Russian Journal of Genetics: Applied Research

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 23–28 | Cite as

The evolutionary ecology of animal fertility: The fitness of progeny is determined by their prenatal development (according to the example of the European water vole, Arvicola terrestris L.)



The contribution of the maternal environment (gestational weight gain, month of birth, and litter size) to the formation and realization of the reproductive potential of adjacent European water vole generations has been studied for years in the natural population and in captivity. The accumulation of body fat and other reserves during pregnancy plays an essential role in the regulation of reproductive processes. Realization of the reproductive potential of females, growth rate, and the sexual maturation of the offspring depends on the ability of the mothers to properly utilize the energy reserves of their body both during pregnancy and at the next stage of the reproduction cycle, lactation.


pregnancy mortality sexual maturity maternal effect reproductive potential nutritional state Arvicola terrestris 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Systematics and Ecology of AnimalsSiberian Branch, Russian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia

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