Life Histories: Individual Case Studies
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The previous chapter discussed many of the important life history traits within a general conceptual framework. These traits impact reproduction and survival directly and include such parameters as number of offspring and size at birth, rate of development, age and size at maturity, etc. Furthermore, there are often many trade-offs which can determine the relative importance of one trait versus another in a particular environment. There are trade-offs between the number, size, and sex of offspring, as well as between current reproduction and future reproduction. All of these factors are related to the particular life cycle of any species. In this chapter I will discuss various aspects of the life histories of representative desert arthropods which have been studied in some detail. The specific life history traits that have been investigated are not necessarily the same for each species, nor have they been studied to the same depth. Nonetheless, I have chosen examples from various taxa that I believe will acquaint the reader not only with the diversity that exists in the life cycles of desert arthropods but also with some of the attributes that they share in common which enable them to survive in the harsh reality of the desert environment.
KeywordsClutch Size Evaporative Water Loss Chihuahuan Desert Nymphal Instar Seasonal Periodicity
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