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Costs of reproduction in introduced female Canadian beavers (Castor canadensis)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2000

Vesa Ruusila
Affiliation:
Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland. E-mail: vesa.ruusila@utu.fi
Aslak Ermala
Affiliation:
Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, P.O. Box 6, FIN-00721 Helsinki, Finland
Heikki Hyvärinen
Affiliation:
University of Joensuu, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland
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Abstract

In iteroparous organisms, maximum lifetime reproductive success is achieved through multiple successful breeding attempts. Therefore one of an individual's major life-history decisions is the allocation of resources between current and future reproduction. We studied the production of foetuses in the introduced female Canadian beaver Castor canadensis in Finland in 1992–93. The number of foetuses produced in 1993 was negatively correlated with the number produced in the previous year, irrespective of female age. Females that bred only in 1993 tended to produce more foetuses in that year than females that had reproduced in both years. However, the total number of foetuses produced was higher in females that had young in both years, stressing the importance of multiple breeding attempts in maximizing lifetime reproductive success. Despite the small size of the founder population in Finland, mean litter size and pregnancy rates were not different from North American populations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 The Zoological Society of London

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