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Population Ecology

Author(s): Evan Siemann, PhD

r-selected Reproductive Strategy

For r-selected species, "r" refers to the growth rate term in the logistic population growth model. For these species, population sizes and mortality tend to be variable and unpredictable. Since populations frequently are far from carrying capacity ("K"), intraspecific competition often is weak. Selection tends to favor individuals with rapid development, high and early reproduction that is not repeated, small body sizes, high resource requirements, and short lives. The potential for populations of r-selected species to grow is large.