r and K reproductive strategies

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By aaron

Most organisms exhibit one of two main reproductive strategies.

r- reproduction - Species that use r-reproduction reproduce very quickly. These are usually small weak organisms like insects and bacteria. The general strategy here is to flood the environment with as many offspring as possible and a few will love long enough to reproduce. Cicadas are a good example of this.

K-reproduction - Species that use K-reproduction create fewer offspring and take better care of their young to ensure survival. The general strategy is to take care of a few offspring and give him a high probability of living long enough to reproduce. Most large mammals use this strategy including humans.

There are some species that switch back and forth between strategies. As described in the link, biofilms exhibit this behavior. They use each strategy depending on the demands of their environment.

#science #ecology



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