Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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.

Original publication

DOI

10.1073/pnas.1002645107

Type

Journal article

Journal

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date

27/04/2010

Volume

107

Pages

7841 - 7846

Keywords

Age Factors, Aging, Animals, Charadriiformes, Germany, Models, Biological, Observation, Population Dynamics, Reproduction