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Testing evolutionary models of senescence in a natural population: age and inbreeding effects on fitness components in song sparrows


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Keller, L F; Reid, J M; Arcese, P (2008). Testing evolutionary models of senescence in a natural population: age and inbreeding effects on fitness components in song sparrows. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1635):597-604.

Abstract

Mutation accumulation (MA) and antagonistic pleiotropy (AP) have each been hypothesized to explain the evolution of ‘senescence’ or deteriorating fitness in old age. These hypotheses make contrasting predictions concerning age dependence in inbreeding depression in traits that show senescence. Inbreeding depression is predicted to increase with age underMAbut not under AP, suggesting one empirical means by which the two can be distinguished. We use pedigree and life-history data from free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to test for additive and interactive effects of age and individual inbreeding coefficient ( f ) on fitness components, and thereby assess the evidence for MA. Annual reproductive success (ARS) and survival (and therefore reproductive value) declined in old age in both sexes, indicating senescence in this shortlived bird. ARS declined with f in both sexes and survival declined with f in males, indicating inbreeding depression in fitness. We observed a significant age!f interaction for male ARS (reflecting increased inbreeding depression as males aged), but not for female ARS or survival in either sex. These analyses therefore provide mixed support for MA. We discuss the strengths and limitations of such analyses and therefore the value of natural pedigreed populations in testing evolutionary models of senescence.

Mutation accumulation (MA) and antagonistic pleiotropy (AP) have each been hypothesized to explain the evolution of ‘senescence’ or deteriorating fitness in old age. These hypotheses make contrasting predictions concerning age dependence in inbreeding depression in traits that show senescence. Inbreeding depression is predicted to increase with age underMAbut not under AP, suggesting one empirical means by which the two can be distinguished. We use pedigree and life-history data from free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to test for additive and interactive effects of age and individual inbreeding coefficient ( f ) on fitness components, and thereby assess the evidence for MA. Annual reproductive success (ARS) and survival (and therefore reproductive value) declined in old age in both sexes, indicating senescence in this shortlived bird. ARS declined with f in both sexes and survival declined with f in males, indicating inbreeding depression in fitness. We observed a significant age!f interaction for male ARS (reflecting increased inbreeding depression as males aged), but not for female ARS or survival in either sex. These analyses therefore provide mixed support for MA. We discuss the strengths and limitations of such analyses and therefore the value of natural pedigreed populations in testing evolutionary models of senescence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:08 Sep 2008 16:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:25
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8452
Publisher DOI:10.1098/rspb.2007.0961
PubMed ID:18211879

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  • Testing evolutionary models of senescence in a natural population: age and inbreeding effects on fitness components in song sparrows. (deposited 08 Sep 2008 16:21) [Currently Displayed]
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3068

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