Publication details

Repeatability and heritability of resting metabolic rate in a long-lived amphibian



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A - Molecular & Integrative Physiology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Energy metabolism; Full-sib analysis; Individual variation; Natural selection; Parent-offspring
Description Resting metabolic rate (RMR), i.e. spent energy necessary to maintain basic life functions, is a basic component of energy budget in ectotherms. The evolution of RMR through natural selection rests on the premise of its non-zero repeatability and heritability, i.e. consistent variation within individual lifetimes and resemblance between parents and their offspring, respectively. Joint estimates of RMR repeatability and heritability are missing in ectotherms, however, which precludes estimations of the evolutionary potential of this trait. We examined RMR repeatability and heritability in a long-lived ectotherm, the alpine newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris). Individual RMR was repeatable over both six-month (0.28 ± 0.09 [SE]) and five-year (0.16 ± 0.07) periods. While there was no resemblance between parent and offspring RMR (0.21 ± 0.34), the trait showed similarity among offspring within families (broad-sense heritability; 0.25 ± 0.09). Similar repeatability and broad-sense heritability values in parental and offspring generations, respectively, and non-conclusive narrow-sense heritability suggest the contribution of non-additive genetic factors to total phenotypic variance in this trait. We conclude that RMR evolutionary trajectories are shaped by other processes than natural selection in this long-lived ectotherm.
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