Effects of age- and state-dependent allocation on offspring size and number

Holly K. Kindsvater, Suzanne H. Alonzo, Marc Mangel, Michael B. Bonsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Empirical evidence from a range of taxa suggest age and condition can affect offspring size and number, but supporting theory is limited. Question: How do age and condition influence offspring size and number? Method: Dynamic state-dependent optimization. Key assumptions: We model a capital-breeding life history where an individual matures with all reserves available for reproduction. Results: We find that mortality risk and density-dependent offspring survival favour variation in allocation patterns. We predict that in species with sibling competition, females will reduce clutch size, but can compensate for fewer numbers of offspring with plasticity in offspring size and by reproducing several times over their life. In habitats with low mortality risk and some sibling competition, we predict an increased optimal offspring size in larger and older females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-346
Number of pages20
JournalEvolutionary Ecology Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


  • Density dependence
  • Inter-generational transfers
  • Life-history plasticity
  • Maternal age
  • Maternal effect
  • State dependence

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of age- and state-dependent allocation on offspring size and number'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this