Fecundity, derived from the word "", generally refers to the ability to reproduce. In biology and demography, fecundity is the potential reproductive capacity of an organism or population, measured by the number of gametes (eggs), seed set or asexual propagules. Fecundity is under both genetic and environmental control, and is the major measure of fitness. "Fecundation" is another term for fertilisation. "Superfecundity" refers to an organism's ability to store another organism's sperm (after copulation) and fertilize its own eggs from that store after a period of time, essentially making it appear as though fertilization occurred without sperm (i.e. parthenogenesis).

Fecundity is important and well studied in the field of population ecology. Fecundity can increase or decrease in a population according to current conditions and certain regulating factors. For instance, in times of hardship for a population such as a lack of food, juvenile and eventually adult fecundity has been shown to decrease.

Fecundity has also been shown to increase in ungulates with relation to warmer weather.

In the philosophy of science, fecundity refers to the ability of a scientific theory to open new lines of theoretical inquiry.

ee also

* Fertility
* Fecundism

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  • Fecundity — Fe*cun di*ty, n. [L. fecunditas: cf. F. f[ e]condit[ e]. See {Fecund}.] 1. The quality or power of producing fruit; fruitfulness; especially (Biol.), the quality in female organisms of reproducing rapidly and in great numbers. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fecundity — fecundity. См. плодовитость. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • fecundity — early 15c., from L. fecunditatem (nom. fecunditas) “fruitfulness, fertility,” from fecundus (see FECUND (Cf. fecund)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • fecundity — fruitfulness, prolificacy, fertility (see under FERTILE) Analogous words: producing or productiveness (see corresponding verb at BEAR): profuseness or profusion, luxuriance, lavishness, prodigality, lushness, exuberance (see corresponding… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Fecundity — The ability to have children, usually lots of them with ease. Etymology: Fecundity comes from the Latin fecundus meaning fruitful. Fecundity emphasizes abundance or rapidity in bearing offspring (or fruit). * * * The ability to produce live… …   Medical dictionary

  • fecundity — /fi kun di tee/, n. 1. the quality of being fecund; capacity, esp. in female animals, of producing young in great numbers. 2. fruitfulness or fertility, as of the earth. 3. the capacity of abundant production: fecundity of imagination. [1375… …   Universalium

  • fecundity — The biological capacity for reproduction of individuals or populations. In demography, fecundity (as the potential for childbearing) is contrasted with fertility , or actual childbearing. The infecund are those who cannot have children though… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • fecundity — /fəˈkʌndəti/ (say fuh kunduhtee) noun 1. the quality of being fecund; the capacity, especially in female animals, of producing young in great numbers. 2. fruitfulness or fertility, as of the earth. 3. capacity of abundant production: fecundity of …   Australian English dictionary

  • fecundity — vaisingumas statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Organizmų gebėjimas vesti gyvybingus palikuonis. atitikmenys: angl. fecundity; fertility; fruitfulness; productivity vok. Ergiebigkeit, f; Fertilität, f; Fruchtbarkeit, f rus.… …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • fecundity — fecund ► ADJECTIVE ▪ highly fertile; able to produce offspring. DERIVATIVES fecundity noun. ORIGIN Latin fecundus …   English terms dictionary

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