Article: article from journal or magazin.
Consequences of genetic erosion on fitness and phenotypic plasticity in European tree frog populations (Hyla arborea).
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
The detrimental effects of genetic erosion on small isolated populations are widely recognized contrary to their interactions with environmental changes. The ability of genotypes to plastically respond to variability is probably essential for the persistence of these populations. Genetic erosion impact may be exacerbated if inbreeding affects plastic responses or if their maintenance were at higher phenotypic costs. To understand the interplay 'genetic erosion-fitness-phenotypic plasticity', we experimentally compared, in different environments, the larval performances and plastic responses to predation of European tree frogs (Hyla arborea) from isolated and connected populations. Tadpoles from isolated populations were less performant, but the traits affected were environmental dependant. Heterosis observed in crosses between isolated populations allowed attributing their low fitness to inbreeding. Phenotypic plasticity can be maintained in the face of genetic erosion as inducible defences in response to predator were identical in all populations. However, the higher survival and developmental costs for isolated populations in harsh conditions may lead to an additional fitness loss for isolated populations.
inducible defence, habitat fragmentation, costs, environmental stress, inbreeding, heterosis
Web of science
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