Evolution of Monogamy, Paternal Investment, and Female Life History in Peromyscus
Eldin Jasarevic, Drew H Bailey et al.; 2013
The timing of reproductive development and associated trade-offs in quantity versus quality of offspring produced across the life span are well documented in a wide range of species. The relation of these aspects of maternal life history to monogamy and paternal investment in offspring is not well studied in mammals, due in part to the rarity of the latter. By using five large, captive-bred populations of Peromyscus species that range from promiscuous mating with little paternal investment (P. maniculatus bairdii) to social and genetic monogamy with substantial paternal investment (P. californicus insignis), we modeled the interaction between monogamy and female life history. Monogamy and high paternal investment were associated with smaller litter size, delayed maternal reproduction that extended over a longer reproductive life span, and larger, higher quality offspring. The results suggest monogamy and paternal investment can alter the evolution of female life-history trajectories in mammals.