We use population models that are based on dynamic energy budget models for individuals in order to study the evolution of offspring size and its relationship to the evolution of population dynamics. We show the existence of alternative evolutionarily stable strategies for offspring investment strategy resulting from a trade off between offspring number and time-to-maturity. The model predicts egg energy in Daphnia magna well, and suggests that the observed egg energy in D. magna is the result of selection for minimal egg investment constrained by minimum viable egg energy, combined with selection for a juvenile energy reserve. The selection for minimal egg size pushes populations toward chaotic dynamics. However, the minimum viable egg size combined with low efficiency of conversion of energy to new biomass is sufficient to keep population dynamics out of chaos. © 2001 Academic Press.
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