gradient in a frog species?(Rana kukunoris) inhabiting the Tibetan Plateau.?Within-clutch variability in egg size increased as the environment became variable (e.g., lower mean monthly temperature and mean monthly rainfall at higher altitudes), and populations in environments with more unpredictable rainfall?produced eggs that were smaller and more variable in size. We provide support for a diversified bet-hedging strategy in high-altitude environments, which experience dynamic weather patterns and therefore are of unpredictable environmental quality. This strategy may be an adaptive response to lower environmental quality and higher unpredictable environmental variance. Such a strategy should increase the likelihood of breeding success and?maximize maternal?lifetime fitness by producing offspring that are adapted to current environmental conditions.?We speculate that in high-altitude environments prone to physical disturbance, breeding females are unable to consistently produce the optimal egg size due to physiological constraints imposed by environmental conditions (e.g., duration of the active season, food availability).?Species and populations whose breeding strategies are adapted to cope with uncertain environmental conditions by adjusting offspring size and therefore quality show a remarkable degree of ability to cope with future climatic changes.


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Last Update: 2018-03-27