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Lifespan and Fecundity Patterns in Rotifers: The Cost of Reproduction

Terry W. Snell and Charles E. King
Evolution
Vol. 31, No. 4 (Dec., 1977), pp. 882-890
DOI: 10.2307/2407451
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2407451
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Lifespan and Fecundity Patterns in Rotifers: The Cost of Reproduction
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Abstract

The cost of reproduction was examined in the predatory rotifer Asplanchna bright-welli. Survivorship and fecundity schedules of 1,774 individuals were determined in a laboratory environment. Analysis of these data revealed reproductive patterns associated with long and short lived individuals. Long lived individuals spent the largest part of their life reproductive, distributed reproduction evenly over many age classes, and reproduced at relatively low rates. In contrast, short lived individuals spent the largest part of life prereproductive, concentrated reproduction in a few age classes, and reproduced at a high rate, producing many offspring late in life. The relationship of age-specific fecundity and lifespan was examined using residual reproductive value and probability of future survival. Regression analysis demonstrated that reproduction in one age class is inversely related to the residual reproductive value of subsequent age classes. Similarly, reproduction in one age class decreases the probability of surviving to the second subsequent age class. These results clearly demonstrate that reproduction is deleterious to future survival.

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