, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 273–279 | Cite as

Developmental plasticity and maternal effects of reproductive characteristics in the frog, Bombina orientalis

  • R. H. Kaplan
Original Papers


Life history theory suggests that reproductive characteristics such as ovum size and clutch size should be well buffered against vararies of the environment. However, studies which demonstrate environmental sensitivity of reproductive characteristics are increasing in number, as are studies which find that maternal effects are responsible for much of the variation in developmental and growth rates in embryonic and larval fish and amphibians. The data reported here demonstrate that the environment, in terms of temperature and food availability that a specific individual encounters during vitellogenesis, exerts a strong influence on both egg size and number. Warmer temperatures and less food decrease ovum size, while colder temperatures and less food decrease clutch size. The variation in ovum size that is induced by the environment can exert a strong influence on variation in offspring development and growth and serve as an excellent model for studies on the evolution of developmental plasticity.

Key words

Bombina Clutch size Ovum size Temperature Food 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. H. Kaplan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyReed CollegePortlandUSA

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