Reproductive improvement and senescence in a long-lived bird.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Heterogeneity within a population is a pervasive challenge for studies of individual life-histories. Population-level patterns in age-specific reproductive success can be broken down into relative contributions from selective disappearance, selective appearance of individuals into the study population, and average change in performance for survivors (average ontogenetic development). In this article, we provide an exact decomposition. We apply our formula to data on the reproductive performance of a well characterized population of common terns (Sterna hirundo). We show that improvements with age over most of adult life and senescence at old ages are primarily due to a genuine change in the mean among surviving individuals rather than selective disappearance or selective appearance of individuals. Average ontogenetic development accounts for approximately 87% of the overall age-specific population change.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rebke, M; Coulson, T; Becker, PH; Vaupel, JW

Published Date

  • April 8, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 107 / 17

Start / End Page

  • 7841 - 7846

PubMed ID

  • 20378836

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20378836

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1002645107


  • eng