Analysis of factors influencing a species' life history tactics : computer simulation of a temperate lizard model



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A model based on temperate lizards is developed to examine life history tactics (LHT). Parameters included in the model are: adult size, hatchling size, clutch size, individual growth rate, incubation period, time required to produce a clutch, length of the growing/reproductive season, winter mortality, egg mortality, and both non-specific and size-specific mortality during the growing/reproductive season. The population growth rate resulting from a particular combination of parameters is determined by computer simulation of each individual in the population. An optimal LHT is determined from the relative population growth rates for a given environment. The environmental parameter with the greatest influence on the optimal LHT is size-specific mortality. When there is greater mortality for small in-- dividuals then the population with large adult size will be the optimal LHT. When there is a reduced individual growth rate the optimal LHT will oe a population where less individual growth is required to reach maturity. A shorter length of the growing/reproductive season produces an optimal LHT with a larger adult size. Changes in non-specific mortality either during the growing/reproductive season or during the winter have no effect on the optimal LHT.



Lizards--Data processing