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Male reproductive traits among natural populations of P. guentheri

Citation

Rudin-Bitterli, Tabitha; Mitchell, Nicola; Evans, Jonathan (2020), Male reproductive traits among natural populations of P. guentheri, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bk3j9kd8d

Abstract

Ejaculate traits vary extensively among individuals and species, but little is known about their variation among populations of the same species. Here, we investigated patterns of intraspecific variation in male reproductive investment in the terrestrial-breeding frog Pseudophryne guentheri. Like most anurans, breeding activity in P. guentheri is cued by precipitation, and therefore the timing and duration of breeding seasons differ among geographically separated populations, potentially leading to differences in the level of sperm competition. We therefore anticipated local adaptation in sperm traits that reflect these phenological differences among populations. Our analysis of six natural populations across a rainfall gradient revealed significant divergence in testes and ejaculate traits that correspond with annual rainfall and rainfall seasonality; males from the northern and drier edge of the species range had significantly smaller testes containing fewer, smaller and less motile sperm compared to those from mesic central populations. These findings may reflect spatial variation in the strength of postcopulatory sexual selection, likely driven by local patterns of precipitation.

Methods

Data collected from natural populations of the terrestrial breeding frog, Pseudophryne guentheri. Sperm traits measured using standard protocols (including computer-assisted sperm analyses).

Funding

National Environmental Science Programme through the Threatened Species Recovery Hub

ANZ Holsworth Wildlife Research Endownment

University of Western Australia