Can number and size of offspring increase simultaneously? – A central life-history trade-off reconsidered

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Show simple item record Schroderus, Eero Koivula, Minna Koskela, Esa Mappes, Tapio Oksanen, Tuula Poikonen, Tanja 2012-08-20T08:02:38Z 2012-08-20T08:02:38Z 2012
dc.identifier.citation Schroderus, E., Koivula, M., Koskela, E., Mappes, T., Oksanen, T., & Poikonen, T. (2012). Can number and size of offspring increase simultaneously? – A central life-history trade-off reconsidered. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12 (44). doi:10.1186/1471-2148-12-44 Retrieved from
dc.identifier.issn 1471-2148
dc.description.abstract Background: To maximize their fitness, parents are assumed to allocate their resources optimally between number and size of offspring. Although this fundamental life-history trade-off has been subject to long standing interest, its genetic basis, especially in wild mammals, still remains unresolved. One important reason for this problem is that a large multigenerational pedigree is required to conduct a reliable analysis of this trade-off. Results: We used the REML-animal model to estimate genetic parameters for litter size and individual birth size for a common Palearctic small mammal, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). Even though a phenotypic trade-off between offspring number and size was evident, it was not explained by a genetic trade-off, but rather by negative correlations in permanent and temporary environmental effects. In fact, even positive genetic correlations were estimated between direct genetic effects for offspring number and size indicating that genetic variation in these two traits is not necessarily antagonistic in mammals. Conclusions: Our results have notable implications for the study of the life-history trade-off between offspring number and size in mammals. The estimated genetic correlations suggest that evolution of offspring number and size in polytocous mammals is not constrained by the trade-off caused by antagonistic selection responses per se, but rather by the opposing correlative selection responses in direct and maternal genetic effects for birth size. fi
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher BioMed Central (BMC)
dc.relation.ispartofseries BMC Evolutionary Biology
dc.rights © 2012 Schroderus et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.rights openAccess fi
dc.subject.other litter size en
dc.subject.other birth size en
dc.subject.other genetic correlation en
dc.subject.other heritability en
dc.subject.other myodes glareolus fi
dc.subject.other poikueet fi
dc.subject.other syntymäkoko fi
dc.subject.other geneettinen korrelaatio fi
dc.subject.other heritabiliteetti fi
dc.title Can number and size of offspring increase simultaneously? – A central life-history trade-off reconsidered
dc.type Article
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:jyu-201208202179
dc.subject.kota 118
dc.contributor.laitos Bio- ja ympäristötieteiden laitos fi
dc.contributor.laitos The Department of Biological and Environmental Science en
dc.identifier.doi doi:10.1186/1471-2148-12-44
dc.description.version Publisher's PDF
dc.type.coar journal article
dc.description.reviewStatus peerReviewed
dc.relation.issn 1471-2148
dc.type.version publishedVersion

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