Optimal Semelparity

James W. Vaupel, Trifon I. Missov, C. Jessica E. Metcalf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Semelparous organisms have a simple life cycle characterized by immediate death after reproduction. We assume that semelparous life histories can be separated into a juvenile non-reproductive period followed by an adult period during which reproduction is possible. We derive formulae for the optimal age and size at reproduction and for the optimal size of the offspring (e.g., seeds). Our main contribution is to determine the conditions under which the optimal size of the offspring does not depend on the optimal size at reproduction and vice versa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere57133
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 19 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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