BIOL 5240 Fall 2005

Ecological Genetics


11/11/05 Study Questions:


Laurila, A., S. Karttunen, and J. Merila. 2002. Adaptive phenotypic plasticity and genetics of larval life histories in two Rana temporaria populations.  Evolution 56(3):617-627.


We haven’t talked yet about genetic correlations among traits, so don’t worry about that aspect of the paper (Table 4). 


Quick Quiz Questions:

  1. Based on what you know about basic genetics, how is it possible that “plasticity” can have a genetic basis?  Why isn’t plasticity just an environmental effect?


  1. On the top of page 618, column 1, second full sentence, the authors state: “Furthermore, in many within-population vertebrate studies conducted so far, the genetic estimates of plasticity have been potentially distorted by the use of full-sibling analyses, which tend to overestimate the amount of additive genetic variation.”  Explain to me what are they talking about here in terms of heritability?


  1. Why did the authors hypothesize that the two focal populations should differ in plasticity for the traits that they studied?  Were their hypotheses supported?


  1. What does each of the following main effects in the ANOVA mean?  For example, if they were significant, what would you conclude?

·        Population

·        Treatment

·        Sire

·        Dam


  1. What does each of these interactions in the ANOVA mean?  For example, if it were statistically significant, what would you conclude?

·        Population x treatment

·        Sire x treatment

·        Dam x treatment


  1. Is it likely that adaptive phenotypic plasticity will continue to evolve in these populations?  Why or why not?