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How effective are maternal effects at having effects?

Beckerman, A.P., Benton, T.G., Lapsley, C.T. and Koesters, N. (2006) How effective are maternal effects at having effects? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273 (1585). pp. 485-493. ISSN 1471-2954

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The well studied trade-off between offspring size and offspring number assumes that offspring fitness increases with increasing per-offspring investment. Where mothers differ genetically or exhibit plastic variation in reproductive effort, there can be variation in per capita investment in offspring, and via this trade-off, variation in fecundity. Variation in per capita investment will affect juvenile performance directly—a classical maternal effect—while variation in fecundity will also affect offspring performance by altering the offsprings' competitive environment. The importance of this trade-off, while a focus of evolutionary research, is not often considered in discussions about population dynamics. Here, we use a factorial experiment to determine what proportion of variation in offspring performance can be ascribed to maternal effects and what proportion to the competitive environment linked to the size–number trade-off. Our results suggest that classical maternal effects are significant, but that in our system, the competitive environment, which is linked to maternal environments by fecundity, can be a far more substantial influence.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2006 The Royal Society
Keywords: Sancasania berlesei, maternal effects, size–number trade-off, delayed life history effect
Institution: The University of Sheffield, The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds) > Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2014 06:17
Published Version: http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/openurl.asp?gen...
Status: Published
Publisher: The Royal Society
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3315
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1313

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