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Murviel-lès-Montpellier, France

Bouwhuis S.,University of Oxford | Bouwhuis S.,University of Groningen | Choquet R.,Center dEcologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive | Sheldon B.C.,University of Oxford | Verhulst S.,University of Groningen
American Naturalist | Year: 2012

Longitudinal studies of senescence accumulate rapidly from natural populations. However, it is largely unknown whether different fitness components senesce in parallel, how reproductive and survival senescence contribute to declines in reproductive value, and how large the fitness cost of senescence is (the difference between the observed reproductive value and the hypothetical reproductive value, if senescence would not occur). We analyzed age-specific survival in great tits Parus major and combined our results with analyses of reproductive senescence to address these issues. Recapture probability of breeding females declined with age, suggesting age-specific increases in skipped or failed breeding and highlighting an important bias that studies of senescence in wild populations should incorporate. Survival probability also declined with age and in parallel with recruit production. Reproductive value decreased 87% between age 1 and age 9 but at a fitness cost of only 4%; the proportion of the contribution of reproductive senescence versus survival senescence to this cost was 0.7. For 11 other species, we estimated fitness costs of senescence of 6%-63% (average: birds, 9%; mammals, 42%), with relative contributions of reproductive senescence of 0.0-0.7 (average: birds, 0.4; mammals, 0.3).We suggest that understanding when and why reproductive and survival senescence differ will help in the identification of proximate mechanisms underlying variation in rates of senescence and its evolution. © 2011 by The University of Chicago.

Lane J.E.,University of Alberta | Mcadam A.G.,University of Guelph | Charmantier A.,Center dEcologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive | Humphries M.M.,McGill University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2015

Most empirical attempts to explain the evolution of parental care have focused on its costs and benefits (i.e. fitness consequences). In contrast, few investigations have been made of the other necessary prerequisite for evolutionary change, inheritance. Here, we examine the fitness consequences and heritability (h2) of a post-weaning parental care behaviour (territory bequeathal) in a wild population of North American red squirrels. Each year, a subset (average across all years = 19%) of reproductive females bequeathed their territory to a dependent offspring. Bequeathing females experienced higher annual reproductive success and did not suffer a survival cost to themselves relative to those females retaining their territory. Bequeathing females thus realized higher relative annual fitness [ω = 1.18 ± 0.03 (SE)] than nonbequeathing females [ω = 0.96 ± 0.02 (SE)]. Additive genetic influences on bequeathal behaviour, however, were not significantly different from 0 (h2 = 1.9 × 10-3; 95% highest posterior density interval = 3.04 × 10-8 to 0.37) and, in fact, bequeathal behaviour was not significantly repeatable (R = 2.0 × 10-3; 95% HPD interval =0-0.27). In contrast, directional environmental influences were apparent. Females were more likely to bequeath in years following low food abundance and when food availability in the upcoming autumn was high. Despite an evident fitness benefit, a lack of heritable genetic variance will constrain evolution of this trait. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

Lane J.E.,University of Edinburgh | Kruuk L.E.B.,University of Edinburgh | Charmantier A.,Center dEcologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive | Murie J.O.,University of Alberta | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2011

The life history schedules of wild organisms have long attracted scientific interest, and, in light of ongoing climate change, an understanding of their genetic and environmental underpinnings is increasingly becoming of applied concern. We used a multi-generation pedigree and detailed phenotypic records, spanning 18years, to estimate the quantitative genetic influences on the timing of hibernation emergence in a wild population of Columbian ground squirrels (Urocitellus columbianus). Emergence date was significantly heritable [h 2=0.22±0.05 (in females) and 0.34±0.14 (in males)], and there was a positive genetic correlation (r G=0.76±0.22) between male and female emergence dates. In adult females, the heritabilities of body mass at emergence and oestrous date were h 2=0.23±0.09 and h 2=0.18±0.12, respectively. The date of hibernation emergence has been hypothesized to have evolved so as to synchronize subsequent reproduction with upcoming peaks in vegetation abundance. In support of this hypothesis, although levels of phenotypic variance in emergence date were higher than oestrous date, there was a highly significant genetic correlation between the two (r G=0.98±0.01). Hibernation is a prominent feature in the annual cycle of many small mammals, but our understanding of its influences lags behind that for phenological traits in many other taxa. Our results provide the first insight into its quantitative genetic influences and thus help contribute to a more general understanding of its evolutionary significance. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

Nolan P.M.,The Citadel | Nolan P.M.,Auburn University | Stephen Dobson F.,Auburn University | Stephen Dobson F.,Center dEcologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive | And 5 more authors.
Ethology | Year: 2010

While studies of mate choice based on male color pattern are ubiquitous, studies of mate choice based on ornamental color traits in sexually monomorphic species are less common. We conducted manipulative field experiments on two color ornaments of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), the size of auricular patches of orange feathers and degree of UV reflectance from beak spots, to determine how the degree of ornamentation influenced pairing rate. In a reduction of auricular patch size, females paired significantly more quickly than males in both control and experimental samples. When this bias was taken into account statistically, pairing of individuals with reduced auricular patches was significantly delayed. We also reduced, but did not eliminate, UV reflectance from beak spots by applying a UV filter; no sex difference in pairing rate was evident in this experiment. Treated birds paired significantly more slowly than untreated control individuals, taking more than a week longer to pair on average than their unmanipulated counterparts, a result that was significant for males and approached significance for females. Our results may indicate mutual mate choice via UV reflectance of the beak spot. Given that this is a species where breeding is extremely slow and considerable investment by both males and females is required for successful reproduction, our results support the hypothesis that in such species, sexual selection might act on the same ornament in both sexes. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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