Potential for local adaptation in response to an anthropogenic agent of selection: effects of road deicing salts on amphibian embryonic survival and development
Article first published online: 1 OCT 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 384–392, February 2013
How to Cite
Hopkins, G. R., French, S. S. and Brodie, E. D. (2013), Potential for local adaptation in response to an anthropogenic agent of selection: effects of road deicing salts on amphibian embryonic survival and development. Evolutionary Applications, 6: 384–392. doi: 10.1111/eva.12016
- Issue published online: 18 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 1 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 30 JUL 2012
- USU Department of Biology
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
- local adaptation;
- magnesium chloride;
- natural selection;
- road deicing salt;
- Taricha granulosa ;
The application of millions of tons of road deicing salts every winter in North America presents significant survival challenges to amphibians inhabiting roadside habitats. While much is known of the effects of NaCl on anuran tadpoles, less is known of effects on amphibian eggs, or any caudate life stage. In addition, little is known of the effects of MgCl2, which is now the 2nd most commonly used road deicer. Most studies have considered amphibians to be helpless victims of deicing salts, and ignore the possibility of the evolution of local adaptation to this stressor. We attempt to address these knowledge gaps and explore this evolutionary potential by examining the effects of NaCl and MgCl2 on the survival and development of eggs from different female rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa) from the same population. We demonstrate that both salts, at environmentally relevant concentrations, severely affect the embryonic survival and development of this amphibian, but that the effects of the salt are dependent on the identity of the mother. This female × treatment interaction results in substantial variation in tolerance to road deicing salts among newt families, providing the raw material necessary for natural selection and the evolution of local adaptation in this amphibian.