The Influence of Juvenile and Adult Environments on Life History Trajectories

Taborsky, B. (2006). The Influence of Juvenile and Adult Environments on Life History Trajectories. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-06-033

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There is increasing evidence that the environment experienced early in life can strongly influence adult life histories. It is largely unknown, however, how past and present conditions influence suites of life-history traits regarding major life-history trade-offs. Especially in animals with indeterminate growth, we may expect that environmental conditions of juveniles and adults independently or interactively influence the life-history trade-off between growth and reproduction after maturation. Juvenile growth conditions may initiate a feedback loop determining adult allocation patterns, triggered by size-dependent mortality risk. I tested this possibility in a long-term growth experiment with mouthbrooding cichlids. Females were raised either on a high-food or low-food diet. After maturation half of them were switched to the opposite treatment, while the other half remained unchanged. Adult growth was determined by current resource availability, but key reproductive traits like reproductive rate and offspring size were only influenced by juvenile growth conditions, irrespective of the ration received as adults. Moreover, the allocation of resources to growth vs. reproduction and to offspring number vs. size were shaped by juvenile rather than adult ecology. These results indicate that early individual history must be considered when analysing causes of life-history variation in natural populations.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: development, phenotypic plasticity, trade-off, growth, reproduction, cichlids
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:39
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:19

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