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Plants with low fecundity produce few energy-rich seeds (such as coconuts and chestnuts) with each having a good chance to germinate into a new organism; plants with high fecundity usually have many small, energy-poor seeds (like orchids) that have a relatively poor chance of surviving. Although it may seem that coconuts and chestnuts have a better chance of surviving, the energy tradeoff of the orchid is also very effective. It is a matter of where the energy is used, for large numbers of seeds or for fewer seeds with more energy.

Early versus late reproduction

The timing of reproduction in a life history also affects species survival. Organisms that reproduce at an early age have a greater chance of producing offspring, but this is usually at the expense of their growth and the maintenance of their health. Conversely, organisms that start reproducing later in life often have greater fecundity or are better able to provide parental care, but they risk that they will not survive to reproductive age. Examples of this can be seen in fishes. Small fish like guppies use their energy to reproduce rapidly, but never attain the size that would give them defense against some predators. Larger fish, like the bluegill or shark, use their energy to attain a large size, but do so with the risk that they will die before they can reproduce or at least reproduce to their maximum. These different energy strategies and tradeoffs are key to understanding the evolution of each species as it maximizes its fitness and fills its niche. In terms of energy budgeting, some species “blow it all” and use up most of their energy reserves to reproduce early before they die. Other species delay having reproduction to become stronger, more experienced individuals and to make sure that they are strong enough to provide parental care if necessary.

Single versus multiple reproductive events

Some life history traits, such as fecundity, timing of reproduction, and parental care, can be grouped together into general strategies that are used by multiple species. Semelparity occurs when a species reproduces only once during its lifetime and then dies. Such species use most of their resource budget during a single reproductive event, sacrificing their health to the point that they do not survive. Examples of semelparity are bamboo, which flowers once and then dies, and the Chinook salmon ( [link] a ), which uses most of its energy reserves to migrate from the ocean to its freshwater nesting area, where it reproduces and then dies. Scientists have posited alternate explanations for the evolutionary advantage of the Chinook’s post-reproduction death: a programmed suicide caused by a massive release of corticosteroid hormones, presumably so the parents can become food for the offspring, or simple exhaustion caused by the energy demands of reproduction; these are still being debated.

Iteroparity describes species that reproduce repeatedly during their lives. Some animals are able to mate only once per year, but survive multiple mating seasons. The pronghorn antelope is an example of an animal that goes into a seasonal estrus cycle (“heat”): a hormonally induced physiological condition preparing the body for successful mating ( [link] b ). Females of these species mate only during the estrus phase of the cycle. A different pattern is observed in primates, including humans and chimpanzees, which may attempt reproduction at any time during their reproductive years, even though their menstrual cycles make pregnancy likely only a few days per month during ovulation ( [link] c ).

Questions & Answers

Oh, how's is it going..
Brian Reply
not too good
Monique
hy
Adeola
hi
Imamkasim
hi
Veronica
Any one else taking Bio 1406 with Stephanie Martin?
Veronica
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ShAmy
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iyota
Part of compound microscope
Bakish Reply
a. body b. stage clip c. adjacent knob d. arm e. eye piece
Kpodo
How do u know when you want to urinate
Akpo Reply
how do you know when you want to urinate
Akpo
I don't know please explain
Coded
As the bladder fills up .. the signals are sent to the brain specifying that its filling up and should be emptied and the fuller it gets, the more signals/ alerts are sent to brain ...leading to the urge to urinate .... to go pee
Khalida
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Coded
hello
Issiya
hi
Abigail
I want the this ecologycal terms
Catherine Reply
what are enzymes
Alvin Reply
enzymes are organic catalysts which speed the rate of chemical reaction but it's self is not used up in the process
Azeezah
what is fertilization
Ofosu Reply
fusion of male and famele gametes
Biology
fusion of female and male gametes.
Biology
form zygote to eggs
Ahmad
also known as syngamy
RESHMA
why is water called a polar molecule
Jabari Reply
enzyme that not found in mitochondria
Mukesh Reply
Internal carotid arteries
Anjola Reply
A closed circulatory system is a closed-loop system, in which blood is not free in a cavity. Blood is separate from the bodily interstitial fluid and contained within blood vessels. In this type of system, blood circulates unidirectionally from the heart around the systemic circulatory route, and th
Peter Reply
food
Ramatulai
Is DNA a proteins or genetic materials ?
Bisallah
what is meiosis
Ram Reply
meiosis is a reduction Division in which four hapliod off springs are produced
Nandanee
what is electrochemical gradient?
Joneth Reply
what is mitosis?
Aliness Reply
(cytology) the division of cell nucleus in which the genome is copied and separated into two identical halves.it is normally follow by cell division
Adekunle
it Is the division of the mother cell into two daughter cells,genetically identical to each other and to their parent cell
Joneth
it is a study of living organisms
Prudence Reply
What are other types of cell
ATAMA Reply
plant and animal cell
Jessy
prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell
Joneth
meaning inside and outside cells
Joneth

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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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