Ecologists, evolutionary biologists and biomedical researchers are investing great effort in understanding the impact maternal stress may have on offspring phenotypes. Bian et al. advance this field by providing evidence that density-induced maternal stress programs offspring phenotypes, resulting in direct consequences on their fitness and population dynamics, but doing so in a context-dependent manner. They suggest that intrinsic state alterations induced by maternal stress may be one ecological factor generating delayed density-dependent effects. This research highlights the connection between maternal stress and population dynamics, and the importance of understanding the adaptive potential of such effects in a context-dependent manner.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology