Evol Ecol Res 6: 307-313 (2004)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The optimal balance between growth rate and survival in mammals

Eric L. Charnov

Department of Biology, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA


Evolutionary theory for life-history allometry in mammals is extended to include a trade-off between growth rate (or offspring production rate) and life span. The optimal balance between the two maximizes the product of the ‘height of the growth curve’ multiplied by the ‘average adult life span’. This product rule implies that longer-lived organisms are more efficient at using resources to prolong life.

Keywords: allometry, life histories, life span, product rule, reproductive effort.

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