Data from: Evaluating the tradeoff between offspring number and survivorship across fishes, amphibians, reptiles and mammals
Anderson, David (2021), Data from: Evaluating the tradeoff between offspring number and survivorship across fishes, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5068/D1VH5W
Species differ widely in their strategies of resource allocation to offspring size and number, ranging from teleost fishes and amphibians that produce many tiny offspring to reptiles and mammals that produce relatively few large offspring. Trade-offs between offspring survivorship and fecundity are thought to limit the success of any particular reproductive strategy, but these trade-offs have not been evaluated quantitatively across the full range of variability in offspring size and number. Here we examine the relationship of offspring size to reproductive success (i.e., fitness) within and across teleost fishes, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. To do so, we evaluate the relationships of offspring size to survivorship (proportion of offspring surviving to maturity) and to fecundity (# offspring/time). We show that survivorship tends to increase in proportion with relative offspring mass (offspring mass/adult mass), whereas fecundity, normalized to offspring biomass production rate, tends to decrease in proportion with offspring mass. Consequently, the product of survivorship and fecundity – reproductive success – is generally independent of offspring mass. Thus, our results show quantitatively how survivorship and fecundity trade-off across diverse taxa to limit reproductive success.
The R code used to produce the results in the manuscript can be found here: https://github.com/daan4786/reproductive-success