Maternal effects and early environmental conditions are important in shaping offspring developmental trajectories. For example, in laboratory mammals, the sex ratio during gestation has been shown to influence fitness-related traits via hormonal interaction between fetuses. Such effects have the potential to shape, or constrain, many important aspects of the organism's life, but their generality and importance in natural populations remain unknown. Using long-term data in a viviparous lizard, Lacerta vivipara, we investigated the relationship between prenatal sex ratio and offspring growth, survival, and reproductive traits as adults. Our results show that females from male-biased clutches grow faster, mature earlier, but have lower fecundity than females from female-biased clutches. Furthermore, male reproduction was also affected by the sex ratio during embryonic development, with males from male-biased clutches being more likely to successfully reproduce at age one than males from female-biased clutches. Thus, the sex ratio experienced during gestation can have profound and long-lasting effects on fitness in natural populations of viviparous animals, with important implications for life-history evolution and sex allocation.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.