Does testis weight decline towards the Subarctic? A case study on the common frog, Rana temporaria

Attila Hettyey, Anssi Laurila, G. Herczeg, K. Ingemar Jönsson, Tibor Kovács, Juha Merilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interpopulation comparisons of variation in resource availability and in allocation patterns along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients allow insights into the mechanisms shaping the life history of animals. Patterns of between-population differences in female life history traits have been studied intensively across a wide range of taxa, but similar investigations in males have remained scarce. To study if testis weight-a measure of reproductive investment-varies on a geographical scale in anurans, we focussed on the variation in relative testis weight (RelTW) and asymmetry in 22 populations of the common frog Rana temporaria along a 1,600-km latitudinal transect across the Scandinavian peninsula. We found that RelTW decreased towards the north. Body mass and body length both had independent positive effects on testes mass. We found evidence for directional asymmetry (DA) in testis weight with the right testis being larger than the left. The level of DA in testis weight was not related to latitude, but both body mass and testes mass had independent positive effects on asymmetry. We discuss the northwards decrease in RelTW in terms of a decreased reproductive investment as a possible consequence of harsher environmental conditions, and perhaps also, weaker sexual selection in the north than in the south.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
JournalDie Naturwissenschaften
Volume92
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005

Fingerprint

Rana temporaria
frog
Anura
Testis
frogs
testes
case studies
Weights and Measures
asymmetry
Animals
Availability
body mass
latitudinal gradient
resource availability
sexual selection
life history trait
life history
transect
environmental conditions
body length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Ecology

Cite this

Does testis weight decline towards the Subarctic? A case study on the common frog, Rana temporaria. / Hettyey, Attila; Laurila, Anssi; Herczeg, G.; Jönsson, K. Ingemar; Kovács, Tibor; Merilä, Juha.

In: Die Naturwissenschaften, Vol. 92, No. 4, 04.2005, p. 188-192.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hettyey, Attila ; Laurila, Anssi ; Herczeg, G. ; Jönsson, K. Ingemar ; Kovács, Tibor ; Merilä, Juha. / Does testis weight decline towards the Subarctic? A case study on the common frog, Rana temporaria. In: Die Naturwissenschaften. 2005 ; Vol. 92, No. 4. pp. 188-192.
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