Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 863–878 | Cite as

Evolution of the G-matrix in life history traits in the common frog during a recent colonisation of an island system

  • Frank JohanssonEmail author
  • Martin I. Lind
  • Pär K. Ingvarsson
  • Folmer Bokma
Original Paper


Studies of genetic correlations between traits that ostensibly channel the path of evolution away from the direction of natural selection require information on key aspects such as ancestral phenotypes, the duration of adaptive evolution, the direction of natural selection, and genetic covariances. In this study we provide such information in a frog population system. We studied adaptation in life history traits to pool drying in frog populations on islands of known age, which have been colonized from a mainland population. The island populations show strong local adaptation in development time and size. We found that the first eigenvector of the variance–covariance matrix (g max) had changed between ancestral mainland populations and newly established island populations. Interestingly, there was no divergence in g max among island populations that differed in their local adaptation in development time and size. Thus, a major change in the genetic covariance of life-history traits occurred in the colonization of the island system, but subsequent local adaptation in development time took place despite the constraints imposed by the genetic covariance structure.


G-matrix gmax Pool drying Genetic covariance Life history evolution Rana temporaria 



We thank J. Almfelt for help with egg collection and laboratory experiments, and two anonymous reviewers for very constructive comments that improved this article. The Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Research Council FORMAS funded the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Johansson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Martin I. Lind
    • 1
    • 3
  • Pär K. Ingvarsson
    • 1
    • 4
  • Folmer Bokma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology CentreUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of Animal and Plant SciencesUniversity of SheffieldWestern Bank, SheffieldUK
  4. 4.Umeå Plant Science CentreUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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