Experimentally constrained early reproduction shapes life history trajectories and behaviour

David Canal, Francisco Garcia-Gonzalez, László Zsolt Garamszegi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The trade-off between current and future reproduction is a cornerstone of life history theory, but the role of within-individual plasticity on life history decisions and its connections with overall fitness and behaviour remains largely unknown. By manipulating available resources for oviposition at the beginning of the reproductive period, we experimentally constrained individual life history trajectories to take different routes in a laboratory study system, the beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, and investigated its causal effects on fecundity, survival and behaviour. Compared to females without resource limitations, females experiencing restricted conditions for oviposition had reduced fecundity early in life but increased fecundity when resources became plentiful (relative to both the previous phase and the control group) at the expense of longevity. Constrained reproduction in early life also affected behaviour, as movement activity changed differently in the two experimental groups. Experiencing reproductive constraints has, therefore, consequences for future reproduction investments and behaviour, which may lead individuals to follow different life history strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4442
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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