Browsing All Posts filed under »reproduction«

Research on insect emergence warms up

October 8, 2018

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Long-term data show that climate change affects ecosystem functioning and the body size distributions of animal species, but more information is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying these changes.  There’s a need for experimental studies that take account of linkages between the aquatic and terrestrial environment and that simulate changes in the intensity and frequency […]

Small fish species are more at risk

October 8, 2018

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Large-bodied animal species tend to have relatively low fecundity, long generation times and slow growth rates, which makes for low population turnover and a heightened risk of extinction.  This trend seems to be true for vertebrates such as mammals and marine fish, but not, it seems, for freshwater fish.  Australian ecologists explored the relationship between […]

Fish life histories: filling in the gaps

July 5, 2018

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Estimates of life history parameters such as age at maturity, maximum body size and rates of growth and mortality play a crucial role in understanding and managing animal populations, but in the case of many species they’re lacking or poorly measured.  Fortunately however, compilations of existing estimates now exist, and these databases open up opportunities […]

A mature approach to growth data

March 25, 2018

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The age at which an animal matures is a key life history trait with implications for ecology, evolution and population dynamics, but data on maturation can be costly to collect. However, in many animals growth occurs in two phases, with a change-point at maturity, which means that it’s sometimes possible to estimate the maturation age […]

Male fish copy and mislead their rivals

December 13, 2016

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Because the numbers of sexually receptive females are relatively low in wild guppy populations, male fish incur a high cost in searching for suitable mates. However, such costs can be reduced if males are able to collect information on females by observing their sexual interactions with other males. To assess this possibility, preference experiments were […]

The dynamics of habitat choice: alien predators stifle amphibian breeding

June 1, 2016

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The way that animals select habitats reflects their need to balance the costs and benefits associated with factors such as food availability and predation risk. Therefore, habitat choices should vary in response to changes in these key factors. As an example, amphibians are expected to continually adjust the relative amounts of time that they spend […]

Cold water plankton are bigger

March 23, 2016

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Because large-bodied zooplankton species have higher grazing rates, take a wider size-range of food items, and evade predators more easily than small species, variations in zooplankton body size can have a strong effect on aquatic food webs. An international group of biologists looked at the influence of temperature on the size of planktonic crustaceans by […]