Does reproductive success increase with age or with size in species with indeterminate growth? A case study using sand lizards (Lacerta agilis)

Mats Olsson, Richard Shine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most data on determinants of reproductive success (RS) and reproductive "tactics" are correlational in nature, and hence cannot be used to infer causation. Consistent patterns - such as an increase in RS with age, as seen in many types of organisms - may result from diverse underlying mechanisms. Ontogenetic increases in RS in mammals and birds may be due largely to direct effects of age (via learning, etc.) but our analyses show that apparently analogous ontogenetic shifts in reproductive tactics and increases in RS in sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) are actually due to ontogenetic changes in body size. When size effects are removed, age exerts very little effect on either reproductive behaviour or RS in either sex. In many taxa, both age and body size may exert important effects on reproductive biology, and disentangling these effects should be a focus of further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
JournalOecologia
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Age
  • Indeterminate growth
  • Lacerta agilis
  • Reproductive success
  • Size

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