Dictionary > Fecundity


noun, plural: fecundities
A measure of the capacity to reproduce offspring
In biology, the term fecundity is a measure of fertility. It may also pertain to the ability to produce offspring or to cause growth. In demography, it may be measured by counting the gametes, seed set, or asexual propagules.1 U.N. Asian Development Institute Bangkok defined fecundity as the physiological capacity of a human being (man or woman) to participate in the production of a live birth and human couples that possess fecundity are called fecund couples.2 Fecundity and fertility are closely associated terms but they are viewed differently. Not all pregnancies result in the birth of a live child. When that happens the couple does not contribute to the population growth.3 In this regard, conception is associated with a couple’s fecundity. However, the capacity to produce live offspring is the couple’s fertility. Despite the distinctions of use between fecundity and fertility, the two terms are sometimes used synonymously.2
Word origin: Latin fēcunditās (fertility)
See also:

Mentioned in:

  • Sparrows
  • Absolute fitness
  • Hare
  • Heterosis
  • Reference(s):

    1Fecundity. Retrieved from ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fecundity link

    2U.N. Asian Development Institute Bangkok. (2003). A Glossary of Some Terms in Demography. Bangkok, Thailand: Abhinav Publications.

    3Källén, B. (1988). Epidemiology of human reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press.