Parent-offspring conflict over reproductive efforts: Variations upon a theme by Charnov

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Abstract

A novel formulation of the theory of parent-offspring conflict is proposed. The basis of this formulation is an application of traditional life-history theory in combination with simple genetic arguments. The advanatage with this approach is conceptual, and the formulation is not in variance with earlier studies in the area. Parent-offspring conflict is, in our forumlation, not seen as a conflict between individuals, but as a tradeoff-an age-specific selection pressure acting on a trait, which is favourable when an individual is offspring and disadvantageous when it becomes parent. Using an ESS approach we investigate a simple offspring-wins problem: we find that a gene causing assertiveness of offspring will increase when rare, because the advantage thus gained by an assertive individual when young exceeds the cost incurred as adult by that half of its own offspring which belongs to the same assertive genotype.

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  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-218
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume170
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes