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Am Nat. 1998 Sep;152(3):470-9. doi: 10.1086/286183.

A new look at relationships between size at maturity and asymptotic size.

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1
Section of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, California 95616-8755, USA.

Abstract

Comparative studies have revealed positive correlations between size at maturity and asymptotic size in several taxa with asymptotic growth after maturity. Using a simple growth model, we show that positive correlations between size at maturity and asymptotic size are predicted for different individuals in the same species if growth costs of reproduction are inversely related to size at maturity. Several processes might lead to higher growth costs of reproduction for smaller individuals; these include effects of body size on competition for resources required for breeding, on the space available within the body cavity for food processing in gravid individuals, and on the costs of transporting eggs or young in relation to the total energy budget. We confirm several key elements of the growth model using data from female Iguana iguana lizards, including the novel assumption that instantaneous growth rates of adults of the same length will be positively related to their length at maturity. These analyses suggest a simple and possibly general explanation for positive correlations between size at maturity and asymptotic size within-and perhaps also among-species that continue to grow after maturity.

PMID:
18811453
DOI:
10.1086/286183
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