Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 135–143 | Cite as

Personality trait differences between mainland and island populations in the common frog (Rana temporaria)

  • Tomas BrodinEmail author
  • Martin I. Lind
  • Miria Kaltiala Wiberg
  • Frank Johansson
Original Paper


Understanding and predicting species range expansions is an important challenge in modern ecology because of rapidly changing environments. Recent studies have revealed that consistent within-species variation in behavior (i.e., animal personality) can be imperative for dispersal success, a key process in range expansion. Here we investigate how habitat isolation can mediate differentiation of personality traits between recently founded island populations and the main population. We performed laboratory studies of boldness and exploration across life stages (tadpoles and froglets) using four isolated island populations and four mainland populations of the common frog (Rana temporaria). Both tadpoles and froglets from isolated populations were bolder and more exploratory than conspecifics from the mainland. Although the pattern can be influenced by possible differences in predation pressure, we suggest that this behavioral differentiation might be the result of a disperser-dependent founder effect brought on by an isolation-driven environmental filtering of animal personalities. These findings can have important implications for both species persistence in the face of climate change (i.e., range expansions) and ecological invasions as well as for explaining rapid speciation in isolated patches.


Range expansion Animal personality Colonization Dispersal Boldness 



We would like to thank Kelly Weinersmith for valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This research was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council to TB and FJ.

Ethical standards

All procedures involving handling of frogs were permitted by the ethical committee on animal experiments in Umeå and comply with current Swedish law.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomas Brodin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin I. Lind
    • 1
    • 2
  • Miria Kaltiala Wiberg
    • 1
  • Frank Johansson
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Animal and Plant SciencesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  3. 3.Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology CentreUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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