[MARMAM] New publication on risk propensity in reproductive strategy

Enrico Pirotta pirotts at libero.it
Tue Sep 1 01:43:14 PDT 2020

Dear MARMAM colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that the following paper is now available online:

Enrico Pirotta, Vincent Hin, Marc Mangel, Leslie New, Daniel P. Costa, André M. de Roos, and John Harwood. 2020. Propensity for risk in reproductive strategy affects susceptibility to anthropogenic disturbance. The American Naturalist 196(4).


Animals initiate, interrupt or invest resources in reproduction in light of their physiology and the environment. The energetic risks entailed in an individual’s reproductive strategy can influence the ability to cope with additional stressors, such as anthropogenic climate change and disturbance. To explore the trade-offs between internal state, external resource availability and reproduction, we applied State-Dependent Life-History Theory (SDLHT) to a Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model for long-finned pilot whales ( Globicephala melas). We investigated the reproductive strategies emerging from the interplay between fitness maximization and propensity to take energetic risks, and the resulting susceptibility of individual vital rates to disturbance. Without disturbance, facultative reproductive behavior from SDLHT and fixed rules in the DEB model led to comparable individual fitness. However, under disturbance, the reproductive strategies emerging from SDLHT increased vulnerability to energetic risks, resulting in lower fitness than fixed rules. These fragile strategies might therefore be unlikely to evolve in the first place. Heterogeneous resource availability favored more cautious, and thus more robust, strategies, particularly when knowledge of resource variation was accurate. Our results demonstrate that the assumptions regarding the dynamic trade-offs underlying an individual’s decision-making can have important consequences for predicting the effects of anthropogenic stressors on wildlife populations.

A PDF copy of the paper can be downloaded from:


Please do not hesitate to contact me for any question regarding our work.

Best Regards,
Enrico Pirotta
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20200901/fa5e9df8/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list