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The past two decades have seen a proliferation of theoretical studies in the related fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Studies of optimal foraging, demography and life-history strategies spring quickly to mind. A strengthening of the theoretical framework of these fields is welcome, but it does bring with it an attendant danger. Mathematical equations can have a seductive elegance, simulation models developed on a computer a persuasive productivity. The danger develops when these theoretical developments are not tested by encounters with the often recalcitrant living organisms whose biology the theories should illuminate. The theoretical developments lose touch with the biological reality (Stearns, 1976, 1977).
KeywordsLife History Threespine Stickleback Optimal Forage Biological Reality Reproductive Tactic
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