Allen's rule revisited

Quantitative genetics of extremity length in the common frog along a latitudinal gradient

J. S. Alho, G. Herczeg, A. T. Laugen, K. Räsänen, A. Laurila, J. Merilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecogeographical rules linking climate to morphology have gained renewed interest because of climate change. Yet few studies have evaluated to what extent geographical trends ascribed to these rules have a genetic, rather than environmentally determined, basis. This applies especially to Allen's rule, which states that the relative extremity length decreases with increasing latitude. We studied leg length in the common frog (Rana temporaria) along a 1500 km latitudinal gradient utilizing wild and common garden data. In the wild, the body size-corrected femur and tibia lengths did not conform to Allen's rule but peaked at mid-latitudes. However, the ratio of femur to tibia length increased in the north, and the common garden data revealed a genetic cline consistent with Allen's rule in some trait and treatment combinations. While selection may have shortened the leg length in the north, the genetic trend seems to be partially masked by environmental effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Fingerprint

latitudinal gradient
quantitative genetics
frog
frogs
garden
tibia
femur
cline
gardens
legs
environmental effect
body size
genetic trend
Rana temporaria
climate change
climate
trend

Keywords

  • Allen's rule
  • Amphibia
  • Geographical variation
  • Heritability
  • Latitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Allen's rule revisited : Quantitative genetics of extremity length in the common frog along a latitudinal gradient. / Alho, J. S.; Herczeg, G.; Laugen, A. T.; Räsänen, K.; Laurila, A.; Merilä, J.

In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 24, No. 1, 01.2011, p. 59-70.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alho, J. S. ; Herczeg, G. ; Laugen, A. T. ; Räsänen, K. ; Laurila, A. ; Merilä, J. / Allen's rule revisited : Quantitative genetics of extremity length in the common frog along a latitudinal gradient. In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2011 ; Vol. 24, No. 1. pp. 59-70.
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