Optimum Brood Size: Tests of Alternative Hypotheses.

  title={Optimum Brood Size: Tests of Alternative Hypotheses.},
  author={Douglas W. Morris},
  journal={Evolution; international journal of organic evolution},
  volume={46 6},
The most productive litter size (five) was not as common as expected in a free-living population of white-footed mice. I evaluated four competing hypotheses that can explain this pattern. Reproductive costs and annual variation in recruitment appear to be insufficient explanations for the empirical distribution of litter size. Optimal investment of reproductive resources that vary among parents is supported by some tests, but not by all. The abundance of litters less than the apparent optimum… CONTINUE READING