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Do Variable Environments Significantly Influence Optimal Reproductive Effort in Birds?
E. G. Cooch and R. E. Ricklefs
Vol. 69, No. 3 (Apr., 1994), pp. 447-459
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3545857
Page Count: 13
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Fecundity, Species, Simulations, Breeding, Population size, Population density, Ecological life histories, Evolution, Clutch size, Aviculture
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It is often assumed that environmental variability strongly influences the evolution of life-history strategies, principally by determining the optimal level of reproductive effort, and that differences in life histories between populations and species represent fundamental differences in reproductive effort. In this paper, we use computer simulations and simple analytical approaches to demonstrate that even large amounts of temporal variation in either fecundity or survival have relatively little influence on optimal reproductive effort for generalized avian life histories. We suggest that demographic differences among populations or closely related species are not likely to result from differences in the optimization of reproductive effort to environments with different levels of variability alone, but may reflect instead differences in average values of fecundity and survival.
Oikos © 1994 Nordic Society Oikos