Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 303–321 | Cite as

Ecogeographic analysis of morphological and life-history variation in the Italian treefrog

  • Alessandra RossoEmail author
  • Sergio Castellano
  • Cristina Giacoma
Research article


We describe the spatial pattern of variation in body size, body shape, and adult population age structure of the Italian treefrog (Hyla intermedia). By means of a non-parametric test of matrix association (the Partial Mantel Test), we investigate the role of climate and geography in explaining the patterns of phenotypic variation. Body size is the most important source of morphometric variation, both at intra- and inter-populational levels. Body shape, despite its secondary role in explaining variation, still maintains high discriminative power among populations. Age structure differs significantly among populations, since body size correlates positively to age, these differences partly explain geographic variation of body size. The patterns of variation in both age and body size are congruent with climate variation, suggesting causal relationship. However, we find no evidence for adaptive explanations and suggest that climate-induced demographically differential survivorship might be the proximate cause responsible for the associations observed. Unlike body size, body shape varies congruently with the pattern of between-population geographic distances, which we show to be highly correlated with their genetic distances, thus suggesting isolation by distance as the proximate cause of the association.


age structure body size geographic variation longevity mantel test phenotypic plasticity 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Rosso
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sergio Castellano
    • 1
  • Cristina Giacoma
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell’UomoUniversità di TorinoTorinoItaly

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