Understanding the evolution of life-history traits (e.g. traits involved in the timing or intensity of reproduction or the quality of offspring) is central to understanding how populations will respond to environmental change. Theoretical studies have shown that a diversity of life histories are possible dependent on population dynamics, mortality patterns and resource availability. Thus, empirical tests of life-history theory requires knowledge that is available only for few systems. I use data from the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulta) to construct a resource-based, dynamic-optimization model of three reproductive decisions (interbrood interval, reproductive effort and offspring size). By comparing model predictions to field life-history patterns, I hope to gain insight into the workings of life-history evolution that could be applied to other, less well-studied systems.
Last edited: 03 June 2016
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