Leslie, Paul W. (2018). Fertility.. Trevathan, Wenda (Ed.) (pp. 555-560). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
Fertility and fecundity are related terms: fecundity refers to the biological capacity or potential for reproduction, while fertility refers to the actual production of live offspring. Biological fecundity is a necessary precondition for fertility, but a wide array of influences of environment and of individual behavior modify that potential and shape achieved fertility. Human populations vary greatly in both the level and timing of fertility. Much of this variation can be understood in terms of pathways linking patterns of behavior and environmental conditions to reproductive physiology, especially ovarian function, through the study of reproductive ecology. Evolutionary theory, especially life‐history theory, provides a basis for an integrated understanding of the biological aspects of reproduction and their relationship to the social and biophysical environments.
Leslie, Paul W.