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Evidence of reduced individual heterogeneity in adult survival of long-lived species

Péron G., Gaillard J.M., Barbraud C., Bonenfant C., Charmantier A., Choquet R., Coulson T., Grosbois V., Loison A., Marzolin G., Owen-Smith N., Pardo D., Plard F., Pradel R., Toïgo C., Gimenez O.. 2016. Evolution, 70 (12) : p. 2909-2914.

DOI: 10.5061/dryad.bd7q6

DOI: 10.1111/evo.13098

The canalization hypothesis postulates that the rate at which trait variation generates variation in the average individual fitness in a population determines how buffered traits are against environmental and genetic factors. The ranking of a species on the slow-fast continuum ¿ the covariation among life-history traits describing species-specific life cycles along a gradient going from a long life, slow maturity, and low annual reproductive output, to a short life, fast maturity, and high annual reproductive output ¿ strongly correlates with the relative fitness impact of a given amount of variation in adult survival. Under the canalization hypothesis, long-lived species are thus expected to display less individual heterogeneity in survival at the onset of adulthood, when reproductive values peak, than short-lived species. We tested this life-history prediction by analysing long-term time series of individual-based data in nine species of birds and mammals using capture-recapture models. We found that individual heterogeneity in survival was higher in species with short-generation time (< 3 years) than in species with long generation time (> 4 years). Our findings provide the first piece of empirical evidence for the canalization hypothesis at the individual level from the wild.

Mots-clés : longévité; cycle de développement; biologie animale; analyse comparative; analyse de séries chronologiques; capra ibex; pagodroma nivea; chevreuil; chamois; capreolus capreolus; rupicapra rupicapra; tragelaphus strepsiceros; chroicocephalus ridibundus; cyanistes caeruleus; cinclus cinclus; thalassarche melanophris

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