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Maternal Effects and Their Consequences for Offspring Fitness in the Yellow Dung Fly

P. Jann and P. I. Ward
Functional Ecology
Vol. 13, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 51-58
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2656427
Page Count: 8
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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.
Maternal Effects and Their Consequences for Offspring Fitness in the Yellow Dung Fly
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Abstract

1. Maternal adult diet and body size influence the fecundity of a female and possibly the quality and the performance of her offspring via egg size or egg quality. In laboratory experiments, negative effects in the offspring generation have often been obscured by optimal rearing conditions. 2. To estimate these effects in the Yellow Dung Fly, Scathophaga stercoraria, how maternal body size and adult nutritional status affected her fecundity, longevity and egg size were first investigated. 3. Second, it was investigated how female age and adult nutritional experience, mediated through the effects of egg size or egg quality, influenced the performance of offspring at different larval densities. 4. Maternal size was less important than maternal adult feeding in increasing reproductive output. Without food restriction, large females had larger clutch sizes and higher oviposition rates, whereas under food restriction this advantage was reversed in favour of small females. 5. Offspring from mothers reared under nutritional stress experienced reduced fitness in terms of egg mortality and survival to adult emergence. If the offspring from low-quality eggs survived, the transmitted maternal food deficiency only affected adult male body size under stressful larval environments. 6. Smaller egg sizes due to maternal age only slightly affected the performance of the offspring under all larval conditions.

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