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Evolutionarily Stable Reproductive Strategies in Sexual Organisms: An Integrated Approach to Life-History Evolution and Sex Allocation

Da-Yong Zhang and Gang Wang
The American Naturalist
Vol. 144, No. 1 (Jul., 1994), pp. 65-75
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2462801
Page Count: 11
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Evolutionarily Stable Reproductive Strategies in Sexual Organisms: An Integrated Approach to Life-History Evolution and Sex Allocation
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Abstract

Resource allocation to reproduction versus survival and allocation of reproductive effort to male versus female function are two basic issues in evolutionary ecology of sexually reproducing organisms. Both have received considerable, but independent, theoretical and empirical attention. An integrated analysis of these two sorts of resource allocation is attempted using Maynard Smith's evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) technique. The specific goal of this study is to determine under what circumstances separate study of reproductive and sex allocation is justified and under what conditions the rate of population growth is maximized by natural selection, which forms the basis of optimality theory of life-history evolution. We find that if female fitness gain increases linearly with resource investment, the ESS reproductive effort is immune from the effect of sex allocation and if, in addition, male fitness gain is a power function of investment, the ESS sex allocation does not depend on total reproductive effort. However, both male and female fitness gains have to be linear to justify the use of the usual maximization principle of life-history theory.

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