An Investigation of the Effects of Temperature on the Genetic Organization of Life History Indices in Three Populations of Drosophila melanogaster
Since its conception in a paper by Lamont Cole some 25 years ago, life history theory has developed into a complex field with many hypotheses, approaches, models, and assumptions. The basic question embodied in this set of theory concerns the evolution of life history schedules, including the expected relationships between early life fecundity and late life fecundity or age of reproductive senescence and death. The predicted relationships between these parameters may well depend on the theoreticians’ assumptions about the genetic correlation structure of life history traits. For instance, Lewontin (1965) asked how colonizing species might best maximize their intrinsic rate of increase and concluded that they should evolve to reproduce heavily early in life. His analysis was based on the implicit assumption of little or no genetic correlation between life history traits since each trait was considered separately. Murphy (1968) suggested that the distribution of reproductive output over several age classes might be advantageous in situations in which the probability of successful reproduction was temporally variable and unpredictable. Mertz (1971) suggested that the variance in reproductive output about the age of peak reproduction should match environmental uncertainty for successful reproduction. Demetrius (1975) expanded this idea to include matching the entropy of the fecundity schedule to the entropy of the environment. These approaches seem to assume positive genetic correlation between early and late life fitness traits and fecundities.
KeywordsLife History Genetic Correlation Life History Trait Developmental Rate Genetic Organization
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