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      Age at mating and male quality influence female patterns of reproductive investment and survival

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          The trade‐off between the allocation of resources toward somatic maintenance or reproduction is one of the fundamentals of life history theory and predicts that females invest in offspring at the expense of their longevity or vice versa. Mate quality may also affect life history trade‐offs through mechanisms of sexual conflict; however, few studies have examined the interaction between mate quality and age at first mating in reproductive decisions. Using house crickets ( Acheta domesticus), this study examines how survival and reproductive trade‐offs change based on females’ age at first reproduction and exposure to males of varying size. Females were exposed to either a large (presumably high‐quality) or small male at an early (young), middle (intermediate), or advanced (old) age, and longevity and reproductive investment were subsequently tracked. Females mated at a young age had the largest number of eggs but the shortest total lifespans while females mated at older ages produced fewer eggs but had longer total lifespans. The trade‐off between age at first mating and eggs laid appears to be mediated through higher egg‐laying rates and shorter postmating lifespans in females mated later in life. Exposure to small males resulted in shorter lifespans and higher egg‐laying rates for all females indicating that male manipulation of females, presumably through spermatophore contents, varies with male size in this species. Together, these data strongly support a trade‐off between age at first reproduction and lifespan and support the role of sexual conflict in shaping patterns of reproduction.

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          Most cited references 68

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          Sexual conflict

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            State-dependent life histories.

            Life-history theory is concerned with strategic decisions over an organism's lifetime. Evidence is accumulating about the way in which these decisions depend on the organism's physiological state and other components such as external circumstances. Phenotypic plasticity may be interpreted as an organism's response to its state. The quality of offspring may depend on the state and behaviour of the mother. Recent theoretical advances allow these and other state-dependent effects to be modelled within the same framework.
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              Differential allocation: tests, mechanisms and implications

               Ben Sheldon (2000)

                Author and article information

                Ecol Evol
                Ecol Evol
                Ecology and Evolution
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                08 April 2019
                May 2019
                : 9
                : 9 ( doiID: 10.1002/ece3.2019.9.issue-9 )
                : 5440-5449
                [ 1 ] Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of California Irvine California
                [ 2 ] Department of Biological Sciences California State University Fullerton California
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Kerianne M. Wilson, University of California, Irvine, CA.

                Email: kkmurphy@ 123456uci.edu

                © 2019 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 3, Pages: 10, Words: 8172
                Original Research
                Original Research
                Custom metadata
                May 2019
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version: mode:remove_FC converted:10.05.2019

                Evolutionary Biology

                aging, house crickets, life history, mate quality, sexual conflict


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