Document Detail

The cost of reproduction induced by body size at birth and breeding density.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17924957     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Body size at birth has implications for the quality of individuals throughout their life. Although large body size is generally considered an advantage, the relationship between body size at birth and long-term fitness is often complicated. Under spatial or temporal variation in environmental conditions, such as the seasonally changing densities of Fennoscandian vole populations, selection should favor variation in offspring phenotypes, as different qualities may be beneficial in different conditions. We performed an experiment in which a novel hormonal manipulation method was used to increase phenotypic variance in body size at birth in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). The effects of body size on the future fitness of young males and females were then studied at varying population densities in outdoor enclosures. Our results show that small body size at birth and high breeding density increase the survival costs of reproduction. However, there was no interaction between the effects of body size and density on survival, which suggests that the fitness effects of body size were strong enough to persist under environmental variation. Moreover, litter size and the probability of breeding were more sensitive to variation in breeding density than offspring size. Therefore, it is unlikely that individual fitness could be optimized by adjusting offspring body size to the prevailing population density through adaptive maternal effects. Our results highlight the significance of the costs of reproduction in the evolution of life-history traits, and give strong experimental support for the long-term fitness effects of body size at birth.
Tuula A Oksanen; Minna Koivula; Esa Koskela; Tapio Mappes
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-10-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Evolution; international journal of organic evolution     Volume:  61     ISSN:  0014-3820     ISO Abbreviation:  Evolution     Publication Date:  2007 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-11-28     Completed Date:  2008-03-07     Revised Date:  2008-06-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373224     Medline TA:  Evolution     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2822-31     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biological and Environmental Science, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Arvicolinae / anatomy & histology,  physiology*
Body Size*
Population Density
Reproduction / physiology*
Sex Factors
Sexual Behavior, Animal

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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