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Lifetime Reproductive Effort Public Deposited

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  • In a 1966 American Naturalist article, G. C. Williams initiated the study of reproductive effort (RE) with the prediction that longer-lived organisms ought to expend less in reproduction per unit of time. We can multiply RE, often measured in fractions of adult body mass committed to reproduction per unit time, by the average adult life span to get lifetime reproductive effort (LRE). Williams’s hypothesis (across species, RE decreases as life span increases) can then be refined to read “LRE will be approximately constant for similar organisms.” Here we show that LRE is a key component of fitness in nongrowing populations, and thus its value is central to understanding life-history evolution. We then develop metabolic life-history theory to predict that LRE ought to be approximately 1.4 across organisms despite extreme differences in production and growth rates. We estimate LRE for mammals and lizards that differ in growth and production by five- to tenfold. The distributions are approximately normal with means of 1.43 and 1.41 for lizards and mammals, respectively (95% confidence intervals: 1.3– 1.5 and 1.2–1.6). Ultimately, therefore, a female can only produce a mass of offspring approximately equal to 1.4 times her own body mass during the course of her life.
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  • Charnov, E., Warne, R., & Moses, M. (2007). Lifetime reproductive effort. The American Naturalist, 170(6), E129-E142. doi: 10.1086/522840
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  • M.M. acknowledges funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF; grant CCF-0621900) and the National Institutes of Health (grant P20 RR-018754). R.W. was supported by an NSF Biocomplexity Fellowship (DEB-0083422).
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deanne Bruner (deanne.bruner@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-05-15T23:13:50Z No. of bitstreams: 1 CharnovEricFisheriesWildlifeLifetimeReproductiveEffort.pdf: 195147 bytes, checksum: eeea57ddad1afd08ef1c5d4bc1a1a10a (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Deanne Bruner(deanne.bruner@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-05-15T23:15:01Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 CharnovEricFisheriesWildlifeLifetimeReproductiveEffort.pdf: 195147 bytes, checksum: eeea57ddad1afd08ef1c5d4bc1a1a10a (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2013-05-15T23:15:01Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 CharnovEricFisheriesWildlifeLifetimeReproductiveEffort.pdf: 195147 bytes, checksum: eeea57ddad1afd08ef1c5d4bc1a1a10a (MD5) Previous issue date: 2007-12

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