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Summary Life History Evolution

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A snapshot of the summary - Life history evolution

  • 1 Lecture 1

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  • Evolutionary Ideal Organism
    - Darwinian Demon
    • Reproduce at birth
    • Unlimited reproduction
    • Live forever 
    - Every animal has to maximize its fitness/reproductive output
    -With the darwinian demon there are no limitations  such as intrinsic and extrinsic fitness 
  • Life history theory
    - Allocation of finite time and energy to fitness components
    - Trade-offs
    - Optimize combinations of traits to maximize fitness
  • Intrinsic factors (limiting (within body))
    - Physiological constaints
    • something in you limits you to not produce more offspring

    - Anatomic constaints (body mass)
    • trade-off many eggs&small or less eggs&big
    - Reproductive 'schedule' 
    • body needs certain foods from environment
    - Longevity
  • Hunting re-shapes life history
    Moms with cubs are not hunted -> Results in cups staying longer with the mother (strong selection) ->  
    - The cubs are a safety armor for the mother 
  • Pace of life history
    Development: +/-
    Lifespan: -/+
    Juvenile mortality: +/-
    Reproductove events: -/+
    Offspring per event: +/-
    Parental care: -/+

    Fast = r 
    Slow = k
  • 2 Lecture 2

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  • Clutch size and litter variation
    - Variable across and within species
    - Optimization of individual fitness
    - Adjustment to environmental conditions   
  • Optimal clutch size
    - Produces the highest number of viable offspring
    - Not always the biggest is the best
    - There is always an optimally curve
    • Intrinsic factors (-trade offs)
    • Extrinsic factors (-temporal variation) 
    • Parenting-offspring conflict (offspring are gonna try to be the only offspring)
    • parasitims

    - The clutch size of each species is a product of natural selection which favours the largest number of offspring that parents can provide care for  
  • Clutch/litter size
    Proximate factors
    - Temperature
    - Day length
    - Resources availability
    Ultimate factors
    - Genetics (heritability)
    - Natural selection (Lack's principle)
  • Offspring survival and recruitment curves
    Survival curves can be related to clutch size
    • symmetrical or asymmetrical
    Hole-nesting bird in temperate area
    • very small clutches: low survival rate
    • no difference in intermediate clutch size
    • sharply lower survival rate large clutches 
  • George Williams - William's principle
    - Lack's principle "refined"
    - The effort spend on reproduction must be worth the cost, compared to the long-term reproductive fitness of the individual

    - A given amount of reproductive effort at one age should make a parent's future reproductive effort smaller than it otherwise would have been. The difference is the cost of reproduction   

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