Life history evolution: successes, limitations, and prospects

@article{Stearns2000LifeHE,
  title={Life history evolution: successes, limitations, and prospects},
  author={Stephen C. Stearns},
  journal={Naturwissenschaften},
  year={2000},
  volume={87},
  pages={476-486}
}
  • S. Stearns
  • Published 1 November 2000
  • Biology
  • Naturwissenschaften
Abstract Life history theory tries to explain how evolution designs organisms to achieve reproductive success. The design is a solution to an ecological problem posed by the environment and subject to constraints intrinsic to the organism. Work on life histories has expanded the role of phenotypes in evolutionary theory, extending the range of predictions from genetic patterns to whole-organism traits directly connected to fitness. Among the questions answered are the following: Why are… 

Ecology predicts life history evolution in birds

TLDR
This study integrates prospective and retrospective comparative approaches to ask what ecological factors have driven current variation in lifespan of bird passerines and suggests lifespan is higher in cooperative breeders and in species that build the nest in more secure sites.

Variability in life-history switch points across and within populations explained by Adaptive Dynamics

TLDR
The Adaptive Dynamics model is used as a theoretical tool for understanding life-history variability across environments and within species in the same environment, and can explain within-population variability by sympatric disruptive selection.

Life-History Evolution and the Genetics of Fitness Components in Drosophila melanogaster

TLDR
What has been learned about the evolution and genetics of life-history variation in D. melanogaster is reviewed by drawing on numerous sources spanning population and quantitative genetics, genomics, experimental evolution, evolutionary ecology, and physiology.

THE QUARTERLY REVIEW of Biology THE LIFE HISTORY OF WHOLE-ORGANISM PERFORMANCE

TLDR
A revised paradigm that includes tradeoffs among performance and other traits, and the possible ways that performance and fitness-enhancing traits might affect each other, could potentially revivify the study of phenotypic evolution and make important inroads into understanding the relationships between morphology and performance and between performance and Darwinian fitness.

Do human ‘life history strategies’ exist?

  • R. Sear
  • Psychology, Biology
    Evolution and Human Behavior
  • 2020
TLDR
Recommendations for improving the usefulness of this human life history literature are made, including greater clarity over terminology, and more empirical data on linkages between life history traits, behavioural traits and the environment, including the underlying mechanisms which generate these linkages.

The Life History of Whole-Organism Performance

TLDR
A revised paradigm that includes tradeoffs among performance and other traits, and the possible ways that performance and fitness-enhancing traits might affect each other, could potentially revivify the study of phenotypic evolution and make important inroads into understanding the relationships between morphology and performance and between performance and Darwinian fitness.

Comparative Demography and Life history Evolution of Plants

TLDR
An important contribution to the life history evolution of iteroparous perennial plants is provided and the tenets of the directionality theory based on demographic entropy were generally not confirmed.

Habitat‐driven life history variation in an amphibian metapopulation

TLDR
Findings indicate that populations breeding in variable sites experienced a slowing down of the life‐history of the yellow‐bellied toad Bombina variegata, and revealed similarities in the macroevolutionary and microevolutionARY processes shaping life‐ history evolution.

Predation and Resource Availability Interact to Drive Life-History Evolution in an Adaptive Radiation of Livebearing Fish

TLDR
It appears that life-history evolution in Bahamas mosquitofish in this adaptive radiation has resulted from a complex interplay between predation and resources, underscoring the need for increased attention on more sophisticated interactions among selective agents in driving phenotypic diversification.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 46 REFERENCES

Experimentally induced life-history evolution in a natural population

TLDR
The findings of a long-term study of guppies are reported, in which the predictions of life-history theory are supported, and it is proved that predation caused this pattern, by changingpredation against adults to predation against juveniles.

Evolution of Life Histories in Response to Age-Specific Mortality Factors

  • R. Michod
  • Economics
    The American Naturalist
  • 1979
TLDR
It is shown that evolution of reproductive effort leads to the greatest proportionate withdrawal of reproductive value from those adult age classes plagued by new mortality factors, and the commonly observed inverse relationship between reproductive value and mortality is provided with a theoretical underpinning.

Life History Evolution in Stochastic Environments: A Graphical Mean‐Variance Approach

TLDR
A small—variance approximation technique for examining the evolution of reproductive effort is developed, using a decomposition of fitness into arithmetic mean and variance components, which can lead to some new insights that result from the explicit partitioning of the effects of central tendency and variability in trait—fitness relationships.

Population Dynamics in Variable Environments. VII. The Demography and Evolution of Iteroparity

TLDR
A dynamic analysis of the manner in which survival rates and reproductive schedules evolve in variable environments indicates that there is no general advantage to a more iteroparous life history in a variable environment and that the direction of evolution depends on the absolute amount of environmental variation and the correlation structure of the vital rates.

Evolution and the theory of games.

THE EVOLUTION OF PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY IN LIFE‐HISTORY TRAITS: PREDICTIONS OF REACTION NORMS FOR AGE AND SIZE AT MATURITY

  • S. StearnsJ. Koella
  • Environmental Science
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1986
TLDR
Life‐history theory is used to predict reaction norms for age and size at maturation and makes possible a clear distinction between the genetic and phenotypic components of variation.

PLEIOTROPY, NATURAL SELECTION, AND THE EVOLUTION OF SENESCENCE

  • G. Williams
  • Biology
    Science of Aging Knowledge Environment
  • 2001
TLDR
Natural selection will frequently maximize vigor in youth at the expense of vigor later on and thereby produce a declining vigor (senescence) during adult life, which explains much of what is known of phylogenetic variation in rates of senescence.

Density cycles and an offspring quantity and quality game driven by natural selection

TLDR
The first example of a genetic r versus K selection game that promotes stable population cycles in lizards is reported, and intrinsic causes of frequency- and density-dependent selection promotes an evolutionary game with two-generation oscillations.

QUANTITATIVE PREDICTIONS OF DELAYED MATURITY

What are the selective pressures that have driven the evolution of delayed maturity? K-selection (selection operating at high population densities) has been suggested as an explanation, but it does