Evol Ecol Res 11: 983-987 (2009)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Optimal (plastic) life histories in growing versus stable populations

Eric L. Charnov

Department of Biology, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Correspondence: E.L. Charnov, Department of Biology, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA.
e-mail: rlc@unm.edu


Question: What is the effect of population dynamics on the evolutionarily optimal life history with metabolic (allometric) production constraints?

Mathematical methods: Optimization of a phenotype’s intrinsic rate of increase r with respect to adult mass, mα.

Results: The change in optimal adult size (mα) between growing (r > 0) and stable (r = 0) populations is hard to predict, but reproductive effort (and lifetime reproductive effort) in the growing population is predicted to be 1 + r · E times larger, where E is the average adult life span.

Keywords: allometry, dimensionless, metabolic ecology, norm-of-reaction, r-/k-selection.

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