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Journal Articles Ecology Year : 2016

Variation in the age of first reproduction: different strategies or individual quality?

Abstract

Although age at first reproduction is a key demographic parameter which is probably under high selective pressure, it is highly variable and the cause of this variability is not well understood. Two non-exclusive hypotheses may explain such variability. It could be the expression of different individual strategies, i.e. different allocation strategies in fitness components, or the consequences of individual difference in intrinsic quality, i.e. some individuals always doing better than others in all fitness components. We tested these hypotheses in the Wandering albatross investigating relationships between the age at first reproduction and subsequent adult demographic traits. Using finite mixture capture recapture modeling, we demonstrate that the age at first reproduction is negatively related to both reproductive performances and adult survival, suggesting that individual quality was an important factor explaining variation in the age at first reproduction. Our results suggest that age at first breeding is a good predictor of quality in this long-lived seabird species.
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hal-01329451 , version 1 (24-05-2024)

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Rémi Fay, Christophe Barbraud, Karine Delord, Henri Weimerskirch. Variation in the age of first reproduction: different strategies or individual quality?. Ecology, 2016, 97 (7), pp.1842-1851. ⟨10.1890/15-1485.1⟩. ⟨hal-01329451⟩
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