1. We tested whether two neighbouring Daphnia galeata populations (from Lake Blankaart and Fish Pond), separated only by 5 m of land and with the occasional exchange of water were genetically differentiated in allozyme markers and life history traits. Allozyme electrophoresis revealed that the populations differed in allelic as well as in genotypic composition.
2. In a laboratory transplant experiment, in which animals of four clones of each of the populations were raised in the water of both ponds, survival in Blankaart water was high for both the Blankaart and Fish Pond clones, whereas survival in Fish Pond water was high for the Fish Pond clones, but low for the Blankaart clones.
3. Fish Pond clones produced fewer neonates than Blankaart clones when cultured in Blankaart water. High egg mortality was observed for animals that were raised in Blankaart water, and this egg mortality was higher for Fish Pond clones than for Blankaart clones.
4. Our results provide evidence for genetic differentiation between Daphnia populations inhabiting neighbouring water bodies and suggest local adaptation to environmental conditions other than direct predation.