9.8 Testing Trivers-Willard in red deer
There are other aspects of “condition” than nutritional status. For example, in the case of the Scottish red deer, maternal condition doesn’t predict the sex ratio of her offspring, but social status (in this case, dominance over other females) does. Consider the following data:
So, what does a female achieve through these biased sex ratios? Is her fitness (or lifetime reproductive success, LRS) better off when she has sons (if high-ranking) or daughters (if low-ranking)? The figure below depicts the lifetime reproductive success (LRS) of the sons and daughters of red deer mothers, based on the mother’s social status.