Temperature adaptation in a geographically widespread zooplankter, Daphnia magna


Mitchell Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Postfach 165, Plön, D-24302, Germany. Tel.: +49 4522 763282; fax: +49 4522 763310; e-mail: mitchell@mpil-pleon.mpg.de


Evidence for temperature adaptation in Daphnia magna was inferred from variation in the shape of temperature reaction norms for somatic growth rate, a fitness-related trait. Ex-ephippial clones from eight populations across Europe were grown under standardized conditions after preacclimation at five temperatures (17–29 °C). Significant variation for grand mean growth rates occurred both within populations (among clones) and between populations. Genetic variation for reaction norm shape was found within populations, with temperature-dependent trade-offs in clone relative fitness. However, the population average responses to temperature were similar, following approximately parallel reaction norms. The among-population variation is not evidence for temperature adaptation. Lack of temperature adaptation at the population level may be a feature of intermittent populations where environmentally terminated diapause can entrain the planktonic stage of the life-history within a similar range of temperatures.