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Environmental Certainty, Trophic Level, and Resource Availability in Life History Evolution
Henry M. Wilbur, Donald W. Tinkle and James P. Collins
The American Naturalist
Vol. 108, No. 964 (Nov. - Dec., 1974), pp. 805-817
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2459610
Page Count: 13
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Evolutionary theory has not yet determined the necessary and sufficient environmental factors that can be used to explain the observed diversity of life history patterns in plants and animals. Although recent theoretical treatments of the evolution of life history rely heavily on the concepts of r- and K-selection, we find this framework inadequate to explain life histories of many well-known organisms. Instead, using well-studied examples from the literature, we attempt to identify causal mechanisms in the evolution of their life histories. The density of the population in relation to resources, the trophic and successional position of the population, and predictability of mortality patterns all appear to be important determinants of adaptive strategies. Therefore, consideration of many environmental dimensions seems essential to provide complete understanding of the evolution of life histories.
The American Naturalist © 1974 The University of Chicago Press