Climate-Induced Food Shortages and Mammalian Reproduction
Canale, C.I., Huchard, E., Perret, M. and Henry, P.-Y. 2012. Reproductive resilience to food shortage in a small heterothermic primate. PLoS ONE 7: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041477.
Results of the analysis indicated that "food deprived mouse lemurs managed to maintain constant ... reproductive parameters, including oestrus timing, estrogenization level at oestrus, mating success, litter size, and litter mass as well as their overall number of surviving offspring at weaning," although "offspring growth was delayed in food restricted mothers."
With respect to the significance of these findings, the three researchers say their results suggest that "heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important reproductive resilience to energetic bottlenecks," and that "more generally, species living in variable and unpredictable habitats may have evolved a flexible reproductive physiology that helps buffer environmental fluctuations."
Bronson, F.H. 2009. Climate change and seasonal reproduction in mammals. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 364: 3331-3340.
Moreno, J. and Moller, A.P. 2011. Extreme climatic events in relation to global change and their impact on life histories. Current Zoology 57: 375-389.
Wingfield, J.C., Kelley, J.P. and Angelier, F. 2011. What are extreme environmental conditions and how do organisms cope with them? Current Zoology 57: 363-374.