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Why does offspring size affect performance? Integrating metabolic scaling with life-history theory

Pettersen, Amanda K. LU ; White, Craig R. and Marshall, Dustin J. (2015) In Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282(1819).
Abstract

Within species, larger offspring typically outperform smaller offspring. While the relationship between offspring size and performance is ubiquitous, the cause of this relationship remains elusive. By linking metabolic and life-history theory, we provide a general explanation for why larger offspring perform better than smaller offspring. Using high-throughput respirometry arrays, we link metabolic rate to offspring size in two species of marine bryozoan. We found that metabolism scales allometrically with offspring size in both species: while larger offspring use absolutely more energy than smaller offspring, larger offspring use proportionally less of their maternally derived energy throughout the dependent, non-feeding phase. The... (More)

Within species, larger offspring typically outperform smaller offspring. While the relationship between offspring size and performance is ubiquitous, the cause of this relationship remains elusive. By linking metabolic and life-history theory, we provide a general explanation for why larger offspring perform better than smaller offspring. Using high-throughput respirometry arrays, we link metabolic rate to offspring size in two species of marine bryozoan. We found that metabolism scales allometrically with offspring size in both species: while larger offspring use absolutely more energy than smaller offspring, larger offspring use proportionally less of their maternally derived energy throughout the dependent, non-feeding phase. The increased metabolic efficiency of larger offspring while dependent on maternal investment may explain offspring size effects—larger offspring reach nutritional independence (feed for themselves) with a higher proportion of energy relative to structure than smaller offspring. These findings offer a potentially universal explanation for why larger offspring tend to perform better than smaller offspring but studies on other taxa are needed.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Allometry, Egg size, Maternal effect
in
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
volume
282
issue
1819
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:84947125352
ISSN
0962-8452
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2015.1946
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
d252b974-dd4a-4122-b907-73f297fe9623
date added to LUP
2018-06-13 09:09:22
date last changed
2018-07-15 04:49:52
@article{d252b974-dd4a-4122-b907-73f297fe9623,
  abstract     = {<p>Within species, larger offspring typically outperform smaller offspring. While the relationship between offspring size and performance is ubiquitous, the cause of this relationship remains elusive. By linking metabolic and life-history theory, we provide a general explanation for why larger offspring perform better than smaller offspring. Using high-throughput respirometry arrays, we link metabolic rate to offspring size in two species of marine bryozoan. We found that metabolism scales allometrically with offspring size in both species: while larger offspring use absolutely more energy than smaller offspring, larger offspring use proportionally less of their maternally derived energy throughout the dependent, non-feeding phase. The increased metabolic efficiency of larger offspring while dependent on maternal investment may explain offspring size effects—larger offspring reach nutritional independence (feed for themselves) with a higher proportion of energy relative to structure than smaller offspring. These findings offer a potentially universal explanation for why larger offspring tend to perform better than smaller offspring but studies on other taxa are needed.</p>},
  articleno    = {20151946},
  author       = {Pettersen, Amanda K. and White, Craig R. and Marshall, Dustin J.},
  issn         = {0962-8452},
  keyword      = {Allometry,Egg size,Maternal effect},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {1819},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Why does offspring size affect performance? Integrating metabolic scaling with life-history theory},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1946},
  volume       = {282},
  year         = {2015},
}