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On Evolutionarily Stable Life Histories, Optimization and the Need to Be Specific about Density Dependence

Sido D. Mylius and Odo Diekmann
Oikos
Vol. 74, No. 2 (Nov., 1995), pp. 218-224
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3545651
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3545651
Page Count: 7
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On Evolutionarily Stable Life Histories, Optimization and the Need to Be Specific about Density Dependence
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Abstract

Concentrating on monomorphic populations in demographic steady state, we give three different conditions under which the evolutionarily stable life-history strategy can be characterized as the life-history strategy at which a relatively simple function is maximal. Depending on the way density dependence acts, this function, or fitness measure, can be the life-time production of offspring, the population growth rate, or another quantity from a large range of possible optimization criteria. We illustrate this by examining the optimal age at maturity for a hypothetical organism. All of this demonstrates that, when studying the evolutionary aspects of life-history characteristics, one cannot escape the task of specifying how density dependence limits population growth.

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