Life-History Trade-Offs and Optimal Clutch Size in Relation to Age in the Collared Flycatcher

  • Lars Gustafsson
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 24)


Reproduction is a demanding activity which has often been demonstrated to have negative effects on both survival and future fecundity. Both probability of survival and fecundity often show age-specific variation. There is therefore a trade-off between current and future reproduction, and consequently, fecundity at all ages cannot be simultaneously maximized. The fact that some empirical studies have failed to demonstrate any costs associated with reproduction has caused a debate over the importance of cost of reproduction (Partridge and Harvey 1988). These negative results usually occur in studies where individuals are allowed to reproduce at their own chosen rate, and subsequent survival and fecundity are recorded. Conversely, costs of reproduction have been recorded most often when reproductive rate has been experimentally manipulated (Reznick 1985, Partridge and Harvey 1988). One problem with nonexperimental studies is that confounding variables are not controlled for. Individuals may differ in their ability both to reproduce and to survive, either because of their own physiological condition or their surrounding environment (van Noordwijk and de Jong 1986). Under such circumstances one would predict a positive association between survival and future fecundity. It is therefore necessary to allocate individuals randomly to experimental groups whose reproductive rates are then experimentally varied to measure any costs associated with reproductive rates.


Clutch Size Brood Size Lifetime Reproductive Success Collar Flycatcher Brood Size Manipulation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Gustafsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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