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Costs of reproduction in a lizard species: a comparison of observational and experimental data


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Olsson, M, Shine, R and Wapstra, E 2001 , 'Costs of reproduction in a lizard species: a comparison of observational and experimental data' , Oikos, vol. 93, No. 1 , pp. 121-125 , doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2001.930113.x.

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Life history theory predicts that increasing investments into reproduction compromises
survival and future reproduction. However, demonstrating such costs is confounded
by positive correlations between life history traits. For example, individuals
in good condition may be good at both surviving and reproducing. We studied such
processes in a viviparous snow skink lizard (Niveoscincus microlepidotus) from high
elevation sites in Tasmania, Australia. Our results show a stark difference in costs of
reproduction between unmanipulated females from the natural population versus
experimentally manipulated females (using follicle stimulating hormones). In the
unmanipulated females, females with relatively larger reproductive investments survived
better than females with smaller reproductive investments. In the experimental
group, however, females forced to ‘over-invest’ into a larger clutch survived less well
than controls. Thus, our study confirms the potential dangers of non-experimental
estimation of costs of reproduction.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Olsson, M and Shine, R and Wapstra, E
Journal or Publication Title: Oikos
ISSN: 0030-1299
DOI / ID Number: 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2001.930113.x
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