Growth or reproduction? Resource allocation by female frogs Rana temporaria
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- Lardner, B. & Loman, J. Oecologia (2003) 137: 541. doi:10.1007/s00442-003-1390-5
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The decision how to allocate marginal resources to reproduction and growth can have important effects on associated life-history parameters as well as on population dynamics. In addition to showing variation among individuals in a population, such allocation rules may be either condition-dependent or fixed in different individuals. While many studies on anuran amphibians have focused on egg numbers and egg sizes in females of different sizes, virtually no data exist on the relative allocation of marginal resources to growth versus reproduction. In the laboratory, we therefore offered female common frogs (Rana temporaria) low versus high food rations for a full reproductive cycle, and monitored their growth and later reproductive investment (egg number and egg size the following breeding season). Feeding rates had an effect both on female growth and on egg number and size. There was no trade-off found between the two forms of investment. A flexible allocation rule could not be supported as there was no significant effect of feeding rate on the relative allocation of resources to growth versus reproduction.