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1 December 2005 Patterns of Reproductive Allocation: Clutch and Egg Size Variation in Three Freshwater Turtles
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Understanding the mechanisms and patterns of how energy is allocated into the reproductive components of offspring size and number is central to life-history theory. We used X-ray photographs from a long-term mark recapture study of Kinosternon subrubrum, Sternotherus odoratus, and Pseudemys floridana to investigate hypotheses concerning variation in reproductive allocation due to constraint on egg size, within-female variability (within and among clutches), interannual environmental variation, multiple annual clutches, allocation of continuous resources into small integer numbers of offspring (fractional offspring-size problem), and age. Patterns of reproductive allocation varied markedly within and among species. Overall, egg size varied as a function of maternal body size and age, intra-annual clutch frequency, the fractional offspring-size problem, and environmental variation. Clutch size varied with maternal body size, clutch frequency, and environmental variation. We examine how effectively the data support optimal-egg-size and phenotypic-plasticity models of reproductive allocation, and identify limitations of fundamental biological findings necessary to address the issues.

The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Lucas Rand Wilkinson and J. Whitfield Gibbons "Patterns of Reproductive Allocation: Clutch and Egg Size Variation in Three Freshwater Turtles," Copeia 2005(4), 868-879, (1 December 2005).[0868:PORACA]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 26 May 2005; Published: 1 December 2005

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