Growth and reproduction were studied in the laboratory in a cross-designed experimental set-up in four Daphnia galeata subpopulations collected from different locations (with respect to water characteristics) in a reservoir (epilimnion, metalimnion and hypolimnion in the deepest part of the reservoir near the dam and epilimnion of the upstream part of the reservoir) and in a laboratory clone of the same species. The results of two-way ANOVA revealed significant effects of the two parameters manipulated - source of water used for cultures and Daphnia subpopulation - on the life history characteristics of growth and reproduction. The water from the upstream part of the reservoir was the most favourable culture medium for all characteristics of the Daphnia groups studied (the largest primiparae, clutches and eggs, the shortest postembryonic development time and filtering setae). The poorest performances were recorded in the downstream, epilimnetic and metalimnetic waters. The primiparae in the hypolimnetic water were smaller but had relatively larger clutches of smaller eggs and slightly longer postembryonic development times. The Daphnia subpopulation originating from the hypolimnion had the smallest primiparae, the largest clutches, the smallest eggs and the shortest postembryonic development, whereas the opposite was found in animals from the epilmnion. These differences in ecologically relevant traits were supported by analysis of the quasi-neutral genetic markers that indicated significant site-dependent differences in clonal structure between the subpopulations. There was no consistent trend to higher within-group variance in the life history traits in the genetically heterogeneous subpopulations from the reservoir compared to the laboratory clone.