Behaviour 2019
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Predicting Density-Dependent Patterns of Reproduction using Dynamic State Variable Models
Pratush Brahma, Colette M St. Mary. University Of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

Despite the growing evidence that population density influences mating systems, little is known about how variation in density shapes patterns of  reproductive behavior. To generate predicted patterns of reproduction and parental care across densities, we have constructed a dynamic state variable modelling framework. This framework uses the energetic state of an individual to predict optimal reproductive behavior across a breeding season as a result of the tradeoffs among different reproductive behaviors at specific densities. We have constructed models in the same framework for both males and females. Males have the option to choose, sequentially, whether to compete with other males or not, whether to attempt to mate or not, and finally to provide care or not to the offspring if they successfully mate. Females however, have the option to choose between the winners, losers, or the individuals who did not participate in a competition or to mate at random, and to provide care for the offspring or not. These models can be compared to practical contexts like invasive species, in which populations occur at different densities as species extend their range.