Archives of Biological Sciences 2007 Volume 59, Issue 4, Pages: 327-333
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Phenotypic selection in common toad (Bufo bufo)

Cvetković Dragana, Tomašević Nataša, Aleksić I., Crnobrnja-Isailović Anđelka

One of the most important problems for evolutionary biologists is to investigate the patterns and strength of phenotypic selection acting on quantitative traits in natural populations. Measurement of selection is complicated by the presence of correlations between characters; selection on a particular trait produces not only a direct effect, but indirect effects as well. Despite the growing body of phenotypic selection studies in a variety of taxa, studies on amphibians are still sparse. The aim of this study was to estimate patterns and strength of selection acting on a set of correlated characters in a natural population of Bufo bufo from the vicinity of Belgrade, Serbia. Morphological traits (body length, fore- and hind leg length) were measured, while fitness was assayed as fecundity and gonad weight for females and males, respec­tively. The regression approach was used to estimate selection differentials and gradients. Selection patterns differed between the sexes - linear selection differentials showed significant total directional selection for body size in females, but not in males. In males, differentials were significant for both fore- and hind leg lengths. Sample size did not permit identification of significant nonlinear (quadratic) selection.

Keywords: Phenotypic selection, correlated characters, selection differentials, selection gradients, body size, Bufo bufo, Serbia