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Life-history constraints on the success of the many small eggs reproductive strategy

  • K H Andersen
  • J E Beyer
  • Martin Hartvig
  • N G Andersen
  • H Gislason
Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 490-497
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Theoretical Population Biology
Volym: 73
Nummer: 4
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Academic Press


The reproductive strategy of most fishes is to produce a large number of tiny eggs, leading to a huge difference between egg size and asymptotic body size. The viability of this strategy is examined by calculating the life-time reproductive success R-0 as a function of the asymptotic body size. A simple criterion for the optimality of producing small eggs is found, depending on the rate of predation relative to the specific rate of consumption. Secondly it is shown that the success of the reproductive strategy is increasing with asymptotic body size. Finally the existence of both upper and lower limits on the allowed asymptotic sizes is demonstrated. A metabolic upper limit to asymptotic body size for all higher animals is derived.


  • Biological Sciences
  • marine ecology
  • asymptotic size
  • size spectrum
  • life history


  • ISSN: 1096-0325

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