Lifetime Fitness in Wild Female Baboons: Trade-Offs and Individual Heterogeneity in Quality.
Understanding the evolution of life histories requires information on how life histories vary among individuals and how such variation predicts individual fitness. Using complete life histories for females in a well-studied population of wild baboons, we tested two nonexclusive hypotheses about the relationships among survival, reproduction, and fitness: the quality hypothesis, which predicts positive correlations between life-history traits, mediated by variation in resource acquisition, and the trade-off hypothesis, which predicts negative correlations between life-history traits, mediated by trade-offs in resource allocation. In support of the quality hypothesis, we found that females with higher rates of offspring survival were themselves better at surviving. Further, after statistically controlling for variation in female quality, we found evidence for two types of trade-offs: females who produced surviving offspring at a slower rate had longer life spans than those who produced surviving offspring at a faster rate, and females who produced surviving offspring at a slower rate had a higher overall proportion of offspring survive infancy than females who produced surviving offspring at a faster rate. Importantly, these trade-offs were evident even when accounting for (i) the influence of offspring survival on maternal birth rate, (ii) the dependence of offspring survival on maternal survival, and (iii) potential age-related changes in birth rate and/or offspring survival. Our results shed light on why trade-offs are evident in some populations while variation in individual quality masks trade-offs in others.
McLean, EM; Archie, EA; Alberts, SC
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