Trade-off between offspring mass and number: the lightest offspring bear the costs. Van de Walle, J., Zedrosser, A., Swenson, J., E., & Pelletier, F. Biology Letters, 16(2):20190707, 2, 2020.
Trade-off between offspring mass and number: the lightest offspring bear the costs [link]Website  abstract   bibtex   
Life-history theory predicts a trade-off between offspring size and number. However, the role of intra-litter phenotypic variation in shaping this trade-off is often disregarded. We compared the strength of the relationship between litter size and mass from the perspective of the lightest and the heaviest yearling offspring in 110 brown bear litters in Sweden. We showed that the mass of the lightest yearlings decreased with increasing litter size, but that the mass of the heaviest yearling remained stable, regardless of litter size. Consistent with a conservative reproductive strategy, our results suggest that mothers maintained a stable investment in a fraction of the litter, while transferring the costs of larger litter size to the remaining offspring. Ignoring intra-litter phenotypic variation may obscure our ability to detect a trade-off between offspring size and number.
@article{
 title = {Trade-off between offspring mass and number: the lightest offspring bear the costs},
 type = {article},
 year = {2020},
 identifiers = {[object Object]},
 pages = {20190707},
 volume = {16},
 websites = {https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0707},
 month = {2},
 day = {12},
 id = {3918194a-56ff-3e7b-a17c-c3a8c64e0340},
 created = {2020-02-04T21:30:46.352Z},
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 last_modified = {2020-06-17T18:16:37.785Z},
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 abstract = {Life-history theory predicts a trade-off between offspring size and number. However, the role of intra-litter phenotypic variation in shaping this trade-off is often disregarded. We compared the strength of the relationship between litter size and mass from the perspective of the lightest and the heaviest yearling offspring in 110 brown bear litters in Sweden. We showed that the mass of the lightest yearlings decreased with increasing litter size, but that the mass of the heaviest yearling remained stable, regardless of litter size. Consistent with a conservative reproductive strategy, our results suggest that mothers maintained a stable investment in a fraction of the litter, while transferring the costs of larger litter size to the remaining offspring. Ignoring intra-litter phenotypic variation may obscure our ability to detect a trade-off between offspring size and number.},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Van de Walle, Joanie and Zedrosser, Andreas and Swenson, Jon E. and Pelletier, Fanie},
 journal = {Biology Letters},
 number = {2}
}

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