Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
Journal or Book Title
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
Theory predicts that in long-lived organisms females should invest less energy in reproduction and more in growth and selfmaintenance early in life, with this balance shifting as females age and the relative value of each reproductive event increases. We investigated this potential trade-off by characterizing within-population variation in resource allocation to eggs by female painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) and relating this variation to their nesting ecology and life history. We examined lipid and protein allocation to yolks, accounting for both relative female age and seasonal effects (first vs. second clutches within a female). Older females appear to increase their investment in reproduction by producing larger eggs, but these eggs are not disproportionately more lipid or protein rich than the smaller eggs from younger females. Within the nesting season, first clutches have more lipid and protein than second clutches. We also found that younger females nest closer to the water than older females. Our results indicate that trade-offs involving resource allocation and nesting behavior do occur both seasonally and with age, suggesting ontogenetic variation in life-history strategies in this long-lived organism
The University of Chicago
Harms, Heidi K.; Paitz, Ryan T.; Bowden, Rachel M.; and Janzen, Fredric J., "Age and Season Impact Resource Allocation to Eggs and Nesting Behavior in the Painted Turtle" (2005). Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Publications. 150.