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Impact of environmental covariation in growth and mortality on evolving maturation reaction norms.

Authors
  • Marty, Lise1
  • Dieckmann, Ulf
  • Rochet, Marie-Joëlle
  • Ernande, Bruno
  • 1 Laboratoire Ressources Halieutiques, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), 150 Quai Gambetta, Boulogne-sur-mer, France. [email protected] , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American Naturalist
Publisher
The University of Chicago Press
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2011
Volume
177
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1086/658988
PMID: 21460562
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Maturation age and size have important fitness consequences through their effects on survival probabilities and body sizes. The evolution of maturation reaction norms in response to environmental covariation in growth and mortality is therefore a key subject of life-history theory. The eco-evolutionary model we present and analyze here incorporates critical features that earlier studies of evolving maturation reaction norms have often neglected: the trade-off between growth and reproduction, source-sink population structure, and population regulation through density-dependent growth and fecundity. We report the following findings. First, the evolutionarily optimal age at maturation can be decomposed into the sum of a density-dependent and a density-independent component. These components measure, respectively, the hypothetical negative age at which an individual's length would be 0 and the delay in maturation relative to this offset. Second, along any growth trajectory, individuals mature earlier when mortality is higher. This allows us to deduce, third, how the shapes of evolutionarily optimal maturation reaction norms depend on the covariation between growth and mortality (positive or negative, linear or curvilinear, and deterministic or probabilistic). Providing eco-evolutionary explanations for many alternative reaction-norm shapes, our results appear to be in good agreement with current empirical knowledge on maturation dynamics.

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