[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: a question about reproductive strategies, another about



>1)  When discussing dinosaur reproductive strategies, the terms
>"r-strategy" and "K-strategy" are used.  I understand the definition of the
>terms (I think) but want to know what the "r-"  and the "K-" stand for, if
>anything.

Both of these letters are a part of population dynamic graphs that ecologists
use to describe a particular species.

The "r" is the number of young produced per unit time.  Species that are
"r-selected" (note the terminology) are those that have a huge number of
offspring in a breeding season.  These tend to have minimal parental
involvement in rearing the young; not suprisingly, they also tend to have
a very high juvenile mortality rate.  The individuals tend to be short lived.
Deer is (are?) a good example.

The "K" is a function of the lifespan of the species.  Species that are
"K-selected" tend to have almost the exact opposite tendencies of r-selected
species.  They tend to have a great deal of parental care and a very low
juvenile mortality rate.  The individuals have a long life span.  Elephants
are a good example.

Hope this helps,

Rob

***
"Don't Panic."
        -HGTTG