r/K selection theory

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r/K selection theory describes the way a species controls its number of offspring.

r-selection species produce many offspring. K-selected species focus on a few. Neither method is in itself superior, and they may occur in the same habitat; e.g., rodents (r-selection) and elephants (K-selection).

The theory was popular in the 1970s and 1980s, but several studies criticized it.[1][2] The study of life histories has replaced the r/K selection paradigm.[3]

The terminology of r/K-selection was coined by the ecologists Robert MacArthur and E.O. Wilson,[4] based on their work on island biogeography.[5] Study of the evolution of life history strategies actually has a longer history.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Roff, Derek A. (1993). Evolution of life histories: theory and analysis. Springer. ISBN 978-0-412-02391-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=_pv37gw8CIoC.
  2. Stearns, Stephen C. (1992). The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-857741-6. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0198577419.
  3. Reznick D; Bryant M.J. and Bashey F. 2002. r-and K-selection revisited: the role of population regulation in life-history evolution. Ecology, 83 (6): 1509–1520. [1]
  4. Pianka, E.R. (1970). "On r and K selection". American Naturalist 104 (940): 592–597. doi:10.1086/282697. http://www.zoology.siu.edu/sears/Pianka1970.pdf.
  5. MacArthur, R.; Wilson, E.O. (1967). The theory of island biogeography (2001 reprint ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08836-5.
  6. For example: Margalef, R. (1959). "Mode of evolution of species in relation to their places in ecological succession". XVth International Congress of Zoology.