Campus Units

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

2-2013

Journal or Book Title

Ecology

Volume

94

Issue

2

First Page

336

Last Page

345

DOI

10.1890/12-0343.1

Abstract

Identifying the relative contributions of genetic, maternal, and environmental factors to phenotypic variation is critical for evaluating the evolutionary potential of fitness-related traits. We employed a novel two-step cross-fostering experiment to quantify the relative contributions of clutch (i.e., maternal identity) and maternally chosen nest sites to phenotypic variation during three early life stages (incubation, hibernation, dispersal) of the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta). By translocating eggs between nests in the field, we demonstrated that both clutch and nest site contribute to phenotypic variation at hatching. Because hatchling C. pictahibernate inside nests, we performed a second cross-foster to decouple the effects of the incubation nest with that of the hibernation nest. Incubation nest explained little variation in phenotypes at spring emergence, but winter nest site was important. We found no evidence that mothers select nest sites specific to reaction norms of their own offspring, suggesting that females may select nest sites with microhabitats that broadly meet similar requirements across the population. After hibernation, we released hatchlings to assess performance and phenotypic selection during dispersal. Hibernation nest site influenced physiological performance during dispersal, and we detected nonlinear selection on hatchling carapace length. Our experiment demonstrates that nest-site choice has substantial effects on phenotypic variation and fitness across multiple early life stages.

Comments

This article is from Ecology 94 (2013): 336, doi: 10.1890/12-0343.1. Posted with permission.

Rights

Copyright by the Ecological Society of America

Copyright Owner

Ecological Society of America

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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