12 Pages

The relevance of life-history theory for carabid species of Western Europe*

WithP.J. denBoer, Th.S. van Dijk

By assuming that natural selection controls life-history traits evolutionary biologists try to construct evolutionary processes. Models should show how life-history traits that promote the fitness of individuals must lead to the life histories observed at present as well as those to expect in future.

The authors of this paper compare the generally occurring life histories among West European carabid species, and conclude that the traits governing these life histories differ significantly from those usually advanced by evolutionary biologists. Next to ‘time of reproduction’ especially ‘dispersal power’ and ‘turnover frequency’ of population units appear to be significant. They try to explain these departures from the generally accepted schemes, and emphasize the need to do more comparative investigations of life histories among groups of related species. As an example of the result to expect they give a provisional scheme of the dominant life history patterns of the carabid species of Drenthe in the North of the Netherlands.