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Smaller amphipod mothers show stronger trade-offs between offspring size and number

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Abstract

Trade-offs between embryo mass and number were studied in 10 populations of the freshwater amphipod Gammarus minus. Trade-offs were stronger in populations with small brooding females than in those with larger brooding females. Relationships between embryo mass and maternal body mass were also stronger in populations dominated by small versus large brooding females. These patterns are likely the result of morphological constraints, at least in part. Embryo size is more affected by brood size and maternal size in small mothers, probably because of offspring-packaging constraints associated with small brood pouches. Energy constraints appear to be less important. These results suggest that body size may not only affect the magnitude of individual life-history traits, as is well known, but also the covariance between traits.

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