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Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior - Lecture 11

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Lecture 11 - Life History Evolution

Life history covers three main classes of traits in organisms: age and size at maturity, number and size of offspring, and lifespan and reproductive investment. Organisms must make tradeoffs among these traits that typically cause them to come to evolutionary equilibrium at intermediate values. Life history traits are evolutionary solutions to the ecological problems of the risk of mortality and the acquisition of food, and they are expressed in reaction norms that determine the particular traits that an organism will exhibit when its genes encounter a specific environment during development.

Prof. Stephen C. Stearns
EEB 122: Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior, Spring 2009
(Yale University: Open Yale)
Date accessed: 2009-11-18
License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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