Maternal Effects in Mammals: Conclusions and Future Directions

Jill M. Mateo and Dario Maestripieri

in Maternal Effects in Mammals

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226501192
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226501222 | DOI:
Maternal Effects in Mammals: Conclusions and Future Directions

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This chapter sums up the key findings of this study of maternal effects in mammals. It suggests that maternal effects occur when a mother's phenotype influences her offspring's phenotype independent of the genes it inherits from its mother and that these effects can arise before or after birth and can be mediated by the mother's nutrition, physiology, behavior, social status, physical environment, or some combination of these variables. This chapter also proposes long-term studies of wild mammals to better understand variation in maternal effects within individuals across reproductive events as a function of climatic variables, anthropogenic effects, demographic shifts, or senescence.

Keywords: maternal effects; mammals; phenotype; nutrition; social status; physical environment; climatic variables; anthropogenic effects; demographic shift; senescence

Chapter.  5324 words. 

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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