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This question can be tackled in several ways, and also seems to contain a couple of misconceptions about ecological processes (e.g. problematic group-selection ideas and how species 'fit' into the ecosystem). However, I think it is most usefully answered from the perspective of life history theory and the evolution of life histories (see e.g. Roff, 2002 and ...


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The way you pose the question, as in what mechanisms limit the fertility of predators, together with your comment about the distinction to the population dynamic aspect, strongly that what you are thinking about an adaptional mechanism here and asking about its characteristics, right? In that case, this is very similar to the kind of scenarios you find in ...


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In a given area there can be only a limited number of top predators due to resource limitations. Furthermore, as top predators are not hunted upon, a relatively high percentage of offspring will survive until adulthood. Hence, producing many offspring doesn't make sense as survival rates are high, while resources are limited. Producing many offspring is a ...



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