Figure 1.5. (a) Offspring survival as a function of egg mass for Atlantic salmon. (b) Female reproductive success for an individual with 450 g of gonads.

In Figure 1.5b, I show R(450, x) as a function of x; we see the peak very clearly. We also see a source of parent-offspring conflict: from the perspective of the mother, an intermediate egg size is best - individual offspring have a smaller chance of survival, but she is able to make more of them. Since she is making the eggs, this is a case of parent-offspring conflict that the mother wins with certainty.

A calculation similar to this one was done by Heath et al. (2003), in their study of the evolution of egg size in Atlantic salmon.

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