Biol 5240

Ecological Genetics

An example of a nice answer to a Quick Quiz Question

 

Sample Question

Why did the authors hypothesize that these populations of frogs differed in plasticity?  Were their hypotheses supported?

 

Sample Answer

The authors hypothesized that the two populations differed in plasticity for the traits that they studied because their environments differed.  The southern population lived in an environment that was known to dry up frequently and at unpredictable times.  The northern population lived in an environment that did not dry up.  They hypothesized that the southern population would undergo metamorphosis more rapidly when put in a pond that dried up quickly because they have evolved a plastic response to desiccation.  Their hypotheses were supported by the fact that the southern population responded to the fast-drying pods by undergoing metamorphosis at quicker rates while the northern population did not respond to the fast-drying environment.  However, they did find genetic variance for plasticity within the populations of some treatments which suggests that the evolution of plasticity is possible.