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Estimating Reproductive Success in Natural Populations

Richard D. Howard
The American Naturalist
Vol. 114, No. 2 (Aug., 1979), pp. 221-231
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2460219
Page Count: 11
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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.
Estimating Reproductive Success in Natural Populations
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Abstract

A general methodology for estimating individual reproductive success was developed. Absolute estimates of reproductive success were calculated for 38 male bullfrogs, Rana catesbeiana, on the basis of number of matings, number of eggs fertilized, and number of offspring surviving to the hatchling stage. Relative estimates of reproductive success were then obtained by dividing an individual's observed reproductive success by the "expected reproductive success" or average reproductive success of individuals in the population. Relative lifetime estimates of reproductive success in such iteroparous species can be calculated by dividing an individual's observed lifetime reproductive success by its reproductive value or expected lifetime fitness. Due to the effects of age, yearly estimates of reproductive success in species with overlapping age classes may provide little information concerning the influence of present genetic differences on reproductive success, but could provide valuable insights on how selection might have acted on past genetic variations.

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