Malthusian Relativityι**=7/3ψ
Life history evolution - traits & transitions

Reproductive rate

The reproduction of natural species is inversely related to mortality

The probability to survive to reproduce is independent of body mass across 114 bird species (Fig. 1, left), and lifetime reproduction is body mass invariant across 221 species (middle).

And maximal yearly reproduction is inversely related to time-scaled survival (Ry ∝ 1/Tp) across 132 species of birds (Fig. 1, right), indicating a maximal lifetime reproduction that is inversely related to the probability to survive and reproduce [as RyT ∝ Rm ∝ 1/p].

There is also plenty of evidence that shows that populations with increased levels of anthropogenic or natural mortality evolve increased reproductive rates (e.g., Reznick and Bryga, 1987; Reznick et al., 1996; Broman, 2000; Sinclair et al., 2002; Coltman et al., 2003; Olsen et al., 2004; Edeline and Carlson, 2007).

Fig. 1 The body mass (w) dependence for (left) the probability to survive to reproduce (p) and (middle) maximal lifetime reproduction (Rm) across 114 and 221 species of bird. For 132 bird species, the right plot shows maximal yearly reproduction as a function of time-scaled survival (Tp, where T is the age of maturity). p is estimated as yearly survival raised to the power of the age of maturity. From Witting (1997).

References

  • Browman, H.I. 2000. Theme Section on `Evolution' of fisheries science.. Marine Ecology Progress Series 208:299--313.
  • Coltman, D.W., P.O'donoghue, J.T. Jorgenson, J.T. Hogg, C.Strobeck and M.Festa-Bianchet 2003. Undesirable evolutionary consequences of trophy hunting. Nature 426:655--658.
  • Edeline, E., S.M. Carlson, L.C. Stige, I.J. Winfield, J.M. Fletcher, J.B. James, T.O. Haugen, L.A. Vøllestad and N.C. Stenseth 2007. Trait changes in a harvested population are driven by a dynamic tug-of-war between natural and harvest selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 104:15799--15804.
  • Olsen, E.M., M.Heino, G.R. Lilly, M.J. Morgan, J.Brattey, B.Ernande and U.Dieckmann 2004. Maturation trends indicative of rapid evolution preceded the collapse of northern cod. Nature 428:932--935.
  • Reznick, D.N., and H.Bryga 1987. Life-history evolution in guppies. 1. Phenotypic and genotypic changes in an introduction experiment. Evolution 41:1370--1385.
  • Reznick, D.N., I.M.J. Butler, F.H. Rodd and P.Ross 1996. Life-history evolution in guppies ( Poecilia reticulata) 6. Differential mortality as a mechanism for natural selection. Evolution 50:1651--1660.
  • Sinclair, A.F., D.P. Swain and J.M. Hanson 2002. Disentangling the effects of size-selective mortality, density, and temperature on length-at-age. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 59:372--382.
  • Witting, L. 1997. A general theory of evolution. By means of selection by density dependent competitive interactions. Peregrine Publisher, Århus, 330 pp, URL http://mrLife.org.