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Parent-offspring conflict over reproductive efforts: Variations upon a theme by Charnov

  • S. Lundberg
  • Henrik G. Smith
Publishing year: 1994
Language: English
Pages: 215-218
Publication/Series: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Volume: 170
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Academic Press

Abstract english

A novel formulation of the theory of parent-offspring conflict is proposed. The basis of this formulation is an application of traditional life-history theory in combination with simple genetic arguments. The advanatage with this approach is conceptual, and the formulation is not in variance with earlier studies in the area. Parent-offspring conflict is, in our forumlation, not seen as a conflict between individuals, but as a tradeoff-an age-specific selection pressure acting on a trait, which is favourable when an individual is offspring and disadvantageous when it becomes parent. Using an ESS approach we investigate a simple offspring-wins problem: we find that a gene causing assertiveness of offspring will increase when rare, because the advantage thus gained by an assertive individual when young exceeds the cost incurred as adult by that half of its own offspring which belongs to the same assertive genotype.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 1095-8541
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik [dot] smith [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56




Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56


Sölvegatan 37, Lund


Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden